PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” is outrageous
PolitiFact has announced it’s 4th Annual Lie of the Year. Given the choices offered in its Finalist list, it is hard to miss two of the year’s biggest lies – the Benghazi cover-up and “War on Women”– did not make the cut. However, the list itself isn’t bad, especially with the lies it called President Obama and his allies on.
True to form though, PolitiFact’s clear liberal bias was shown in its choice of Lie of the Year. The “Lie?” Mitt Romney’s ad claiming stimulus money funded Jeeps made in China. From PolitiFact:
It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.
And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.
People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.
PolitiFact has selected Romney’s claim that Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year.
Oddly, the ad itself (seen here) is accurate, as Erika Johnsen of Hot Air and Brit Hume note. Johnsen points out that Romney initial mention of Jeeps and China in a stump speech was inaccurate, but the ad itself was not.
I wrote about the PolitiFact Lie of the Year two weeks ago, and got a quote from PolitiFact editor Bill Adair about the criteria used for Lie of the Year:
“Lie of the Year comes from statements PolitiFact has rated ‘False’ or ‘Pants on Fire.’ We rate the ‘Lie of the Year’ as the boldest statement or the statement with the biggest reach. Obviously, it’s subjective,” he said.
Maybe I missed something, but the lies coming from the President’s campaign were much bolder, more wide-reaching, and – most importantly – actual lies. Again, the cover-up in Benghazi and the “War on Women” had huge policy and political implications. The ad claiming Romney was responsible for the death of a woman made PolitiFact’s Finalist list – but despite having had a major influence on public opinion of Romney months out from Election Day, failed to make the final cut.
Of course, the media’s bias regarding the economy was a lie that lasted well over half of 2012, and Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that Republicans “want ya’ll back in chains” was absurd and false. Somehow, PolitiFact missed these as well.
A request for comment from Adair was not returned. I intended to ask for further explanation as to why the ad was named “Lie of the Year,” (again, the ad was correct, even though Romney’s initial stump speech was not) when so many actual lies were not. I will update this post if he returns my call.