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Huffington Post gives CNN credit for a St. Petersburg Times fact-checking story



SNL-obama-promises The headline on the Huffington Post credits CNN for this great idea.

But readers of the St. Petersburg Times know that our fact-checking Web site PolitiFact actually first cobbled together a fact-check of Saturday Night Live's tough sketch last week lampooning President Barack Obama's inability to score a big policy win nearly 10 months into his administration. PolitiFact editor Bill Adair went over the story's best points on CNN, attracting HuffPost's attention.

The sketch itself may be an interesting bellwether, as the moderates who supported President Obama grow disillusioned with the fight over health care reform and the liberals who backed him get frustrated over his inaction on issues such as closing down Guantanamo Bay, repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and other issues.

This may be a case where President Obama's ability to be all things to all people hurts him. Despite all the conservative pundits' cries of socialism, the president is at his heart a centrist; it was inevitable that liberals would grow disillusioned with some of his more conservative policies, even as his right-wing opponents continue their jihad.

Feyandpalin2 Since the first version of this blog post went up, I've fielded emails from folks ridiculing the idea of fact-checking a comedy sketch or complaining that sites such as PolitiFact didn't fact-check sketches critical of Republicans.

But given that many people say they get their actual news knowledge from comedy shows such as The Daily Show and SNL -- and given the way Tina Fey's amazing Sarah Palin impression crystallized concerns about her coherence and ability -- I think it makes sense for a site like PolitiFact to occasionally provide the true facts behind a political parody.

Anyway, the story, by PolitiFact writer Angie Holan, was a great example of quick reporting off the news, so it's great to see the wider media world pay a little attention.

Check it below.



[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:02pm]


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