Friday, December 11, 2015

Handicapping PolitiFact's 2015 "Lie of the Year" award

Yes, it's that time of year again. That time when "non-partisan" "objective" fact checkers like PolitiFact conduct their ritual editorial and subjective "Lie of the Year" contests.

PolitiFact's list of finalists prompts a few observations.

Every finalist is rated either "False" or "Pants on Fire." The 2013 winner (co-winner when PolitiFact is half-honest about it), President Barack Obama's promise that people could keep their existing health care plans, was never rated lower than "Half True." That case remains an outstanding exception to PolitiFact's usual practice.

Only two of the 11 finalists came from the lips of Democrats. This is the almost inevitable result of the fact PolitiFact has an increasingly difficult time giving "False" and "Pants on Fire" ratings to Democrats. PolitiFact recorded about a dozen in 2015. PunditFact found a whopping 15 for liberal pundits. For comparison, PolitiFact found about 58 "False" and "Pants on Fire" statements from Republicans while PunditFact charged conservatives with 34 falsehoods.

Donald Trump was nominated more times than all Democrats combined.

Ben Carson was nominated more times than all Democrats combined.

Jeff says Trump's claim about thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey is a lock.

It's hard to argue with that pick, but I'm going to invoke PolitiFact's history over the last two years of not putting the eventual winner on the list of candidates. My pick is "Statements by Donald Trump" as a parallel to last year's "Statements about Ebola."

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