tv [untitled] September 16, 2012 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
seven thirty am in moscow the zero headline muslims continue to vent fury over a movie filmed in the u.s. mocking the prophet muhammad as violent protests rage or cross the globe for most of the week and violence has left at least a dozen dead. while washington asked what happened to the arab spring its diplomatic efforts of so far failed to salvage and years of work building bridges with islamic countries. speight in portugal once again hit with the demonstrations
as the populace there demands an end to brussels interference this has one point five million march through the streets of barcelona calling for catalonia is independence from spain. cross-talk coming up next stay with us here on our. hello and welcome to cross talk i'm people of l. fact checking in keeping politicians honest at least that's what we're told is such a fact checking a legitimate enterprise or an attempt to hide the bias behind a neutral facade and who will fact check the fact checkers. to cross-talk fact checking in the us i'm joined by glenn kessler in washington he's
a fact checker at the washington post and in cincinnati we cross to clifford schecter he is the author of the real mccain pundit and president of liberty us our gentleman cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want glenn you're a fact checker and since so much of this campaign seems to be focused on checking facts one could draw the conclusion that the american campaign for the presidency we have candidates this serial liar so how do you react to that. well you know politicians will always twist the truth or stretch the truth if they think it will give them a political advantage i think in this particular campaign you have an incumbent president who is burdened with a very difficult and slow economy. and so it's designed much of a record for him to run on at least to the way that these things are generally defined in the united states and so you have. a republican nominee who is
pushing very hard and between the two of them you're going to have a lot of not thrown cliff what do you think about that i mean is there something different about this campaign that makes fact checking so important or is it just a facade. no i would say absolutely there is look the journalism journalists in the united states used to do this job a lot better until they fell into a sort of he said she said paul you know a position where they feel like everything has to be balanced when it not always is ever all politicians lie all politicians exaggerate we've gone through this in numerous campaign cycles as far back as anyone can remember particularly the t.v. age but you know what mitt romney is doing right now can be called the post truth campaign i mean everything from taking words his whole case his whole convention was built on a we didn't build that sort of quote that president obama would do you said it was taken completely out of context paul ryan gave a speech that may have objectionably been filled with the most number of lies from when a factory closed in his hometown of janesville. to you know claiming that president
obama walked out of a budget talks that he in fact himself walked out of i mean i really think that this is i've seen these things happen before in some level but it's a new and very different place right now that mitt romney and paul ryan are taking us to and that's the reason why a lot of fact checkers are constantly pointing out the fact that they're not telling the truth ok glenn what do you think about that is one party more honest than the other. you know i don't draw those distinctions i will simply note that i had a lot of facts a lot of facts and the check during the democratic convention as well you know i think in would you have in this situation you do have. i think in past elections democrats may have felt that they were playing too clean and too nice and this bombing campaign in this cycle has decided they're going to play by the same rules as the other side so you know i don't think either party can say that the purity of the truth here ok cliff if i can stay with you but do you think you have more work
in this campaign than other campaigns. oh it let me know when we got to ask you if that is being i know many quit being i'm sorry you got going being a fact check yourself i mean do you find that you have more work this campaign. well yes actually in part it's because it's not just this election cycle it's not just barack obama versus mitt romney you also have the explosion of super pac ads and and and that's where you know the facts really need to be checked because the super pacs on both sides aren't necessarily constrained by the by the by the fact that you know it's going to be barack obama's voice or mitt romney's voice there did says i approve this ad those super pacs can say whatever they want and you know i have a rating scale here where i you know for put nokia as is the worst rating you can get for me and many of the four put nokia ratings have given have gone to the super
pac ads when you think about that cliff i mean if it's that money. yeah well i think look there's a lot of money it's flowing through super pacs are slowing through excuse me flowing through non-profits five a one c. fours as they're known in the tax code so they don't even disclose who their donors are and you know and again look i want to get to glenn's point before i never said that the democrats are pure in this and there are no politicians that appear in this and there's no doubt the obama campaign has been a lot more aggressive and yeah they've exaggerated some things i just think though if i'm going to be honest here and say that what mitt romney and paul ryan have done and then what karl rove is doing with this super pacs is unprecedented i mean they're just taking things out of whole cloth that don't exist there they've got a whole campaign based upon how president obama wants to get rid of work requirements for welfare we subjectively ally you know i mean i mean paul ryan has stood up and said that a factory closed during the obama administration in his own town that closed during the bush administration paul ryan has attacked him a cut that president obama made in medicare that would go to private insurance
companies away and he made the same cut in his own budget it just goes on and on only that he attacked the stimulus it turns out he applied for stimulus money he attacked the health care bill turns out he applied for some of these health care monies i mean it goes on it's actually become very hard to find on a statement quite frankly that mitt romney and paul ryan made and frankly they all finish up by saying most recently in this terrible tragedy that happened the other night in libya mitt romney again not only did he attack a sitting president during a time when our americans are being killed abroad but he lied about it he attacked him based upon a statement that was issued to social media by the embassy in egypt he claimed that was what president obama stood for when it was it and he claimed that this statement was released after the attack took place when it was it was released before so it's hard to know when they're making in fact one honest remark much less many ok glenn i think it's very interesting i mean these guys are not stupid ok the take of the republican ticket isn't stupid i mean they must know that people like you are watching do they care. yes actually they do care.
but it really depends on the situation i mean i have seen a bit of what what cliff just mentioned he mentioned a whole series of things for which the romney campaign has gotten many pinocchio's i've written about all those and i guess and said there were other things on the other side for the obama campaign but. the mitt romney has on occasion changed the way he is framed things if he's gotten from nokia's for me but there are some things that as a politician are just too good to pass up so for instance governor romney often refers to brock obama having gone on an apology tour apologizing for america that's something that early on i gave four pinocchio's dismissed no evidence that ever took place. but he keeps saying it and in fact the situation with with egypt and libya. that was it that he tried to put that into the context of obama's
claimed apology tour and that's why they went off on this tangent regarding the statement which is cliff noted was issued by an embassy staff or hours before any of these protests took place it just through social media people they got the impression that though that happened during and afterwards because it was being retreated everywhere it's an interesting example of how perceptions can get misinterpreted because of the effect of social media you know cliff one of the one of the things i find interesting in american politics in this is from our international viewers is that the left and the right have their own think tanks ok they have their own set of facts isn't that a problem now when you say you know what the heritage foundation said this and it's true they said that ok but does that make it true. knowing it's a great question and i will say quickly and i feel you know i think glenn is doing the best job he can in this in this campaign but mitt romney's own pollster neil
newhouse said that we would let the fact checkers make us we don't run our campaign any specific way he quite literally said that so it's important to note that he just said you actually can go take a leap. but well he just i obviously just a good guy had going jump in because it's a really good point. well a.j. . it's interesting he did this is a very good example of how it can be difficult he made a comment specifically in response to someone noting that mitt romney's welfare ad got four pinocchio's for me you know why which is my worst rating and then he said well you know that's actually our our best ad the ad that gets to biggest response so we're not going to be dictated by what fact checkers say now actually i have looked very closely at this welfare issue there some of the things that the obama campaign has said to try to rebut what romney has said about welfare those of also or and put oki oh so it's not like either side is completely in
a pure and driven snow here the romney campaign went way off the rails with the ad but you know they're going to keep doing it because as i said politicians will stretch the facts if they think it gives them a political advantage and they think this ad works for them so in that case do not going to care what i say you know cliff do the politicians really and i'm going to jump in your head if i had guys are ok well i just want to agree i agree with glenn again and i think i said the same thing earlier which is politicians are politicians presidential campaigns can be worse than most or so much money in them and now there are so many independent groups and so many different pressures i think just what i was saying is to both sides do it sure i think in this campaign to meet quite clear that one side the republican side is doing a lot more than others i mean again when paul ryan can get up and give a convention convention speech that literally if you sit there you can find five on . believable lies contained within that just have no basis in fact not to mention their main campaign is run on taking words obama said out of context so the obama
people yeah they make they do things here and there they were but things and they say things i find that aren't correct absolutely but the premise of their campaign the whole premise of their convention wasn't we built that which you know which was a complete you know taking something out of context that president obama said when he said that the government built roads and the infrastructure that allowed you to build your business as a small business owner i can tell you right now that's one hundred percent true without the internet thing my life gets a lot tougher so you know i think that it's important to get to your earlier point peter which is important i think for people your viewers you know internationally yes you know there was a time where we actually agreed on a set of facts even if we disagreed there's something written by a former supreme court justice when as a lawyer lewis powell called the powell memo which which basically laid out a plan for conservatives to build think tanks and media organizations and in a way to get push out their own perceptions and change reality and i would say that you know that is their own reality that exists on the left absolutely again to say that it doesn't happen all sides but when you look at what the right song about
when they say supply side economics works you know we've got plenty of examples from two administrations the or three in the eighty's and the two thousand very much it creates huge debt when they say that that you know evolution is a theory well that's ridiculous it's something that is proven it's not something we can debate when they say global warming isn't happening in virtually every scientist out there says it is for the ones being paid by exxon and think tanks well then that's something else that there's no debate they can be had there and finally when a sitting congressman who's running for the senate gets up and claims talks about legitimate rape i'm not very very depressing because you go short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on fact checking stay with our team .
to. remind you we're talking about fact checking in the u.s. presidential election. and now we're joined by judson phillips in washington he's the founder of tea party nation all right judson if i go to you first do you think fact checkers are biased to the left. yeah fact checkers are horribly biased it's a that's a given it's terrible you know the real issue here is not the fact checkers you know fact checkers are the lazy man's version of politics and democracy is not a spectator sport the real problem here is not that we have all these fact checkers the real problem here is so many piece people are too lazy to get up and do their own research or get up and read the news we have so many new sources out there from
all perspectives you can spend ten fifteen twenty minutes a day and actually learn this yourself as opposed to paying attention to some guy who's a hack who's paid minimum wage to just shove out talking points ok glenn are you a hack. well. you know i that's that's a new one for me i have five spent thirty years covering various aspects of washington i was white house correspondent i was a diplomatic correspondent for the washington post for nearly a decade i covered economics and budget policy i've covered congress. and i don't know. your speaker there had as actually read my column but maybe he has but i think i'm pretty consistently nonpartizan down the down the down the middle i mean i don't take sides i don't i don't i just evaluate the statements as they appear and i don't really even look at hussein it
and over time i think most people who've looked at this have found that i basically give. to the left or right doesn't matter who it is in i don't do it in any particular one you know too much to one side or the other and i take the basic position that you know both political parties will stretch the truth if it's to their political advantage and i if. you look back and how i wrote about the democratic convention versus the republican convention i don't think you'd find much difference in terms of how i rated the statements of the of the two two sides it was pretty quick on the middle of it i mean if i go to cliff i mean a lot of people claim to be fact checkers but they aren't ok when i'm i'm not judging glenn here at all but there's a lot of other people in discourse in politics that are i have an agenda ok and then there's that's obvious. well glenn obviously he's
a crazy right winger just kidding he's not. i actually my whole view with glenn is there are times i disagree with them but no i fear that from the right all the time about biased biased bias you know even though there's fox news and rush limbaugh and talk radio and i find it rather amusing in the end glenn i think probably tries to do the best job i disagree with them sometimes but i think maybe the problem here is famously said by stephen koepp bear is that reality has a liberal bias so that's where we are right now as we at the end of the last segment we were discussing this there are certain things that are just facts global warming is happening evolution is real supply side economics has never balanced any budgets and we can go on and on more guns leads to more people dying and on and on and you can try to find two or three people you know your little universe at the american enterprise institute or heritage foundation to say that's not true but the vast proprietor and some evidence will say you're wrong ok and i think on it glenn i realize the judge is then taking as we jump into i'd say go ahead go ahead vast
preponderance of evidence judged by a jury of three left wing nuts i mean come on give me a break here supply side economics works killer those are going to prove it. you in to your friends but look how many i don't have or years we're going to talk about you maybe i should in our years. actually i was born in the last six months of the eisenhower administration so no i don't actually remember the eisenhower you might say you well then you might know that the top tax rate was ninety one percent and we had huge prosperity when we european and socialized back then as you guys like to say your crazy little meetings where you all when you all stand up and you know pledge allegiance to the don't tread on me flag is that is that what happens because this is a country that had shared not only so years with much higher tax rates than we have now. so you get once again they're clueless about you guys ought to actually learn some facts or learned some history you know what propelled america economic prosperity of the one nine hundred fifty s.
number one we didn't have any competition germany and japan were blocked to oblivion as was europe when the when they started competing in the late fifties guess what the economy slowed down you know what john kennedy did the great democratic president probably the last patriotic democratic president he cut taxes he dropped it from ninety one percent down to seventy percent tax rate where he got it from yes right he dropped it he just told you he was misunderstand because a model seen exactly so so it was a side seam and he wasn't going to have twenty five percent of the exploding twenty six percent i realize don't actually do anything for you liberals to deal with deal with it i know the other side of the unsolicited why don't you and your contact list for your little economy is bloated why don't you draw your little theory once you draw your laffer curve on your napkin feel all good about it and go rub it on yourself and then once you go ride one of your dinosaur saddles of the creation all right gentlemen i believe you'll be aware of it where you could enjoy smoking crack
i mean my god this is the kind of work you have to deal with this isn't it i mean you have the very very strong narratives here how do you pick through them all i mean the keys are completely different are black and white narratives. well you know one thing i try very hard to do is i don't fact check philosophies. clearly clearly people have very. strong strongly held views on particular issues and you know those of you know of the republicans will well believe that cutting taxes will promote economic growth i'm not going to fact check that that that is if that's a philosophy that is a that is a you know an opinion what i really try to do is i'd look very closely at the facts so someone may have a you know how do they you know they might cite a particular study to do back up their their philosophy i will look at that out of study was conducted whether or not that study met certain tests of academic
rigor and that sort of thing and i you know on and on the left and on the right there we glom onto you know firies or studies or things like that that don't add up factually so that's what i look at and in particular i try to give people a you know a guide to this kind of confusion debate where you see two people screaming at each other you know i doubt i'm elated decisions up to them as to whether or not they you know how they're going to decide out a vote you know jetson in preparing for this program it looks like the the the the republican party is fit the republican party fibs a lot more than the democratic when we start with the media says i don't say i know no ninjas ahead i'll go back to you when it's ag go ahead ok i just you know i know you we're going to we're going to get a media that says that ok well i broadly it's it gives that message ok judson what do you think. i was trying to hear you and you were cutting out a little bit it was something about the republicans doing more than the democrats
ok but if i could let me turn this and i'd be really interested in hearing what glenn says about what might be my point my problem with fact checkers is not their bias my problem with fact checkers is that people are too damn lazy to do their own research and my opening comment was democracy is not a spectator sport and i think that's the really crucial issue here with so many sources of information here it's it's it's a travesty it's an obscenity that more americans are not getting out there and checking sources ranging from you know the mainstream media to fox news to r t to m.s.n. b c two to whatever and so that's that's my huge issue with fact checkers and when i think that i think that i think that is a very valid point in fact i once gave the american people for print for their complete ignorance of the federal budget. you know because it's amazing if you look at the polling what people think is in the budget and what it actually is but the
you know at what i try to do with my column which you can find on the web it washing post dot com slash fact checker is and i try to be very transparent in terms of the sources of information i provide links to the actual documents to the apps actual statistics in the federal government to the to the reports that people are citing and i intend to provide a guide to readers to they they can go further i'm just a first you know cut you know here you heard something in the on the t.v. and the on the radio you didn't understand what was behind it you can come to my web site i'll try to dissect that statement give you know and then give readers tools for which they can do their own research because certainly they can look at a statement and say what that's not worth three put ok els i think that's actually more accurate that's a b. one point ok oh. and in fact you can see there are hundreds sometimes thousands of comments from people saying arguing over what you know space you know being glenn
it's very interesting to go back to cliff i think we lost you there for a little while cliff i hope you're back here with us but you know isn't it a lot of context isn't a context also you can take a fact and spin it to what it means i mean the context is very important here and i think that's why we have we all have politics in the clouds these days. yeah well i mean it and i grew that again when i brought up before was the fact that they all exaggerate and there's a context in which they do it is very important but again these are still certain things that are facts you know the earth orbits the sun or the sun orbits the earth is a fact whether global warming is going on and all scientists of any stripe agree with that is a fact whether we've balanced budgets when we've tried supply side economics which we haven't is a fact you know what you are we there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq which there were not is a fact and you can go on and on so yeah there's context of some of these things but
sometimes something is just not true and from drama in rowing that's a granddad for most of this campaign when jump in well i think context i mean indeed this is a cunt this is a very interesting example i mean cliff had been talking earlier that about the first night of the republican convention when they focused on the you didn't build that comment now the interesting thing is you look at the obama speech from which that comment was taken you know i and i raised issues with the way some of the ads would cut the commodore clip it or fade in and not provide what i would say would be the full context and and what he was doing was kind of repeating a democratic talking point i'd documented it went all the way back to stuff that franklin roosevelt said however many republicans when they look at the four comments by president obama it really rubs them the wrong way and they when they look at it in full context they say actually you know it proves the point that we
say about the way he views private enterprise now you know i can't fact check how people interpret something i can live it simply fact check how that comment has been used and whether it's been used in context and what it means but the way people react to the president's words. and how they respond to how they think he's talking about free enterprise ok glenn i'm going to have to jump in here and i hope you don't fact check out many thanks to my guest today in washington and in cincinnati and thanks to our viewers for watching us here see you next time and remember cross talk rules. and.