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Romney to PolitiFact: There You Go Again

Bold new fact checking truthiness: "The numbers are accurate but quite misleading" and "TRUE BUT FALSE."

5:17 PM, Apr 11, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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That's bad enough, but the campaign has another significant beef with how PolitiFact sources their claim here. Remember Betsey Stevenson, the professor who insisted that women losing jobs under Obama were at the mercy of a historical employment trend? About her:

Much more inexplicably, Betsey Stevenson, who you identify simply as "a business and public policy professor at Princeton University," was until recently the chief economist for Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. She also authored a recent opinion piece for Reuters entitled "The Case for Obama's Jobs Program." I have no way of knowing whether Politifact was aware of this and failed to disclose it, or whether she failed to identify her role in the Administration. ­Frankly, I am not sure which would be worse.

On a final, fitting note, Ms. Stevenson has a Twitter account and on April 6 tweeted "This recovery has not been good for women." Those forty-two characters are far more accurate than anything that you wrote.

Oof. For what it's worth, the Romney campaign notes that another critical source in the article, Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution, has donated twice to Obama. (I've previously dinged the Post's Kessler for failing to identify obviously biased sources in fact checking items.)

Finally, it's worth remembering that PolitiFact has a demonstrable record of bias against Republicans. A study by the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public affairs concluded:

A Smart Politics content analysis of more than 500 PolitiFact stories from January 2010 through January 2011 finds that current and former Republican officeholders have been assigned substantially harsher grades by the news organization than their Democratic counterparts.

In total, 74 of the 98 statements by political figures judged "false" or "pants on fire" over the last 13 months were given to Republicans, or 76 percent, compared to just 22 statements for Democrats (22 percent).

Expect more dubious "fact checking" directed at Romney as the presidential campaign heats up. 

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