The Washington Post’s Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler has responded to my earlier post criticizing his Monday column about the Obama campaign’s use of a Washington Post story as the basis for ads attacking Mitt Romney. Here is Kessler’s response from the comment section of my post:
It is really pretty simple. I fact check the statements of politicians. There is more than enough for me to do in that realm. If you have a complaint about Post reporting, your address is the Ombudsman, not me.
My criticism with Kessler’s Monday column is pretty simple too. I found its logic to be quite confused. Still do. Kessler doesn’t bother to respond directly to any of the points I made though.
He does other the explanation that he only checks the statements of politicians. So then why did he balk at doing that in his column?
To reiterate: Kessler’s column analyzed the Obama campaign ads and found them to be distortions of the Post’s own reporting. In other words, even if every word of the original Post story on Bain was accurate (A point the Romney campaign still disputes) Kessler said the ads based on them were not. In his own words: ““[T]here is little in the Post article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin.”
Yet Kessler later states: “Given that this debate involves an interpretation of a Post article, we are not going to award any Pinocchios.” This is despite the fact that the first item in his column, a quote from one of the Obama ads, directly cites the Post as source of its information. That’s not interpretation. That’s citation. Kessler’s decision to give the Obama campaign a pass is both baffling and contradicted by his own reporting.