The Washington Post will abandon keeping a database of fact-checks of the president less than 100 days into President Joe Biden’s term despite running the database during the entirety of former President Donald Trump’s time in office.
From the Washington Examiner:
The Washington Post is shuttering the presidential fact-checking database it launched under former President Donald Trump, just a mere 96 days after the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
The paper’s chief fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, announced the change late Monday evening.
“We’ve been comparing Biden (67 false or misleading claims) to Trump’s first 100 days (511 claims),” he said on social media. “But past is no prologue. In the last 100 days before the 2020 election, we counted 8,859 claims made by Trump. It was a wild ride.”
Many of the “fact checks” of Trump include fact checks of comments that were obviously intended to be hyperbolic or sarcastic, and includes duplicates.
Kessler reasoned that Trump was a more prolific liar than Biden and took up a large chunk of the fact-checkers time:
Kessler continues, explaining that it was a Herculean task maintaining a database of Trump’s falsehoods, misstatements, and outright lies.
“[It] required about 400 additional 8-hour days over four years beyond our regular jobs for three people,” he said. “Biden is off to a relatively slow start but who knows what will happen. We will keep doing fact checks, just not a database.”
Kessler noted that the publication will still be doing fact-checks of Biden, but will not be keeping a database of the fact-checks like it did for Trump.
The story comes as the publication generated controversy over its fact-check of Sen. Tim Scott, with Kessler publishing a story questioning the accuracy of the Black Republican’s family lineage.
“Scott tells a tidy story packaged for political consumption, but a close look shows how some of his family’s early and improbable success gets flattened and written out of his biography,” Kessler concluded.
The fact-check drew widespread condemnation, with former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley calling the article “shameful.”
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