Fact Workers - Granite Grok

Fact Workers

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I think I was in college when I saw Ted Koppel interview Ferdinand Marcos about some riots that were happening in the Philippines.  The interview began with some video of the riots, and then Koppel began to ask Marcos about his government’s response to them.  Marcos just looked at him blankly, and said:  ‘There were no riots.’

After a moment of stunned silence, Koppel replied:  ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, we just saw the videotape.’

I think about that exchange a lot when I see ‘fact checks’ in my news feeds.  For example, today I saw the fact that shortages all over the country are being disrupted in part by workers refusing to cave in to COVID-19 vaccination mandates ‘checked’ by USA Today and found to be untrue.

One part of the story looks at the trucking industry. Heads of trucking companies say, yeah, it’s true. But “experts” say that it’s not. Who are you going to believe?

The fine print at the end of the story says:  ‘Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.’  So it’s pretty clear who USA Today is going to believe!

In the same news feed, I saw the fact that Ivermectin can be used to treat COVID-19 infections ‘checked’ by AFP, and found to be untrue.

Why? Because Ivermectin’s use in treating COVID-19 hasn’t been subjected to the kinds of rigorous trials that the COVID-19 vaccines themselves aren’t being subjected to. Come again?  Think for a moment about where that logic would lead you in thinking about the vaccines.

But that’s the whole point of fact-checking, right?  To save you the trouble of having to think anything through for yourself, or read past the headlines.

I actually came down with COVID-19 a little while ago.  After several days of respiratory discomfort with a fever, I took Ivermectin for five days.  The fever was gone after one day, and my lungs cleared up after two.

Why did I wait so long to take it? Because the CDC and the FDA and various ‘fact checkers’ were telling me that it could be dangerous.  Eventually, I watched a video by Dr. Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity, which showed quite convincingly, by reviewing decades of data, that even if it wouldn’t help with COVID-19, Ivermectin was less dangerous to me than Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

Thanks, fact-checkers!

I guess like other common terms — ‘rights’ for example, or ‘equality’, or ‘fairness’ — the term ‘fact check’ has come to have something like the opposite of its original meaning. It now means something like ‘the denial of statements that are inconvenient to the official narrative.’

One of the only words I remember from trying to learn a little Russian is udarnik, which means ‘shock worker’ — someone recognized by the Soviet Union as displaying ‘exemplary performance in labor discipline.’  In America, we might use the term ‘true believer’ to mean the same thing.

It occurs to me that we ought to replace the title ‘fact checker’ with the alternate title ‘fact worker,’ since that would better capture the ‘true believer’ spirit of the job.

And, like the Soviets, we could award badges and cash prizes to the truest of those believers, in recognition of their sincere efforts to lead the rest of us away from the awful mistakes that we might otherwise make if we pay attention to our own experiences, or to dissidents who might hinder our progress towards the paradise of a single-opinion political, economic, and social system — a system in which, since we know the right answers, there is no need to waste time listening to the wrong ones.