While the article spent its time examining the claims, the author wriggles around conjuring magical numbers, eventually getting to around 37 percent minimum. However, he is still unsure of that number, and as he could not get definitive statistics. He ends with a rather wistful comment:
“Whether the number is 90 percent or 36 percent, or something else, there’s no dispute that thousands of guns are being illegally transported into Mexico by way of the United States each year.” (1)
Forgive me for saying “No s### Sherlock.”
Gore (no relation to Al) had made his comments before the Government Accountability Office report came out in June 2009. The report estimated that indeed the numbers were less, by two percent, hardly proving D’Angelo correct.
Yet this is not the point here, the issue is accountability. Were writers at TSW to make estimated guesses (something we have to do from time to time), coming back and clarifying the record is important to us.
Yet Factcheck or Gore with oodles more cash and contacts than TSW do not see fit to amend the article. This is counter to what they say they fulfill for the public with “facts”. In reality Factcheck, while popular and critically acclaimed, offers only a surface look at the opinions surrounding important issues in the United States. (2)
Allegations of Bias
Due to the above factual arrogance, I decided to look into allegations concerning Factcheck’s purported liberal bias. Obama has links to the Annenberg Foundation, the organization that runs the site also runs Factcheck. He also fronted the foundation’s Chicago Annenberg Challenge seeking to remodel Chicago’s schools from 1995-1999. (3)
Journalist Brooks Jackson and Annenberg’s Kathleen Hall Jamieson (who supported Jackson’s anti-spin initiatives) were responsible for creating Factcheck.org, in 2003. (4)
Jamieson seems to be rather liberal while Jackson appears rather conservative. (5) (6) However, he is certainly not a neo-conservative and was critical of the Bush administration.
Thus, one suspects the only real bias at Factcheck concerns Jackson’s ego and serving an all too shallow political agenda. Jackson’s organization, as we have seen, still uses the same inaccurate US weapons in Mexico story.
Moreover, there is no Q&A discussion concerning Holder’s Department of Justice such as “Q: Did Eric Holder endorse the sale of guns to Mexican Criminals?”
Why can’t Factcheck grow some balls and ask was the “Fast and Furious” operation a means by which to destabilize the Mexican Government. Now, wouldn’t that be an interesting question on Factcheck. (7) (8) (9)
Why No Examination of Cause and Effect
Defenders of Factcheck would probably say, international issues are not the disputes they seek to balance.
Surely, the corresponding rise in migrants over the years from all over Latin America has had a direct effect on US domestic policy, policing, labor laws and political spin. What role if any, has the United States played in this?
Factcheck seldom sees fit to challenge the status quo, let alone correct their facts and discuss/analyse the bigger picture. This alone displays a bias that ultimately serves no one.
References & Image Credits:
(4) Wikipedia: Factcheck.org
(5) Free Republic
(6) Fire Dog Lake
(7) The Guardian
(8) LA Times
(9) Dedicated Tenther
(10) Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc