The left-leaning, self-proclaimed “fact checker” PolitiFact ignored the most basic economic law, the law of supply and demand, in claiming that cap-and-trade legislation, which is designed to limit energy consumption and increase the price of energy from non-renewable sources, could actually result in “an average lower cost for consumers.” Even the supporters of such legislation, such as President Obama, have admitted that such legislation increases energy costs to consumers. In a January 17, 2008, interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Obama said that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” under his cap-and-trade plan to fight global warming. Similarly, a CBS analyst pointed out that a Treasury Department analysis estimated the cost of the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade plan at $1,761 per year for the average American household.
The steady stream of outright falsehoods coming from PolitiFact, and its blatant double standards and hypocrisy, are chronicled at a blog called PolitiFact Bias. Additional commentary on the bias of the head of PolitiFact in Virginia can be found here. A rebuttal to false claims made in defense of PolitiFact Virginia can be found here.
In a similar vein, Investor’s Business Daily and other publications have chronicled how widely-cited self-proclaimed fact checkers like the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler have gotten “their own facts wrong” when writing about things like plant closings and foreign policy.
Left-leaning media fact-checkers routinely assign “pants-on-fire” and “Pinocchio” ratings for factual statements that are true, because the fact-checker thinks that the fact has been presented “out of context” or in a one-sided (e.g., conservative) manner. For example, Kessler gave a committee “two Pinocchios” for stating what even Kessler admitted was a true fact — that the president has not visited Israel — not because the committee made any false claims (as Kessler’s rating would suggest) but because he considered the way the committee made this true claim to be one-sided. Similarly, PolitiFact said it was “misleading” and dishonest for a conservative politician to make the true factual observation that Obama “refuses to recognize Jerusalem” as Israel’s capital, even though that fact is concededly true, because the politician did not provide additional context that PolitiFact wanted: namely, that Obama is not the first president to take this position. (Note: CEI does not take any position on such foreign policy issues. Nor do I.)
Hot Air provides provides examples of plainly true statements that PolitiFact somehow managed to deem false by distorting what the speaker said, in an ideologically-hostile way.
These slanted, baseless “Pinocchio” and “Pants on Fire” ratings by self-proclaimed “fact checkers” are then parroted without thinking by other left-leaning journalists to declare that a claim they dislike is a “lie” or has been “debunked,” even when the claim is a conclusion that is in fact grounded in actual facts, and is a conclusion shared by various experts as well as their own colleagues at the very same paper. In doing so, these left-leaning journalists studiously ignore any contrary evidence as well as opinions by moderate or conservative scholars that conflict with their spin.