The Washington Post’s New Fact Checker is a Flawless Truth Machine

In an exciting innovation, The Washington Post, our nation’s leading repository of sad articles about John Wall, has decided they’re going to introduce something exciting and entirely new to their news coverage: facts.

Today, The Washington Post introduces a new prototype, The Truth Teller, that does live, automated fact checking of a political speech.

Building off the technology that gave us Zooey Deschanel asking what the weather was like AS SHE LOOKED OUT A WINDOW, The Truth Teller is off to a good start! Here’s one correction in its evaluation of Rep. Gerald Connolly’s (D-VA) speech:

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 2.52.33 PM

Now, sure, in the guy’s speech, it seems like he clearly says “The Recovery Act, which I proudly supported, cut taxes for ninety five percent of all Americans.” And sure, if that’s what he said, then that claim is the exact thing the Truth Teller is saying. But I’m just a human with a soft heart who hears what he wants to hear. For example, I want to hear sentences with coherent prepositional phrases and adverbs that relate to the rest of the words around them. But The Truth Teller cuts through the spin and gets right to the nougat-filled fact center so quickly that you don’t even realize how little sense this metaphor makes.

This is big news people–now, we can finally know if the things our Congressmen say are true. For example:

when that tax cut expired among republicans refused to expended I was again pravda president obama to enact the payroll tax cut averaging thousand-dollars pro-family

Finally, proof of what I’ve been saying for years: Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) is some sort of pro-tax werewolf, who, when tax cuts expire, turns into Pravda President Obama, a double agent working on behalf of the Soviet newspaper/propaganda organ, Pravda. I wish it weren’t true.

Also, his head is pretty doughy

Also, his head is pretty doughy and his hands stay white

This may come as a surprise, but I read it on The Truth Teller, and there was no correction, so I have to assume it’s true. But the shocking revelations don’t stop there.

infrastructure investment don’t just create jobs they also repair dangerous bridges, bridges and make our roadway safer gilded schools to overcrowding they renovate hospitals and water treatment plants

Now, I’ve tried to take President Obama at his word when he says he’s serious on balancing our budgets and getting the economy back on track. And I think education is how make kids make smarter future. But I’m sorry, and I don’t care if this ruffles some feathers, but gilding schools is not a good use of government money. Unless “safer gilded schools” means having armed guards at the Auric Goldfinger Academy of Villainy and Henchmannery, in which case, I’m all for it.

Now, to be fair, The Truth Teller is still in prototype mode, and I’m sure by the time they roll it out, they’ll have managed to fix their voice recognition software. Small details. At least the text is arranged in an easy to read, aesthetically pleasing, unpunctuated wall of text. Just admire the shape of this thing.

Figure we look at this we should ask what would ronald reagan When he took office in nineteen eighty one present regan inherited an economy deep recession during the past three years we’ve heard a number of law the accomplishments of ronald reagan spring economic recovery during that decade as they often point out president reagan cut taxes of president obama the recovery act which I probably supported cut taxes but ninety five percent of all americans averaging four hundred-dollars for individuals and eight hundred-dollars families when that tax cut expired among republicans refused to expended I was again pravda president obama to enact the payroll tax cut averaging thousand-dollars pro-family tax cuts alone do not make a robust recovery the other notable thing while did was to preside over nation with a sharp increase in public-sector employment from local state and federal levels because well today’s republicans may try to argue otherwise teaching jobs firefighters have jobs police jobs jobs in fact three of the last for economic recoveries had one thing in common public-sector employment increased? Two-and-a-half years into the recovery from two thousand and one total public-sector employment was one percent higher two-and-a-half years into the recovery from the nineteen eighty recession total public-sector was three percent higher and two-and-a-half years into the from the nineteen eighty recession total public-sector employment other ronald reagan was almost three-and-a-half percent higher than it was at the start of the recovery in contrast today’s recovering from the recent seen total public-sector decreased by two-point-five percent largely because the republicans got their way in trying to shrink the public-sector real jobs are lost had public-sector employment merely held steady over the last two-and-a-half years today would be seven point eight percent not eight-point but instead with lost six hundred thousand public-sector jobs teachers police officers firefighters librarians and other dedicated public servants. robust economic recovery you think today’s your problems would be looking at how the nation worked its way out of previous recessions but obviously that’s not the case last september president obama for the american jobs act proposal to cut taxes on workers and businesses when son-in-laws hiring and it’s fun necessary infrastructure improvements economist predicted the american jobs act would have added up to one million new jobs ashford GDP growth extra one-point-five percent these about the have traditionally bi-partisan support, for example, one of the single largest infrastructure projects ever was under the creation all president dwight D eisenhower the interstate highway program in nineteen eighty two while he was still working toward economic recovery ronald reagan proposed a highway and bridge repair program to create jobs. In the public-sector but sadly republican opposition is get the american jobs act from even coming to the floor provoke many republicans decried the use of additional revenue to help onset any increase in national that apparently they forgot that when faced with rising deficits ronald reagan look to revenue increases the tax base closing loopholes and raising taxes yes he raised taxes in nineteen eighty two nineteen eighty four nineteen eighty five nineteen eighty six and nineteen eighty seven it’s unfortunate that today’s lost sight of the value of investing in america in a fiscally responsible manner because the nation’s construction industry and the hardest hit america lost more than two million construction jobs in the reception and I and two thousand seven infrastructure investment don’t just create jobs they also repair dangerous bridges, bridges and make our roadway safer gilded schools to overcrowding they renovate hospitals and water treatment plants as part of the recovery act we enacted the build america program that leverage form billion dollars in federal funds a two hundred and eighty one billion in private-sector funding more than two thousand projects and every statement country I introduced a bill to extend the successful program because every unmet needs and our communities millions construction workers awaiting the opportunity to return to work and communities that would benefit from the projects we haven’t even had a hearing on that they’ll speaker dwight eisenhower did not subscribe to the current republican monstrous that investing in america we while reagan do not sure the current republican dictum the german ones country public services somehow unless the noble endeavour and the way to prosperity is to devastating the public-sector congressman’s back to ensure long-term disability fiscal responsibility but it should not come at the expense of millions of americans struggling to get back to work as we contemplate our economic policies we really should asks what would ronald reagan do

I mean, if that’s the only way to hear it, then I can’t handle the truth.

The great thing about a computer program that determines the exact truth levels of any speech is that it allows everyone to avoid confrontation; reporters don’t have to correct politicians’ lies as they are happening. Now, you might think that real time corrections are meaningless if they’re on a website nobody visits. And ok, fine. But honestly, what choice do we have? Trust our journalists to know their facts well enough to hold sources accountable? Might I suggest a gander at this picture featuring from left to right, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Desperate Housewives‘ Dana Delany, and Conan O’Brien’s sidekick Andy Richter.

wolf blitzer jeopardy

Journalism once meant doing hours and hours of research, tracking down unwilling sources, having a responsibility to know your subject inside and out, and finally being able to confront powerful figures when they attempted to dissemble or mislead–now, there’s an app for that.

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