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Who's More Full of Shit?
September 14, 2012 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Who's More Full of Shit? Aggregates Politifact ratings and identifies which politicians, pundits and media figures lie most often. [via mefi projects]
posted by JHarris (33 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Politifact is a pretty shitty source, though. Their "lie of the year 2011" was "Republicans voted to end Medicare" even though they did, in fact, vote to end Medicare as it currently exists, and replace it with Ryan's voucher program. But it's telling that even that organization, which takes great pains to be nonpartisan and demonstrate that "both sides do it," nevertheless concedes that the facts have a well-known liberal bias.
posted by mek at 6:51 PM on September 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


Selection bias. If a candidate doesn't make as many big/bold statements, they don't get checked out by the fact-checkers.

Also fails to take into account the fact that the Romney Campaign avoids entering into specifics wherever possible. Seriously, the guy practically has no actual policy platform to speak of. Can't run a fact-check on weasel words (which makes it all the more shocking that they still get caught lying so often).
posted by schmod at 6:53 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those not familiar, Politifact is a website that takes statements by politicians, randomly reinterprets them, then scores those reinterpretations according to an entirely subjective scale that allows a statement and its logical negation to both be "mostly" true.

Example: Mitt Romney says:
As to what to do for the housing industry specifically, and are there things you can do to encourage housing? One is, don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.
Kamala Harris says:
"He said we should let foreclosures—and I quote—’hit the bottom’ so the market could—I quote—’run its course.’"
Rating: Half true.

What else is half true? Marco Rubio saying a majority of Americans are conservative, despite Politifact itself citing multiple surveys showing that less than 50% (also known as not a majority) of Americans are conservative. Bonus: This statement was originally Mostly True until the blogosphere piled on. They lack any credibility.
posted by 0xFCAF at 6:54 PM on September 14, 2012 [19 favorites]


What does it mean to be 125% of 100% full of shit? Like its coming out of your ears? Or is this like Bush's new math?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:56 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Who's more full of shit? The answer is Politifact.
posted by aaronetc at 6:56 PM on September 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


What does it mean to be 125% of 100% full of shit?

I think it's something like describing someone as "10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag".
posted by benito.strauss at 6:58 PM on September 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Hm, I was not aware of these concerns over Poltifact's accuracy when I made the post.
posted by JHarris at 7:06 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


What does it mean to be 125% of 100% full of shit? Like its coming out of your ears? Or is this like Bush's new math?

The site calculates "Pants On Fire" ratings, used for falsehoods judged particularly egregious, as if they were 200% lies.
posted by JHarris at 7:07 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The site calculates "Pants On Fire" ratings..

For quite a few years, the standard unit of measure for Republican falsehood has been "pantloads." More specifically, doughy pantloads.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:27 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thus, one should avoid wearing pants at all costs.
posted by Big_B at 7:40 PM on September 14, 2012


Thus, one should avoid wearing pants at all costs.

Finally, vindication!
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of Joe Biden's POF-rated statements is "The president is brain-dead.", which is POF because "Irresponsible claim (and wrong medical diagnosis)". Another is "When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft."

This is serious, cutting-edge political analysis, people.

By which I mean: this site is clearly not meant to be taken seriously and I am laughing like a fool.
posted by capricorn at 7:51 PM on September 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


By which I mean: this site is clearly not meant to be taken seriously and I am laughing like a fool.

The site is in fact meant to be taken seriously, which is the real reason we should all be laughing. It's funny, but not intentionally.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:55 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


OK. Let me assplain Anthony Gemma. I need to, as he's from Rhode Island, and he's a dumbass.

We have, here in RI, the son of a mob lawyer, who took over Providence after Cianci was put into proson a second time, and RI law modified to make it so he couldn't run for office after he got out early for good behavior.

Unlike the convicted crook, David Ciciline (SIS-sil-een-ee) couldn't, wouldn't and didn't manage the City of Providence's budget. Since Bush was doing it, he thought he could skate by by being photogenic and racking up enormous deficits while raiding the pensions and promising any and all unions, no matter how mob-connected, massive payouts.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Republican wingnut, and I believe in public unions, but this was above and beyond by anyone's standards.

So, anyway, this corrupt bozo runs up against the mayoral term limits (two per customer), and so decides to run for Congress. Now he's one of our two reps. Our mob-connected, book-cooking, idiot-son representative to congress.

He's also openly gay, but he is no goddamn Barney Frank.

So. We want this weasel out of public life here in RI, and lo! Behold! A small businessman with progressive politics and a history of philanthropy and a small business grown into a large one through hard word and decency on his watch! He will challenge Cicilline! Unfortunately, Anthony Gemma is a Dumbass.

He did not run against Cicilline on his record. He did not run against Cicilline on his qualifications. He did not run against Cicilline on his experience as a successful businessman and philanthropist.

No. He accused the man who won 84% of the vote with voter fraud, of literally shipping illegal immigrants from one polling station to the next on a city bus to vote him into office. Without any proof apart of something he heard from some guy at the bar that one time.

In short, the man is nuts, and surrounded by other nuts, and they all listen to Art Bell.

Anthony Gemma is full of shit, and now RI may be sending a Republican to Congress, as Brendan Dougherty is not full of shit, and is a Chaffee Republican - socially liberal, fiscally prudent - yet will be ignored and denigrated as a RINO by the House leadership.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:56 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


For quite a few years, the standard unit of measure for Republican falsehood has been "pantloads."

When we were kids my brother had apparently heard the term "pantloads" and took it to mean "a unit of measure". The upshot of this was that when he wrote a story for his seventh-grade writing class in which he desired to alluded to an abundance of shellfish, the phrasing he chose to describe this awe-inspiring bounty was "Quahogs as far as the eye could see, pantloads and pantloads of quahogs".

Fortunately my dad proofread it. This is fortunate because 1) it meant that my brother did not turn in the story with this phrase 2) our family got to hear about it and we can still mock him 3) now I can share this delightful phrase with all of you!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:04 PM on September 14, 2012 [26 favorites]


"Quahogs as far as the eye could see, pantloads and pantloads of quahogs"

This was, in fact, the unofficial slogan of the 2012 Democratic Party Primary Race for Representative here in RI.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:11 PM on September 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


This was, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Rhode Island. If you're looking for pantloads of quahogs, that's the place to be.

I moved from Providence to Chicago to DC; who would think that moving to Chicago and then moving to DC would result in me living somewhere LESS corrupt?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:19 PM on September 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


John Carter is 125% full of shit. No wonder that movie did so poorly.
posted by jiawen at 8:20 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


the phrasing he chose to describe this awe-inspiring bounty was "Quahogs as far as the eye could see, pantloads and pantloads of quahogs".

posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl


Ok... I SWEAR this is true.... as far as any fishing story can be true, that is. Anyway, I come from a long line of Rhode Islanders. Right directly back to Roger Williams (my 13th great uncle). So, I grew up hearing about the time when my dad went out to dig a few quahogs out in Salt Pond in Narragansett (we're from Great Island, for those of you who know the area). Anyway, this particular time he had no intention of taking more than a few, yet hit them big time - so you can't stop, right? And keep in mind, he's digging them with his feet. No rake, no boat, no bucket. Totally freestyle. So he filled his pockets. Then his underwear, then his arms. I sure wish there were photos of this, because according to family legend he waded ashore with a literal pant load of quahogs.

Now you can barely pull a littleneck or steamer out of the pond... forget oysters or scallops - those were gone when I was quite young.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:48 PM on September 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sean Hannity has the same number as Michelle Obama.

I think someone's calculations are full of shit.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rachel Maddow is not the biggest fan of Politifact.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:03 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


They said it was a lie when Ron Paul said "The country is bankrupt"

We are, otherwise the Fed wound't be buying our Treasuries.
posted by MikeWarot at 9:03 PM on September 14, 2012


Shouldn't John Edwards get an express elevator right to the top of this list?
posted by MoonOrb at 9:07 PM on September 14, 2012


Either they have not heard of Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson is 54% more full of shit than she is.

Or both.
posted by Foosnark at 9:36 PM on September 14, 2012


I think it's a mistake to dismiss websites like PolitiFact, even if their rulings aren't 100% flawless. It plays too much into the recent push to make factchecking generally look like a wholly partisan business we'd best do without, which happens to serve more duplicitous interests very well.

PolitiFact in particular is, on the whole, a very useful resource for sorting out the truth in public statements. Where else can you find such detailed and well-sourced analysis on such a wide variety of claims, categorized by rating, topic, and source? Not to mention their ongoing tracking of presidential promises, which both shows Obama's failures as well as highlighting the many, many successes that too often fly under the radar.

Sure, if you look through their hundreds (thousands?) of articles, you're bound to find some that just get it wrong. And their Medicare "lie of the year" thing was a disappointing instance of false equivalency. But it would be incredibly foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater here, with an entire presidential campaign in the running that's built almost entirely on lies. It's like saying we should shutter the NY Times -- they have plenty of issues, but the without them the world of US news and politics would be net worse off than with them.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:18 PM on September 14, 2012 [15 favorites]


happens to serve more duplicitous interests very well

See also.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:06 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rachel Maddow is not the biggest fan of Politifact.

But which of them is more full of shit? She's not above a little infotainment herself, when it comes to personal ideology.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:54 PM on September 15, 2012


As an Oregonian I am proud that both my senators are only 25% full of it, near the bottom of the list. That correlates with my personal experience; I have been happy with how they have represented my interests in DC.
posted by foobaz at 2:21 PM on September 15, 2012


Metafilter: pantloads and pantloads of Quahogs
posted by Renoroc at 2:36 PM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, I thought we put fish in our pants...
posted by Biblio at 2:55 PM on September 15, 2012


Politifact is a pretty shitty source, though. Their "lie of the year 2011" was "Republicans voted to end Medicare" even though they did, in fact, vote to end Medicare as it currently exists, and replace it with Ryan's voucher program.

Paul Krugman: Politifact, R.I.P.

More PolitiFact
posted by homunculus at 12:35 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rand Paul only 29%? In which parallel universe?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:38 AM on September 17, 2012


I like the detour here through RI politics.
posted by safetyfork at 9:06 AM on September 17, 2012


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