When The Fact Checkers Lie

So Politifact completely blows the Ryan Medicare plan, then allows the voting to be Freeped, and comes up with the “Lie of the Year”:

The new scheme would still be called “Medicare”, but it would bear little resemblance to the current system, which guarantees essential care to all seniors.

How is this not an end to Medicare? And given all the actual, indisputable lies out there, how on earth could saying that it is be the “Lie of the year”?

The answer is, of course, obvious: the people at Politifact are terrified of being considered partisan if they acknowledge the clear fact that there’s a lot more lying on one side of the political divide than on the other. So they’ve bent over backwards to appear “balanced” — and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant.

Is there any wonder our national debate so often devolves into bullshit about death panels and light bulbs? When Politifact gleefully promotes the truth as a lie, and they are supposed to be the “factcheckers,” what does that leave us with?

And shame on the other journalists out there for not calling out Politifact.

Does anyone doubt that next year’s election will be the most deceitful one on record? And our failed media will lead the way, cheering “he said-she said” and “both sides do it.”






104 replies
  1. 1
    wasabi gasp says:

    Benen jacked your car.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    If there is any justice, and there probably isn’t, this should be the end of Politifact. How can something with one fucking job to do fuck it up so bad?

    Dear Onion: PLEASE name Politifact your News Organ of the year.

    Terras veritas reliquit

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    Well you know John, opinions DO differ. Fair and balanced and all that.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Politifact has demonstrated that they are to fact as the Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment was to enlightenment.

    Utterly worthless, slaves of the party that does nothing but lie.

  5. 5
    sherifffruitfly says:

    And our failed media will lead the way, cheering “he said-she said” and “both sides do it.”

    *Explicitly* assisted by progressivelibertarians and their steady, constant drumbeat of “Democrats = republicans”.

  6. 6
    jesdynf says:

    I wrote ’em and I told them that I wasn’t going to bother to vote, since I wasn’t going to legitimize their efforts to pretend that all of their finalists were valid falsehoods.

    I’m delighted to learn that they didn’t give a damn about how their vote came out either — the popular vote was for something else, John, they just ignored it.

  7. 7
    gnomedad says:

    Kthug calls them out, and to their credit Politifact tweeted it (which is how I found this).

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Next I serve carrot cake, I’m calling it chocolate cake because they are sorta the same, both cakes and all..

    also, too… as you know it…it might be different but I didn’t say as you know it…so there….

  9. 9
    Ron says:

    Well, they didn’t base their lie of the year on reader voting. That doesn’t make this any better. The only thing I’ll say is while this one is really stupid, I think just giving up on politifact is a bit of an overreaction. If you look at their list of “pants-on-fire” lies, the vast majority are GOP lies.

  10. 10
    Darius says:

    @wasabi gasp: I like Benen’s analogy:

    Imagine someone owns a Ferrari. It’s expensive and drives beautifully, and the owner desperately wants to keep his car intact. Now imagine I took the car away, removed the metallic badge off the trunk that says “Ferrari,” I stuck it on a golf cart, and I handed the owner the keys.

    “Where’s my Ferrari?” the owner would ask.

    “It’s right here,” I’d respond. “This has four wheels, a steering wheel, and pedals, and it says ‘Ferrari’ right there on the back.”

    By PolitiFact’s reasoning, I haven’t actually replaced the car — and if you disagree, you’re a pants-on-fire liar.

  11. 11
    jwb says:

    Why would journalists call out Politifact when Politifact does nothing except confirm the view of the world our journalists are paid to promote? It’s a site created and paid for by media companies. No surprise that it reflects the viewpoint of the media companies. More importantly, it is no surprise that it reflects the viewpoint of those who own those media companies.

  12. 12
    Ron says:

    On the other hand, http://www.politifact.com/trut.....diagnosis/ has to be the most ridiculous “pants-on-fire” claim ever. Not because it’s true, but because you’d have to be a moron to think Biden was speaking literally.

  13. 13
    Sasha says:

    What choice did they have? If PoliFact had designated yet another Republican talking point as “Lie of the Year” (thereby earning them a hat-trick), they would have been painted as biased liberal enablers. By making the correct political choice, PoliFact has proven that they are balanced in their coverage, and thus above reproach.

    (And, in case it isn’t clear, I’m being deeply snarktastic.)

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yutsano:

    I believe Pat Moynihan commented on opinons vs. facts in this context.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    If those scary dudes at Anonymous are reading this, will you please hack Politifact and change the name to Politifucked or something?

    Or maybe turn their site off for a year?

    Victimless crimes and all….

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    Sorry, John, but there arent any more lies. From anyone. There’s “misstatements”, “statements out of context”, “partisan criticism”, but nobody apperently lies anymore. Honestly, whens the last time a journalist used that word?

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    Let’s face it — this decision will garner them far more page hits and news coverage and publicity than choosing yet another Republican lie would have. And isn’t that what it’s all about? What, you thought a site called “Politifact” was actually interested in facts and not page hits? Silly wabbit.

  18. 18
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    There are fewer and fewer sources of ‘Ombudsman’ quality, and I can think of
    no sources trusted by both sides of the aisle. Sounds dangerous, to me.

  19. 19
    jwb says:

    How about we declare this designation by Politifact to be a “Pants on Fire” lie and then agree that Politifact has in fact committed the Lie of the Year.

  20. 20
    handy says:

    @Sasha:

    By making the correct political choice, PoliFact has proven that they are balanced in their coverage, and thus above reproach.

    “Politics Is Truth.” Orwell weeps.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    Seriously. Given that Romney will probably be the nominee, given that he may well choose a winger VP to keep the base happy, given that he does not acknowledge that there is a difference between ‘true’ and ‘false’, these questions are likely to be prominent in the 2012 campaign, to say the least.

    It’s clear that the political media don’t care about this– it’s all ‘both sides do it’, ‘some say this and some say that’, but I’ll bet that there are some (benighted, I know) voters out there who care. Question is, how to get that message out.

  22. 22
    David Fud says:

    Green freaking balloons. I can’t take our stupid media anymore. How you can continue to read the various wankers (much less watch video of the wankers) is beyond me. I truly have to figure out a way to give it up, even though I filter the content via internet sources. It has been like watching America drown in a tar pit of stupid for the last decade, and I simply cannot watch anymore because we all know the ending.

    Some social scientist in the future will see what we wrote and did and wonder why we wrecked our country. Or, maybe they will be able to (psychohistory-like) show the fundamental societal forces that drove us completely over the edge into the pit of stupid.

  23. 23
    Bullsmith says:

    It’s not important that Republicans voted to end medicare, what’s important is that Democrats “overreached.” IOKIYAR is the fundamental rule of fact checking, just as it is of journalism.

    Remember shame? It was this concept that if you did something you knew was blatantly fucking awful….ah never mind.

  24. 24
    Malatesta says:

    You have to remember, the Repubs figured out a way around lying this year. Literally everything they say is not intended to be a factual statement now. What other choice did our brave fact checkers have, then?

  25. 25

    So Politifact completely blows the Ryan Medicare plan

    Fixxor’d

  26. 26
    amk says:

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists who will lead americans to sixth hell, not seventh heaven.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Zifnab says:

    When Politifact gleefully promotes the truth as a lie, and they are supposed to be the “factcheckers,” what does that leave us with?

    It’s not like there aren’t an assortment of other fact-checking sites on the market. FactCheck.org, OpenSecrets.org, MediaMatters.org, Sunlightfoundation.com, articles in WaPo and NYT, a thousand other watchdog blogs and alternative media venues.

    So where does Politifact leave us? Exactly where we started. Right squat in the middle of “Don’t trust everything you read on the internet.” It would be great if we had one website that was a cemented, dedicated fountain of truth. But we don’t. Get over it.

  29. 29
    Zach says:

    Politifact was terrible and full of false balance before they got their Pulitzer as well. We had it coming by grinning and approvingly passing along every easy takedown of every wing-nut comment that Obama’s exterminating Americans in FEMA prison camps and whatnot. From the beginning they’ve taken meaningless misstatements or minor rhetorical disagreements by Democrats and claimed that they were equivalently false.

  30. 30
    Schlemizel says:

    @JPL:
    Right idea but not quite far enough – Ryan wants to take away your chocolate cake and give you a cake of soap to eat. Politifacts has, rightly, pointed out they are both are cakes so to say Ryan’s plan would take away your cake is a horrible, horrible lie.

  31. 31
    300baud says:

    To be over-fair to journalists, most of them couldn’t possibly criticize Polifact here without either a) being giant hypocrites or b) having to find a new career. As Upton Sinclair writes, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

  32. 32
    Bruce S says:

    What you don’t understand is that this indefensible bullshit is still dubbed “Politifact” – just as Ryan’s scheme to totally end our system of social insurance for seniors and replace it with capped vouchers was still labeled “Medicare.”

    Ergo no problemo!

    Politifact’s twisted version of this isn’t a “lie” – they’ve merely become Ryanesque.

  33. 33
    Chyron HR says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    So Politifact completely blows the Ryan Medicare plan

    Fixxamazorzed.

  34. 34
    Bex says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, and some say…

  35. 35
    Mark B. says:

    Politifact is useless. They recently rated a claim that extending unemployment benefits would benefit the economy as untrue … and their evidence for this was a study by the uber partisan Cato institute which said that tax cuts pumped money into the economy more effectively than unemployment benefits. Why? Because shut up, that’s why! The tax cut fairy will fix everything.

  36. 36
    dww44 says:

    It really is disheartening: this whole dominance of the MSM and its supposedly objective arms by the conservative money machine which not only spends money but is willing to yell loudly and persistently to get its way.

    I actually think that Politifact is more objective these days than http://www.factcheck.org, whose weekly updates and more frequent bulletins I’ve received for several years. I pay attention when they call out President Obama or other Dems on an equal basis with the GOP. It is almost always something rather innocuous on the left they’ve turned into an equivalency with what is being spouted on the right.

    Along those same lines,I saw a replay on Rachel Maddow last night of Newt on Face the Nation this past Sunday in which Bob Schaeffer is respectfully asking Newt about how he would go about arresting judges who rendered opinions with which as President he disagreed. Newt responded that he would call out the Justice Department to go arrest him. Schaeffer didn’t call him out;just sort of smiled at Newt’s responses.

    So, we’ve come to this in our democratic system, where those in a position to call out the lying and stupidity don’t, because, like the politicians, they are also bought and paid for, or at least afraid for their jobs.

  37. 37
    schrodinger's cat says:

    BTW Sully has a new crush, Ron Paul. My prediction, EDK is angling to be Bobo junior, i.e. a reasonable conservative, same bullshit, but delivered with politeness.

  38. 38
    Fed Up In Brooklyn says:

    Great news guys! The Beatles are getting back together! It’s true! Me and three pals are putting out a new Beatles album we just recorded! Thanks to politifact, things like this are possible now! We should be thanking them!

  39. 39
    RalfW says:

    made themselves useless and irrelevant

    Yep.

    Totally moronic and useless.

    I did write to them to tell them they jumped the shark this week.

  40. 40
    OzoneR says:

    This would not have happened if Obama used the bully pulpit.

    amirite?!?!

  41. 41

    this is double plus good news for john mccain!

  42. 42
    amk says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: edk politeness is an oxymoron, ain’t it ?

  43. 43
    RossInDetroit says:

    Maybe Politifact is trolling us. If they pick this non-lie as a lie, then people talk about it and a discussion takes place. I mean, when was the last time you thought about the Ryan ‘Medicare Plan’?

    11D chess, people. Learn to play the game.

  44. 44
    dj spellchecka says:

    let your feelings be known here

    http://www.politifact.com/contact/

  45. 45
    David Hunt says:

    handy has already beaten me to an Orwell reference, but I’ll post this anyway because I think it perfectly captures the what’s going on.

    Politifact needs to officially change their name to the Ministry of Truth

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @OzoneR:

    If he’d stuffed the bully pulpit with C4 and then gift wrapped it and sent it to Politifact with a “do not open until Christmas” card and the timer was set to go kerblooey during their holiday party…

  47. 47
    Auldblackjack says:

    “defined benefit? defined contribution? no difference!”

    Jackazzez….

  48. 48
    Napoleon says:

    Everyone should flood Politifacts mailbox with complaints.

  49. 49
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @amk: Well he did alternate between politeness and hissy fits when he was a front pager here. But the farce is strong with that one.

  50. 50
    flukebucket says:

    How do you say “who will fact check the fact checkers” in Latin?

  51. 51
    chopper says:

    let’s replace the US military with a dozen hunting rifle-toting boy scouts called ‘the US military’ and see what the reaction is.

  52. 52
    KG says:

    They have an explanation up for how they came to their decision. The reader poll picked the GOP claim that no jobs had been created by the stimulus. But then Politifact decided that the stimulus claim was actual from last year, not this year. Which begs the question: why the fuck did you include it in the list if you thought it was from last year?

  53. 53

    @amk:

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 . . .

    :-)

  54. 54

    @chopper: that’s part of gingrich’s jobs plan for the kiddies.

  55. 55
    Menzies says:

    @flukebucket:

    At your service!

    Quis verificabit ipsos verificatores?

  56. 56
    Scott says:

    Politifact itself is the Lie of the Year. And that’s in a world that includes Politico, the Washington Times, and Mitt Romney.

    I’ve long felt like the only way to fix the media would be to take a few David Brookses, a few Judith Millers, a few Mark Halperins, and start, at best, treating them the way Spider Jerusalem treated politicians in the “Transmetropolitan” comic. More reporters need to learn to fear the consequences of lying to the public.

  57. 57
    Bruce S says:

    As part of their supporting argument, Politifact includes the observation by Newt Gingrich that Democrats “are totally morally bankrupt.”

    Theirs is a very serious, thoughtful argument that has never been made in such detail and with such care.

  58. 58
    Thoughtcrime says:

    Not meant to be a Politifactual statement.

  59. 59

    @Bruce S: well, that’s all the evidence i need. drink your victory gin and ‘down the memory hole!’

  60. 60
    SFAW says:

    How do you say “who will fact check the fact checkers” in Latin?

    Qui omnes omnibus?

  61. 61
    Hill Dweller says:

    The “Lie of the Year” didn’t even get the most votes, but they picked it anyway. In fact, it finished third, behind two Republican lies, but they picked it anyway.

  62. 62
    Mino says:

    You know, Pravda didn’t do near as good a job as our MSM does. Russians were totally cynical about their news.

    And older Americans had the advantage of schooling when civics was still being taught, including labor history. And they experienced the apex of a living wage for the middle class and union membership.

    What the hell is in our water???

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Snowball says:

    I haven’t paid attention to politifact for a long time. To me they are as credible as Rasmussen with their biased polls that always seem to be outliers and always in favor of the GOP. Maybe FoxNews should hire politifact.

    I have followed Ryan’s plan pretty closely. It is just beyond me how anybody can claim it is not ending Medicare.

  65. 65
    LosGatosCA says:

    Face it folks, we are all fully and totally fucked. This is just another symptom of a declining civilization. When roughly half your country is batshit insane believing that tax cuts balance budgets by increasing tax revenue and all the rest of the blatant stupidities that flow from the Republican party, it’s destined to end badly.

    And so now, for the middle class it’s ending badly. But you have to be honest it’s their own fault. They watch cable, they vote for these hucksters, they believe heaven is only for straight, white, and the-right-church attendees. They let the all this stuff happen over the past 20 years, from impeachment to presidential election stealing to the Iraq War to now validating austerity for everyone except rich people. You get out of something what you put into it. Collectively, the majority of Americans have self selected to either be idiots or to be more interested in their own entertainment than trying to govern their country. The result is rampant cronyism in politics, in the economy, in the legal system.

    Many, many people don’t think it’s right, but not enough evidently. That’s why generational educational attainment levels fell even before the Lesser Depression hit.

    It’s hard to reach desperate folks who want to believe magical thinking will solve their problems, Reagan proved that.

  66. 66
    Darius says:

    I’m reminded of an old riddle: If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

  67. 67

    @Darius: that’s easy: 2 plus 2 equals 5.

  68. 68
    dww44 says:

    @dww44: I actually just received the following email from Factcheck in which they note the following:

    The year’s worst political deceptions, from both sides.
    Posted on December 20, 2011
    Summary
    Despite what you may have heard in 2011:
    ■The new health care law won’t cost many jobs (and they’ll be poorly paying jobs at that).
    ■Republicans aren’t proposing to “end” Medicare (and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has signed onto a modified version of the GOP plan).
    ■Most of the “millionaires” who would pay higher tax rates under a Democratic proposal aren’t job-creating small-business owners.
    ■President Obama’s mother didn’t really fight to get health insurance coverage as she was dying.
    And there was plenty more spin and deception in 2011. Obama claimed he pays a lower tax rate than a teacher. Michele Bachmann endorsed a claim that HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. Joe Biden claimed rapes quadrupled in Flint, Mich., after police layoffs. And that’s just some of the nonsense we debunked.

    http://factcheck.org/2011/12/the-whoppers-of-2011/
    Politifact does NOT have sole claim to the false equivalency meme.

  69. 69
    Mino says:

    @LosGatosCA: We are a fuc* ing disgrace. It is embarrassing to be a member of a nation so stupid as to throw away everything our collective blood and toil built. It’s even become difficult to blame the vultures when we expose our children on the mountaintops.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Mino says:

    @dww44: Republicans aren’t proposing to “end” Medicare (and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has signed onto a modified version of the GOP plan).

    Well, surprise, surprise.

  72. 72
    r€nato says:

    Our friend the Powder Blue Satan said it best:

    When We Replace The Marines With A Pizza, We Will Call The Pizza The Marines

  73. 73
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Southern Beale: But it didn’t matter. The Democratic “lie” about Ryan still finished third in the voting, well behind two Republican lies, but Politifact still chose it.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    Politifact is a gimmick out the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, with all the conflict of interest that entails, especially in an election year when access is important.

    All of the Facty fact factoid checktruth facty gimmicks are gimmicks, second rate second best alternatives to free open and informed debate. Nothing can replace open and informed debate to allow the public to make good decisions in a democracy.

    There is a demand for these gimmicks because there is little free open and informed debate allowed in our, on average, awful news media.

    When these carnivals start to take themselves too seriously, their interest in guarding their franchise and any conflicts of interest that arise from their funding becomes an interesting question.

    Time to ask Politifact what its relationship is to the Tampa Bay Times, where and how it gets its funding, and what their methods are to ensure a fair analysis.

    To disclose my prejudices: I do not like these facty orgs that use stupid gimmicks like pinocchio noses, goofy meters, and stupid stunts like ‘Lie of the Year’. Why should we take any self proclaimed organization that issues grave pronouncements on the truthfulness of politicians seriously that uses such gimmicks.

    Time to be uncivil about the simultaneously goofy, untransparent, and very pompous, facty fact checky check carnivals that are set up around this great nation.

  75. 75
    mk3872 says:

    So what. The right-wing media got called as “Lie of the Year” for 2 years running (2009 & 2010) for their healthcare law falsehoods.

    Since we’re not gonna change our new modern for-profit news media, we might as well work within that “both sides do it” framework.

    That’s how the right wing has been successful at manipulating the MSM: Say something outrageously ideologically crazy. Then point out that the other side is attacking you because of it.

    And BOOM!

    You have a media news story of “he said / she said”. That is basically ALL that the MSM is able to cover.

    The left-wing can and should play that game, too.

  76. 76
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Southern Beale: So wait, the only Democratic “lie” on the list was freeped by Paul Ryan, and the best it could muster was a third place finish? This says something. What precisely, I’m not entirely sure.

  77. 77
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I think Politihack won their own Lie of the Year contest by making the biggest lie of the year themselves.

    It wuz rigged I tells ya!

  78. 78
    WaterGirl says:

    @dj spellchecka: Thanks for the link. I just told them they have made themselves irrelevant. I stooped to pettiness at the end when I told them that they lost their integrity but at least they still have their pulitzer.

  79. 79
    JoyousMN says:

    Sent this just now to truthometer@politifact.com I’d recommend sending your own email.

    ***

    Of all the many truth stretching options for this year, you guys pick a claim that is HIGHLY controversial that you even got right, to score as the “lie of the year.”

    Can you say, “Bending over backwards to please the right-wing?”

    Can you say, “False equivalency?”

    Can you say, “No credibility?”

    Why yes, apparently you can say all those things with just one post. It’s so discouraging when I try to pay attention to what’s going on in politics; and you guys should be at the forefront of trying to help people understand what is happening, and you just throw it all away.

    The real “lie of the year” is Polifact.

    Joy Jacques

  80. 80
    Bruce S says:

    Lie of the year is actually in Paul Ryan’s message alerting supporters to “freep” Politifact, quoted in the link above by Southern Beale @ #70:

    Ryan: “Remember, our budget is the only plan that actually saves Medicare.”

    Give that man the prize!

  81. 81
    ThresherK says:

    @JPL: And the reassuring part about your chocolate cake is that it won’t send me into walnut-driven anaphylactic shock.

    Of course, there’s always my PolitifactEpipen, which seems to be filled with saline.

  82. 82
    PeakVT says:

    @Mino: Nobody could have predicted that Wyden’s stupid, idiotic, moronic, pointless, obtuse and did I mention stupid move to sign on with Ryan would be useful to conservatives. And by nobody I mean everybody with a clue.

  83. 83
    Thymezone says:

    Of course the blogs are right on top of the truth. Like when the ratfuckers and firebaggers created the “NDAA Ends The American Experiment” fraud and nearly everybody around here fell for it, even though a one minute reading of the bill would have shown anyone with a brain that the whole “crisis” was bunk. Or how about the “Time Magazine Censors Protest News By Not Showing Protest Photo On US Cover” fraud? I guess the fact that TIME would make The Protester its Person of the Year wasn’t anticipated by the hoaxsters on that one. How many here fell for that horseshit? How many here took the 1.3 minutes it took me to find out, by examination, that TIME’s worldwide covers match across editions less than one fourth of the time, if recent history is any indication … and that the “censored” photo got big play inside the magazine anyway? And that TIME had just done a cover story on how the Occupy Protest had “caught on” … and that TIME’s editor even went on his weekly gig at Morning Joe to pimp the Occupy story … but yeah, TIME was “censoring” the protest to please their 1% overlords.

    I don’t know where any blog gets off slamming another outlet for truth and accuracy these days, when the entire blabosphere … radio, tv, print, blog … right and left … has become nothing but a bunch of reactionary buttheads chasing each other around with pitchforks and hyping phony stories. Everybody talks about journalism but nobody does anything about it, to coin a phrase. Eh?

    This is what remains of the “fact based community” these days. When we surrender the high ground of facts, what besides tantrums and fauxrage do we have left?

  84. 84
    Bruce S says:

    I quit reading at “ratfuckers”

  85. 85
    OzoneR says:

    @mk3872:

    The left-wing can and should play that game, too.

    no they can’t

    Because as Alan Grayson showed us, when the left says something outrageous and then point out the other side is attacking you for it, suddenly “both sides do it” doesn’t apply.

  86. 86
    jl says:

    Or for criminy sakes. TPM has a headline article about the Politifact brainfart of the year today.

    Politifact had some kind of readers internet poll to determine the ,Lie of the Year’.

    The Medicare ‘Lie of the Year’ came in third, and Politifact decided to choose that one.

    Politifact is now a joke. A damned joke. Never to be taken seriously. They are either a responsible objective judicious organization serving the public interest, or they aren’t. And they aren’t. They are some publicity stunt out of a Florida newspaper. I gave them a piece of my mind, as an economist and a person who can tie their shoes in the morning in the comment page (thanks to commenter above).

    Politifact: joke. And maybe a corrupt newspaper publicity stunt, or maybe corrupt media access and favor weedling device.

    Ryan’s Plan Still Ends Medicare Even If PolitiFact Rates That As A Lie

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....hp?ref=fpa

    And to think I took the time to write a pompous serious little essay about it.

  87. 87
    Gex says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The hissy fits were caused by a readership that is largely disabused of the beauty of libertarian ideology. He won’t get that kind of pushback many other places, where distilling it to tax cuts = good, less government = good is still a winning slogan.

  88. 88
    RossinDetroit says:

    I wonder on what basis Politifact could object if Josh Marshall renamed a page on TPM ‘Politi-fact’. Same name, must be the same thing.

  89. 89
    carpeduum says:

    John John John you hypocritical oaf. By soiling your diapers and adopting the hysterical firebagger/greenwald/hamsher bullshit fearmongering over provisions in the NDAA you yourself have become a part of the lies.

  90. 90
    agrippa says:

    Someone needs to sue Krugman for libel!!

  91. 91
    Hungry Joe says:

    Does anyone doubt that next year’s election will be the most deceitful one on record?

    They’ll have to go some to top “John Kerry was a coward in combat,” and they’ve already used up some of their very best Obama whoppers (Kenyan birth, secret Muslim), but I have faith.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Yutsano says:

    @carpeduum: Yawn. Still liking your Harper majority I take it?

  94. 94
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Gex: Is that the reason he stopped posting here. We did not admire his beautiful mind?

  95. 95
  96. 96
    David Hunt says:

    So, if the bill they voted on had instead changed to the name of Medicare to “Un-Care” and left all other aspects of the program intact, that would be ending Medicare by the criteria of Politifact?

    This is of course a trick question. Politifact actually had a single over-riding criterion: “Make sure something a Democrat said wins Lie of the Year.” The fact that it wasn’t even a lie gets them bonus points.

  97. 97
    Mojotron says:

    I could swear that a blogger (Coates? Benen? Digby? Can’t find it now) wrote a post in the last three weeks predicting that Politifact was going to choose the Ryan plan “lie” as the LotY in order to retain the appearance of “balance”. Anyone else see this?

  98. 98
    Ordovician Bighorn Dolomite (formerly rarely seen poster Fe E) says:

    @dj spellchecka: I did, here’s what I wrote.

    “Well, I’d imagine your in box is stuffed the rafters with broadly similar comments on your choice for lie of the year.

    And justifiably so, anybody who could review the evidence (analogized by Steve Benen, John Cole and a few others) and conclude that Medicare would still exist after implementation of the Ryan plan, may be an expert on leaves, or perhaps bark, but fails miserably as a forest ecologist

    Your kind of semantically driven obfuscation is a symptom of the cancer which threatens our country, and you are smart enough to know it. I could throw out a profanity laced invective in your direction, and not at all be overreacting, but I don’t feel like taking the time, so just take a look at three or four of your most belligernet critics and know that I agree with them.

    You are nothing but a bunch of “both sides do it, false equivalnce” sellouts. You’ll have to take my word for, but it is great still being in possession of my own soul.”

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I also like how they reported the “Other” in the reader poll. A sampling of the wide range didn’t include people writing in that Politifact’s own analysis of the ending Medicare line as a lie, like myself.

  101. 101

    Their explanation makes me a bit more annoyed, though it does make some sort of sense.

    It is, they claim, a bit like Time’s “entity of the year” – where what Time measures is “what was the biggest *news producer* of the year?”

    So, for example, Dr. Evil could be Time’s Person Of The Year even though he’s scum, if he generates a lot of news.

    I can’t deny that, of the pathetic “finalists” they chose, the “voted to end Medicare” was the statement “of the year” – the most newsworthy and influential.

    But if they had been wise, here’s what they’d have done.

    “Here are our real-dilly lies for this year. None of these deserve to be ‘lie of the year’ because while they’re delightfully mendacious, they aren’t all that important. And, here’s our two candidates for Lie Of The Year.

    “1) The Republicans voted to end Medicare.
    “2) The Paul Ryan plan *does not* end Medicare.”

  102. 102
    Mojotron says:

    @victory: That was the post I was thinking of.

  103. 103
    moderateindy says:

    @Sasha:
    Unfortunately, while you are being snarky and absurd, I imagine that your scenario is how it actually played out in their minds. Too many “journalists” don’t understand that being fair is a matter of including all sides of an argument in your decision process and then being a filter for what is provably accurate, and trying to be objective when coming to conclusions. Instead they think being fair is letting both sides present their arguments without giving their readers, listeners etc the actual facts. Case in point, Global Warming. To say that there are scientists that disagree is crappy reporting. Because it leaves the wrong impression. Just presenting how truly tiny the number of scientists, particularly those that work in the area of climate, that think global warming is a hoax would be real journalism, and in no way biased. Instead we often get the perspective of one side, and then the other devoid of any actual analysis which could lead you to an informed opinion.

  104. 104
    Neo says:

    This whole adventure with “Politifact” somehow reminds me of the “Funniest Religion Joke Ever” …

    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
    He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!
    Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

    This feels like a “Die, heretic!” moment.

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