The debate Fact Check on Romney shows how journalism used to work
I have noticed ever since FOX News came around, but especially after the 9/11 terror attack, news organizations and journalists stopped fact checking statements from the White House or any politician in general.
The news had become a press release agent for the White House and for a politicians in general.
Some of this had to do with declines in readership and viewership for news. This must have cut back on reporters able to fact check so news depts. fell back to using press releases as their source. Another reason for this press release journalism is that maybe the news organizations now need to make money when once upon a time they were loss leaders. What this means is that maybe editorial decisions take place that are designed not to offend viewers who hold a polarizing opinion (FOX is highly partisan while CNN still tries to be neutral even though the right wing thinks they are not).
The only fact checker out there for the last decade that does so aggressively is a comedy show called “The Daily Show” hosted by Jon Stewart and he does it effectively. His show basically gets his comedy from showing a politician or the govt spokesperson saying one thing and then cut to the video tape where they contradict themselves from an earlier statement - sometimes blatantly.
We saw the sad state of this new journalism in the first Obama/Romney debate where the moderator said his role was to ‘stay out of the way’ and let the candidates state their case. But what if they lie and look good doing it on camera? Fact checks after the debate are rare and ignored.
A simple real time fact check in the Obama/Romney debate was all that was needed to re-focus reality on a candidate and to show the importance of journalism being the fourth-estate of the republic.