On August 27, PolitiFact, the once promising but now largely co-opted “fact check” site run by the Tampa Bay Times, finally got around to evaluating Obama campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter’s August 22 lie that “over the past, you know, 27 months we’ve created … more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery.” Apparently, the evaluators lost their matches as they only gave Cutter’s statement a “False” tag.
In doing so, PolitiFact clearly ignored its own rating guidelines, wherein “False” means that “The statement is not accurate,” while “Pants on Fire” means “The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.” Cutter made an utterly ridiculous claim, which I will illustrate beyond what was already shown on Sunday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog):
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The graphs presented at my August 26 post were based on absolute growth in total nonfarm payrolls (NFP) and private-sector jobs. The graph above lays out job growth as a percentage of employment when the respective recessions ended in November 1982 and June 2009. Obviously, the differences in the Reagan-era and Obama-era slopes are even greater.
It’s hard to imagine how one could get any more ridiculous than to try to assert that any part of the Obama-era lines charted above show greater job growth than any section of the Reagan-era lines. In the realm of economics, Stephanie Cutter’s lie is on the level of “Baghdad Bob” during the initial stages of the war in Iraq in 2003.
Readers can peruse the claims that did earn the “Pants on Fire” tag at their leisure see how obvious the double standards there really are.
James Pethokoukis also found that Cutter’s claim about fewer jobs being created during George W. Bush’s presidency is also false.
PolitiFact’s blindly partisan pants are what’s really on fire.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.