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The Post-Times-Sun-Dispatch or PTSD is a newsource of serious political satire. Don't let a day go by without PTSD.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

by R J Shulman
NEW YORK - (PTSD News) - While unemployment may be at record levels in the manufacturing sector, there is an industry where the situation is even worse - fact-checkers. "The alarming down turn in fact-checkers started when President Reagan ended the Fairness Doctrine, then went into high gear after Clinton relaxed the laws retricting ownership of media outlets and exploded with the birth of cable/internet and the 24/7 news world we are in now," said Judd Townshend, a career fact checker who was recenty let go by CBS. "News is big business now and is all about money and power and not the truth."

"When it comes to news, we just don't have to be that concerned about accuracy anymore," said David Westin, president of ABC news. "Of course, we have to make sure we don't make a mistake when we announce who was sent home on the Bachlorette or who tanked on Dancing with the Stars as that would get viewers really ticked off."
Fox News, the pioneer of factless news, who broke a strike of the Fact Checkers Union in 2005, continues to break new ground when it comes to presenting the news. "It's not enough just to have your own set of facts," said Roger Ailes, President of Fox News, "you need to have a more popuar set of facts. For example, more people are intersted in believing Barak Obama was born in Kenya than the boring fact he was born in Hawaii, hence our heavy use of Obama as the the foreign born Muslim Communist Fascist tryranical dictator."

Many media experts think fact checkers are gone for good. "They are like the typwriter, slide-rule and leisure suit," said Barbara Jackson of MSNBC. "Facts have become irrelevant as the 8-track tape. Opinions have become the new facts."

Some fact-checkers have found jobs checking names against the no-fly lists, others verifying names against ever growing lists of credit card debtors, while others are now checkers at grocery stores. "I am afraid that many of these once high paid fact-checkers have simply checked out," said Will Bergeron who runs a home for retired fact-checkers, pointing to the high suicide rate among out of work fact checkers. "And what is sad is that the news outlets themselves, have failed to report anything at all about the demise of the fact-checker."

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