As many of our readers are aware, Ben Swann worked on a large number of investigative news segments called Reality Check before launching the Truth In Media Project. In 2011, Swann investigated a Paul Brown Stadium financing deal in Hamilton County, Ohio for one of his Reality Check episodes. Swann provided insight into the deal and reported on the possible consequences that the county could suffer in making such a deal. A clip of the segment can be seen below:
Nearly four years later, Swann’s breakdown of the Paul Brown Stadium financing deal made its way to HBO. A clip of Swann’s Reality Check episode was used in Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. In the episode, Oliver discussed cities using public money to finance privately owned stadiums. Oliver brought up Hamilton County’s budget-related repercussions that have since occurred in the Paul Brown Stadium financing aftermath. The clip can be seen below (at 11:46 mark):
Oliver’s use of a Reality Check clip is an encouraging example of the mainstream media acknowledging that it is learning from independent media. The original investigative reports created by Swann have since evolved into fuller, more comprehensive Truth In Media episodes with many thanks to supporters of his work, including early Reality Check enthusiasts.