Indignity Vol. 2, No. 58: Glenn Kessler needs a reality check.
THE WORST THING WE READ THIS WEEK™
The Facts Cop Operates Without a Warrant
WHAT DOES A fact-checker do without facts? Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's Fact Checker columnist, decided to write an article anyway. In a story about abortion patients forced to cross state lines because of new abortion bans, the Indianapolis Star had quoted, by name, an abortion provider in Indiana who said she had treated a pregnant 10-year-old rape victim, after the child was referred to her by a doctor in Ohio—where abortion is now outlawed once a fetus has developed a heartbeat, with no exception for cases of rape and incest. President Joe Biden mentioned the news about the child, and other news outlets repeated the IndyStar's account.
As the news spread, right-wing media began complaining and speculating about whether the story—such a perfectly horrific and shocking illustration of the consequences of the Supreme Court majority's choice to overturn Roe v. Wade—might be false. Kessler, as an official referee of the discourse, set out last week to test whether the story was true. He failed.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial