What does “said” mean?

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

A Vox take

A Slate take

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.

One thought on “What does “said” mean?”

  1. So many rabbit trails on this one.

    Maybe “Brett Kavanagh’s response *makes clear* that he would kill Roe v. Wade”?

    The headline is false. And if censorship is the way Facebook wants to play, this fits within the rules.

    The idea that Facebook has four “nonpartisan” fact checkers and one conservative is ridiculous. Since we all know that everyone who claims to be nonpartisan is (and that nonpartisan means not having a viewpoint of one’s own.)

    I think the idea of flagging content and basically offering the “fact checkers” and the news organization to duke it out in the flag sounds great (click on the flag to see both fact checker’s complaint and news organization’s defense.) The presence of the flag might actually encourage people to click through and READ the whole thing vs sharing on the basis of the headline alone. So it should be win-win for truth (right?)

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