I have always maintained that it would take a basement full of Cheeto and Red Bull fueled bloggers to keep up with all the lies that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) tells. Apparently, the Associated Press had to come to terms with this problem but in the opposite way you’d think.
The AP have that “full basement” we lefty bloggers have always dreamed of. And can probably afford enough Cheetos and Red Bull to keep their journalists motivated. While we bloggers would love to expose every gaffe, lie, conspiracy theory and etc. that emits from the mouth of Bachmann, they didn’t want to.
Jim Drinkard, an Associated Press (AP) editor who oversees the wire service’s fact-checking work, said, “We had to have a self-imposed Michele Bachmann quota in some of those debates.”
After the session, Drinkard said that there wasn’t an actual numerical quota on Bachmann at the AP. It’s just that if the AP had gone back and vetted all her claims that looked dicey, the result would “overload” the debate story. “Often she was just more prone to statements that just didn’t add up,” said Drinkard.
Drinkard was at a journalist roundtable of fact checkers at the National Press Club.
But let’s put his comment in perspective …
Between Bill Prendergast and I at this blog, the Dump Bachmann blog and City Pages, we simply cannot keep up. I know that Bill and I wrote at least 10 stories a week about her during her presidential run. And more often than not, we weren’t covering the exact same items that Dump Bachmann and City Pages were covering.
So just because we couldn’t keep up, we spiked or missed stories.
But what if we had a research department at our disposal? What if DumpBachmann.com had a dozen salaried bloggers researching Bachmann? We’d never miss anything.
Considering that the AP had this at their disposal and still spiked stories, I still think the national media did a good job. They actually vetted her statements, exposed her conspiracy theories as unfounded lies and chronicled her gaffes.
But that’s in comparison to the abject failure of Minnesota’s media to cover her let alone fact check her. Her rise is inexorably linked to MN media’s failure to do their job. While her failure in the presidential race is directly related to the media’s fact checking and vetting her.
It also speaks to the sheer volume of bulls**t that comes out of her mouth.
Consider the following joke:
- How can you tell when a Republican is lying?
Punchline: their lips are moving.
On a daily basis, Bachmann proves this is actually not a joke. At least for her.
It would be an interesting exercise to take any statement from her and not fact check it, but just clarify what in her statement is easily verifiable as true.