Wednesday, July 11, 2012

'Politifact'? More like 'Politifiction'

[The Republican Party of Virginia called out Politifact this week in an 86-page take-down documenting their lack of objectivity as a "watch dog" in the mainstream media. That was followed by a smack-down from Shaun Kenney at Bearing Drift followed today by a Breitbart piece from John Nolte. Many are proclaiming Politifact's Pants On Fire. Conservative sources began questioning Politifact a while back. Here's a post I wrote for the Washington Examiner in 2010.]

Thank you, Timothy Carney, senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner, for writing "Politifact fritters away its credibility":
Politifact, a project of the St. Petersburg Times, has declared as the Lie of the Year, "A government takeover of healthcare." This is a deeply silly choice, dubbing an imprecise overstatement "a lie." The Wall Street Journal has a good response, which points out that the White House has hopped onto Politifact's horse.
After busting the Politifact "Lie of the Year," Mr. Carney goes on to bust Politifact:
...I have my own [nominee for lie of the year]:

"We have excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs." Barack Obama, 2010 State of the Union.

Guess what? Obama by that point had already hired nearly 50 former lobbyists for policymaking jobs, including four in his Cabinet. I asked the White House to square the facts with Obama's claim. They gave me this Clintonian response: "we have turned away lobbyists for many, many positions."

The emperor has no clothes, and our "watchdogs" are focusing their fire on Wisconsin congressional candidate Rebecca Kleefisch. It's embarrassing.
In the Virginia conservative blogosphere, there have been increasing questions about Politifact's bias.  Many raised eyebrows in November when George Allen's comment, "The new Congress must repeal and cutoff any additional money borrowed and set aside for Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s $1.2 trillion stimulus spending bill," was rated as "Pants on Fire."

 Right-Wing Conservative blogger DJ McGuire was skeptical of that rating so looked into the real facts and deemed it "Politifail", writing:
Really, fellas? It’s not news to me or anyone else who closely followed the Obamnibus debate. In fact, it came right from the Congressional Budget Office (CNN Money):
The long-term cost of the $825 billion economic recovery package before Congress could rise to $1.2 trillion over 10 years, a top budget official said Tuesday.
 That’s because the government will borrow to fund the plan and pay an estimated $347 billion in interest, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee on Tuesday.
Way to “check it out,” guys.

Now, to be fair, the PF guys were led astray by an Allen staffer, who sent them somewhere else and didn’t emphasize the interest-on-debt issue. Still, it’s not as if the $1.2T figure had vanished into the ether. The House Republicans used it just last month.

Politifact? More like Politifail.
Writers from Red State, Newsbusters, American Spectator, and others have also questioned the findings of this journalistic watch dog. Politifact appears to be proving that it is no more than another of the Democrats' allies in the mainstream media.

Washington Examiner, December 23, 2010

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