Monday, June 06, 2011

Ballance at the Washington Post all time winner

This beats the original Ballance

When allegedly "Fact checking Mitt Romney’s announcement speech"
Glenn Kessler quotes Romney

“President Obama sees a different America, and he's taken us in a different direction. A few months into office, he traveled around the globe to apologize for America.”


then writes


Romney wrote a whole book on this theme, titled “No Apology,” so maybe it’s hard to let go. But we previously gave four Pinocchios to the notion that Obama ever went on any kind of “apology tour.”


This is just one of many assertions made by Romney and contested by Kessler.

Then we get to Kessler's bottom line

Two (2) Pinocchios !

So evidently all the other alleged falsehoods are nega-falsehoods or something.

Here I think a large part of the problem is the Pinocchio graphic. Kessler is clearly not willing to apply his stated scale (it may be that the four Pinocchios were incorrectly assigned not the two, but there is no way to eliminate a falsehood by saying other unrelated things many of which are plainly false too).

It is very clear that his fact checking is contaminated with the sort of policy which prevents many political journalists from dealing with questions of fact. I think he believes that he just can't award the Republican front runner four Pinocchios (or at least not at the very beginning of his official campaign). Therefore, his assessment of factual accuracy depend on who made the claim.

This is particularly distressing, since Kessler awarded HHS sect Sebelius three Pinocchios for a claim which he basically acknowledged was true, because he considered it "outrageous."

As Jack Webb would say "just the facts man."




(For the kids in their thirties and stuff, Jack Webb was an amazingly wooden actor who played a police officer in the ultra-boring TV series "Dragnet." He often said "just the facts ma'am." For some reason he never said "just the facts sir." Sexism on TV was extreme back in teh good old days (TV is still sexist but less blatantly so).

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