As the civil war among Democrats rages over the reinsertion of Jerusalem and God in the Democratic Party platform and the exclusion of other pro-Israel language from that platform, a second front is opening up among liberal media allies. The leftist media now wants the head of the Associated Press, which had the temerity today to fact check sainted former President Bill Clinton’s DNC speech last night.
The fact checking industry has made a name for itself of late by “fact checking” not just the actual factual claims of particular candidates – usually conservative candidates – but by fact checking their supposed implications. And the fact checkers have almost universally been friends to the Obama campaign.
That’s how Politifact actually claimed that Barack Obama’s spending increases were lower than any other modern president. That’s how the Washington Post claimed with a straight face that it was a lie that President Obama hadn’t visited Israel … when President Obama hasn’t visited Israel. That’s how the fact checkers decided that every word of Paul Ryan’s VP nomination acceptance speech about a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, was false – even though every single word of it was true. That’s how Politifact decided that it was half-true that 44 states saw an increase in unemployment in August – even though that statement was fully true.
And the liberal media said nothing. Because, after all, the fact checkers were on their side.
But now the shoe is on the other foot. With AP’s article fact checking Bill Clinton’s falsehoods – of which there were plenty – the leftist media is losing its mind. The New Yorker claims, “AP Unclear on Definition of ‘Fact'”:
This Associated Press “fact check” of Bill Clinton’s speech last night has attracted a fair amount of Internet abuse, but not nearly enough. It’s not only a prime specimen of journalistic idiocy — it’s one of those documents that reveals the incredibly blinkered quality of conventional wisdom, so contemptuous of facts that challenge its assumptions.
And there’s Politico, which ripped into AP for suggesting that Clinton had a history of problems with the truth (and cigars):
It’s kind of ridiculous for the AP to suggest that once a public official lies, or misleads, he shouldn’t call others out on it.
Huffington Post, fresh from labeling the Democratic platform changes on God and Jerusalem a cave in, dove straight into the second civil war front:
The AP’s fact-check — which attracted criticism Thursday from The Atlantic Wire, The Nation, ThinkProgress and others — suggests that because Clinton lied in the late 1990s, he isn’t justified in calling out another politician or campaign for producing an ad that’s untrue.
This has not been a good week for liberals, despite the star turns of Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton. It’s been marred by mayhem and discord — a civil war on two fronts. And that second front may take down liberals’ favorite industry: the fact checkers. If they win, they lose. And if they lose, they lose.