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I can always count on Howard Kurtz for finding a way to give me a migraine. Kurtz books former CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Senso to talk about his new project via George Washington University, Face the Facts, a non-partisan fact check organization designed to filter through the partisan garbage and offer people interested in knowing the truth the actual facts.
Now if I was the person whose entire career was built around looking at how the media does their job, I might wonder why nobody in the media feels it's necessary any longer to offer facts or context to their reading/viewing/listening public. But while Kurtz gives lip service to this notion, to him, the more important question is if it's even possible to deal in facts or if it's just a big "pie in the sky' dream:
KURTZ: Whether it's the budget or foreign trade or gun control, facts are often in despite. Why should we trust your facts?
SESNO: Because our facts will come from original source information. We'll be utterly transparent about that because we will have a section on -- after you look at the fact, you can go on the page and see what others are saying. And we will have left, right, center, white papers, academics and others who will weigh in.
The point is, though, that there are certain facts that are actually facts. And what I want to do is turn it on its head and start with the facts.
KURTZ: Forgive me, but it sounds a little pie in the sky in terms of getting attention in a very crowded media marketplace.
SESNO: It's very hard to get attention in a crowded media marketplace, and that's part of the problem. Part of the problem is that people are buried by information.
And so that's why we're here talking to you. We've got the word out. People can sign up. They can get it. I think that we can have an impact. I really believe that. Maybe that's pie in the sky, but we have to try. We have to try.
The site officially goes live tomorrow, so FtF's ability to rise above the partisan fray remains to be seen. Certainly, they can't possibly be worse than WaPo's Glenn Kessler or PolitiFact, both purportedly "non-partisan" fact-checking entities.
But honestly, what is the job of the media if not to report the facts? Can we examine that, Howie?