Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guest post: Another wrongheaded heading

We present another guest post by JLG:

Attack ad by Democrat on McConnell "False", but...
PolitiFact caught once again using deceptive subheadings favoring Democrats

Last Thursday, Politifact reviewed the latest ad by Mitch McConnell's Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Kentucky Senate race. Lundergan Grimes claimed in the ad that "Mitch McConnell voted to raise Medicare costs for a current Kentucky senior by $6,000." Politifact ruled the claim "False":
Image from, red oval added for emphasis
The line circled in red will appear false to many readers, positioned as it is under a "Truth-O-Meter" graphic blaring the message "False." But it's only false, PolitiFact's presentation implies, because the bill wouldn't have taken effect now but in the future. That reading impugns McConnell along with his Democrat attacker.  Worse, it isn't even accurate.
The PolitiFact article makes each of the following points:
Her figure was based on the Paul Ryan budget plan.
There have been several incarnations of the Ryan budget over the years and Lundergan  Grimes chose to go all the way back to the 2011 version.
Every version of the Ryan budget since then was re-tooled to eliminate that $6,000 cost.
Now here are the three points that really tell the tale:
Don Disney, the man in the ad who claimed McConnell "voted to raise my Medicare costs by $6,000" is 75 years old, so no version of the Ryan plan would saddle him with $6,000-plus in additional out-of-pocket costs.
That bill wouldn't have gone into effect until 2022 and would not have affected people like Disney who were seniors when the bill was passed.
McConnell voted for a motion to proceed on the Ryan budget.  That allowed it to proceed to the Senate floor for debate and amendments.  But McConnell never voted on the final passage of the bill.

There was no bill passed to raise Disney's Medicare costs by $6,000, McConnell never voted for the passage of any bill that would have raised Disney's costs by $6,000, and McConnell didn't vote for the passage of any bill that would have cost any senior on Medicare $6,000 in extra expenses. 

The content of the article confirms this summary, yet PolitiFact mentions nothing about the fact McConnell didn't actually vote for the passage of the bill. On top of that, the graphic on the main page gives people the impression that McConnell voted to raise costs to seniors by $6,000, with those costs inflicted on seniors at a later date.  That's false.

Liberal bias leads to another "Politifact fail"


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