Accuracy in Media

Coming off a fact-challenged speech in Charlotte on Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden invited the media to verify his claims on Medicare, challenging the press to “fact check me.”

Biden was addressing a group of supporters at Zane Grey Elementary School in Zanesville, Ohio on Saturday morning when he issued his challenge:

What they’re proposing, and this is a fact. I say to the press, ‘Fact check me. What they’re proposing will actually cause the Medicare trust fund that pays for the benefits when you go to the hospital, the doctor, etc., to run out of money, a sufficient amount of money by 2016. That’s when it would hit the wall.

In Charlotte, Biden made a similar comment during his speech when he said that the Romney campaign’s proposal “would cause Medicare to go bankrupt by 2016.”

The Washington Post did fact check Biden on his Medicare claim after his speech in Charlotte and found it less than accurate:

It is highly misleading to use the phrase ‘bankrupt.’

There are different parts of Medicare, much of which is paid from general revenues and premiums. Part A, which pays hospitals, has a ‘trust fund,’ made up of special-issue Treasury bonds, that always seems to be on the edge of running dry, even though it is funded by a payroll tax paid by employees and employers. But even so, the payroll tax could pay most estimated expenditures for decades.

This isn’t the first time Biden has been caught red-handed by the Post. Last week the paper’s fact checker gave Biden 3 Pinocchios for accusing Romney of receiving a federal bailout. And that was before Biden dared the media to prove him wrong.

Biden has issued a challenge and now it’s up to the rest of the media (besides the Post) to take him up on that offer and show just how fact challenged he really is.

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