Monday, January 3, 2011

Carolina Journal-The Sophistry of Liberal Fact-Check Websites

Jon Ham at the Carolina Journal writes a scathing opinion piece that questions both the non-partisan credibility of PolitiFact, and also the merits of their Lie of the Year-
Anyone paying attention remembers that ObamaCare was a government takeover bid. That's what it was when Hillary Clinton was pushing it in 1993, and the 2009 Obama plan was, too. It included a "public option," which was really a "government option" to any objective news outlet. But PolitiFact sniffs that, while this may have been true before the "public option" was taken out of the bill, it wasn't accurate once that onerous provision was excised.

[Quoting PolitiFact] "By the time the health care bill was headed toward passage in early 2010, Obama and congressional Democrats had sanded down their program, dropping the "public option" concept that was derided as too much government intrusion. The law passed in March, with new regulations, but no government-run plan."

Robert Gibbs couldn't have spun that any better. PolitiFact maintains that anyone who continued to use "government takeover" after the public option was killed is a liar, and a big fat "liar of the year," to boot.
Ham goes on to raise the issue of the new authority granted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services-
Even a quick reading of the health care bill reveals an astounding level of government control of health care, even without the public option...The Health and Human Services bureaucracy is given an unprecedented degree of power by the ample use of the phrase "the Secretary shall, by regulation" in the bill. Any objective person would conclude that 2,000 pages of new regulations devoted to one industry constitutes a "government takeover" by definition, but not PolitiFact.
As evidence of their bias, Ham also points out the Lie of the Year runner up, Michelle Bachmann's claim regarding President Obama's trip to India-
This is a textbook example of the half-truth way liberal fact-check sites operate. Yes, Bachmann did say that the Obama trip would cost $200 million a day, but it was not her claim. It was the claim of an Indian mainstream news outlet, the Press Trust of India, and was picked up by other news outlets. Bachmann was simply repeating what had been reported.

The quick determination by PolitiFact readers that Bachmann's repeating of this report constitutes a "lie," and PolitiFact's evident acceptance of that determination, tells you all you need to know about the readers and PolitiFact. Why did they brand only Bachmann as a liar, an not the the many others who repeated what was thought to be an accurate report? I'd venture that it had something to do with the left's Bachmann Derangement Syndrome, second in severity only to Palin Derangement Syndrome.
The entire article can be found here.

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