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From PolitiFact to PolitiFiction

3:23 PM, Aug 28, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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Yesterday, I wrote a lengthy blog post taking PolitiFact to task for their shamelessly skewed "fact checks" on the Romney-Ryan health care plans. And as it happens, I woke up today and National Review has an excellent editorial on the same topic. It's worth reading in full, but this part was as amusing as it was discrediting:

PolitiFact can’t be trusted to get the story right. ... PolitiFact said that Romney’s comment that Obama had “robbed” Medicare of $716 billion to pay for Obamacare was “mostly false.” Among its reasons: “The money was not robbed in any literal sense of the word.” So if Romney led anyone to believe that Obama had held Medicare at gunpoint and ordered it to hand over its wallet, they can now rest easy, because PolitiFact is on the case.

I also think that this advice is spot on:

PolitiFact sometimes rates Democratic claims as false and Republican ones as true, and Republicans on those occasions are often tempted to cite the organization in their defense. They should resist the temptation, or at least preface any comment with an acknowledgment of PolitiFact’s limited credibility. (As in, “Even PolitiFact saw through the latest Obama ad.”)

I have serious problems with the very idea of independent media "fact checking" organizations, but compared to their peers, PolitiFact has distinguished themselves as being particularly bad at what they do. Ignoring them, or failing that, constantly reminding people they should be skeptical is a good place to start.

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