December 17, 2013

The biggest Pinocchios of 2013.

WaPo's Fact Checker Glenn Kessler has a top 10 biggest lies list.
President Obama ended up with three of the most misleading claims of the year. But, despite the urging of some readers, his statement that “I didn’t set a red line” on Syria is not among them. We had looked closely at that claim and had determined that, in context, it was a bungled talking point, so that statement actually earned no rating.

76 comments:

rhhardin said...

It's not lies so much as a continuation of his only product, gaseous rhetoric.

It ought to involve the EPA more than fact checkering.

rhhardin said...

Gaseous rhetoric meets Supreme Court, baffles court.

madAsHell said...

it was a bungled talking point

If it didn't scroll across the teleprompter, then it doesn't count???f Obama's entire career has depended upon the benefit-of-the-doubt.

MadisonMan said...

The format of that page is dreadful. You'd think the WaPo would want online content to look sharp, but the headlines are running into the pictures on my machine.

Why do those two Senators posed next to each other have the same clothes on? Was it twin day in the Senate?

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Peter O'Toole says:
A Man That Does Not Drink in Excess from Time to Time Will Never Tell the Truth. Richard Burton Told Me That One: He Was Drunk at the Time and Having a Heck of a Time Fitting the Grapes to His Mouth.

Matthew Sablan said...

I wonder if he is asking for a do-over like PolitiFact wanted. Anyone want to dig to see how many times Kessler/WaPo insisted the lie was not a lie before they decided it was, indeed, a lie?

EDH said...

But the claim that Clinton signed the cable was absurd, as every cable, even the most mundane, bears the secretary’s “signature,” because it is automatically added by the communications center.

Let a corporate executive try that one against the government.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Wow I completely forgot about the Syrian debacle. Its amazing this guy is so incompetent and had so many screw-ups we forget.

What were the big scandals that broke at one time? I remember IRS, reporter being called a criminal (nothing became of that) and what were the others?

Their strategy of dumping everything at one time worked beautifully.

Matthew Sablan said...

A reporter wasn't called a criminal; the reporter was spied on.

John Lynch said...

Syria is a big lie because there are over 100,000 dead because of US inaction after promises of aid. Worse, it's very likely that 1500 people were gassed deliberately in order to call the President's bluff. That proved conclusively that no US intervention would ever occur no matter what, which may have won the war for Assad.

Great leadership from our President.

Original Mike said...

I thought Kerry was against the war. After he was for it.

PB Reader said...

If it scrolled across the teleprompter then it's not his fault, but the poor sap who wrote it.

rehajm said...

...As we explained, part of the reason for so many cancellations is because of an unusually early (March 23, 2o10) cut-off date for grandfathering plans — and because of tight regulations written by the administration.

How about you let the liars make up their own excuses?

Bob Ellison said...

That was a big struggle getting all those conservatives on the list with things nobody heard.

Also, the term "Pinnocchio" connotes "lie", a deliberate statement that the utterer knows to be false. I don't think Obama has a clear sense of the difference between truth and untruth. If I'm correct, Obama should be absolved of telling lies or "Pinnochios", because he just spouts like a hose and doesn't know what he's saying.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Peter O'Toole says:

Marlon Brando Used to Have His Lines Taped to the Forehead of the Actor Across From Him: He Never Blamed Said Actor if He Still Got the Line Wrong.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.

Candy Crowley, please pick up the white courtesy phone...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@Matthew I think I remember that one now. Something about a Washington Times reporters house was searched.

I'm talking about a Fox reporter who was named a co-conspirator in a search warrant or simething like that.

Coincidence these are both conservative outlets?

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Peter O'Toole says:

The Only Politician Worth Having a Drink With Was Winston Churchill. In Heaven He has Taken to Orating Shakespeare, Much To Our Amusement. Of Course, After a Few Drinks Anyone Can Perform Shakespeare: the Key to Performing It is to Stay Standing Up.

Matthew Sablan said...

Hah. I'd totally forgotten about the charges against the Fox reporter.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

James Rosen wrote one of the best things ever.

This is a link to what really got Rosen busted without cause.

W-Hef-B: Bill Buckley, Playboy, and the Struggle for the Soul of America

By James Rosen - July 30, 2008


Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/whefb_bill_buckley_playboy_and.html#ixzz2nkOS5ktp
Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter

Rusty said...

It's too bad the WP can only resort to journalism in retrospect.

Rusty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brando said...

Defining a "lie" isn't very easy--lots of gray areas there. Is it a lie when you say something, not with intent to mislead, but with a complete indifference to whether what you're saying is true? Is it a lie if what you're saying is patently untrue, but you are so negligently oblivious that you had no idea it was untrue?

Brando said...

"It's too bad the WP can only resort to journalism in retrospect."

It's like driving with a rearview mirror but no windsheild.

Birkel said...

Brando,
Perhaps you should reaad Sissela Bok's book, appropriately named "Lying". I'm fairly sure lying has been well defined.

And what Obama has done, start to finish, is lie with abandon.

JHapp said...

What about Rice and the video excuse.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

How many of these Pinocchios of 2013 actually happened in 2013?

The Benghazi terrorism lie was certainly in 2012. Were any of the if you like your plan you can keep your plan statements in 2013? ( There were certainly plenty of lies trying to explain those statements. )

I'm too lazy to look, but how many of the rest actually occurred in 2013?

SGT Ted said...

More ass covering for Obama.

campy said...

Candy Crowley, please pick up the white courtesy phone...

Raaaaacist!!!

SGT Ted said...

WaPo: Lies of the Past Five Years We Finally are Forced to Acknowledge in 2013.

John Lynch said...

This is CYA. These journalists lie when it matters, then tell the truth long after it's irrelevant. That's the biggest lie here.

Tell the truth in October of an election year, not a year into a failed second term. Thanks a lot.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

There are three journalist scandal stories. Fox and Washington Times reporters and we forgot the searching the AP phone records.

Nice to see Obama does not just abuse his politcal opponents. A Republican would never be that nuanced.

Levi Starks said...

Something tells me that when you Bungle something, and a person/people die, Bungle is not the appropriate legal term.

I will agree in general that it does describe just about everything president Obama and his administration touches.

Strelnikov said...

President Costanza: Remember, it's not a lie if you believe it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

President Costanza: "So we established the rule for grandfathered health plans, yadda yadda yadda..."

lemondog said...

Phewwww......glad they got a Buth on the list.

Took a cursory look
Jeb Bush twitter noticing a number of remarks correcting him. So why not acknowledge the correction rather than allowing it to gather such media momentum?

Tom said...

This article should be titled: Lies that Ceased Being Useful in 2013 (And a Few to Show Lying Republicans Lie Too)

Matthew Sablan said...

Ignorance: The specific statement that Kessler is referencing was in 2013, I think. It just was a lie that he ALSO said in 2012 that no one called a lie then.

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, not no one. But not Kessler.

Paul said...

Obama is the definition of Pinocchio.

A chronic liar that turns into a ass (but he was always a Democrat donkey anyway.)

The Godfather said...

"The claim that Clinton signed the cable [refusing to increase security at the Benghazi consulate] was absurd, as every cable, even the most mundane, bears the secretary’s “signature,” because it is automatically added by the communications center. There is no evidence Clinton was even aware of the request."

I have this vague recollection that, at the time, Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State. If so, that's probably the reason that her name was signed to the cable -- as head of the agency, she is ultimately responsible for its actions. All its actions. Not just the ones that turn out well.

Issa was right.

And if she wasn't "aware", why the f*ck not?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Brando,

Defining a "lie" isn't very easy--lots of gray areas there.

Is it a lie when you say something, not with intent to mislead, but with a complete indifference to whether what you're saying is true?

Can you give me an example of such? I can't think of a situation that fits. ISTM that if you say something without having any idea whether it's true or not, you are, definitionally, speaking with "intent to mislead," in that you are pretending to know something that you don't. Help be out here.

Is it a lie if what you're saying is patently untrue, but you are so negligently oblivious that you had no idea it was untrue?

If you think something is true, then you aren't lying if you say it. This remains the case even if you are an oblivious idiot. Cf. Truthers, Birthers, vaccine paranoiacs, fluoridation paranoiacs, &c.

Of course, that fact that you aren't actually lying doesn't get you off the hook if you are charged with libel; there's that "reckless disregard for the truth" business.

moistwilly said...

since i seldom watch CNN i'm not aware of any other time Too Much Candy has covered Obama's heiny.

Bob Ellison said...

Brando, Defining a "lie" isn't very easy--lots of gray areas there.

Is it a lie when you say something, not with intent to mislead, but with a complete indifference to whether what you're saying is true?

Can you give me an example of such?


This is a question of intent. Did Bill Clinton intend to lie when he said he never had sex with Lewinsky? Good liars make that line hard to identify. Good liars tend to believe themselves, even when they know they are lying. This is why Obama is very talented at lying. He doesn't discern truth from lies; he just says what he wants. There is no lie.

Bob Ellison said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson, I agree with your logic, but I think you don't know how lefties think. They lie for various porpoises: to serve the public good, to save children, to get things done that really should be done but stupid righties are too stupid to know, to keep dolphins out of tuna cans, etc.

Lefties are not good at truth. This is one of the reasons the GOP is called the stupid party. The GOP tries not to lie, unlike Harry Reid, a Mormon.

Marshal said...

Let's give the guy a break, it's a tough task. He's balancing between protecting Obama's credibility and protecting his own. If he's going to be any use to Obama in the future he has to consider his own reputation at least a little.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Bob Ellison,

Michelle Dulak Thomson, I agree with your logic, but I think you don't know how lefties think. They lie for various porpoises: to serve the public good, to save children, to get things done that really should be done but stupid righties are too stupid to know, to keep dolphins out of tuna cans, etc.

I was wondering what the "various porpoises" were, until I got to the dolphin/tuna bit. That is either one of the great typos in all human history, or first-rate humor. I salute you, sir.

Re: Clinton, though, that's a different case. He was being deliberately misleading, while trying to maintain that he was technically telling the truth, in that some people don't call being sucked off "sexual relations." In other words, he was equivocating.

What he wasn't doing is what I asked for an example of: saying something that he didn't know the truth-value of with no "intent to mislead." I'm still pretty sure that there is no such action. If you say something as though you are persuaded that it's true, when in reality you have no idea whether it's true, you are trying to deceive others as to what you know and don't know. Period, as the President would say.

Brando said...

"Is it a lie when you say something, not with intent to mislead, but with a complete indifference to whether what you're saying is true?

Can you give me an example of such?"

An example would be "You need to drive from NYC to Boston? That shouldn't take more than an hour, those cities are under fifty miles apart." Completely untrue, but let's say the speaker actually has no idea how far apart those cities are as he's never travelled between them or looked at a map. Yes, he's being misleading as to his knowledge of the subject, but he's not actually trying to mislead anyone as to the truth of the statement he's asserting (the distance of the two cities). For that, he simply doesn't care.

A lot of politicians are guilty of this. "Sure, it'll create jobs!" "We'll be welcomed as liberators!" "There are over 70 million people without health insurance in this country!" In some cases they actually believe these statements are true, in others it doesn't matter so long as it helps them win points.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Looking at the list, one of these things is not like the others.

Interesting that Glenn included a right leaning special interest group. Their offense seeming somewhat mild compared to those made my our elected leaders. Anyway, am I to assume Glenn was unable to find an equally egregious statement from special interest groups on the left? Anyway, I'll cut him some slack. Maybe Google was down the day he composed his list.

Bob Ellison said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson, you highlight interesting differences between truth, untruth, knowledge, and intent.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think that lawyers are trained to discern the difference between what's positively known and what's not positively known, and between what's positively unknown, etc. (Many lawyers, like Bill Clinton, have been trained but use that training to their advantage against the truth.)

In my earlier posts, I'm talking about what I think is a real problem for lefties. (Lefties, quit reading here.) They don't know truth from untruth. They think up can be down. They abhor absolutism. Obama really doesn't know what he's saying. He's just talking. His relationship to truth is vague and relative.

Bob Ellison said...

Brando, I've re-read your latest, and I think you're on to something. Politicians aren't necessarily concerned with truth. David Mayhew posited that politicians might be best understood and studied as single-minded seekers of re-election. In that analysis, truth is a side matter with no particular merit.

Brando said...

Bob, I think that's exactly it--which may explain why they can do it so well. If you aren't thinking "gee, I'm lying here!" you won't look so nervous! Maybe Nixon's problem was that he couldn't master this.

To Michelle's point--I realize the legal standards are completely different--I'm looking just at politics. Which is why politicians generally won't put their political statements in a form that they could be held to legally.

eric said...

I don't mind them giving Obama the benefit of the doubt when it comes to lying.

Lying it a tough thing to figure out.

But why don't they ever give Republicans the benefit of the doubt? Do any non-partisans actually believe that Sarah Palin's "Death Panels" was a lie?

Maybe I should rephrase that. Does anyone who thinks that Obamacare doesn't actually have death panels, think Sarah Palin was lying about death panels?

Or do you give her the benefit of the doubt and think she actually interprets the law in a way that makes death panels clearly a part of it?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Brando,

An example would be "You need to drive from NYC to Boston? That shouldn't take more than an hour, those cities are under fifty miles apart." Completely untrue, but let's say the speaker actually has no idea how far apart those cities are as he's never travelled between them or looked at a map. Yes, he's being misleading as to his knowledge of the subject, but he's not actually trying to mislead anyone as to the truth of the statement he's asserting (the distance of the two cities). For that, he simply doesn't care.

I see the distinction you're making -- between trying to mislead as to the facts, and trying to mislead as to whether you actually know the facts. It would matter, ethically, whether you were just trying to appear knowledgeable in front of, say, a rival in love, or whether you rather knew that the lady you both were courting expected him at a certain time, and your "advice" would (luckily for you) make him several hours late, so that she'd assume she'd been stood up.

That said, they are both statements made "with intent to deceive," yes?

AReasonableMan said...

The biggest lie of the year is that the Republican party has any interest in the stated goals of the Tea Party. Up until very recently it was the house Repubs standing firm against spending. Now suddenly they fold and the Senate Repubs are the stalwart foes of spending, just not so many of them that any actual spending is stopped. Classic bait and switch. Now members of both houses will claim to be fiscal conservatives as we head into primary season.

Nonapod said...

Politicians aren't necessarily concerned with truth. David Mayhew posited that politicians might be best understood and studied as single-minded seekers of re-election. In that analysis, truth is a side matter with no particular merit.

Well... more precisely, truth matters to politicians only so far as it can be used to discredit their political opponents. In other words, real truth is irrelevant until it can be used as a weapon, like when you catch an opponent in a demonstrable lie.

Brando said...

Michelle, I guess while the statements are actually misleading, what I'm getting at is more the case where the "liar" is actually so negligent when it comes to the truth--to the extent that s/he doesn't know or care what the truth is--that there is not really any intent involved.

In a case like that, such a person in some ways is even worse than the intentionally liar, because while the liar knows what the truth is and is trying to misrepresent, this person instead has so little regard for the truth that they don't even know or care whether they're truthful.

Broomhandle said...

ARM,
Whereas, absolutely no Democrats are concerned with spending. Makes it an easy choice.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Brando,

Michelle, I guess while the statements are actually misleading, what I'm getting at is more the case where the "liar" is actually so negligent when it comes to the truth--to the extent that s/he doesn't know or care what the truth is--that there is not really any intent involved.

The only examples I can think of there are of people too hopelessly stoned to know what they're saying. Everyone else is at least somewhat attentive to their own speech, and is speaking to some purpose. And that purpose is either to speak the truth as they know it, or else to deceive.

Drago said...

ARM: "The biggest lie of the year is that the Republican party has any interest in the stated goals of the Tea Party."

LOL

Yeah.

Sure.

That's the biggest lie of the year.

Uh huh.

tim in vermont said...

ARM is up to his old "Let's you and him fight."

Perhaps he can justify Obama's surveillance peccadilloes to his liberal friends, while he is on the subject of perfect political purity.

traditionalguy said...

The weird thing about Obama's lies is the sheer arrogance of telling lies to us that he expects to get away with, over and over like that is his job.

Americans want a President who levels with them most of the time. Obama sneers at Americans all of the time.

He also is hated for his lies by both the Saudis and the Israelis.

And how is the biggest lie in the history of lies going on the absolutely settled science called Global Warming disaster going this winter?

Drago said...

Traditionalguy: "The weird thing about Obama's lies is the sheer arrogance of telling lies to us that he expects to get away with, over and over like that is his job."

Obama has never before in his life ever been held to account for his performance or assertions.

Ever.

The media and ARM's of the world are responsible for that.

Now that the reality of obama's standard, run of the mill, seen a million times before lefty policies are coming home to roost, there is no where for the media and the dems to hide.

Thus the doubling down/tripling down on "blamebush", "Fox!!!", "Tea party!!!!!" etc.

Expect to see this trend reach critical mass in the coming summer months as businesses begin the notification processes informing their employees that big big changes (and all bad) are coming their way due to the obamacare.

It will require a herculean effort on the part of the garage's and Inga's of the world to convince people that the terrible effects of obamacare are really wonderful effects and that anyone complaining is a racist liar.

tim in vermont said...

Dissent is the vilest form of racism.

damikesc said...

AReasonableMan said...


SQUIRREL!!


Just to be more efficient.

MadisonMan said...

The biggest lie of the year is that the Republican party

If you like your Republican Party, you can keep your Republican Party. Period.

Because everyone who reads that sentence I wrote knows immediately the reference, it kinds give lie to your statement about the biggest lie.

But nice try.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Drago said...

...big big changes (and all bad) are coming...

Not all bad. Millions of men will now have maternity coverage that they were previously denied, and they will only have to pay a very large price for that coverage. And really, a large price to pay is a small price to pay for that kind of peace of mind.

Brennan said...

The lie of the year should be from anyone that said President Sportscenter is intelligent.

He is who we thought he was. It just took his supporters so long to find out what type of vacuum he impersonates.

wildswan said...

Thing is Obama lied over and over and over - the same lie. If you tell people that you know the way to Boston once that might be false but not a lie because you might think you could find it. But when the signs go past for Pittsburg, Akron, Chicago and when the clamor from the back grows louder,and still you say over and over as that you know the way, then that is a lie.
And when you say the healthcare.gov website is fixed and disregard the fact that part of the website isn't even built, that's another lie.
And when you say that parents will forget that their children are not insured due to Obamacare, then that's a campaign speech for the Republican party. So, President Obama, don't listen to that naysayers and bed wetters. Just keep on keeping on.

cubanbob said...

Brando said...
Michelle, I guess while the statements are actually misleading, what I'm getting at is more the case where the "liar" is actually so negligent when it comes to the truth--to the extent that s/he doesn't know or care what the truth is--that there is not really any intent involved.

In a case like that, such a person in some ways is even worse than the intentionally liar, because while the liar knows what the truth is and is trying to misrepresent, this person instead has so little regard for the truth that they don't even know or care whether they're truthful.
12/17/13, 2:06 PM

You made some excellent comments but it all comes down to trying to parse the difference between a lie and bullshit. And if you know it's bullshit, the attempt to deceive or misdirect is in fact a lie. Not knowing or caring is also a lie since the utterer knows that they don't know and knows that they haven't bothered to ascertain the facts.

So although Clinton wasn't impeached for perjury, he was still found guilty of civil perjury by a US court and was disbarred. As a practical matter it may not mean much-especially since Republicans are too inept but it doesn't change the fact that he was found guilty of perjury. The irony is that between Nixon, Clinton and Obama Nixon was by far the most ethical of the three and arguably the least criminal.

Drago said...

Ignorance is Bliss: "Not all bad. Millions of men will now have maternity coverage that they were previously denied, and they will only have to pay a very large price for that coverage."

I stand corrected.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

A good lie, told well enough and often enough beats the truth every time.

Ameryx said...

"This was not a presidential election year, so in some ways the subjects that needed to be fact checked were more substantive."
Really? Did the Washington Post just tell us that they don't cover substantive subjects during Presidential elections?

Larry Nelson said...

AReasonableMan said...
The biggest lie of the year is that the Republican party has any interest in the stated goals of the Tea Party.

Because people died, or their lives have been turned upside down by cancelled insurance? Oh wait...
Speaking truth to power or questioning authority are not your strong suits, eh?

The Godfather said...

If the President of the United States makes a definite statement of fact about a program he has proposed and caused to be enacted (e.g., it will allow you to "keep your plan"), and that statement is untrue, you can't excuse him on the ground of ignorance: He doesn't have the right to be ignorant about the program he is forcing on the American people. It's HIS damn program! Likewise, you can't excuse him for saying that the website was going to work, on the ground that he didn't know it was fouled up: It was his job to be sure that the website worked.

It's lies, like turtles, all the way down.

geokstr said...

AReasonableMan said...
The biggest lie of the year is that the Republican party has any interest in the stated goals of the Tea Party.


Because people died, or their lives have been turned upside down by cancelled insurance? Oh wait...
Speaking truth to power or questioning authority are not your strong suits, eh?


Larry, you have to understand the leftling mind. Turning people's lives upside down, or even costing them their lives, are just bumps in the road to statists and totalitarians on their way to more power and control.

Look at the hundred million dead that were merely eggs to be broken on their way to the omelet. Bill Ayers said 25 million in the US would have to die because they wouldn't bow before Pope Karl of Marx. It's really no big deal to them; after all, it's just racist, homophobic, misogynistic inbred dummies in flyover country that will need to be eliminated.