Democracy Has Prevailed.

September 5, 2016

Chris Wallace (Of Fox "News"): Not My Job To Fact-Check Debates

From a recent interview between Howard Kurtz (of Fox "News") and Chris Wallace (also of Fox "News):
KURTZ: I understand that and I think it's the right approach, not making it about you, on the other hand, there is a lot on your shoulders, both in terms of the question selection, but also as they go at it, let’s say Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, what do you do if they make assertions that you know to be untrue?

WALLACE: That's not my job. I do not believe it is my job to be a truth squad. It's up to the other person to catch them on that. I certainly am going to try to maintain some reasonable semblance of equal time. If one of them is filibustering, I'm going to try to break in respectfully and give the other person a chance to talk. But I want it to be about them -- I want it to be as much of a debate, people often talk that it’s simultaneous news conferences.

KURTZ: Right.

WALLACE: I want it to be as much of a debate as possible. Frankly, with these two and the way -- as Keith Jackson used to say about football rivals, these two just plain don't like each other. I suspect I'm not going to have any problem getting them to engage with each other, but I don't view my role as truth squading and I think that is a step too far. If people want to do it after the debate, fine, it’s not my role.
While you should notice what Wallace says is not his job ("truth squading") you should also note what he thinks is his job - maintaining some semblance of equal time.

This is what's wrong with our political journalism - too many journalists (and people working at Fox "News") think that giving equal time to two opposing viewpoints is enough to establish an epistemologicallly accurate rendering of of reality - even if, it turns out, that one side is obviously wrong.

For example, given the above criteria, Chris Wallace would not challenge the truth value of these false (untrue, bogus, erroneous) Trump statements:
And Chris Wallace would let each of these false statements slide in the debate he's moderating. 

Of course he'll give Hillary Clinton equal time to say, "No that's not true." and think he's done a good job.


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

You forgot the "truth value of this false (untrue, bogus, erroneous) Trump statement:
Donald Trump falsely claims Hillary Clinton 'wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment'
“The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

Ed Heath said...

First of all, yet another "Look over there, SQUIRREL" statement.

Second of all, how is saying SCOTUS is wrong on the 2nd Amendment the same as saying I want to abolish the 2nd amendment?

And third, your comment has nothing to do with Chris Wallace saying that despite having much better resources to engage in fact checking than 99% of his audience, its "not my job". I suppose it is fine for Wallace not to challenge a candidate during the debate, but it should also be fine to post something on the screen.

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

So if Trump said that SCOTUS is wrong on the 14th Amendment that does not mean that He wants to bring back slavery and involuntary servitude?