To the Star: The time is ripe for a Fact Check — or 2 — or 3


by David Safier

Over a third of the mail-in ballots have been sent in. The Star is giving lots of coverage to the Barber/Kelly race, since it's the only race in town. But there's nary a Star fact check in sight.

It's time. It's past time. Take a look at the fact checking work Jim Nintzel is doing, which I find to be outstanding, if you want to see how it's done. If you're skeptical of his fact checking (and you should always be skeptical), check his statements yourself. Since Social Security and Medicare are national issues, you'll find lots of good, thorough analyses of the claims Democrats and Republicans are making across the country, which are similar to what we're hearing in CD-8. Likewise with energy availability and policy. There's lots of objective information out there.

This late in the campaign, I can only find two reasons why the Star hasn't checked Kelly's and Barber's statements for accuracy.

One is, Brady McCombs, who is doing the political reporting, simply doesn't have enough confidence to go beyond stenography and say flat out, "This is true (or mainly true); This is false (or mainly false)," and give explanations.

The other possible reason is, some higher ups at the Star don't want to run fact checks on this race. They would prefer to leave their readers in the dark about the accuracy of the candidates' claims.

Either way, it's a goddamn shame.