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Sunday, December 17, 2017

PolitiFact is the lie of the year

Since winning the Pulitzer in 2008, PolitiFact of the Tampa Bay Times has become a partisan joke that lives in a world where Republicans always lie even when they tell the truth, and Democrats always tell the truth even when they lie.

Usually, PolitiFact is able to cherry pick enough facts to rationalize its decisions. But in selecting its lie of the year for 2017, the web site was unable to do much more than say well, everyone we like says it is a lie.

PolitiFact began its Lie of the Year by boldly stating: "A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016."

Meddle is pretty easily defined as "to involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere officiously and unwantedly."

Well, there is this mountain of evidence and a pretty low bar to prove. This should be easy peasy.

Except, the site's premise was wrong. The actual quote that PolitiFact used from President Donald Trump does not use the word meddling. This is what he said:
"This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won."
So what Trump said was made up was not meddling, but that Russia and Trump were in cahoots.

That is a different animal. There is no mountain of evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

Robert Mueller and his team of Democratic Party moles in the FBI have spent most of the past year (and several million dollars) looking for evidence of collusion and have found nothing but some expensive Russian rugs,

The real collusion was between Hillary -- via her lawyer and donor money -- and Fusion GPS, which compiled a dossier of 35 memos of bad things Kremlin officials said about The Donald.

Among its ludicrous charges was that Trump hired prostitutes to piss in a bed that Obama had slept in.

Was that Russian meddling? Well, it depends on how you define Russian.

Here is what PolitiFact said:
In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.
Under that definition, it is not good enough to have one Russian or even several Kremlin officials meddle. The proof must be that Putin ordered them to meddle.

I see no proof that Putin ordered Kremlin officials to peddle fantasy stories to Fusion GPS.

In fact, I see no proof that there were actual Kremlin officials. For all I know Fusion GPS made up the story and attributed it to Russian officials.

But PolitiFact is convinced that Putin meddled.

PolitiFact offered this as proof:
Facebook, Google and Twitter have investigated their own networks, and their executives have concluded — in some cases after initial foot-dragging — that Russia used the online platforms in attempts to influence the election.
I offer this from Tech Crunch:
Trump and Clinton spent $81 million on US election Facebook ads, Russian agency $46,000.
Now you can at this point call it meddling, I suppose. But the ads were mixed. The ads came from the Internet Research Agency, which works for the Russian government.

However, that's hardly a mountain of evidence, and the PolitiFact story makes no citation other to say that the social media giants said they sold ads to Russia.

But in its story, PolitiFact does cite some strong denials:
On Twitter in September, Trump said, "The Russia hoax continues, now it's ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?"
And during an overseas trip to Asia in November, Trump spoke of meeting with Putin: "Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn't do that.’ And I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it." In the same interview, Trump referred to the officials who led the intelligence agencies during the election as "political hacks."
Putin flat-out denied meddling.

PolitiFact countered with:
Trump continually asserts that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread, bipartisan evidence to the contrary.

Who are the Republicans saying this?

One guy.

PolitiFact cited Nicholas Burns, who served as ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush, who testified before -- and PolitiFact made a big deal of this -- the Republican-controlled Congress.

But Burns also served as ambassador to Greece under Clinton, which hardly makes Burns "Mister Republican."

You need a little more than some obscure ambassador to include Republicans in this witch hunt.

And instead of a mountain of evidence, this is a he-said, he-said situation.

PolitiFact also said this:
Putin also had particular animosity toward Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee who had served as secretary of state. Putin openly blamed Clinton for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012. A publicly available intelligence assessment said that Putin also "holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him."
However, Russian officials donated millions to her fake foundation and gave her husband $500,000 to give one speech in Moscow. In exchange, Clinton signed off on the straw purchase of one-fifth of the nation's uranium production to a Canadian who then sold part of it to Russians.

PolitiFact also said this:
In July 2016, Wikileaks released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. The release led to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepping down after grassroots activists accused her of favoring Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Both intelligence officials and cybersecurity specialists concluded the hack had all the marks of a Russian operation. In October, Wikileaks began publishing the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
However, WikiLeaks deals with leaks, not hacked information. WikiLeaks said the emails were leaked to it from an insider. PolitiFact left out the fact that the DNC also purged itself of several staffers who could have leaked the information.

The mountain of evidence that PolitiFact claimed it has was not even a molehill.

Outside of Russians buying a few social media ads, there is no proof of meddling.

And there is not a smidgen of proof of any collusion between Trump and Putin, no proof of hacking DNC email, and no proof of Russia tampering with votes on Election Day.

But there is a lot of proof that PolitiFact is an apologist for the Democratic Party.

How so? In its Pulitzer year of 2008, PolitiFact vouched for Obama's many promises that you could keep your doctor.

Five years later -- only after he had been elected and re-elected -- did PolitiFact admit it is a lie.

PolitiFact is not a fact-checker. It is a liar. And its claim that it is a nonpartisan fact0checker is the Lie of the Year.


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

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As always, Make America Great Again.


  1. Politifact tampas with the truth. It's the Democrat way.

  2. The whole "Russia" thing is a screen for the Clinton's own corruption in regards to Russia. And the entire apparatus of the state, deep or no, is directed toward keeping the focus on Trump.

    These people need to be out of government and sent to Siberia or somewhere like it.

  3. #SethRich

  4. Replies
    1. I fart in Politifact's general direction.

  5. "Politifact"- that's another one of those misleading words that mean the opposite.

    It's like the "Affordable Care Act" which gave us unaffordable health care, or (to be bipartisan,) the "Patriot Act" which sets the Police State against patriots, or "Homeland Security" which allows terrorists free access to our country and our institutions.

    Don't we have any Truth in Advertising laws that pertain to Congress?

    1. Unfortunately, Congress exempts itself from the laws they pass without reading them. They're for the little people, i.e. you and me.

    2. You forgot "Net Neutrality".

  6. PolitiFact: Political, yes. Fact, no.

    We need a real Lie of the Year Contest. There are so many contestants chose from.

  7. The anti-Trumpers have seen their accusations one after the other crumble to dust like vampires in the first light of dawn.
    And this is after just ONE year of President Trump.
    What will they have to throw at him in 2020? That he's a baby-eating Satanist from Mars?

    1. "Satanist from Mars"
      Well, there is that UFO project in the Pentagon launched at the behest of ex-Sen Reid ...

  8. Oh, so it was an "overall effort." Why didn't you say so in the first place? I mean, that's good enough to convict in a court of law, ain't it?

    1. He didn't talk about dems withholding their servers from this to prove who really leaked them. Maybe Mueller should look at that

  9. I've asked this question and have never received an answer. Did the Russians "meddle" in our election, more than the Obama Administration "meddled" in Israel's election?

  10. "But in selecting its lie of the year for 2017, the web site was unable to do much more than say well, everyone we like says it is a lie."

    Shouldn't that read "everyone we like says it is the truth" based on the context of the previous sentence and entire article that Politifact is claiming to tell truth in spite of evidence to the contrary?

  11. Some years back, Politifact's "lie of the year" was when Mitt Romney said, "Obama is selling Chrysler to Italians who mean to make Jeeps in China" or something close to that. Fiat owns Chrysler now, and they make Jeep Renegades in China. Fact of the year is closer to the truth.

  12. Trump said the Dems use Russia as an excuse for losing the election. Even if the Russians 'meddled' this is still true. Especially since the evidence they sided against Hillary isn't really offered. Anyway; we've got less than 50k in ambiguous facebook ads... that's it.

  13. Powerful nations like Russia and the U.S. attempt to meddle in other nations' elections all the time, in lots of ways. Only a fool would be shocked by that realization.

  14. Speaking of meddling:

    --In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.--