The Blog

Politifact Ohio's Partisan Crusade Against GOP Senate Candidate Josh Mandel

10:40 AM, Aug 17, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

I know those of you masochistic enough to pay close attention to media fact checkers aren't going to be surprised by this, but Media Trackers, a nonpartisan watchdog, combed through the personal Twitter feed of PolitiFact Ohio writer Tom Feran and found he's a pretty vocal liberal. You can review the evidence here, but it turns out that he's not a fan of George W. Bush, refers to conservatives as "wingnuts" and "yahoos," and tweets out links to blog postings on the "The Cancer of Conservatism." On the other hand, Feran is an enthusiastic Obama supporter—"Go-bama!"—and supporter of Occupy Wall Street.

PolitiFact

Photo Credit: PolitiFact

Not surprisingly, Media Trackers observes that Feran's personal politics seem to be getting in the way of his ability to impartially render judgment, resulting in an unwarranted crusade against the GOP's Ohio Senate Candidate Josh Mandel:

Feran’s liberal bias is evident in recent PolitiFact Ohio coverage of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Sherrod Brown. In the two month period from mid-June to mid-August, PolitiFact Ohio published three Feran stories slapping Mandel with “Pants on Fire” rulings, reserved for statements which are “not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.”

Sherrod Brown, already a U.S. senator when PolitiFact Ohio was founded in 2010, has been given one “Pants on Fire” ruling in two years. Harry Reid, who has been majority leader of the U.S. Senate since before the 2007 launch of PolitiFact, has been given two “Pants on Fire” rulings in five years.

On July 29, the Plain Dealer published a story by Feran titled, “Campaign attacks give Josh Mandel Pants on Fire crown.”

In the column, Feran echoed many of the points from a March PolitiFact Ohio story written by registered Democrat Henry J. Gomez. Both Gomez and Feran criticized the dishonesty of Mandel’s campaign as evidenced by how many “Pants on Fire” rulings the liberal Democrats at PolitiFact Ohio had given Mandel.

Making matters worse, Feran is now attempting to cover his tracks:

Media Trackers contacted Tom Feran about his Twitter account to confirm the account was not owned by an impersonator. Although Feran did not reply, biographical info identifying Feran as a Plain Dealer columnist was scrubbed from the account in less than a week.

PolitiFact Ohio editor Robert Higgs, who follows @TomFeran on Twitter, confirmed the account belonged to Feran. “He doesn’t use his Twitter account in a professional capacity, though, and I suspect that’s why he removed The Plain Dealer references,” Higgs noted.

Recent Blog Posts