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Washington Post Comes Under Fire for Discontinuing Biden Fact-Checking Database

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The Washington Post was quickly criticized after it announced it would discontinue its presidential fact-checking database.

Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of The Post’s Fact Checker, tweeted the announcement late Monday, saying that his team would continue to fact-check President Joe Biden “rigorously” but would not be maintaining the database.

“Here’s the Biden database — which we do not plan to extend beyond 100 days. I have learned my lesson,” Kessler tweeted.

“‘Learned my lesson’ means that who knows what the next four years will bring. We have fact-checked Biden rigorously and will continue to do so. Trump at 500 claims/100 days was manageable; 8,000+ was not.”

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Kessler added, “Maintaining the Trump database over four years required about 400 additional 8-hour days over four years beyond our regular jobs for three people. Biden is off to a relatively slow start but who knows what will happen. We will keep doing fact checks, just not a database.”

The Fact Checker column was started in 2007 during the 2008 presidential campaign and was revived as a permanent feature on Jan. 11, 2011, according to The Washington Post.

During the Obama administration, the team fact-checked over 250 statements by then-President Barack Obama after it came back from its hiatus, The Post reported.

Do you think The Fact Checker should continue the presidential database?

The Post maintained a database of fact-checked claims from then-President Donald Trump during his time in office.

People were quick to criticize the decision to discontinue the Biden database.

“‘Who has the time to fact check the President’ — ‘fact check’ who wrote 2500 words on whether Tim Scott’s grandfather *ackshually* had it tough as the Senator makes it sound, ya know, being black in the 1920s South Carolina,” one Twitter user said.

Another user added, “‘Fact-checking’ is a corrupt enterprise which you have perfected.”

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“You guys aren’t even hiding your bias anymore, are you?” one woman tweeted.

“DO A DATABASE. This is your job. A database for every single president and politician. It is YOUR job to fact-check them & keep them handy for everyone. Come on, man. but go ahead and enjoy your 4-year vacation. Thanks for confirming your bias,” she added.

The Washington Post Fact Checker publishes a variety of articles fact-checking and analyzing politicians’ rhetoric.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith