More False Equivalencies Over Debate Fact-Checking
FactCheck.org has more to be ashamed of in its “fact-checking” of the final debate. Once again, they go out of their way to create a false equivalency by making it seem like Obama and Romney were equally untruthful. They list ten “incorrect or twisted factual claims” during the debate, five from each candidate.
From Obama (who, strangely, is featured in 4 of the top five items, making him appear more untruthful), they cite distortions of Romney’s statements on Pakistan, Iraq, Russia, and the Detroit bailout, and dinged him for a claim about veteran employment.
From Romney, they cite the Naval weakness, “apology tour,” federal debt claim, taking credit for Massachusetts’ education accomplishments, and a claim about terrorism not being mentioned in the 2000 debates.
Here are Romney errors and lies they missed:
- Syria is Iran’s route to the sea
- Obama failed to deal with Syria and begged for help from the U.N. and Russia instead
- Obama was “silent” on Iran’s Green Revolution
- Obama said he’d distance ourselves from Israel
- Obama wasted four years doing nothing about Iran
- Obama has allowed “jihadists” to strengthen and spread
- Government investments never make businesses grow and hire people
- Claims about the nature of Medicaid and how states can run it better
- Romney was strikingly bipartisan in Massachusetts, when in fact, he exercised the veto 844 times and failed to get his big-ticket items through the legislature
- Romney will create 12 million new jobs
- Romney will eliminate Obamacare unilaterally
- Romney would stop Iranian oil imports that don’t exist
- Romney will balance the budget (with a $5 trillion tax cut on top of Bush’s plus increased military spending)
- The debt is Obama’s fault, is like Greece’s, and Romney’s plans will shrink the deficit in comparison
Ironically, FactCheck.org dings Obama for misrepresenting Romney on his Detroit statements, while Romney also misrepresented himself—but that was not mentioned in their analysis. In fact, Obama’s “inaccurate” depiction of Romney’s statements is kind of a weasel: Obama is dinged for saying that Romney did not approve of “government assistance,” when he was referring to direct aid; Romney said he’d approve federal guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing, which involves indirect government support for a private sector bailout—a bailout which would not have occurred. Calling Obama out for splitting hairs while not citing Romney’s lies about what he proposed is completely inappropriate for a fact-check like this. Romney lied more significantly, but Obama is called untruthful for not being specific enough.
How about Obama “lies” left out of the analysis? FactCheck.org has dinged Obama in the past for claiming that Romney’s tax plan would create 800,000 jobs overseas, but it’s an interpretation based on Romney’s vagueness about what the plan would be exactly; so not including it in the fact-check was a good decision.
Other than that? Well, there’s one I heard on CNN, when they were “fact checking” the claim about the Navy. To my disgust, they called Obama the one who was wrong. Why? Because bayonets are standard issue, and so there are probably more in the military now than there were in the past. As if Romney’s vast overstatements about naval weakness are somehow even close to being equivalent to that. It was a throwaway line, a “zinger,” if you will, and part of a larger point which was 100% true: that the number of ships, especially over the span of a century, is not the way you determine naval power.
In short: Every single misstatement by Obama is listed save one or two inconsequential ones, while at least a dozen whoppers made by Romney are edited out of the fact-check. Romney lied his ass off, making bigger and more significant misstatements, and somehow, Obama gets top listing for inaccuracies in a determination that counts the same overall number of untruths?
This is the great shame of the media in this election: ever since the first debate, where Romney made his sudden Etch-a-Sketch move, the media has been willing to eviscerate Obama, while backing off on Romney. Probably as much to create a horserace which will get them bigger ratings than because of their conservative bias, but the motive makes little difference.
The fact is, Romney is getting away with a massive amount of lying, and the media is his immediate accomplice.