Q: Didn't you guys used to cover lies from both the Right and the Left?
A: Yep.

Q: So... what happened?
A: We got fed up.

See, On August 28, 2012, reporters called out the Romney campaign for a political ad so misleading that the New York Times labeled it "false". The Romney campaign's response?

"We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." - Neil Newhouse

Not "we stand by what we said." Not "that’s their opinion." Not even "blah, blah, blah liberal media bias."

"We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

Well, we're not going to let our video game be dictated by false equivalencies. We're not going to shrug that off as "all politicians lie". We're going to call it what it is: a campaign that doesn't care if what they say is true. In 2008 they were bad. In 2012 they are worse.

Q: Okay, but you can't back that up with numbers, can you?
A: Wanna bet?

The Pulitzer Prize winning website Politifact.com rates statements made by political candidates to determine how truthful they are. We took a look at their findings on statements made by Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. We counted all statements Politifact rated as True and Mostly True as Truthful and all Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire statements as Untruthful. The results:

chart

As of September of 2012, Mitt Romney was running at 30% Truthful and 43% Untruthful. 30% Truthful. Less than 1 in 3 of his evaluated statements are true (by comparison, John McCain was running at 39% Truthful at a similar point in 2008).

And it gets worse. A whopping 9%, nearly one in ten, of Romney's statements are rated Pants on Fire—ridiculously false. Barack Obama, who over the last five years has had over 400 statements evaluated, has only 1% rated Pants on Fire.

Tell us again that all politicians lie.

Q: But you don't just call out Romney. You're calling out the Right as a whole.
A: Yep. See, we also took a look at all the statements Politifact evaluated during the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions:

chart

40% of Republican statements were deemed Untruthful; only 16% were Truthful. The conclusion? Democrats tell the truth 3 times as frequently as Republicans, and Republicans lie 3 times as frequently as the Democrats.

When we see those numbers start to even out, then we’ll start evaluating statements from both sides again. Until then, we’re calling a lying duck a lying duck.


   

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