Politifact’s lie of the year

Politifact called this Mitt Romney ad its “lie of the year” for making this claim:

[Obama] sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.

This is, of course, the absolute truth.

How does Politifact get away with such an outrageous lie? They say that they aren’t attacking the actual statement, which they concede is true:

Like many political distortions, Romney’s claim contained a grain of truth. . . Bloomberg reported on Oct. 22 that the company was planning to restart production of Jeeps in China.


The Romney campaign was crafty with its word choice, so campaign aides could claim to be speaking the literal truth, but the ad left a false impression that all Jeep production was being moved to China.

Instead, they claim to be criticizing the ad’s implicit message, a completely different statement that the ad didn’t make and wasn’t true, but that Politifact claims is what the Romney campaign was really trying to say.

This of course, puts paid to Politifact’s whole pretense of running an objective operation. More than that, their ability to divine a “clear message” different from the ad’s actual content is highly dubious in light of their need to hedge about exactly what that supposedly clear message was. Moreover, even setting all that aside, it’s just not true.

(Via PJ Tatler.)

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