Finally, Damon wrote this week’s installment of “Line of Attack,” the Sun’s relatively new factcheck-like feature in which the paper “will parse a political attack, looking at the strategy behind it, how the campaign is delivering it and what facts support or refute it, [and] assign it a rating on the fairness meter: Legit, Eye Roll, Guffaw, Laughable or Outrageous.” To the Romney campaign’s presentation, including in an attack ad, of snippets from a recent Obama speech in Roanoke, VA, Damon assigned a “laughable” rating, noting that “this is a classic example of cherry-picking a speech for comments to wield as an out-of-context sword in a campaign ad”—before providing readers with that missing context. (The Washington Post’s Fact Checker came to a similar conclusion this week, assigning the ad in question “three Pinocchios.”)
With this item, Damon gave Sun readers far more than readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal got—a brief summary of the ad, its claims, the strategy behind it, and links to the ad and to the full Obama speech from which the ad (misleadingly, though the Review-Journal doesn’t get into this) lifts.
Such journalism goes well beyond the basics by providing information and analysis that Nevadans can actually use to make informed decisions at their polling places. Yes, such efforts take more time, but the value of the reporting soars.