A discussion about a fact-check of a Thinkprogress piece for the headline “Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed”
When I first read the Slate piece I was of course thinking “right on, tell those liberal jurnos that they are biased and just need to see the facts”. But in the process of reading the Vox piece, I remembered reading the Thinkprogress piece days ago and very quickly understanding the point of the author and the headline – which leads to two unrelated ideas/questions:
- Was the use of “said” correct? Would it have been any better if it was “Brett Kavanaugh essentially said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed”? I think that would have been clearer but less concise, which pushes me to think that the original wasn’t so bad.
- There is at the core of the complaint about the headline and Vox’s complaint about the fact checking the issue of – people just need to read more than the headline. The fact that anyone would think they learned something about reality from a headline, especially on a political issue, is infuriating, and highlights an issue with fact-checking, Facebooks efforts, and worries about Facebooks efforts – at some point you can’t protect people from their own thoughtlessness without thinking for them, which is necessarily paternalistic and fraught with peril.