Politifact won the Internets today not only by showing us that both sides do it, but also by pissing off liberals. It doesn’t get any better than that for impartial journalists. I hope they’re enjoying their post-coital cigarette.
by $8 blue check mistermix| 62 Comments
This post is in: Both Sides Do It!, hoocoodanode, Our Failed Media Experiment
More like Politifail…
Hey, that latinum ain’t gonna earn itself.
I begin to think the whole choice was a giant mass media troll.
Watching folks who describe themselves as fact checkers take glee in the, um, fact that their lies have upset liberals (and those who care about, um fact checking) is… not heartening.
Villago Delenda Est
Politifact = Villager scum, acting like Villager scum.
Just more fodder for the Duck Pit.
Politifarce. We put our finger on the scale to provide balance where there is none.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
You see, though, if they were to change it now, it would totally blow up reality. They’re a fact checking organization in the same way that Ryan’s plan is medicare. If they were to fix it now, then reality would bend back in on itself, or something.
A bit premature. The climax doesn’t come until the Republican ads start rolling.
They’ve given away any credibility they had, real cheap.
Self-inflicted wound, first the ridiculous Ryan post and then doubling down with this.
AS WE KNOW IT…Politifact is full of shit….
See how easy it is to make something true.
pseudonymous in nc
More like Bullshitifact. Report the fuckers for spam.
And to think the other day I was applauding them for saying Michele Bachmann’s pants were on fire for claiming in the debate that Politifact had agreed with an earlier statement of hers that, in actuality, they had also rated “pants on fire.” (I guess, making her Michelebob Squared Pants on Fire.)
You know, I’m looking through the Politifact website and so many of the links are to Republican whoopers. I almost feel for them in that Republicans really do a lot of lying and its hard not to look like something spat out by the DNC when 90% of your content is debunking GOP bullshit.
What bothers me more than anything is that the existence of these sites doesn’t seem to deter candidates from continuously blowing smoke. I suspect this is, in part, exactly because guys like politifact insist on playing the “Both sides do it” card, so Republicans always feel like they’ve got a degree of cover.
Still, for any given politician making any given statement, it seems like fear of getting a “Pants on Fire” warning should present some modicum of deterrence.
At the end of the day, if Republicans keep lying and voters keep electing Republicans, the sites that go around debunking lies honestly are just going to look liberal by default and get disregarded by GOP partisans. The system can’t fall back into any kind of balance if telling the truth makes you anti-GOP.
Possible new taglines for their for their nameplate
as a near variant of All the News That Fits (The Narrative) but too wordy. Facts for Political Fit-Throwers isn’t quite right either. Fix Fit Facts for Factions. OK I’m now devolving into Dr. Seuss and Bitter Battles over Faxed Fox Facts Fit for Fictional Factions is inevitable.
I think this may be an unsolvable problem. Who would listen to a site that honestly portrayed the fact that Republicans lie a hell of a lot more than Democrats these days except people who already know that?
I think it is more that many conservatives are so insistent on the idea that blind patriotism and love for Handgun Baby Jeebus is the answer to everything that GOP lies simply don’t matter.
Not intended to be a Politifactual statement.
Villago Delenda Est
Certainly not the vermin of the Village, who are totally committed to the “he said she said” and “both sides do it” memes. “Fair and balanced” means that for every Rethuglican offense, there must, must MUST be one on the Democratic side. So, because the reality is that the Rethugs do it much more often than the Dems, we’ll only report 10% of the Rethug lies, or take an obvious truth (that the Ryan plan is about destroying Medicare and replacing it with a pizza) and call it a lie because Ryan insists on calling the pizza “Medicare”.
Luckily for Politifact, before the post-coital cigarette, when they asked, “Was it good for you?” They couldn’t tell the other person was lying.
Fail, yes, but you seem to imply that tweeting their critics makes it worse. I don’t quite get it.
Didn’t they change their name from RealityCheck?
Also, too they got warmongers to defend the indefinite detention bill.
Well, they did.
[ducks & rolls]
The guy who planned the failed bombing of the MLK parade in Spokane gets 32 years in Club Fed, plus lifelong court supervision.
Villago Delenda Est
Thread has been won. You can shut it down now, mistermix!
The fun part is that this “lie of the year” was chosen from their top ten list of “lies of the year”.
Now, if you’re reading this blog you can probably guess how they created their top-ten list: they had five major whoppers from Republicans, all of then indisputable untruths and delivered by major figures. So they needed five from non-Republicans. How’d they do, you ask?
Well, they caught Obama engaging in hyperbole a couple of times (he said something was “unprecedented” that wasn’t, really; and he denied that he had raise taxes, forgetting cigarette taxes and overlooking scheduled increase on the portion of wealthy peoples’ income subject to existing Medicare tax). The first of these is small beer if it’s even a lie, the second is a sloppy response to the Big Republican Lie that he’s raised most Americans’ taxes.
That leaves three “lies of the year” to finish balancing the five from Republicans: one statement attributed to the noted political figure “facebook posts”, which in any case is more a matter of opinion and ideology than untruth; some hyperbole from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla; and the DNC’s true statements about the Ryan Plan’s designs on Medicare, which Politifact would later crown the Lie Of The Year.
To sum up: because it’s their nature, in assembling their annual top-ten list Politifact was compelled to come with five liberal lies to balance five unambiguous Republican lies. They managed this by according attention to “facebook posts”, literally nutpicking the internet; by calling one truth a lie; by toppling in the direction of the fainting couch over two instances of hyperbole; and by nitpicking a statement Obama made in an interview once. The difference is pretty obvious.
@Calouste: Hey, we try to focus on news and current events around here. Not irrelevant human interest stuff.
Get back to us with any news of Democratically fueled terrorism.
Man, for an “impartial arbiter” these guys sure are touchy. I think the fact that they’re so publicly defensive shows that the criticism stings. Keep it coming.
@Villago Delenda Est: Well, but it’s not even the Village vermin. Think about your uncle or co-worker or someone else you know who doesn’t know very much about politics. Show them a site that has Republicans as Liars of the Year three years running. Sure, they might think “Wow, Republicans sure are liars,” but they might also reasonably conclude, “That site is biased against Republicans.”
I say “reasonably” because if they don’t follow politics, they have no way of knowing that the site isn’t just cherry-picking Republican lies without doing a hell of a lot of research.
I really don’t know how to solve this problem.
It’s really pretty amazing though.
It’s so hard to gain any measure of trust and credibility, and they just piss whatever they had away and laugh at us.
They’ll never get it back, but they don’t care.
It’s as if they think there’s an endless supply of ‘news consumers’ to draw on, and I think that’s a bad assumption.
Their brand is ‘Politifact’ yet they don’t care when they’re discredited. Just crazy.
I don’t know if it’s arrogance or stupidity.
I think it’s because they clearly chose their “Lie of the Year” based on what would get them publicity and web hits, not on what was the actual worst lie of the year. Just another example of the media deciding that politics is a game, not something that actually affects the lives of real people.
Hey, if Glenn ‘Obama didn’t save the auto industry’ Kessler thinks you made a good choice, you know you screwed the pooch.
In-crowd assholes gotta stick together, I s’pose.
The real point of these fact checker sites is to give the Village ammunition for berating Democrats. Because they all know that Republicans have no shame and lie all the time, but it would be impolitic and clearly biased to point that out. As well as the fact that Republican lies are not as bad as Democratic ones because they serve a noble purpose, their own narrow economic interests and those of their employers. In fact, it is considered terribly poor form among these clowns to even say that Bush lied us into Iraq. Why, because they claim that it is too serious of a charge to level unless we can ascertain his state of mind. On the other hand, pointing out that branding a poo sandwich ‘Medicare’ is a lie unmatched.
Davis X. Machina
@Calouste: I’m shocked he didn’t get the Republican nomination for one of the east-of-the-Cascades House districts.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
Just a wonder, since I didn’t really track it as much as this year….how did Politifact respond to the reactions last year, exactly? Anything quite this proud?
I wonder if this will be enough to teach them not to do a top-10 list next year. It has to hurt to have your reputation ruined by a bunch of freepers.
They insist that the poll did not influence their choice. I take them at their word: they’re politically pusillanimous assholes insensitive to actual questions of truth, but they’re neither naive nor technical illiterates.
Politifact, the prominent fact checker organization, has been bought by News Corp and has announced that from now on instead of relying on its independent staffers for assessments of what is a political fact and what is a lie, it will instead rely upon Sean Hannity to decide, either by himself or with assistance from Sarah Palin, which political statements are factual and which are not.
NOTE: Those who will rush to announce the end of Politifact will be obviously lying with their pants on fire since the organization will continue calling itself Politifact.
Most of these fact check organizations are sketchy. Their methods are sketchy, the reliance on mysteriously chosen ‘experts’ to essentially outsource the ‘fact’ and ‘check’ part of their analysis for many questions is sketchy.
I think the idea of summarizing the accuracy of political claims with puppet noses and truthometers is silly.
Seems like St Petersburg Times (except some places on the site call it the Tampa Bay Times?) should be a good place to do quality fact check operation, they claim a nonprofit journalism school funds the paper. They should be able to do a better job.
The paper editorial direction is pretty unaccountable, looks like each editor appoints his successor and that sets the direction for the paper.
Long long ago, the SF Chronicle publisher went on a PR campaign to put diapers on wild animals, for the sake of decency.
If Politifact is going to degrade and sensationalize their operation, and hide behind shallow centrist mongering, and not bother to respond to criticism, then they should just ditch the Politifact gimmick and do something for publicity that’s more fun.
The Moar You Know
History has shown us that inbreeding among small populations has lethal consequences.
The circlejerk that is “reporting” in this country won’t survive that much longer.
repulicans voted to replace medicare with couponcare.
Isn’t it strange the way politi”fact” is tweeting about the criticism it received from Krugman and Benen? It is almost like they are braqgging about it.
If I was running a fact checking organization I would be extremely sensitive to any criticism and make sure I could back up my facts. Otherwise, why would anybody take my organization seriously? It simply seems politifact really doesn’t care. Like in this case, Krugman made valid points and as far as I can see politifact has failed to rebut it.
What bothers me is that even when acknowledging individual Republican lies, sites like Politifact are careful to avoid drawing the obvious conclusion that the Republicans evidently feel they have to lie all the damn time, let alone wondering why that might be.
But yeah; refusing to hold lying politicians accountable — and a phony sense of “balance” is one way Politifact, et al, do so — simply encourages them to lie, to the point where the Romney campaign can not only openly lie all the damn time but also be quite candid about the fact that they’re doing so.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
Putting aside the semantics of it all, even if you accept that there was flexing of the truth, the idea that this was such a destructive and debasing political lie to be called “Lie of the Year” is simply ridiculous.
I hope they get the clap.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:
Yup. That’s how you lose your credibility.
Just goes to prove one again the irrelevance and idiocy of the Iowa caucus system….
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
Sadly, you have the consequences within the context of our political atmosphere completely backwards. :/
they’re called Politifact because with them the facts are decided according to a political process.
since we all know two lies make a truth, politifarce’s purpose and reason for lying about ryan’s Big Lie about Medicare are self-evident.
@jl: The St. Pete Times is officially changing its name to the Tampa Bay Times on January 1st.
The correct “Lie of the Year” is that both sides do it equally. The Winner? Politifact and most of the rest of the MSM.
So does this qualify for the 2012 Politifart “Lie of the Year” contest?
PolitiFact would never have done this if Obama used the bully pulpit. They would have been so bullied, they just wouldn’t have done it!
the tweets seem to say “Look at these stupid whiney liberals all made at us for attacking their argument and calling it a lie…stupid liberals, haha, pathetic liberals”
It seems to prove that they wanted this, that they wanted to rile up the left so no one dare accuses them of being liberal.
It’s like that friend in grammar school who isn’t your friend when the bully is around, but totally want to hang out with you when he isn’t
Has anyone else figured out that PolitiFact is run by the St. Pete Times, corporate sponsor of the venue of the 2012 Republican National Convention?
From reading them it seems the idea is that since older folks don’t get fucked and it keeps the name and some sort of Govt money it is still Medicare after being Ryanned.
Naive and Sentimental
Now that Politifact is gone we have to wonder if we do truly live in a post factual society where reality no longer exists until it is brutally crushes whatever lies have been erected. The only hope is for some extremely earnest and honest fact checking.
Need a website entitle “HeyThatsBullshit.com” with rankings like “True” “In the Ballpark” “Misinformed” “Liar” “Hey, that’s Bullshit!”
Journalists are allowed to do the research on HeyThatsBullshit.com but the final determination is given to John Stewart or Lewis CK or the like and they make a decision from the research.
Misinformed can be good when someone uses statistics or a source that turns out to be unreliable like when John Stewart referenced the History Channel. It wasn’t John Stewart who was lying, he was just misinformed.
In the Ballpark avoids the embarrassment of claiming OWS is lying when they say the CEO of Goldman Sachs makes $16,000 an hour when he only makes $16,000 every hour and forty five minutes.
Liar is for outright deception like people who claim Paul Ryan’s plan does not end medicare when they obviously know it does
Hey That’s Bullshit is for when the person is spouting bullshit and doesn’t care, like Boehner saying they need to negotiate for a full year of payroll tax cuts when he doesn’t care about payroll taxes or about their benefits.
My hopeful gift to society
Naive and Sentimental +2
Naive and Sentimental
Future Reviews from Politifact:
The President claims that surface temperatures of 5000 degrees Centigrade across the planet’s surface from the laien’s laser blasts and our imminent extinction are “The end of the world.” However the planet is still 99% unchanged as the earth’s crust is but a mere fraction of “the world.” The mantle and core have not been effected by Overgon Xengu’s xenocidic onslaught. If the President had said this is the “End of the World as We Know It” then he would be right, but he did not use that term so we must state he is Pants on Fire wrong.
Political “fact checking” sites must be the latest strategy for wingers to skew the truth where they can, and dilute the validity of real fact checking sites when they can’t.
They bought themselves some legit sounding outlet to funnel the puke out of. They’ve done this for ages with “think tanks” and “institutes”, and they do it now with bogus “climate scientists”, just like they did with “independant” studies for big tobacco.
Andrew Brown Cow
Politifact isn’t doing fact checking anymore, it’s doing truthiness checking and their gut says it doesn’t like getting hate mail from wingnuts.
@kay: It’s either stupid arrogance or arrogant stupidity.
@Snowball: As a Villager operation, they think that if both conservatives and liberals criticize it, they’re “doing something right.” The wingnuts will always criticize non-tribal media for simply existing, but they revel in liberal criticism because they feel it is protection from the right-wing flying monkeys. As if.