The journalistic malpractice outfit calling itself PolitiFact Ohio has ruled as “Pants on Fire” 5 of 21 recent statements by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, supporting a “rocky start” narrative at legacy media outlets covering the campaign. Cherry-picking and distortions from PolitiFact Ohio act as another hurdle for Mandel in his race against incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – whose record is in many respects worse than Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Socialist from Vermont.
Remember: PolitiFact Ohio does not score or rate statements, but instead passes down rulings – because everyone knows the journalists of 2012 are society’s last remaining guardians of truth. As evidence, consider a March column from PolitiFact Ohio writer Henry J. Gomez, which begins, “Josh Mandel’s already casual relationship with the truth took a turn toward outright estrangement this month.” Gomez goes on to lament how frequently Mandel is found to be a liar… by Gomez and the other Cleveland Plain Dealer staffers who hand-pick and then hatchet-job statements from Mandel.
Yes, this is the same Cleveland Plain Dealer Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)’s wife resigned from in 2011 after she was caught filming Mandel at a tea party event.
Last November, after Mandel accused Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) of supporting the disgusting Occupy Wall Street movement, PolitiFact Ohio ran a piece titled, “Josh Mandel accuses Sherrod Brown of ‘egging on’ protesters doing vulgar acts” and ruled Mandel’s statement Pants on Fire. I encourage you to read the nearly 800-word screed, which is written in a voice resembling a campus newspaper, downplays Brown’s support for Occupy Wall Street, and slaps Mandel with the worst PolitiFact ruling because Brown did not specifically encourage Occupiers to poop on police cars.
In December, Mandel hit Brown for “siding with Washington bureaucrats and fringe extremists” on environmental issues. PolitiFact Ohio leapt to Brown’s defense, poring over the background of each person involved in one specific fracking decision while completely ignoring coal or the EPA – even though Mandel specifically mentioned coal in the quote cited by our friendly neighborhood fact-checkers. PolitiFact Ohio again ruled Pants on Fire; again, I encourage you to read the piece and revel in the 1100 words of skewed J-school snark that passed for “fact checking” by PolitiFact standards.
This March, Mandel claimed, “Sherrod Brown is one of the main D.C. politicians responsible for Ohio jobs moving to China.” Sherrod Brown is, of course, one of the world’s preeminent bureaucracy-fetishizing, tax-hiking union shills, but that’s all immaterial in the halls of PolitiFact. PolitiFact Ohio, in the course of again defending Brown and ruling another Mandel statement Pants on Fire, described Obama and Brown’s stimulus boondoggle thusly: “The stimulus bill, formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is credited by many economists with pumping enough money into the United States economy to keep the recession from spiralling out of control.”
Oh, and the “fact check” weighed in at over 1200 words, in a tone suggesting the author was really angling for opinion page duties but is trying to make the best of things.
If you’ve read John Nolte’s coverage of PolitiFact Ohio’s national parent, you have a good idea how the group operates. PolitiFact Ohio churns out pompous liberal excuses for fact-checking, and the Brown campaign (in addition to Ohio’s other legacy media outlets) leverages PolitiFact’s “unbiased” work as proof Josh Mandel is unworthy of consideration from the majority of Ohioans opposed to reelecting Progressive hack Sherrod Brown.
For more coverage of PolitiFact Ohio, check out OhioWatchdog.org.
Follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonahart