by Kyle Swenson
The Plain Dealer recently made a pretty smart move, inking a deal with PolitiFact.com, the preeminent bullshit detector in the political sphere, and we’re all better off for it. The paper is one of the first to sign on; right now Ohio joins a small group of four other states with PolitiFact-affiliated news organizations. Hats off to you, PD . . .
PolitiFact is the product of the St. Petersburg Times, one of the top dailies in the country. The idea is basically to strip search talking points and stump speeches for inaccuracy; anytime a politician — from both the left and right — drops a factoid, the folks over at PolitiFact pat it down, tear it apart, feed it to the dogs, wash, dry, repeat — until the essential veracity is confirmed or rebuked. Statements are graded on the Truth-O-Meter from true, mostly true, half true, barely true and false.
Some notable recent examples on the Ohio segment of the Web site include Senate Candidate Rob Portman’s oft cited claim that rival Lee Fisher once said “I never met a gun control bull I didn’t like” (false); Gov. Ted Strickland’s claim that Ohio raised school spending by 5.5 percent (false); and Senator Sherrod Brown’s statement 22 million jobs were created in President Clinton’s two terms in office (true).