The first week in October saw a stunning turnabout in coverage of Barack Obama. Pro-Obama coverage might have hit its peak on Monday, October 5, when CNN's Situation Room aired an astonishing segment "fact checking" a comedy sketch. No joke.
The skit had appeared two days earlier on Saturday Night Live. Fred Armisen, playing President Obama, delivered a speech in which he said, "When you look at my record, it's very clear what I have done so far. And that is nothing." He continued: "Almost one year and nothing to show for it. You don't believe me? You think I'm making it up? Take a look at this checklist." He then rehearsed a series of campaign promises -- closing Guantanamo, improving Afghanistan, taking over the health care system, and so on-and declared all of them undone.
CNN interviewed Bill Adair of the St. Petersburg Times's PolitiFact.com, one of those supposedly nonpartisan fact-checking outfits, which had actually published a "study" of the SNL skit earlier that day. Adair said: