The PJ Tatler

The Perils of Factchecking

Who could wind up causing the most angst for President Barack Obama as he seeks reelection next November? The RNC? Fox News? Conservative Super PACs? How about… the Washington Post?

As I was reading Ed Morrissey’s speculation on the inoculation theory of primary politics regarding Mitt Romney’s days at Bain Capital, a delicious bit of irony began to come into focus.  After the apparent flop of the Newt Gingrich Super PAC blockbuster on the subject, King of Bain,  the Washington Post did one of the more extensive bits of fact checking we’ve seen out of them in some time. They wound up awarding the largely fictional mockumentary “Four Pinnochios” while tearing apart the claims in the film and pointing out highly disingenuous – if not flat out false – aspects of its creation.

This served as a rather stiff jab to the collective nose of Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, but it’s also essentially deflated one line of attack which Team Obama was doubtless getting ready to use this fall. We’ve already seen DNC Chair Debby Wasserman Schultz trotting out the “Romney is a job cremator” spiel to anyone with a camera. But it’s going to be increasingly difficult for her team – or Obama himself – to carry that talking point forward in September after the evisceration it suffered at the hands of the Washington Post.

But we’re left to wonder… would Glenn Kessler have done quite such a thorough job had he been tasked with defending Mitt against, let’s just say… Obama? And, assuming Romney winds up being the GOP nominee, will he regret having feathered Mitt’s nest nine months from now when the president tries to take up the same line of attack?