FactCheck.org comes clean on political affiliations

It was some time ago, but a lot of people appear not to have noticed.

Annenbergs and Reagan in the White House

President Reagan talking to Leonore Annenberg and Walter Annenberg at the President’s birthday party in the East Room, February 6, 1981. Photo from the Ronald Reagan Library

FactCheck.org, the group at the University of Pennsylvania that checks the accuracy of political ads and political statements, made a disclosure of its political leanings — in a post way back in 2009.

The truth?  Right here:

President Reagan, in 1981, spent all or part of 42 days away from the White House “on vacation” at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif, according to Knoller. President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, also spent three or four days around New Year’s Day each year in Palm Springs, Calif., at the home of philanthropist Walter Annenberg. (In 1993 the late Mr. Annenberg founded the nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, which is FactCheck.org’s parent organization.)

So there you have it, in FactCheck’s own words — they’re connected to Ronald Reagan through Walter Annenberg.

So, the next time someone tells you FactCheck.org is founded and run by “libruls,” send ’em here to see the real photographic evidence.


Walter Annenberg, Ronald Reagan, and hangers on, December 31, 1985

Official White House photo: From left, Walter Annenberg, President Ronald Reagan, Charles Price, William French Smith, George Shultz, and Donald Regan, December 31, 1985. Photo taken at Annenberg’s estate, Sunnylands: “Sunnylands, the impeccably haute-moderne Shangri-la completed in Rancho Mirage, California, in 1966 by the late billionaire publisher, philanthropist, and power broker Walter Annenberg and his wife, Lee, was a haven for presidents and monarchs, stars and tycoons: the history-makers of the late 20th century.”

5 Responses to FactCheck.org comes clean on political affiliations

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s a pretty good disproof of the claims that the guy was NOT a conservative.

    Got any pictures of Annenberg golfing with Mao? Fidel? Che?

    No, of course not.


  2. John says:

    A deceased relative posing in a picture with a deceased president is no solid proof of anything, really.


  3. JamesK says:

    So if I write a biography on Reagan I become a Reagan supporter auotmatically? And if I write one Lenin I become a Communist?

    really? That’s the logic you want to engage in, henry?


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    If the article claims that Kathleen Hall Jamieson is an Obama supporter — and I didn’t find that — it’s a lousy source. It’s a false claim. I saw a claim that she authored a book on the Obama victory — but Jamieson is an academic, a person who studies journalism and public policy. That’s what she’s supposed to do.

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson is a nationally recognized authority on political communication, campaigns, and political rhetoric. The Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, she is also the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the University’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.
    * * * * *
    Jamieson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the International Communication Association.

    The book mentioned is a non-partisan, academic look at the election. I suppose a lot of people think that everyone with an IQ above room temperature is automatically an Obama supporter and biased, and consequently, so are Jamieson and the other academics who co-authored the book, but that’s part of my lampoon here. Obviously, the reporter in the article to which you link asks us to judge the bias of the book, not even from the cover, but just from the title, and it wants us to assume that a book with Obama’s name in the title must be adulatory. I don’t see any evidence of that.

    Have you read the book? The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election, Kate Kenski, Bruce W. Hardy and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, was published by Oxford University Press, intended as much as a textbook for college classes as a book in the public sphere.

    If you’re arguing that the move towards non-partisan, hard scholarship is a move away from Reagan-esque policies, I would suggest you hold Reagan in much lower regard than can be justified.

    One of the sources relied on in the link you offer is Texas Darlin’, a McCain-created parody Democrat site whose great contribution to politics was a commenter’s description of a visit to the Honolulu public library where he discovered contemporary published accounts of the 1961 Honolulu birth of Barack Obama, thereby establishing Obama’s eligibility as a “natural born” citizen of the U.S. under the business records rule of evidence. That wasn’t what the site wanted, and they went private shortly after that. You’ll notice the site is dead and the URL abandoned, now.

    In short, what we see in that link is the lunatic ravings of the unhinged, again.

    What do you mean by “non-partisan,” and why doesn’t Jamieson qualify? What partisan activities do you find on her resume? Not even the extreme Tea Party American Thinker found fault with Jamieson’s political views in their review of the book.

    Look at the photos. Claiming FactCheck.org is a tool of the left is absurd on its face. It’s also absurd if one digs down a few layers.

    Also, see this:


  5. henrymowry says:

    One of your links in turn linked to a story about how the current Director of the Annenberg Foundation is an Obama supporter, so perhaps the organization has strayed from the Reagan-era connection. Here’s the article: http://www.mockazine.com/but_seriously/2009/11/fact-checking-factcheckorg.html#axzz2Fwe6f6AJ. Bottom line for me is that until we truly have non-partisan fact checkers, no one is above suspicion. Unfortunately.


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