Check, Please

Fact-checking has been good news in 2012, but it's only a start

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Photo-illustration by Lincoln Agnew for TIME; Obama, Romney, magnifying glass: Getty Images

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Next month Obama and Romney and their running mates will talk to tens of millions of Americans in the debates. Imagine if a network used the crawl at the bottom of the screen to fact-check them live: Pop-up veracity? Yes, live TV is tough, campaigns would scream bloody murder, and you can't expect every data point to be vetted at light speed. But surely if your Twitter feed can fact-check a speech as it happens, a team of producers--prepped with research on the attack lines the candidates have been giving for months--could catch some of the biggies while people are paying attention.

It may be a pipe dream. It might not fix politics. But, fact: it would be journalism.

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