JournalistWe are the Fact Checkers of The Washington Post, the ones who give out the Pinocchios. Ask Us Anything!
Oct 20th 2017 by washingtonpost • 21 Questions • 86 Points
Hello reddit! We are the Fact Checker team of The Washington Post. We rate statements by politicians from a range to one to four Pinocchios, one for being a minor shading of facts, and four for being an outright lie. If the statement is true, you get a rare Geppetto. You can read our entire fact checking history here.
The Fact Checker team consists of we three:
Hi I’m Glenn Kessler. I edit and write for The Fact Checker at The Washington Post. I’ve been doing this for seven years, after covering just about every building in Washington during a journalism career spanning more than three decades. My parents emigrated from the Netherlands and we always had 3 or 4 cats in our house. Find me on Twitter at @GlennKesslerWP.
I’m Michelle Ye Hee Lee. I was a reporter on Washington Post Fact Checker for the past three years. This week I started a new job here on the political investigations/enterprise team, focusing on money in politics. On Fact Checker, I wrote a lot about immigration, veterans, crime and abortion. I’m responsible for getting LOLcat gifs into The Fact Checker weekly newsletter. Find me on Twitter/Facebook/Insta/Snap: @myhlee
And I’m Meg Kelly, I produce videos and sometimes report for Washington Post Fact Checker. Before joining in May, I produced videos, photos and stories for NPR politics. We only have opinions on cats at the Fact Checker — and I’m the odd-woman out, I’m allergic. Find me on Twitter: @mmkelly22.
Here’s our proof. We’ll be getting started at noon. AMA!
EDIT: Typo, it's outright "lie," not law.
EDIT 2: We're done for now! Thank you r/iAMA for allowing us to do this, and thanks to you all for your curiosity and great questions! We may return later to answer some late questions. Have a great weekend!
Lots of times it seems like fact checkers go for the granular rather than the broad picture, since a grain can be more clearly determined to be right or wrong. But obviously it's a lot less important than the broad picture. 1, Do you agree about this, and 2, Is there a way that factcheckers can 'pick their battles' so that they do spend time on the most important things? (Or at least acknowledge to the reader what is most important, so a casual reader doesn't come away from the encounter less informed than before.)
- We try not to be nit-picky. We do look at the specific claim, or the specific number, but also consider it in the broader context, and look at the entirety of the claim. We work to provide a public service by digging into the details to help explain the broader policy issue or the subject matter.
- We focus claims that are newsworthy and are a matter of domestic or international policy. For example, if Congress is debating health care, we dig into a health care claim because politicians will be talking about it that day/week, and because readers will care about it. You can read more about our methodology and standards here. --Michelle
Do you have a GoFundMe for booze? Or, does the Post supply it? Really, nobody should do your job sober.
From Glenn: Ha! There are some days I am happy to have a very well-stocked liquor cabinet. Never thought of expensing it, though...
Our inbox here is open! You can also email the reporters directly. Many reddit users here have helpfully pointed out typos and other mistakes, and I would reach out to editors to make those changes. They're always always appreciated, proof that even editors need editors, and just a small example of how the public keeps us journalists accountable. - Gene
Have you gotten a raise in the last 10 months
How do you organize trumps various mischaracterizations and outright lies? Doesn’t excel have a row limit
- Welp I just got promoted, so…
- We keep track of every false or misleading claim by President Trump. As of our latest update on Oct. 10, we counted 1,318 false or misleading claims (many of them are repeats). Check out our interactive tracker. We use Google Sheets to keep track of everything. –Michelle