On Reliable Sources Sunday morning, host Howard Kurtz gave media critics a good laugh when, after introducing a segment on George Washington University’s “Face The Facts” initiative, he asked Frank Sesno, the director of the university’s School of Media and Public Affairs, if Republicans were on board for all of this “fact” business. At least, that’s what it sounded like, and good for him.
Kurtz introduced the segment, and asked Sesno (who is also a former CNN bureau chief) to explain what “Face The Facts” is all about. Note how, in his response, Sesno mentions nothing about liberals or Democrats.
“Imagine that, facts going first,” Prof. Sesno began. “Before starting the debate, before you dive deep, you actually know something about it. So we’ll take ten topic areas, debt deficit, jobs economy, energy environment, ten facts, within each of the areas. We release them one a day, starting tomorrow, 100 days before the election. They’ll tweet out, they’ll e-mail out, they’ll be part of a big deeper dive. And maybe, maybe we can put some orienting facts out there, and start with those.”
Kurtz’s first followup question, without any mention of liberals, Democrats, or any sort of partisanship, was “Are Republicans involved in this, as well?”
There’s only one way to interpret this, that his use of the phrase “as well” is in reference to a group that isn’t included in the community of people who are interested in putting facts first, an interpretation that I can’t wait to read about on the pages of Newsbusters and Breitbart.com.
The right-wing media will doubtlessly point to this as evidence of the dreaded liberal media bias, but what it really shows is that journalism professionals hide their certain knowledge of something that is obvious to all of them, and to every liberal, and even to those conservatives who privately bury their faces in their hands every time Michele Bachmann opens her mouth: both sides might wrestle with facts from time to time, but only one side is fatally allergic to them.
Democrats might get into arguments with fact-checkers about the true definition of “sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President,” but we know how old the Earth is, we know what percentage of blame to assign the gays for natural and man-made catastrophes, and we know that trickling on things doesn’t make them grow. Good for Howard Kurtz for (perhaps unintentionally) acknowledging that, and here’s hoping that kind of honesty is catching.
Here’s the clip, from Reliable Sources:
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