Wandering through the open sewer called the internet, I got lost and found myself in the corner of the internet where toxic, putrescent solids and excrescences collect to share odours and bacteria and I found myself in the company of a deception of fact checkers. (A ‘deception’ is the collective term for fact checkers.)
One of the fact checkers I encountered (by accident rather than design) was someone called Dave Van Zandt, who edits a website called Media Bias Fact Check. Dave describes his site as ‘the most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet’. He has five volunteers to help him and admits that none of his team is a professional journalist. Dave says he ‘currently works full time in the health care industry’ though he doesn’t say whether he is a brain surgeon or a hospital car park attendant or a drug company sales representative.
This open letter is addressed to him.
How exciting it was to find your fact checking website. You are, I believe, the one millionth ‘independent’ fact checker now operating on the internet and I would like to congratulate you. From the style of your website I originally thought you were quite young. There is no photo but I’d guessed that you are probably no more than 16-years-old, maybe younger. How exciting it must be, I thought, for one so young to have so much power when your contemporaries are playing basketball or hacking into NASA. And then I see that you claim to have spent more than 20 years as an arm chair researcher. My word.
And what a thrill it must be, Dave, to be able to able to boast (as you do) that your website is used as a resource by BBC News, among many other media organisations.
It’s a pity you don’t explain precisely where your funding comes from (whose names are on the supporters’ cheques, for example) but I expect the money comes pouring in to the Van Zandt bank account these days. Running a fact checking business is, I’m told, the second quickest way to become a billionaire these days. (The quickest is to sell Personal Protective Equipment to the Government – but you really need to be related to a leading politician to go down that route to infinite wealth.)