Dueling Post Writers Trade Pinocchios, Explore Nature of Truth
Somebody lock down the Pinocchios, because they're flying all over the Washington Post, as Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler and Post opinion writer (and torture enthusiast!) Marc Thiessen debate who is the most Pinocchio.
Handing out Pinocchios on an ascending scale is Kessler's way of pointing out lying garbage people—without actually taking a stand and calling them that. So when Kessler wrote this morning that a claim Thiessen was pushing about Barack Obama skipping daily intelligence briefings was worth three Pinocchios—since lots of presidents didn't even have the meetings—Thiessen took some offense.
"I give Four Pinocchios to the Fact Checker," Thiessen responded, in an escalation that looks a lot like an episode of Double Dare. Most of Thiessen's argument is that what presidents before George W. Bush did doesn't matter, because that all happened before 9/11, which is well-established as the first time American presidents needed to be concerned about terrorism.
Kessler wasn't convinced. In an update to his original story, Kessler basically urged Thiessen not to push his luck, lest he break the four-Pinocchio barrier. "We had nearly given this data Four Pinocchios and in restrospect (sic) we were perhaps too generous with Three," Kessler wrote.