Fact-checking the fact-checker


The Associated Press was selective in fact-checking Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty’s announcement of his presidential bid.

But one simple thing could have changed this story from being a bash of Pawlenty into a more credible review of the facts.

First I’ll go over the entire Associated Press fact-check in the order given. People can double check me here.

PAWLENTY: “The truth is, people getting paid by the taxpayers shouldn’t get a better deal than the taxpayers themselves. That means freezing federal salaries, transitioning federal employee benefits, and downsizing the federal work force as it retires.” — Campaign announcement.

THE FACTS: A federal pay freeze is already in effect. Obama proposed and Congress approved a two-year freeze on the pay of federal employees, exempting the armed forces, Congress and federal courts.

But note, those two years of pay freeze expire with the new presidential term. And what about down-sizing? The Associated Press totally ignored that part of the statement, as well as “transitioning federal employee benefits.”

He gets a push on the pay freeze but a full point for the rest.

Pawlenty 1 1/2, AP 1/2.

PAWLENTY: “ObamaCare is unconstitutional.” — USA Today column.

THE FACTS: Obama’s health care overhaul might be unconstitutional in Pawlenty’s opinion, but it is not in fact unless the Supreme Court says so. Lower court rulings have been split.

But wait, it is an opinion column, clearly marked as opinion.

And the Associated Press cannot say it is constitutional. Just as in baseball, the tie goes to the runner. Full point to Pawlenty.

Pawlenty  2 1/2, Associated Press 1/2.

PAWLENTY: “Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes.” — Campaign announcement.

THE FACTS: Obama’s record shows more tax cutting than tax raising. The stimulus plan early in his presidency cut taxes broadly for the middle class and business, and more recently he won a substantial cut in Social Security taxes for a year. He also campaigned in support of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all except the wealthy, whose taxes he wanted to raise. In office, he accepted a deal from Republicans extending the tax cuts for all. As for tax increases, Obama won congressional approval to raise them on tobacco and tanning salons. The penalty for those who don’t buy health insurance, once coverage is mandatory, is a form of taxation.

Nice try, but Obamacare raises taxes by $790 billion over 10 years and Obama says he wants to raise taxes on the wealthy. The Social Security tax cut is a one year deal.

Obama has stood for higher taxes, he just has not accomplished all of it.

The Associated Press misrepresented the $790 billion tax increase over 10 years as a tax on tans and tobacco. Full point to the candidate.

Pawlenty 3 1/2, Associated Press 1/2.

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I’ve been to Fact Check Site Once… I immediately saw much was ‘slanted’ in their “FACTS” and never paid attention to it again….