In praise of fact-checking

IN PRAISE OF FACT-CHECKING…. For all the complaining I do about the Sunday public-affairs talk shows — I have been known to be critical, from time to time — it’s only fair to credit one of the shows for doing the right thing. ABC News’ Jake Tapper had this item yesterday.

As you may know, we’re trying out some new things on THIS WEEK. Two weeks ago we started live-tweeting of the show (which will next happen at 10 am ET this Sunday).

This week we’ve invited Pulitzer Prize winning website PolitiFact to fact-check the newsmaker interviews featured on the program.

The idea was first proposed by NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen and I thought it worth a try. PolitiFact editor Bill Adair, the St Petersburg Times’ Washington bureau chief, and I know each other from fact-checking forums and such (I was at the Fact Check desk during the 2004 elections) so I asked him if he’d be willing to give it a try. He was.

Obviously I aspire to fact-check newsmakers during the show itself, but in addition to that, starting this Sunday April 12, after the show, you can read Politifact’s fact checks on Week and at

Nicely done. I know “This Week” is likely to experience something of an overhaul when Christiane Amanpour becomes the new host, but here’s hoping teaming up with PolitiFact becomes a standard feature.

And if we’re really fortunate, the show’s competitors will follow “This Week’s” lead.