The Washington Post has discontinued its presidential fact-check database — which was launched during former President Donald Trump’s tenure — after only 100 days into President Joe Biden’s term.
What are the details?
In a tweet thread Monday, fact-check editor Glenn Kessler announced that while he and his team will continue to “rigorously” fact-check Biden, they will no longer maintain a database like they did under Trump.
Kessler cited the overwhelming workload as the reason for the change, even while noting that monitoring Biden’s statements has proven to be less work.
“Here’s the Biden database — which we do not plan to extend beyond 100 days,” Kessler tweeted. “I have learned my lesson.”
“‘Learned my lesson’ means that who knows what the next four years will bring. We have fact-checked Biden rigorously and will continue to do so. Trump at 500 claims/100 days was manageable; 8,000+ was not,” he added.
“Maintaining the Trump database over four years required about 400 additional 8-hour days over four years beyond our regular jobs for three people,” Kessler explained. “Biden is off to a relatively slow start but who knows what will happen. We will keep doing fact checks, just not a database.”
Commenters on Twitter couldn’t help but point out the Post’s blatant double standard. Several noted how rich it is that the left-leaning media organization found the time and energy to fact-check Trump’s every statement during all four years of his presidency, but are now throwing in the towel after a few months of Biden.
“The Biden presidency is over. Rest easy,” media critic Stephen L. Miller quipped. “What an incredible 100 days of presidency.”
“Come on, man,” one commenter wrote. “Go ahead and enjoy your 4-year vacation. Thanks for confirming your bias.”
“4 year vacation because blue team,” another wrote.
“Hooray standards!” another Twitter user joked. “If they didn’t come in double, how would y’all operate?!”
One commenter noted that no such database was in operation under former Democratic President Barack Obama, either, so Kessler should have been rested.
“I would have thought the 8 prostrate years before Trump would have left you sufficiently rested,” he said.
In the 100 days analysis of Biden, Kessler assessed that the new president made 67 “false or misleading statements” in comparison to Trump’s 511.
He noted, however, that “Biden’s relatively limited number of falsehoods is a function, at least in part, of the fact that his public appearances consist mostly of prepared texts vetted by his staff. He devotes little time to social media, in contrast to his Twitter-obsessed predecessor, and rarely faces reporters or speaks off the cuff.”
The Post’s decision to shut down its presidential database comes just days after Kessler was widely panned for an egregious fact-check on South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s family history.
Author: Phil Shiver