Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Whole Truth - and Nothing but

Scariest thing in the world to Repugs. Dr. Paul on Politifact.

The criterion, according to Politifact, seems to be that a fact isn’t a fact if it helps a Democratic narrative. In his State of the Union address on Jan. 24, President Obama said: “In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005.”

Which is just true. Period. But Politifact initially rated it as only “half true” because he was “essentially taking credit for job growth.” He didn’t actually take credit — and even if he had, a fact is still a fact. I do not think that word means what Politifact thinks it means.

Unfortunately, Politifact has lost sight of what it is supposed to be doing. Instead of simply saying whether a claim is true, it’s trying to act as some kind of referee of what it imagines to be fair play: even if a politician says something completely true, it gets ruled only partly true if Politifact feels that the fact is being used to gain an unfair political advantage.

That would make Repugs "Pants On Fire" 100% of the time, maybe more.

Aside from undermining the mission, this makes the whole thing subjective — notice that Politifact wasn’t even analyzing what Mr. Obama said; they were analyzing their impression about what he might have been trying to imply. Leave that for the talking heads!

They're wrong almost all the time anyway. Heh.

Yet Politifact wants to be seen as nonpartisan. If it just stuck to the facts, it could say look, we’re just reporting the facts. But having defined its role as something that goes beyond checking facts to saying whether the facts are being used in some “proper” way, it then finds itself under pressure to be “evenhanded,” which ends up meaning making excuses for Republican falsehoods and finding ways to criticize Democrats’ true statements.

It’s all very sad.

I think we should follow the money to Politifact. Might be something interesting there.

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