Monday, May 7, 2012

counterirritant: "The Cracks in the Crystal Ball"

If you're not following Byron York on Twitter, then you may have missed this mic dropping takedown of PolitiFact:

Image from Twitter

York is referring to the covering fire PolitiFact recently laid down for the Obama campaign for their insinuation that Mitt Romney would have heeded Joe Biden's advice and not ordered the hit on Osama bin Laden. "Counterfactual supposition" is an accurate description of Obama's campaign ad. But for a more in-depth analysis, check out this post over at "counterirritant":
Apparently the folks at PolitiFact believe that they have achieved such a mastery of the art of fact checking that they feel the need to branch out — into the art of fortune-telling.
The obvious rating for PolitiFact to assign is “Pants on Fire.” There is no way for the Obama campaign to know what Romney would or wouldn’t have done as the president. However, the folks at PolitiFact apparently they [sic] believe they have an idea (half an idea?) of what Romney would have done...
It's worth noting that adhering to their own standards is not a strong point for PolitiFact. Remember, that before deciding to rate a claim, PolitiFact asks themselves a few questions: 
Is the statement rooted in a fact that is verifiable? We don’t check opinions 
Fear not PolitiFans, they've found a loophole to help spread Obama's message without violating their sacred standards:
We wondered: Did the ad accurately characterize Romney’s "heaven and earth" quote?
A-ha! It's the ol' "did he cherry-pick this quote accurately?" conundrum. Glad they sorted out the truth of the president's paraphrasing. This isn't the first time PolitiFact has used this ruse to smooth over rough spots in Obama's message, and it's doubtful it will be the last.

There's more to this particular instance of Politiganda, so make sure to head over to counterirritant to read the whole post.

Bryan adds:  Politiganda!  Good one.  It's important to note, and counterirritant nails this point, that Obama took the Romney quotation out of context.  Romney (and others both Republican and Democrat) criticized Obama for publicly declaring the intention to tread on Pakistan's sovereignty.  The Pakistanis did not react well to it and still haven't warmed to Obama.

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