Politifact Fact Checks Scott Walker’s Sweater, Sends Reporter to Check Kohl’s Clearance Racks

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Politifact may have outdone themselves with a fact check devoted to whether or not Gov. Scott Walker really bought a sweater at a clothing retail store for one dollar.

The story is this: at an appearance in New Hampshire, Walker pointed to the stylish brown sweater he was wearing and said, “We paid one dollar for it with our Kohl’s Cash.” Holy cats! Could this be true? Time for the experts at Politifact to swing into action:

Walker indicated on Twitter that he bought the sweater while in the Granite State. He didn’t identify the location, but there is a Kohl’s in Hooksett, about 13 miles from Concord. We called the store, and an employee in menswear said all of the store’s henley sweaters were mixed with other items on clearance racks.

Based on photos of Walker in the sweater, it appears to be a “Chaps Twisted Button Mock Sweater” in a color called “walnut twist.” We couldn’t find that sweater available on the Kohl’s web site, so we visited the Kohl’s store in Glendale to paw through the clearance racks.

There we found plenty of Chaps sweaters marked between 80 and 90 percent off — an even deeper cut than the 70% Walker cited when describing the deal. Some of the sweaters we found were originally priced at $70 and marked down to $7.

Politifact not only made calls for this, they sent someone out to a store to check the racks. They really did not want the truth to get away from them on this critical issue. You can see where they thought this was going. They would have played this up with a headline like: Scott Walker’s Pants and Sweater Are On Fire!

Much to Politifact’s dismay, it turns out that Walker probably did get the sweater for $1 using “Kohl’s Cash,” which is a discount given as a reward for a prior purchase. Politifact rates the story “True.”

Perhaps because this didn’t work out, Politifact makes sure to tell us the whole thing wasn’t really their idea. The story notes, “we heard from readers from around the country who thought it was an unbelievable story.” That should tell you all you need to know about Politifact’s readers. They are people clamoring for a fact check over a Republican’s bargain shopping.

It’s worth noting that just last month, Politifact declined to issue a ruling on Hillary Clinton’s claim that she “fully complied with every rule” relating to the use of private email while Secretary of State. That story, which dominated the news for more than a week, was too difficult for Politifact to parse. The site argued that since we will never know what emails Hillary deleted, we can’t know if she was telling the truth. Even when the experts they spoke to suggested Hillary’s claims were not plausible, they stuck with no ruling.

But at least Politifact has the important stories nailed down.


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