We Americans love nothing better than the next catch-phrase. We've got one: Fact-Checkers. Suddenly these unseen, un-vetted authorities have been elevated to a new pedestal in our pantheon of folk heroes. But who the hell are they anyway!
Think of it this way. We are
Dorothy trembling before the Great & Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Seeking
answers, we stand here before his mighty words. But then the curtain
falls, and everyone sees it's only fussy lovable Frank Morgan.
folks, our heroic Fact-Checkers are comparably fussy and lovable. As in
nameless backroom academics trolling through pounds of facts &
stats. You know, like that snotty kid who sat next to you in 8th grade
always shouting out the answers.
Nothing wrong with studious
academics, only there is a second curtain. Behind this one is the party
or the committee or the corporation or the CEO who's paying this
Fact-Checker's salary. We can be pretty sure this guy wants his
academics to come up with the facts that help make HIS case. I mean,
otherwise what good are facts anyway...!
Fair enough, only now
there's a third curtain. Ahh, you may have forgotten about this one.
It's that curtain of personal biases our minds have been wearing all
these years, and through which we continue to see and understand our
world. Not an evil curtain. Simply a veil we, everyone, tends to weave
Call it genes or memes or whatever you will, our veiled
perceptions are our virtual reality. We can't and probably don't wish
to change that. It's baggage that's part of the package I call Me. But
because there are so darn many Me's out here, there's darn little
chance any of us are hearing the exact same facts...