PolitiFact and the Lie of the Lie:
We all know how it goes. We've seen it in a million movies, TV shows, books. We've experienced it again and again. You can be a major cocksman, someone who can walk into a place like the Tampa Mens Club, ripped and hung, and, great glory hole, find a willing mouth in no time flat. But there's that one dude, that one buff, spiky blonde who just rejects you outright. He shuts down your game, he ignores your jokes, he doesn't glance at your pecs while you do some awesome lifts. Nothing. In fact, he tells you flat out in the locker room that he thinks you're full of shit, that you don't turn him on, and "Can you get those shaved balls out of my face?" Now, of course, you could just tell him and his friends, who laugh at his rejection of you, to fuck off, that you don't need 'em, and just ride another pony, but, goddamnit, how dare he not want you? And then you start doing stupid shit to try to get him to see that you are suck-worthy. You tell others how hot you think he is. You try to let him see how much you're checking him out. You laugh at jokes he tells across the room. In other words, you become a pathetic ass. And however cool or hot you may have been, you're just blowing it all away on someone who just doesn't want to fuck you.
This game plays out all the time in Washington, DC. What has a significant part of Obama's first term been other than a sad attempt to get Republicans to see him as worthy of their votes? How has that shaken out? And you remember when National Public Radio decided to start "balancing" its news broadcasts with more conservative viewpoints (which meant really just offering someone to spin the facts All Things Considered was reporting) because Republicans were threatening to defund it? That was actually back in the mid-1990s. Did that end all the "controversy" over its funding?
Back in February of this year, the blog Smart Politics, of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, released a study that said that PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning effort of the St. Petersburg Times to rate the truth of the words of politicians' and others, had assigned "'Pants on Fire' or 'False' ratings to 39 percent of Republican statements compared to just 12 percent of Democrats since January 2010." Another way to put that is that, of all the statements rated so low, Republicans made 76% of them, compared to just 22% of Democrats. You can flounder around for excuses if you want, but the study showed that the nearly the same number of statements from each side was analyzed. So, in order to attack PolitiFact, you can only say that its editors are biased and deliberately choose statements by Republicans that they know will be proven false. It's either that or it's just that Republicans are generally lying motherfuckers, which would be the easy answer.
Of course, like so many who are afraid of being perceived as too liberal and need desperately to be loved by Republicans, PolitiFact has now overcompensated with a completely fucktarded choice for its "Lie of the Year" for 2011: that Democrats lied when they said that "Republicans voted to end Medicare," despite the fact that Republicans voted to make a government-run health insurance program into a private insurance voucher system and just call it "Medicare," when "Medicare," as we know it, would cease to exist. In other words, they voted to end Medicare.
Others have dissected how this supposed "lie" is actually true, and it's been roundly mocked in Left Blogsylvania and Twitterburg.
But PolitiFact's own defense of its decision is obscenely absurd: Democrats are lying because current old people will still have Medicare? But that's called a "phase-out," which you do when you are, you know, ending something. And that it was an "overreach" for Democrats to use the words "kill" or "end" because the program would still exist? Except that it wouldn't exist. It's like PolitiFact used logic out of a Family Guy episode: just because actor James Woods stole Peter Griffin's wallet, he could claim he was Peter Griffin, and everyone is forced to believe it or be accused of lying. (Yeah, yeah, but the Rude Pundit was trying to find an analogy that everyone else hadn't used.)
In fact, one could make the case that in order to call this a "lie," PolitiFact itself has to, for lack of a better word, lie about how Paul Ryan's newfangled Medicare is the same as current Medicare.
Mostly, though, it's pathetic because the whole thing is such pandering to Republicans. And, sorry, dear newspapers concerned about things like "facts" and "reality" and "truth," but they're not gonna fuck you. They tend to only want to fuck themselves.