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And Here’s That False Equivalency Now

October 5th, 2012

Liberal blogs are talking quite a bit about Romney’s Blue Streak of Bullshit™ in the debate, but the MSM seems to be largely ignoring it, instead focusing on how well Romney did. And, as I expected, the fact-checkers are going out of their way to create a false equivalency instead of pointing out that Romney was lying his ass off while Obama was staying much closer to the truth. They accomplish this by straining to making Obama’s statements seem less truthful, while ignoring steaming heaps of BS from Romney’s side. Think I exaggerate? Read on.

Here’s an example from PolitiFact, which contorts itself into pretzels to try to make an Obama claim seem like it’s misleading:

Early in the first presidential debate, President Barack Obama attacked Mitt Romney’s tax plan as unbalanced and devastating for the middle class. He charged that Romney’s plan “calls for a $5 trillion tax cut,” and challenged him to defend it. …

The claim is based on a study done by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group that has analyzed the tax plans of the candidates. The center examined Romney’s proposals for a 20 percent reduction in all federal income tax rates, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminating the estate tax and other tax reductions.

The center estimated that altogether, the lost revenues would total $480 billion by 2015. The Obama campaign adds up the cost over a decade and winds up with $4.8 trillion, which it then rounds up to $5 trillion.

The conclusion is accurate but misleading. Yes, the cuts would total that amount, but as Obama himself noted as he continued speaking, Romney hopes to offset the lost revenues by closing loopholes and deductions. The reductions in tax breaks are as much a part of Romney’s plan as the tax cuts.

In short, PolitiFact is claiming that Obama’s statement that Romney has a $5 trillion tax cut is misleading because it will be somehow paid for? What, that makes it not be a $5 trillion tax cut? I don’t see any misleading info here; it IS a tax cut. Paying for it, or claiming to pay for it, does not make it not a tax cut. Obama stated clearly that Romney claims to pay for it, and PolitiFact even noted that—but called him “misleading” because of the information Obama noted! Apparently, PolitiFact is calling Obama a liar for dividing the information into different sentences instead of telling the whole story in one sentence!

Here’s their summary:

The president made a misleading statement about an incomplete plan, but he did describe what the plan was missing and Romney would not fill in the gaps. We rate the statement Half True.

Gah! They claim Obama was misleading because he made one statement that was incomplete, and then he completed it and told the whole truth!!! How is that not fully true???

PolitiFact also throws in supposedly compounding factors: Obama is counting 10 years of the tax cut—a normal and legitimate measurement—and that Obama is rounding up from $4.8 trillion, adding to the illusion that he’s not being completely factual. Neither really make Obama into a non-truth-teller; both are standard ways of expressing facts within their context.

Contrast that with their Green-Light “True” judgement on Romey’s claim:

Romney reminded Obama during the debate, “you have said before you’d cut the deficit in half.”

The statement is accurate. Obama made the pledge shortly after taking office in 2009. Today, the deficit is smaller, but it’s not half the size it was. We rate Romney’s statement True.

Here, there is no throwing in compunding factors; they do not ding Romney for failing to take into account Republican obstructionism, or the fact that continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy—which Obama tried to stop but the Republicans forced him to concede—is what accounted for most of that failure. Nope, where Obama was called “misleading” just because he claimed one half of the equation—before finishing it and completing the whole truth—Romney is called a truth-teller when he avoids mentioning far more damning mitigating evidence, and never refers to it at all later.

Worse: When you look at their whole report for the debate, PolitiFact completely ignored Romney’s bald-faced lie about Obama doubling the deficit. They give him a true rating for a distortion like you see above, but let Romney get away clean with one of the biggest lies of the night. They also failed to mention that Romney lied about the number of unemployed. I can find neither lie in the PolitiFact page on the debate nor their main page.

The fact is, Romney was clearly lying far more than Obama. However, if the fact checkers start noting this—which is supposedly their job—they seem to fear the same thing the MSM does: being smeared as “in the tank for liberals.” The truth has a liberal bias, indeed.

Who checks the fact-checkers?

Categories: Election 2012, Right-Wing Lies Tags: by
  1. Troy
    October 11th, 2012 at 13:38 | #1

    yikes is http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Pres/Maps/Oct10.html

    scary today!

    Obama has lost the lead in NV & CO (ties) and IA, MI, OH, PA, VA, and FL are all 2-3 pts away for Romney.

    If 1 person out of 50 changes their mind from here, it’s over for Obama!

    Romney needs 63 EVs — FL, VA, IA, CO, and NV would do it!

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