NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 24, 2012

Fact-checking the presidential fact checkers

(Continued)

Still, fact-checking is a far more valuable use of the media’s resources compared to the reports from the “spin room.” Most large-scale debates -- such as races for governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, and so on up the ladder -- have an area near the debate hall designated as a “spin room” where the candidates’ supporters attempt to convince reporters why their candidate won the debate. The things said in these rooms are carefully prepared and practiced, for the most part just an extension of the candidates’ talking points. This is where a candidate’s message gets groomed into the mainstream media.

These days the media seems to be mostly avoiding coverage of what gets said in the “spin room.” Instead, fact-checking is the new emphasis.

As much as viewers will see diametrically opposed interpretations of “unbiased coverage” from MSNBC and Fox News, the same can hold true with the fact checkers. So keep reading those black-and-white “fact checks” but not without some shades of gray.

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