Oct
04
2010

Factually Challenged Reporter Cheers Factchecking

I tuned into C-SPAN on Friday night and caught part of a panel discussion hosted by Arianna Huffington. One of the panelists was Weekly Standard reporter Stephen Hayes, who is perhaps best known for advancing the bogus theory that Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda were in cahoots.

And oddly enough, the discussion turned to misleading political advertising, and the efforts to factcheck such political lying–an effort that Hayes cheered:

HUFFINGTON: What else can the media do, Steve?

HAYES: I think one of the upsides to the proliferation of information sources is that you can go to places and find out whether an ad is truthful or not. I mean, you certainly–whether it's Politifact or whether it's local reporters who have teamed up with national media outlets that are fact checking these things almost on a real-time basis.

Ultimately as a believer in free markets,I think if you put out good information that follows bad, if you can identify blatantly misleading political ads, and call them on it, Ithink that people will learn that it doesn't pay to run those kinds of ads.

Hayes went on to say:

But I do believe that if you provide people with good information, provide them with places to get that good information, they will ultimately use it.

I guess Hayes thinks some people should be factchecked.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.