In a somewhat goofy but endearing exercise, WaPo tests their own Fact Checker today with a special in-house edition of Glenn Kessler‘s The Fact Checker. This is, by far, the most creative internal memo we have seen to date out of WaPo. And trust us when we say we read memos that bore us to tears. They bring in Pinocchio to help. They also introduce Kessler’s new assistant, Josh Adam Hicks, who comes to the position highly recommended. Who wouldn’t hire him? He once worked as a fruit picker in New Zealand.
The Fact Checker’s claim of expansion
“The Fact Checker is awesome. He’s making sure people know what’s real, and he’s building a huge audience doing it. We need to get him some help for the campaign.”
–Steven Ginsberg, Washington Post national political editor, July 7, 2011
Glenn Kessler relaunched The Fact Checker in January, examining the truth behind political rhetoric. He has managed to strike fear in Congress, annoy the White House and keep every presidential candidate on his or her toes. But is Ginsberg’s claim of expansion correct?
In a relatively short time, The Fact Checker has become one of The Post’s most widely read blogs, with demonstrated potential for growth. Kessler has frequently set the agenda for political discourse in the ongoing fiscal debates and the presidential campaign. And he is just one guy.
To increase the The Fact Checker’s output and reach, Josh Adam Hicks has come aboard to assist.
Hicks, who was an English major at Albion College, is a recent graduate of Stanford University’s master’s degree program in journalism. He comes highly recommended by our former Post colleague, R.B. Brenner, who taught him at Stanford. Josh previously worked for suburban Seattle newspapers, winning a number of journalism awards, and this summer completed an internship on the metro desk at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Upon finishing college, he bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand, where he worked for eight months as a commercial fisherman and fruit picker.
The Post expects that his sharp eye for news, rigorous attention to the facts and intimate knowledge of kiwis will be an enormous asset to The Fact Checker franchise.
The Pinocchio Test
With Hicks in the house, The Fact Checker clearly is prepared to delve even deeper into the claims and counterclaims of politicians in Washington and across the country. Ginsberg’s statement earns our prized Geppetto checkmark
P.S. Please welcome Josh, who is sitting across from Lucy Shackelford.
Kevin and Marilyn