Once again, this is a problem only when a conservative does it.
When it's a liberal, fire away -- with relish! (video after page break)
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow went on a fervid rant last night against the watchdogs over at PolitiFact, never mentioning how she's been one of their most frequent targets for her default tendency toward deceit.
PolitiFact has evaluated dubious Maddow assertions 15 times; of these, 10 have been described as "false," "mostly false," or "half true," compared to four judged "mostly true" and only one as "true." That's the subtext here, Maddow's unacknowledged reason for her anger.
What got under Maddow's skin was PolitiFact deeming two claims by President Obama on job creation in his State of the Union address as "half true," then amending this in Obama's favor.
Maddow opened the segment embedded here with the sweeping pronouncement, "America, behold! An empirical statement of fact from the president of the United States." Followed by Obama in his State of the Union speech saying this --
In the six months before I took office we lost nearly four million jobs. And we lost another four million before our policies were in full effect. Those are the facts. But so are these. In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. (applause from audience) ... Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005.
According to PolitiFact, Obama could accurately claim that more than 3 million jobs have been created in the private sector over the past 22 months, and that 2011 was the best year for job creation since 2005. But on its so-called Truth-O-Meter, PolitiFact rated Obama's claims as "half true." Maddow was not amused.
"How do two trues add up to a half true?" she demanded, then quoted PolitiFact on its rationale -- "Obama is correct on both counts when using private-sector job numbers. But he went too far when he implicitly credited his administration policies. So we rate the statement half true."
The ever-helpful Maddow again played the clip of Obama's remarks in his State of the Union speech, though this time the clip was decidedly shorter. "Businesses have created more than 3 million jobs," Obama is shown saying. What was left out of Obama's remarks this time around? --"And we lost another four million before our policies were in full effect."
Of course, a statement like that might easily be mistaken for Obama having "implicitly credited his administration policies" with helping create jobs -- unless you work at MSNBC or were once similarly employed in a re-education camp.
An aggrieved Maddow vented, "PolitiFact, what is wrong with you?! You think the president calls himself 'businesses', like it's a nickname for himself? You think he looks in the mirror and says, 'hey businesses! Lookin' good!' " ... What are you talking about?!"
As if these crimes weren't enough, PolitiFact made it worse as far as Maddow was concerned -- by deciding they'd been unfair to Obama. Maddow cited this editor's note posted at the site --
Our original half true rating was based on an interpretation that Obama was crediting his policies for the jobs increase. But we've concluded that he was not making that linkage as strongly as we initially believed.
Based on that, PolitiFact changed its rating on Obama's claims to "mostly true." Here's where Maddow decided to do what she could to boost unemployment, starting with PolitiFact --
PolitiFact, you are fired. You are a mess. You are fired! You are undermining the definition of the word 'fact' in the English language by pretending to it in your name. The English language wants its word back. You are an embarrassment. You sully the reputation of anyone who cites you as an authority on factishness, let alone fact. You are fired.
Maddow, on the other hand, deserves a hefty raise from MSNBC for her keen insight. Obama was clearly not implying his policies had anything to do with creating jobs over the last two years. And anyone suggesting this -- such as every anchor and reporter at MSNBC on a daily basis -- is nothing more than an embarrassment.