- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Washington Post is calling a lid on the presidential fact-checking database 100 days into the Biden administration.

Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of the Fact Checker, tweeted late Monday that the team would continue to fact-check President Biden “rigorously” but would no longer maintain the database started under former President Trump.

“Here’s the Biden database — which we do not plan to extend beyond 100 days,” Mr. Kessler tweeted. “I have learned my lesson.”

He cited the enormous workload associated with keeping up with Mr. Trump. In February 2017, the Fact Checker created a “new interactive graphic” to track “every suspicious claim made by the president in his first 100 days in office.”

No more.

“Maintaining the Trump database over four years required about 400 additional 8-hour days over four years beyond our regular jobs for three people,” Mr. Kessler tweeted. “Biden is off to a relatively slow start, but who knows what will happen. We will keep doing fact checks, just not a database.”

Not surprisingly, the decision to shut down the database just three months into the Democratic presidency after running at a fever pitch during the Trump administration did not get a pass from conservatives.

“The Biden presidency is over. Rest easy,” tweeted media critic Stephen L. Miller. “Whew what an incredible 100 days presidency.”

The Fact Checker, known for its one-to-four Pinocchio scale, says on its database that Mr. Trump made 30,573 “false or misleading claims” while in office.

Cracked Mr. Miller: “I love how Kessler has to be begrudgingly pushed into doing the bare minimum that his job requires for 5 whole months.”

The Post reported that Mr. Biden had 67 “false or misleading statements” in his first 100 days versus 511 for Mr. Trump, although the former Delaware senator makes far fewer public appearances and pronouncements than did his Republican predecessor.

Biden’s relatively limited number of falsehoods is a function, at least in part, of the fact that his public appearances consist mostly of prepared texts vetted by his staff,” Mr. Kessler said. “He devotes little time to social media, in contrast to his Twitter-obsessed predecessor, and rarely faces reporters or speaks off the cuff.”

The decision to discontinue the database comes after Mr. Kessler was widely panned for his extensive Friday fact-check of Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s recollections about his family’s cotton farming in South Carolina during the Jim Crow era.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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