But 4 Pinocchios? That's the most Pinocchios given in the Fact Checker Pinocchio system:
One Pinocchio = Some shading of the facts. Selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods.I've read Kessler's analysis — and you should too before commenting — and it supports a 2 Pinocchio rating. Even to go to 3 is a stretch.
Two Pinocchios = Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.
Three Pinocchios = Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.
Four Pinocchios = Whoppers.
What kind of game is going on here? On May 7th, I wrote:
Last fall, before the election, Glenn Kessler gave Susan Rice a mere 2 Pinocchios for her infamous 5-talk-shows delivery of the miserably wrong talking points on the Benghazi effect. More recently, he gave 4 Pinocchios to Darrell Issa for suggesting that Hillary Clinton's signature on a document means she approved it.Kessler had a new column on the Susan Rice 5-talk-shows lie, and but he didnot readjust the number beyond the original 2. Absurd!
Now, Kessler looks at the new information about the talking points....
And here's Dick Durbin on "Face the Nation" last Sunday:
[W]hen the Washington Post looked at the assertion as to whether Hillary Clinton should be held responsible and what came out at the hearing, they awarded it four Pinocchios, which means the lowest level of credibility that you can possibly have. It is unsubstantiated, and yet, the witch hunt continues.Those Pinocchios become talking points. Kessler's fact-checking is high profile and powerful, but his game is ruined if it becomes apparent that he's pulling for one side. He needs to appear to be a neutral arbiter or the system of Pinocchios loses all meaning.
But suddenly loading 4 Pinocchios onto Obama? To my eye, it looks like Kessler is trying to rebalance a 4 that should have been a 2 with another 4 that should have been a 2.