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Monday, September 15, 2008

Questions for Candidates 

Dan Froomkin writes a piece titled Fact Checking Is So 20 Minutes Ago about the increasing conservative tendency not to care about facts. Its being dished higher and deeper in the States, but Canadian Cons are increasingly slinging the BS, too. So maybe we need to stop wringing our hands about refuting every lie every day, and instead expect the press to start "meta-fact-checking", as Froomkin suggests:
~ ...How reality-based is the candidate? Does he acknowledge unpleasant realities? Does he think he makes his own reality, and that asserting something that isn't true will sort of make it true? ...
~Does the candidate say things that the people covering him know he doesn't believe? For instance, is it obvious to everyone in the traveling press corps that he is repeating a line his speechwriters or pollsters have written for him, even though he knows full well it's not true.
~Is the candidate exposed to dissenting views - either in public or within his campaign? Does he encourage dissenting views? How hard does the campaign work to keep dissenters out of his way?
~Is the candidate ever willing to try to make his case in front of people who don't already agree with him? Is he willing to engage them? Does he tailor his speeches to specific audiences in order so that they will like what they hear? Or so that they will open their minds to views they may not initially share?
~How does he respond to people who don't share his views? Does he dismiss them? Does he try to persuade them? Does he listen?

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