January 19, 2017

WaPo's Fact Checker looks back on "Obama’s biggest whoppers."

"The Fact Checker started during the 2008 campaign and then went on hiatus for the first two years of President Obama’s presidency before becoming a permanent Washington Post feature in 2011..."

Was the hiatus because you didn't want to fact-check Obama?

We get to see 10 4-Pinocchio statements by Obama, in chronological order, but only beginning after the first 2 years.

The most-remembered one is: "If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it."

The one that relates to the tricking of Mitt Romney was: "The day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism." What Obama had said the day after "Benghazi happened" was: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."

That vague "no acts of terror" must have been carefully chosen, because he said it again, twice, the next day (with "act" instead of "acts"),  "No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world," and "no act of terror will go unpunished." That states a general proposition without saying that Benghazi was an act of terror. And there is a distinction between "terror" and "terrorism" that Glenn Kessler (the Fact Checker) finds important. 

53 comments:

AprilApple said...

It was the video!

AprilApple said...

"Hillary is the most qualified person to ever run for president."

Most qualified criminal.

Tommy Duncan said...

It would be more useful to list the top 10 straw men Obama bravely defeated.

His top 10 "it's just common sense" statements would also be enlightening.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

They were going to do President Obama's top 10 truthful statements, but ran out of material.

LakeLevel said...

The real scandal of Benghazi was not the lies, it was that Obama didn't defend the American Ambassador and by extension America, because he was afraid it would reflect badly on his re-election effort if American forces were lured into a trap. Disgusting.

GWash said...

better hire a couple dozen fact checkers starting on 1/20 at noon... their going to need them!

Birkel said...

And Wisconsin is running a budget surplus, too!
Damn that Scott Walker and all he did to destroy the state by making it live within a budget, unexpectedly!!

Fact checkers are bull shit, btw. (Just to stay on topic.)

Lucien said...

What were the top ten things that Obama learned of by hearing them on the news, or reading them in the paper?

Maybe having daily intelligence briefings really is overrated.

GWash said...

yeah, why check facts ... we live in a post truth/fact/reality 1984 (a little late) world...

GWash said...

'that's fake news'

Big Mike said...

Was Benghazi an act of terrorism? I'll bet Chris Stevens was terrorized before he died.

Birkel said...

GWash:
Was it a fact that Scott Walker was going to balance the budget two years ago?

I'm thinking you might have some problems understanding which things are facts and which are wish-casting hopes.

traditionalguy said...

Fiction Checkers are the greatest. They say whether or not a narrative is based on a true story...you know, uses the names of real people in the reported play/drama entertainment.

Bob Boyd said...

That's not lying, that's...um...watchacallit...governing! That's sustainable governance.

The Drill SGT said...

Barak and Ben Rhodes, great Fiction writers

No administration, up till this point, has been so proud of lying and deceiving the American public, in pursuit of their policy objectives, or covering up malfeasance.

Birkel said...

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314991-trump-team-prepares-dramatic-cuts

I need Unknown to come around and convince me that cutting a trillion a year won't actually happen under a Republican president, a Republican Senate and a Republican House with so many Republican governors. Half of that is a pretty good start and would cut the Obama increases in debt by half.

GWash, you want to take a crack?

Chuck, who supports anything anti-Trump, you want to tell me again how another Republican would have won and would have started so vigorously as it appears Trump will?

So much winning.
So much crow waiting for your chompers.

rehajm said...

Full Disclosure: The WaPo Fact Checker is Opinion/Editorial.

The purpose of this Web site, and an accompanying column in the Sunday print edition of The Washington Post, is to “truth squad” the statements of political figures regarding issues of great importance, be they national, international or local.

Why is truth squad 1) used as a verb by WaPo 2) placed in quotations?

Chuck said...

A total of Ten 4-Pinnocchios is just one evening's work on Twitter, for Donald Trump. Eight years, you say?

Mind you, I am no fan of anything calling itself "The Fact Checker." James Taranto loathes the arrogance involved in that enterprise, and so do I. Another, better name for "The Fact Checker" would be "newspaper column."

eric said...

I don't understand this post.

I've been informed by several of my friends on Facebook that the Obama administration was 2 things.

1) scandal free
2) The most honest administration in this nations history.

Obviously, anyone with half a brain realizes the truth of the above.

Why are you trying to go against history here, Althouse? Have you no shame?!

sunsong said...

if you like your plan..."

That was a big whopper! Trump lies all the time. I hope the Post continues with daily, maybe hourly, reports of Trumps's lies

Birkel said...

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314991-trump-team-prepares-dramatic-cuts

Chuck, who supports anything anti-Trump, cannot stand all the winning. All that winning is going to make Chuck sad.

MackM said...

Trump fact check file

To be fair.

MackM said...

Obama fact check file

To be fair.

Birkel said...

MackM:

To be fair we would have to pretend the people who work at Politifact were non-partisans. I won't play that stupid game.

Sebastian said...

Biggest whopper: first black president.

MackM said...

Confirmation bias is a real problem on both sides. PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize. I don't think they are a partisan organization.

Drago said...

Chuck: "A total of Ten 4-Pinnocchios is just one evening's work on Twitter, for Donald Trump. Eight years, you say?

Mind you, I am no fan of anything calling itself "The Fact Checker." James Taranto loathes the arrogance involved in that enterprise, and so do I. Another, better name for "The Fact Checker" would be "newspaper column"

As Taranto would say, 2 Chuck's in one blog post!

Well played "lifelong republican" Chuck. A subtle defense of Obama and vigorous redirect to an attack on Trump.

Unexpectedly!

Matthew Sablan said...

"Was the hiatus because you didn't want to fact-check Obama?"

-- Or laziness.

Peter Araujo said...

"No act of terror..." I bet if you checked the context, you'd find that the phrase could also suggest that the video was the "act of terror" that caused the Benghazi incident.

Brando said...

"You can keep your doctor" was a ridiculous statement on its face, no matter what any plan did. You could lose your doctor at any time for any reason before and after the ACA was passed--doctors could decide not to take your insurance, or just not treat so many patients. The fact checkers should have spoken up when it was first said, not when years later people realized "hey, the ACA does not force my doctor into indentured servitude for me! This isn't what I thought!"

The more precise nature of the ACA promise, which was indeed a lie, was "this law will not make it more likely you will lose your doctor" because the provisions did indeed make some doctors drop people's insurance, effectively driving them away. Sure, you could offer to pay that doctor out of pocket, but that's surely not what that promise implies.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If we had an honest fact-checker, the following Obama statement would have rated 5 Pinocchios:

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

MackM said...

Trump truth-

Trump: I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the Kremlin and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend Mother Russia.

Livermoron said...

GWash, Mr. 3/5ths of an intellect, is here pretending to know some facts.
That hasn't worked out well for Mr. 3/5ths

Michael K said...

"Not a smidgen of corruption."

GWash is having an attack of dyspnea at the thought of a non lightworker president.

Chuck said...

No Drago, those aren't the elements of a Chuck post. Here, I'll help you with a list:

1. A defense of traditional conservatives;

2. A traditional conservative attack on the left-leaning media, and;

3. A comment that conclusively demonstrates how far outside traditional conservatism Donald Trump is.

That last point -- especially the conclusiveness part -- leads the pro-Trumpists to simply declare me to be a "commie," since they don't have any facts to support a detailed on-point response.

Michael K said...

MackM, empty profile. The DNC briefing session must have just let out.

FullMoon said...

traditionalguy said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Fiction Checkers are the greatest. They say whether or not a narrative is based on a true story...you know, uses the names of real people in the reported play/drama entertainment.


"Inspired by true events"

Qwinn said...

And the DNC briefing session must have been "keep pushing the Russia angle!!!!" Every lefty on this blog seems to be posting that, and only that, today.

Have any of those lefties ever addressed Hillary selling a quarter of our uranium to Russia in exchange for donations to her foundation? If so, I've never seen it.

Earnest Prole said...

Lawyerly, in the sense that lawyer and liar are homophones.

mccullough said...

All politicians lie, like most people. They are judged based on their successes and failures, not what they say.

FullMoon said...

Chuck said...

A total of Ten 4-Pinnocchios is just one evening's work on Twitter, for Donald Trump. Eight years, you say?

Mind you, I am no fan of anything calling itself "The Fact Checker." James Taranto loathes the arrogance involved in that enterprise, and so do I. Another, better name for "The Fact Checker" would be "newspaper column."

Chucky, come closer
Shut softly your watery eyes
The pangs of your sadness
Will pass as your senses will rise
For the flowers of the city
Though breathlike, get deathlike sometimes
And there's no use in tryin'
To deal with the dyin'
Though I cannot explain that in lines
....
But it grieves my heart, Chuck,
To see you tryin' to be a part of
A world that just don't exist
It's all just a dream,
A vacuum, a scheme,
That sucks you into feelin' like this
I can see that your head
Has been twisted and fed
With worthless foam from the mouth......


Apologies to Bob and AA

tim in vermont said...

Hillary Clinton would have done the right thing by Americans and started a war with Russia all of these new Democratic hawks could have gone and fought.

tcrosse said...

Trump and Obama can compete in the Olympics of lying, but Hillary lost her amateur status years ago.

The Savage Noble said...

I remember watching the speech live on c-span when he said "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve...". I also continued watching him take question in the Rose Garden afterward, where one journalist asked him if he was saying that what happened in Benghazi was an act of terror. To which Obama replied in the negative.

That is what I remember...it was pegged in especially because i recalled it curing the debate. I wonder if c-span has that video still of the question...

GRW3 said...

Sometimes you have to know what he meant under the magical thinking context. "Like your plan, keep your plan" probably came as a result of thinking that any health insurance that didn't offer what they thought was appropriate was not a valid plan. Ergo, if you liked a plan (by their definition) you could keep it but not all those sham policies that only took care of actual health issues. "The Average Family will Save $2500" started when he asked how much would our idea of a suitable plan cost on the current (pre Obamacare) market. After being to it would cost $XXXXX he asked how much if we made everybody buy it. With an answer of $XXXXX-$2500 they had the answer as to how much the average family would save under Obamacare.

Rick said...

Obamacare will save the "typical" family 2,500 / year.

The Godfather said...

Whenever I hear about "fact-checking" I think of Candy Crowley in the Obama-Romney debate. It's a way for a partisan to shut down debate and declare the Democrat the winner. Note that they aren't "fact-checking" Obama until it's too late to make any difference.

David said...

"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."

Words from the heart or words from the speechwriter? Without doubt, speechwriter.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it."
Obama repeated this lie dozens of times. Sometimes he would add the word "period," implying that any dispute was illegitimate. The conversation was over.
But of course Obama had no idea whether you would be able to keep your plan or your doctor. He didn't write the bill. Pelosi, Reid, congressional aids and lobbyists wrote it. Leftists should be furious that the government began to use the force of law to support the profits of drug companies and health care combines.
The reason Obama used this lie is simple: in 2009, over 80% of Americans were happy with their health care. Obama had to neutralize those people by telling them the law would not affect their health care or its costs.
It was a despicable lie, and the WaPo should have run a front story about it every week for the rest of Obama's term.
At the very least the media should have assumed that every word coming out of Obama's mouth was another lie to push for a partisan political advantage.

UncleBiffy said...

Kessler is such a hack. When presenting Obama's 10 biggest whoppers he can't help but add a whopper of his own.

“We signed into law the biggest middle-class tax cut in history” ...
By the same measure, the income tax provisions of George W. Bush tax cuts were more than twice as large as Obama’s tax cut over the same three-year time span. (While a large portion of Bush’s tax cut went to the wealthy, it also benefited the working poor.)"

Why include that last sentence if you are not trying to make a mislead your readers? First, the question was whether the Obama administration signed the largest middle-class tax cut not whether the working poor got less than the wealthy. Second, of course the wealthy got a larger portion, they pay a larger portion. Finally, if you don't pay federal income taxes you can't get a tax cut. You may be receiving a pay out from the Federal Government as a form of income redistribution but you are not receiving a tax cut.

Kessler and the rest of the media are supposedly in business to accurately communicate issues of the day in order to better inform their readers. Instead they seem far more intent on confusing issues and mudding the water in order to further their political agenda.

Jim at said...

"Trump: I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the Kremlin and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend Mother Russia."

Once again, did Trump hop over to the Kremlin, hand them a nice, shiny Reset Button and I missed it?

Rick said...

Once again, did Trump hop over to the Kremlin, hand them a nice, shiny Reset Button and I missed it?

Apparently Trump hasn't made any firm offers, but he told the Kremlin he'll "have more flexibility after the election".

bgates said...

PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize.

Ooh, a prize named after a Democrat Congressman who was one of the originators of yellow journalism. A prize awarded to Louis Siebold for lying about Woodrow Wilson's incapacitation due to stroke (Siebold claimed to have lost a footrace with Wilson, while Wilson was still paralyzed on his left side). A prize awarded to Walter Duranty for saying there was nothing amiss in the Ukraine, when Duranty knew more than six million people had died. PolitiFact deserves that kind of company.