Given they were not really doing much in this capacity, this decision makes sense.
To say the press has been working in tandem with the Biden administration is to deal with understatement. There was praise being delivered even before he took office, with the press announcing it would be a return to normalcy and that the administration would deliver much-needed professionalism. No need to wait for those results; the journalists were convinced this would happen.
Now, after just a few months of fiascos and conflicting messaging, the Washington Post has declared that there is no need for its Joe Biden fact-check database to remain in operation. Glenn Kessler, the resident leader of their Massage-the-truth Division, made the announcement that they no longer see a need for this enterprise after Friday, Biden’s 100-day mark.
Here's the Biden database — which we do not plan to extend beyond 100 days. I have learned my lesson. https://t.co/qK42PRlnrS
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 27, 2021
If there is anything to take away from this decision, it is that the press is finding it increasingly difficult to cover up Biden’s lies. They can posture all they want about how little Biden delivers falsehoods, the simple fact is they are exposed by their own claim. Joe Biden telling so few lies would be all the reason to keep your effort going; your job has gotten immensely easier!
The press is tasked with the job description of holding politicians accountable. What justification can a newspaper have for declaring it will be scaling back on the factual analysis of a leader? Kessler suggests that the sheer force of the volume of Trump’s lies was overbearing, and the suggested vacuum provided by Biden’s adherence to the truth shows there is no longer a need to continue. Utter garbage.
What we saw take place in the Trump era was fact-checkers expanding the parameters of what was considered a lie. Yes, Trump was a master prevaricator, which cannot be denied. Much of the time he was telling falsehoods specifically to needle the press. But the press also fueled this tabulation. Any deviation from accurate assessments, any data that was not 100 percent on point was dubbed a lie. The media undeniably did this to inflate their claimed numbers. They are doing the exact opposite with Joe Biden.
There have been numerous examples of the press coming up with new interpretations of falsehoods delivered in order to skirt labeling Joe with telling a lie. Look at how they covered his recent false claims about gun laws. When he blatantly lied about gun show loopholes they described his comments as “inaccuracies,” “Joe Biden exaggerates,” that he was “stretching the truth,” and, of course, led to the practice of accusing his critics of wrongdoing with the “conservatives pounce” variation.
If anything, the press has worn out its thesaurus in coming up with new classifications for describing lies. As Kessler states in the write-up of their shutdown: More typical for Biden, when he uttered a false statement, was some subtle truth-stretching. So, clearly, that does not count.
This was the kind of stance we knew would be the norm, beginning back during the debates. CNN declared that while Trump had done his usual delivery of lie by bulk, Joe was mostly pristine in his content, with only a smattering of factual deviations, most of which probably were not his fault. Too bad the demonstrable lies were of the laundry list variety for any to see — only the fact-checkers could not see them.
Of course, what goes unsaid in this declaration is how little has been said by Biden. He avoids the press diligently, farming out his official comments to the daily press briefings, and as a result, he is not pinged when factual discrepancies are delivered from Jen Psaki’s podium. Joe does not tweet, he rarely speaks to the press, and once he does he works to avoid saying too much. The press has called him boring, and they say this in praiseworthy fashion. They do not have to work nearly as hard, as there is a fraction of the content they have had to deal with previously, and what little does come out can be reinterpreted as a variation of a truthful statement. “Well, we all know what he really meant to say ” could be the fact-checkers’ new mission statement.
It actually does make sense for The Washington Post to shut down the fact-check database on President Biden, since they really had not been doing their job in the first place. Go enjoy your vacation, Glenn.