Fact Checking ABC's "This Week"

Friday, May 14, 2010


Jake Tapper, interim host of ABC's "This Week," liked the idea of fact-checking his guests' comments, so he set up a partnership with Politifact, a non-partisan fact-checking organization. Tapper explains that as a host, you can only do so much fact-checking during the interview.

    Music Playlist
  • Hello
    Artist: Deru

Comments [8]

Julie from North Carolina

Great segment-- my family just had a big discussion about this a few weeks ago. I like the idea that fact checking last week's show would be a segment in the next week's show-- that would encourage accountability from the guests. I have a lot more respect for Jake Tapper knowing that he encourages fact-checking for his show. I can't imagine why David Gregory would discourage fact checking as a part of Meet the Press. They are journalists-- correctly reporting the facts is part of the job description. Here's hoping that NPR and others continue to put the pressure on the Sunday shows to demonstrate fact checking.

May. 20 2010 12:49 PM
Bob S from Dallas

Hey Guys - I loved this week's show and this segment especially... Quick funny fact: Jake mentioned the quote about a lie traveling around the world being by Winston Churchill. I did a little fact checking of my own and it is actually a hybrid quote. The real quote is : "A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on," which was said by James Watt (1736-1819).

I laughed, because of the irony. Hope you will to. Have a great week!

May. 18 2010 03:58 PM

It would have been more interesting if you had included James Tarantos thoughts on fact checking. He regularly comments about the biases of the fact checkers in Best of the Web at Opinion Journal.

May. 18 2010 10:36 AM
Tom in West LA from Los Angeles

Seems to me that this is what Twitter was actually meant for? I'd suggest using a "qualified" / "selected" group of "expert" (and non-partisan) Twitterer's who could, in fact, respond in near-real-time to assertions of "fact" -- CSpan almost does this with call-in responses -- but a small group of "editors" (the big media news could surely afford this?) could be monitoring Twiter in real time and posting results? 9How about a running banner at the bottom of the screen?) (I sat in on a class at USC, 3-4 years ago, that encouraged students to post running comments on a screen next to their professors presentation screen -- risky -- but of course, the students were also -- informally at least -- acountable for what they posted...)

May. 17 2010 10:05 AM
Kevin from Centerport NY

With a tape delay there's no reason these talking head shows couldn't be fact checked in real time (ala Popup video). No reason except, no pundit or politician would appear on these shows if they couldn't lie with abandon.

May. 16 2010 05:11 PM
Dave C

So, was he really Saddam Hussein's chief Intel? Probably not because that title was reserved for someone in the family.

May. 16 2010 07:47 AM
Mark from San Diego

If you build it correctly, they will watch. If ABC wants to make a credible Sunday Morning News Show that is above reproach, then do it right. Tape the show one day early. Review the text of the guests and host. Have a credible voice from the RIGHT, like the Wall Street Journal, pop up their take on the facts on the rightside of the screen. Additionally, have another fact checker from the LEFT, like the NY Times, pop up on the left side of the viewing screen. If you create a standard to be measured, people will take notice. If you confront your own biases, people will watch.

The viewers you seek are sick of the unbridled journalistic agendas. Unfortunately, I don't even think ABC is aware of it. In the interview, an example of Dick Cheyney trying to connect Al Queda with Saddam Hussein was used to give an example of a flat out lie. It is true that no active connection has been found however, why is it that the press neglects to tell us that BEFORE JOINING AL QUEDA, KALID SHEIK MOHAMMED WAS SADDAM HUSSEIN'S CHEIF INTELLIGENCE OFFICER! That's a big fact to miss! This is why so many feel the media has an agenda.

May. 15 2010 10:00 PM
Pete B from Spain

Would not the statsitics on oil consumption make more sense for this (Maher's) argument as consumption per capita?.

May. 15 2010 11:27 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.