Tonight’s debate and fact-checking

Posted on October 22, 2012 by

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Will the final debate stick to the facts? We won’t know until it’s over but we can be sure that fact-checkers will be busy deciding what is true and what isn’t.

We also can count on each side spinning the candidates’ performances to benefit their argument. Is it productive after a debate to hear from campaign officials and media pundits or should that time be devoted to assessments of who got it right and who didn’t?

We think the latter is a better idea. Listening to biased and often inaccurate analysis serves no purpose. We’ve heard too much of that in the seemingly endless campaigns up to now.

The mechanics of presenting the results of fact-checks would have to be worked out. Ideally, we think, one group should assume that role for the broadcast media. It could begin immediately after the debate ends. But it would probably be the next day before definitive conclusions might be reached.

This topic would, of course, need extensive discussion among the parties and the media to work out details. But it would be worthwhile if we wound up hearing less from the spinners and more of the truth.