"Do facts matter?"
With the presidential and vice presidential debates fully under way, and both parties claiming that their opponents are liars, websites and news shows are inundated with experts and reporters who inform voters about whether candidates are making claims that have little basis in fact.Like the card game "B.S," in which players call fellow players when they lie about what card has been put into the collective pile, the fact-checkers shout out to Americans when they find that politicians are injecting falsehood into the news cycle.But it is not clear what impact the fact checkers are having on the public at large or, nearly as important, on the politicians. They keep laying out the facts and the politicians keep stretching the truth. There is little evidence that the public is outraged by any of the revelations nor that it has any real influence on how the politicians conduct themselves, other than to provide more campaign fodder for attacks on their opponents.
Shorter answer: no. What we tell you matters here at CNN, matters. And we say facts don't mean sheeeeeeeeeeeeit. He ends thusly:
The public lives in a world where it seems impossible to know what is fact and what is partisan fiction. Fact checkers, many of whom have legitimate and virtuous objectives to get Americans to really understand the choices before them, have trouble gaining much traction. When one of the players calls "B.S." during the political cycle, people might be listening, but it's not clear that there are lasting consequences.
Facts are hard. Critical thought is hard. The Village makes it easy. We'll tell you what you should believe, right after this break.