Here's a NSFW way for the media to fact-check the candidates
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Just for fun, imagine that the following happened at last week’s Commander In Chief military forum, broadcast on NBC: “I was totally against the war in Iraq,” Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE says. Matt Lauer, the moderator, drops a “F--- You!” to the shocked candidate, explaining to Trump and the crowd that the only pre-war public statement from Trump shows otherwise: In September 2002, before the war, Howard Stern asked Trump if he supported invading Iraq, and Trump said, “Yeah, I guess so.”

That confrontation may seem far-fetched and crass, but this election seems to call urgently for the media’s application of the “F.U.” rule. It’s not my rule — but a rule, with the letters spelled out, made famous by the man who helped launch the craft beer movement in America: Boston Beer and Samuel Adams co-founder Jim Koch.

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As Koch writes in his recent book, Quench Your Own Thirst, the rule is “basically just a restatement of the Bible’s Golden Rule … ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’” But, instead of just niceties, Koch believes the Golden Rule means people have an obligation to “tell you the truth about what they’re thinking, even if it’s disturbing.” According to Koch, at Boston Beer, the rule has bolstered direct communication and accountability.

Truth and accountability — just what this election desperately needs.

Notwithstanding Secretary Colin Powell’s own use of a private email service, when Secretary Clinton told the Associated Press that, regarding her use of a private server, she did what “was allowed by the State Department,” a reporter in that room should, in the spirit of the Koch rule, have called her out, citing official statements indicating they were “unaware of the scope or extent” of her email practices.  

In recent days, Governor Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceGiuliani associate says he sought to pressure Ukraine to investigate Bidens Key impeachment witnesses to know as public hearings begin Overnight Defense: Pentagon says Syrian oil revenue going to Kurdish forces | GOP chair accuses Dems of using Space Force as leverage in wall fight | Dems drop plans to seek Bolton testimony MORE said on CNN that Trump gives away “tens of millions” of dollars to charity. Wolf Blitzer should have stopped the interview with a hearty “BLEEP you!”  “Where’s the proof of the gifts?” Blitzer should have asked — since no documents have backed up the claim, and Trump reportedly used his charity to spend other people’s money.

This week on CNBC, Trump claimed that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellin is manipulating monetary policy to help President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal 3 ways government can help clean up Twitter MORE, said the presidential debates will be “rigged,” claimed his schedule was busier than Secretary Clinton’s, asserted he is leading in the polls and stated he has visited “numerous” black communities other than Philadelphia and Detroit. The bleeps during this interview would have been the stuff of television legend.

“BLEEP you,” there’s no evidence to implicate Yellin in politically-motivated and illegal actions. “BLEEP you,” there is no evidence debates have been “rigged.” “BLEEP you,” we’ve done a side-by-side analysis and Secretary Clinton maintains a more hectic schedule. “BLEEP you,” the Real Clear Politics electoral map has Clinton leading. “BLEEP you,” we have no records or schedules to suggest you’ve visited “numerous” black communities.

Censors, get ready. Or, maybe we can just call it the “Facts, You” rule.

Whatever the terminology, this election screams for in-the-moment fact-checking. And it’s time we empowered the press to report the facts — and let us decide.

Chrys Kefalas is a former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, a speechwriter to the Attorney General of the United States and deputy legal counsel to the Governor of Maryland.


 

The views of Contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.