February 15, 2013

PolitiFact Labels Totally True Rubio Statement on Obama and Sequester ‘Half True’

Anyone who thinks that setting a parody site of PolitiFact would be a good idea should reconsider. The site already parodies what a true fact-checking effort would look like on a nearly daily basis.

On Tuesday, the site’s Molly Moorhead evaluated Marco Rubio’s claim during his State of the Union response speech that spending cuts involved in sequestration were originally the idea of President Barack Obama and the White House. Of course they were. But after admitting that the “(The Price of Politics author Bob) Woodward’s reporting shows clearly that defense sequestration was an idea that came out of Obama’s White House,” she still evaluated Rubio’s claim as only “half true” (bolds are mine):

The intention, however, was to force Republicans to negotiate, not to actually put the cuts into effect.

… Rubio said the defense cuts known that are part of sequestration were Obama’s “idea in the first place.”

That doesn’t tell the whole story — particularly the fact that Obama does not favor these cuts. The White House proposed them as a means of driving the two sides to a compromise over the deficit, not as a real-world spending plan.

Still, the idea did originate with Obama’s team. We rate Rubio’s statement Half True.

Really, you can’t make this stuff up. Rubio’s statement is absolutely true, but because the intent was that things wouldn’t ever come to this, it’s only “half true.” No, PolitiFact as a fact-checking site is half-baked.

As I said earlier, forget the idea of setting up a parody site.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


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