Thursday, May 5, 2011

Red State: "Yet Again Politifact Shows Itself to be Leftist Propaganda Masquerading as an Agent of Truth"

Red State's Erick Erickson noticed a compelling similarity between PolitiFact and the political left:
Now Politifact is going after Senator Rob Portman for saying
As an immediate bridge, we should increase access for oil exploration and production in energy-rich areas of the country like the Outer Continental Shelf, and in parts of Alaska
Get ready. What is Politifact saying?
Not so fast, say the experts. Pretend that environmentalists dropped all objections to drilling for oil on the Outer Continental Shelf — that area that lies offshore between states’ jurisdictions and the end of United States oceanic boundaries. Also pretend that the public decided its need for oil trumped what environmentalists see as the sanctity of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR. Since we’re just pretending, everyone join in: Drill, baby, drill.
Then wait.
See ya around 2021.
That is exactly what the Democrats said in 2001 when George Bush tried it. Today is the tomorrow the Democrats told us yesterday was too far away to do anything about. Politifact continues the Democrats’ talking points.
I could wish that Erickson, in the entirety of his post, provided a more thorough account of PolitiFact's flim-flam.  But his basic point is accurate enough, even if it is expressed in terms unlikely to move persons not already in agreement with political conservatism.

I'll fill in a few details to help out the liberals and progressives.

Even if we forgive PolitiFact for taking "immediate" in an absolute sense probably not intended by Portman, PolitiFact loses sight of the fact that merely demonstrating a willingness to exploit our own energy resources immediately reduces dependence on foreign energy.

"Why is that?" the progressive or mainstream journalist might wonder.

When foreign nations see the U.S. move to exploit its energy resources it immediately starts to close a window of time foreign nations can use to hold us over a political barrel.

Suppose OPEC starts an embargo.  The longer OPEC can expect the U.S. to provide an increase in its own energy exploitation, the stronger the political power of the embargo.  Anything that shrinks the window immediately shrinks the power of the embargo.

So even taken hyper-literally, Portman's claim is no less than "Barely True" using PolitiFact's grading system (Portman was graded "False" on this item).

The PolitiFact story is blind to these facts.  The story is reliant on the opinion of an official linked to the administration (U.S. Energy Information Agency) and on extrapolated information from other of PolitiFact's fact checks.

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