Jul
09
2013

Time Sends Simpson and Norquist to the Zoo

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Policy debates are only as broad as the establishment media allow them to be. And on this particular issue–fiscal policy, or what decisions the government should make about spending and revenues–the media tend to prefer staying within what you might call a center-right spectrum of opinion,

Oct
09
2012

Factchecking Impossible, Pointless, Say Factcheckers

Michael Scherer

Time's Michael Scherer (10/9/12) responded to a FAIR Blog post by FAIR's Peter Hart (10/3/12), who apparently spoke for many: Peter Hart, writing for the liberal Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, summed up many of the tweets I received. "The article kicks off with a hefty helping of false balance–the tendency to see all problems as coming more or less equally from both sides," he wrote. "One of the most common problems with media factchecking is the need to always be balanced–no matter what is happening in reality." Scherer responds: I don’t disagree with Hart's underlying point…. I would love […]

Oct
03
2012

Time: Obama's Lies Are Worse Because They're More Accurate

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In Time magazine's new cover story ("Blue Truth, Red Truth," 10/3/12),  Michael Scherer attempts to sort out the puzzle of campaign season factchecking. But while the cover promises to tell us which candidate is telling the truth, it mostly manages to capture some of the  corporate media's worst factchecking tropes. The article kicks off with a hefty helping of false balance–the tendency to see all problems as coming more or less equally from both sides. Obama complains about Romney's sustained, false claims that the White House is doing away with work requirements under welfare. Scherer notes this is false–and then […]

Jul
15
2011

The Brave World of Boehner/Obama Bipartisanship

Media love the "middle" in politics–where leaders of the two major parties come together to find common ground, renew the national spirit and/or live up to the ideals of the Founders. Time magazine (7/14/11) has a soppy piece about Barack Obama and Republican leader John Boehner's attempt to reach a budget deal. Those efforts–some of which happened in secret–are, according to reporters Jay Newton-Small and Michael Scherer, the story of two self-described dealmakers in a town where dealing is often a synonym for surrender, who ran up against the limits of their roles, their powers and their colleagues. Boehner and […]