- Bill Adair, creator of Politifact and Knight Professor of Journalism at Duke University, talks about whether (or not) truth is still informing public discourse.
- Related: What Happens When Facts Don't Matter Anymore
Alexander Heffner, The Open Mind
September 17, 2016 | I’m Alexander Heffner, your host on The Open Mind. What is proven in jeopardy during this 2016 campaign is the truth, or at least whatever objective truth is still in the eye of the beholder. As we reside increasingly in a post-factual and contextual democracy, to help us understand if and how we are desensitized to fact and to faction is PolitiFact creator and contributing editor Bill Adair, now Knight Professor of Journalism at Duke University, where he is Director of the Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy. Adair is also the cofounder of the International Fact-Checking Network, the world’s largest association of fact-checkers. The ubiquitous lies saturating our politics today are such a pervasive plague on our discourse that checking misleading or false statements apparently isn’t enough. Adair has since created Share the Facts to combat the vast majority of false utterances among our public officials. Because it would appear that they and their motives are not always harboring the truth, nothing but the truth, so help them, God, and help us. Uh, Bill, it’s a pleasure to have you here. It’s been clear this cycle that our politics are tactless, lacking tact. Are they also factless?
ADAIR: Well it’s funny, we, we actually hear this every election, so this idea of the post-fact society isn’t a new phrase. Um, uh, my colleague Alexios Mantzarlis at Poynter, at the International Fact-Checking Network, he has um, looked back and found that phrase from 2004, from 2008, 2012, um, as well as back in the 80s academics were using that phrase, so the concept that candidates are um, ignoring the facts is not a new one. I think what’s, what’s new this time is fact-checking. We know more than ever when the politicians are saying something false because there’s been huge growth in fact-checking. And that is a wonderful thing. Um, and I think also we have a candidate in Donald Trump who has an extraordinary record for falsehoods, I mean far greater than anything we’ve seen before at PolitiFact and so I think we have a tendency to sort of focus on that, but remember this phenomenon, um, of politicians ignoring facts is, is really not a new one.
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What Happens When Facts Don't Matter Anymore, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest
- What happens to us if facts don’t matter anymore?
- Facts. Who needs ‘em, right?
- Part 1: Make Facts Great Again
- Part 2: Trump Surrogate Dismisses Fact-Checking As ‘Elitist’ And ‘Out Of Touch’