About those ‘fact checkers’ – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Scott Johnson brings up the question: who will guard the guardians themselves?. The topic is the fact checking efforts in the MSM that purport objectivity yet turn out to be misleading propaganda pieces.

James Taranto takes up a great example of the absurd fact checking project undertaken by the mainstream media in his column “Newt year in Jerusalem.” It is a project that raises the question posed by the Roman poet Juvenal in Satire VI: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (Translation: Who will guard the guardians themselves?)

In the cover story of the new issue of the Weekly Standard Mark Hemingway does a number on the whole fact checking genre. Hemingway’s piece is “Lies, damned lies, and ‘fact checking.’” It doesn’t tell you anything you haven’t already intuited or observed, but it is must reading nevertheless.

It is one thing to have reporters take up the responsibility to ‘fact check’ those with whom they disagree ideologically. It is another when that effort becomes transparent and dishonest. “the question posed by the Roman poet Juvenal in Satire VI: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”” will be answered by readers who don’t just accept what is in print as gospel but rather apply critical thinking skills and hold those who utter nonsense accountable for what they say.

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