My new column at CJR looks at how factcheckers sometimes fail to select their targets and define their standards appropriately. Here's how it begins:
Is there such a thing as too much factchecking? Factcheck.org described former President Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic convention Wednesday evening as a “fact-checker’s nightmare” in part because, “with few exceptions… his stats checked out.” Rather than concede that it had little material to work with, however, The Associated Press manufactured a “fact check” of Clinton that focused far too heavily on omitted context and possible counter-arguments to his opinions rather than untruths or errors—and even managed to work in a gratuitous Monica Lewinsky reference that invoked Clinton’s reputation for factual slipperiness.
Journalists have also struggled to define an appropriate standard for factchecking in the case of Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee.
Read the whole thing for more.