Tag Archives: fact-check

Presidential debate #2: Romney manages to beat Obama AND moderator Crowley

Tuesday night’s 2nd Presidential debate was marked by some silly questions, and silly behavior. But after the dust settled, Romney walked away not only unscathed, but with a close & hard-fought win.

Oh, I’m sure the Obamacrats were all excited that their man Barack popped a couple 5-hour Energy drinks before he went onstage, and it’s true that he was better than his somnambulistic persona from 2 weeks ago. However, the President employed the Joe Biden “malarkey” method of debating, which means you repeatedly call your opponent a liar, facts-and-truth-be-damned. It also means that you constantly interrupt your opponent, which taken together makes it very hard for many viewers to tell what the heck is going on.

This strategy, however, doesn’t appear to be benefiting Obama. More on that at the end.


The item which we’ll be talking about for days is the “terror” question as it relates to Benghazi. The President, assisted by moderator Candy Crowley, attempted to re-write history and basically insist he had said all along that it was a terrorist attack.

Which is great and all, ….except that he didn’t.

Obama didn’t call it a terrorist attack; he was speaking in relation to 9/11/01 and used the word “terror” in general. This isn’t opinion; it’s objective fact. Is it now a matter of semantics as to whether the Obama Administration did or did not recognize the attacks as terrorism?

Heck, in his Rose Garden speech, he also used the words “Walter Reed“. Based on his previous logic, should we then assume that Obama suspected the famous Army doctor had something to do with the Libya attacks, as well?

It’s almost as if the Administration WANTS me to keep replaying this video:

(The Entire timeline for what was said, and when, can be found HERE).

There are several places to view reports on this, including HotAir.com (with two posts now) as well as Human Events. I suggest you give BOTH sites a peek.


I was actually flabbergasted at one point during the evening, when Obama tried to portray himself as pro-oil, -natural gas, & -coal…and then say that he is responsible for improved results in these areas! I’ll say this: Obama’s not a gifted liar in the mold of Bill Clinton, but he sure is a bold one.

“Pro-coal”? Really? You may wish to tell that to the Coal Industry; they somehow have missed that message. Of course, when your campaign maligns Ohio coal miners who attended a Romney rally as “being forced to attend by their union“, it should be pretty obvious who’s lying about being on the side of Coal in our country.


Pro-OIL? Puh-leeeeaase…. I have two words for that laughable statement: KEYSTONE PIPELINE.

President “Yay, Oil!” Obama has been busy in other ways, too:

“The Obama administration also announced recently it would lock up nearly half of the 23 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska from energy production and instead set it aside for wildlife and species protection.”

And this from HotAir.com’s Erika Johnsen:

Obama tries to hit back on Romney’s accurate observations — “Very little of what Governor Romney just said is true. We’ve opened up public lands. We’re actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration” — but again, Obama ignores the facts about the rates of leasing and permitting that disqualify his claims, and Romney doesn’t let him get away with it. (Also, Obama’s “use-it-or-lose-it,” “you can’t just choose to drill when it’s profitable for you” policy argument, demonstrates a devastatingly pathetic lack of understanding about the way the markets work to everyone’s best advantage.)

Maybe I’m just slow, but none of this strikes me as “pro-oil”.


As always, we have the full debate video for you here:


The bottom line from last night was that Obama spoke to his diminishing base of cultists followers, and they probably put up new posters of him on their wall. However, those folks are in the tank regardless what he does. Rather than building any sort of “O-mentum” from Tuesday among the electorate-at-large, Obama was slammed with the news that he’d lost the debate as measured by both CNN and CBS. Even the MSNBC focus group called it a tie.

And when your opponent’s trajectory is going up, and yours is going down, that means advantage: Romney.

Armed with that knowledge, faced with the inevitable discussions of Libya/”terror-or-not-terror”, and talks of dead ambassadors, one thing is certain: this is going to make a very tough week for the sitting president.


The Media’s latest scam: “Fact” Checkers

Recently we’ve witnessed the appearance of the very latest in hucksterism: “fact-checkers”.

Much like the old Snake-Oil salesmen of a prior era, they are selling one thing by promising something wholly different. You almost have to admire the naked hubris of the term: “fact check”. It’s the ultimate misnomer, since too often these self-appointed keepers-of-truth spin differences of opinion as varying degrees of “fact”. And the majority of the time, the alleged media “Watchmen” are doing this from the far Left/Statist position, which I’m sure should surprise exactly no one.

There have been two excellent debunkings of these journalistic P.T. Barnum wannabees, both appearing in the Wall Street Journal. The first one was about a week back, by James Taranto. It’s fairly long, so I’ll only include a portion here:

Sometimes the “fact checkers” are ignorant even of facts that, in contrast with the welfare material above, require no special expertise to know. This is from a CNN.com “fact check”:

“In a new policy paper, his Republican rival for the White House, Mitt Romney, says, “President Obama has intentionally sought to shut down oil, gas, and coal production in pursuit of his own alternative energy agenda.” . . .

Obama has, for sure, angered some oil and coal producers by steering federal money to alternative energy sources. But there is no evidence that he is trying to “shut down” traditional energy industries.”

No evidence? How about Obama’s own words? “So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Sometimes the “fact checkers” simply pronounce trivial truths. From the AP on Mitt Romney’s convention speech:

ROMNEY: “I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has five steps.”

THE FACTS: No one says he can’t, but economic forecasters are divided on his ability to deliver. He’d have to nearly double the anemic pace of job growth lately.

This is like “fact checking” somebody’s wedding vows by asserting that while marriage can be wonderful, it’s hard work and ends in divorce half the time.


The other WSJ article just came out last night, and it’s even better. Written by L. Gordon Crovitz, it tears apart their varnish of objectivity with ridiculous ease:

Reporting as “fact checking” might have started as a check on outright falsehoods, but it has morphed into a technique for supposedly nonpartisan journalists to present opinion as “facts.” The credibility of reporting has enough problems without claiming objectivity while practicing subjectivity. Not when anyone with an Internet connection can discover the difference.

It’s important to distinguish between true untruths and pretend untruths. For example, both the Obama and Romney campaigns deserved to be called out for the untruths of running advertisements clearly quoting each other out of context.

But cheerleaders for a more aggressive definition of “fact checking” have a different agenda. Justifying journalism that takes sides, New York University professor Jay Rosen claimed in his PressThink blog that Republicans are pursuing a “post-truth strategy in electioneering.” Rem Rieder, editor of the American Journalism Review, posted an article last week praising the media’s “aggressive” fact checking of the Paul Ryan acceptance speech as a “watershed moment.” The Week magazine captured the braying of the media pack in a headline: “The Media Coverage of Paul Ryan’s Speech: 15 Euphemisms for ‘Lying.'”

Since the Republican convention, there’s been bipartisan fact checking of the fact checkers. Mickey Kaus, a Democrat who ran for Senate in California in 2010, posted an item on his blog last week on “why the Fact-Checkosphere is failing,” in which he cited “the ease—rather, the constant temptation—of presenting debatable policy issues as right/wrong fact issues.” He wrote that when journalists claim that a candidate has lied, it “opens up a giant sluice for the introduction of concealed bias, especially when the ‘facts’ are fed to the fact-checkers by the competing campaign.”

Mr. Kaus added: “Fact checkers often don’t know what they’re talking about.” He pointed to the drumbeat of accusation that the Romney-Ryan campaign was wrong to say the Obama administration had relaxed work requirements for welfare. Mr. Kaus argued to the contrary that administration claims were “bureaucratic fakery.” A Brookings Institution analyst likewise told the Fiscal Times that the new policy would enable the administration to “undermine the work requirement” if this was the intent.

In short, this is a POLICY debate, not a question of fact.


The hopelessly partisan media is simply using these new Fact Squads to label their Opinion as Facts. I could insert the requisite George Orwell comparison here, but really, what’s the point? It’s as obvious as the nose on their fact-measuring Pinocchios that the more desperate these publications are to prove their relevance, the more irrelevant they become.

We’ll all have to suffer these pompous arbiters-of-truth for at least the next two months. The better job we do in immediately pointing out the complete absence of “facts” from their slanted, ill-informed pronunciations, the quicker we’ll be rid of them.