A couple of things are just irking me with this 2012 election coverage across the board. Mainly the fact checks. There’s a propensity to hedge on the truth, and that’s like a tick in my pants. It’s just bugging the crap out of me.
Here’s something I posted to Facebook earlier today:
I absolutely despise all of these fact checks that do not begin or end with true or false. Don’t give me a long explanation on the murkiness of the statement. It does me no good if there is no judgment on the veracity of the statement in question. And to help all those fact-checkers out there, if it’s only half true, it’s false. Boom. Simple. To the point. Stop wedging the truth and stop muddying up the issues by not being clear and direct. We have enough liars we have to deal with outside of the media for that.
Of course, somebody disagreed with me. That’s OK. I respect that and welcome healthy debates. But the argument presented was basically that there are shades of gray for issues, which is understandable. But I’m much more black and white. Here was my response:
Obviously I disagree with you ——. If something is partly true, but not fully flushed out, that’s one thing. But if a statement is built on a false premise, or otherwise murky in its setup, it’s simply false. All the nuance can go in the explanations we’re getting. But judgements still need to be handed down, especially if we’re calling them fact checks. Otherwise, it’s just analysis. There’s a place for that.
So I’ll leave that at that.
But here’s another thing: what’s up with these fact checkers using the phrase: “not entirely accurate” or “not entirely factual.” Picking on the word “accurate,” I literally (like my play on words there?) had to look it up to make sure I can be properly incredulous about the phrase’s idiocy.
- Dictionary.com’s definition – free from error or defect; consistent with a standard, rule, or model; precise; exact.
- Webster’s definition – free from error especially as the result of care; conforming exactly to truth or to a standard.
- American Heritage’s definition – Conforming exactly to fact; errorless.
So the phrase “entirely accurate” is actually very stupid, because if anything were to be accurate, then by its very definition that would be in its entirety, whatever “it” is. And furthermore, to use the phrase that something isn’t “entirely accurate” is an unnecessary use of an extra word to mask what is being conveyed. Instead, be clear and direct: It is not accurate.
That is all.