Sunday, May 15, 2011

Drawnlines Politics: "Unfair Politifact Rating for LeMieux?"

The political blog "Drawnlines Politics" serves up a sizzling observation about PolitiFact Florida's recent rating of a campaign ad by Republican candidate for Senate George LeMieux:
Politifact Florida recently rated Senator George LeMieux's claim that he never sought an earmark only "half true", while at the same time calling the individual parts of his claim "true." LeMieux maintains a spotless record of earmark requests, though Politifact chastises him for voting for bills that had earmarks already included in them.
read the rest
The post makes a good point.

PolitiFact's headline and deck make it look like it is "Half True" that LeMieux did not request earmarks and voted to ban them.  But both those things are true.

The "Half True" comes from another aspect of the ad, where it criticizes the incumbent, Sen. Bill Nelson (D), for voting for earmarks:
Again, the wording of the earmark claims in LeMieux's ad are technically true. LeMieux has not personally requested any earmarks, and he has pushed to ban them all. But we think it's a bit hypocritical for LeMieux to call out Nelson for voting for a bill that included billions of dollars worth of earmarks (and specifically the infamous Bridge to Nowhere).
It's true that the comparison drawn in the LeMieux ad falls well short of logical precision.  But the same holds true for the PolitiFact rating, as PolitiFact claims to rate a set of two claims from LeMieux but instead bases the final rating on an implicit claim contained in the comparison between LeMieux and Nelson.

In the end, PolitiFact's story is about as misleading as the LeMieux ad.

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