At 5pm ET — midnight in Israel — I’ll be live-blogging a discussion about political discourse at the New America Foundation (NAF) in Washington, DC.
Here’s a blurb from NAF on what to expect:
At a time of ever-accelerating news cycles, however, it’s increasingly difficult for subsequent clarifications and corrections to keep up with distortions and misinformation, as voters have typically moved on to the next story. And so, out-of-context quotes such as President Obama’s aside about Americans being (or not being) lazy and Mitt Romney’s love of firing people (or insurance companies) still have a great deal of staying power.
Against this backdrop, New America invites you to consider the interplay of these trends at a launch event for three papers that explore the history of journalistic fact-checking, the social science that explains its impact on the process and public attitudes, and the current fact-policing ecosystem.
Here’s a list of the speakers:
Knight Media Policy Fellow
New America Foundation
Media Policy Initiative
Center for Public Integrity
Georgia State University
Washington Bureau Chief for the Tampa Bay Times
New America Foundation
Rick Santorum’s hard-line positions on social issues makes him a particularly popular target for all kinds of crazy in the Twitterverse. Consider:
T minus nine minutes to go. I’m looking forward to hearing Michael Dobbs. He’s the Washington Post’s (first ever) official fact checker. He just told me that the WaPo’s Fact Checker blog run by Glenn Kessler receives one million page views a month. Clearly, there’s a hunger for referees, if you will, in our political discourse.
Are you wondering what any of this has to do with the Times of Israel? Short answer: fact-checking isn’t just about political campaigns. Mideast news coverage arguably the most, shall we say, factually challenged. That’s one of the reasons I signed on with the Times of Israel – I believe it’s poised to become THE premier, most authoritative and baggage-free source of news from Israel.
Tom Glaisyer just kicked this baby off. Since we’re not live-streaming it, you should know he has a British accent (not that there’s anything wrong with that, Mr. Times of Israel Editor-in-Chief).
First speaker: Lucas Grave. He’s here to answer the question: Is fact-checking alive and well these days? My $0.02 – no. Now, let’s go straight to the promised food and drink after this briefing.
Turns out most people do not get their news from partisan outlets like Fox News (on the right) or Media Matters (on the left), according to Grave. INCYMI, Media Matters is embroiled in a bitter controversy here in the Beltway about – what else? – Israel.
“Correcting people can actually make factual perception worse,” says a Georgia State University professor on the panel. In other words, if you tell a supporter of Candidate A that s/he is blatantly lying, they may support that candidate more.
He says it’s because peoples’ sense of selves and self-esteem are bound up with their worldviews. Thus, attack their candidate, and you’re attacking their self-image. Cognitive dissonance kicks in.
Politifact publishes the awesome Truth-O-Meter. Hard not to pick on Rick Santorum. When he recently said that the French haven’t stood by the U.S. in the last 20 years, they gave him the highly sophisticated “Pants on Fire” award:
Note: Tweets I’m embedding aren’t showing up. Nu?
Ben Gold is a DC-based writer who is under no illusions that this presidential campaign will be any more fact-based than the last one. Or the one before that. Or the one before that…