Monday, January 13, 2020

Busted: PolitiFact catches Nikki Haley using hyperbole without a license

Some things never change.

Among those things, apparently, is PolitiFact's tradition of taking Republican hyperbole literally.

Case in point:

The hyperbole should have been easy to spot based on the context.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" show with host Sean Hannity.

Transcript ours (starting at about 2:12):

Do you agree with, uh, listen I've always liked General Petraeus. He's a great, great general, hero, patriot in this country. He said it's impossible to overstate the importance of this particular action. It's more significant than the killing of bin Laden, even the death of al Baghdadi. And he said Soleimani was the architect, operational commander of the Iranian effort to solidify control of the so-called Shia Crescent stretching from Iran to Iraq through Syria and southern Lebanon. I think that's the reason why Jordanians, Egyptians and Saudis are now working with the Israelis, which I don't think anybody saw coming.

Well, and I'll tell you this: You don't see anyone standing up for Iran. You're not hearing any of the Gulf members, you're not hearing China, you're not hearing Russia. The only ones mourning the loss of Soleimani are our Democrat leadership. And our Democrat presidential candidates. No one else in the world, because they knew that this man had evil veins. They knew what he was capable of and they saw the destruction and, and the lives lost (based?) from his hand. And so--

What a dumb (?). We've been hearing "Oh, he's evil, he's a murderer he killed Americans and he, this is the No. 1 state sponsor of terror and they're fighting all these proxy wars but we don't want to make 'em mad." That's what it sounds like to me.

You know, and you go tell that to the 608 American families who lost a loved one. Go tell that to the military members who lost a limb. This was something that needed to be done and should be celebrated. And I'll tell you right now, partisan politics should stop when it comes to foreign policy. This is about America united. We need to be completely behind the president, what he did, because every one of those countries are watching our news media right now seeing what everyone's saying. And this is a moment of strength for the United States. It's a moment of strength from President Trump.
Haley's "mourning" comment comes after her emphasis Iran received no support ("You don't see anyone standing up for Iran") regarding the killing of Soleimani. So it makes very good sense to take "mourning" as a hyperbolic amplification of that point.

Hannity's response to Haley's comment came in the same vein, in fact mocking Democrats who acknowledged Soleimani got what he deserved while questioning the wisdom of the move.

PolitiFact could legitimately check to see if world leaders offered statements much in the same vein leading Democrats offered. Instead of doing that, PolitiFact used a wooden-literal interpretation of Haley's remarks as a basis for its fact check.

How do mistakes like this (and these) make it past PolitiFact's exalted "Star Chamber" of experienced fact check editors?

Could be bias.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks to commenters who refuse to honor various requests from the blog administrators, all comments are now moderated. Pseudonymous commenters who do not choose distinctive pseudonyms will not be published, period. No "Anonymous." No "Unknown." Etc.