“Being a fact checker in the era of Donald Trump is a tough, demanding, physical endeavour,” says Alex Trebek, coach and benefactor of the United States Live Fact Checking Team, an elite corps of some of the world’s fastest, and least bullshitable, minds.
Gesturing to the state of the art facility he and the team have been living in since Wednesday, November 9th, 2016, when – as he puts it – “bullshit got real,” Trebek shouts across the expansive gymnasium to a team of ‘checkers’ moving through their morning routine.
“Stock market is up because of Trump.”
“Sir, partially true, sir,” the recruits shout in unison. “But should be noted that this is largely due to general agreement Trump will not crack down on dubious Wall Street policies, will allow corporate foreign cash holdings back in the US at greatly reduced tax levels, and is going to pour money into infrastructure like a person burning beds to heat the kitchen.”
Trebek nods, then fires off a rapid sequence of hanging statements, misrepresentations, and facts.
“Climate change is…”
“Verifiable by any major metric you care to use, sir”
“Crime in this nation’s inner cities is rising at record levels.”
“Millions of people voted illegally in the last election.”
“I mean, c’mon,” the now well-warmed up crew bounce easily back.
“The Trump campaign and his subsequent administration colluded with Russia.”
“As true as the fact the president has a son named Donald Jr. and a former National Security Adviser named Michael Flynn.”
“America is getting great again.”
“True. Did you see the Women’s March?”
Trebek nods grimly, and tells everyone that he feels like they are ready for tonight’s main event, the fact-checker’s ultra-marathon and ultimate challenge, the State Of The Union address.
“Now drop and give me fifty facts.”