In an attempt to shield Mitt Romney's campaign from criticism that many of its claims against the Obama administration are based on falsehoods, conservative media have resorted to attacking fact-checkers, accusing them of liberal bias or of “shilling” for the Obama campaign. This is in keeping with the position of the Romney campaign, which has said, “We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
Romney Campaign Dismissed Fact-Checkers
Romney Surrogate: “We're Not Going [To] Let Our Campaign Be Dictated By Fact-Checkers.” During an ABC News/Yahoo! News event at the Republican National Convention, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse suggested fact-checkers were biased and stated: “We're not going [to] let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” From ABCNews.com:
O'Connor said she thought their ad “Right Choice” attacking Obama on welfare reform has been the most effective so far, despite its being given “Four Pinnochios” by a Washington Post fact check.
Newhouse brushed off the fact check as par for the course in political campaigns.
“People are always going to get Pinocchios for this stuff,” Newhouse said. “We stand behind those ads and behind the facts in those ads.”
Newhouse suggested the problem was with the fact-checkers, not the facts themselves: “Fact-checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs and you know what? We're not going let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” [ABCNews.com, 8/28/2012]
Conservative Media In Turn Attacked Fact-Checkers
Rush Limbaugh: “The Drive-By Media Was On A Mission To Try To Prove That Paul Ryan Had Lied.” On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh blasted the “bogus fact-checkers” who he said used “misleading data” to “prove that Paul Ryan had lied” in his speech at the Republican National Convention:
LIMBAUGH: Within five minutes, the drive-by media was on a mission to try to prove that Paul Ryan had lied. And they got their bogus fact-checkers up and in gear. And low and behold, they put out stories themselves filled with misleading data in order to make the point that Paul Ryan lied. “Obama didn't shut down that factory.” And I -- we've got the facts for you and in the next segment, I'll run through them very quickly.
But the fact of the matter is the Democrats and their fact-checkers have it wrong. Ryan was right and even CNN's fact-checkers grudgingly admit it, at the end of the day. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/30/12]
Jennifer Rubin: “Nearly En Masse The Left Decided That Ryan 'Lied.'” Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin defended Congressman Paul Ryan's RNC speech, claiming that “nearly en masse the left decided that Ryan 'lied'” because his speech “was a ringing success with delegates and in much of the mainstream media”:
Needless to say, the speech was a ringing success with delegates and in much of the mainstream media. Ryan bloodied President Obama with blow after blow, all the while appearing cheery and sincere. The crowd loved it. So nearly en masse the left decided that Ryan “lied.”
For starters, that is the ultimate compliment. It is in effect saying the speech worked so well and was received so well that the only thing to say is that it was a con job.
But the “lies” turn out not to be lies at all. They are not even misrepresentations or exaggerations.
I think much of the media accusations were offered in haste in an effort to get out the instant reaction without the media doing their full homework. It is a revealing moment, for the press and the Obama camp. For members of the Obama team, it means they are losing the race, and they know it. [The Washington Post, 8/30/12]
Breitbart.com's John Nolte: “The Term 'Fact Checker' Is Now A Punchline.” In a blog post titled “Era of Media Fact Checkers Intimidating Republicans Is Over,” Breitbart.com editor John Nolte accused “left-wing fact checkers” of “shameless Obama-shilling”:
It's official; the term “fact checker” is now a punchline.
For four long years, I've waited for these disgracefully partisan left-wing fact checkers to implode, and this morning and last night it finally happened. And it happened under the weight of their own lies and shameless Obama-shilling/
Last night, before the applause had even died after VP nominee Paul Ryan's masterful speech, CNN's Wolf Blitzer was calling Ryan a liar. Before the echoes of Ryan's last words had even faded, Blitzer was telling America the fact-checkers would take issue with the speech.
Within minutes afterwards, the lying, disgraced media fact-checkers dutifully followed suit with a flurry of lying, disgraced checking of Ryan's facts.
This was undoubtedly pre-planned and organized between Team Obama and his Media Palace Guards. [Breitbart.com, 8/30/12]
- Nolte Attacked Wash. Post's Glenn Kessler As A “Dishonest Fact-Checker” And A “Feckless, Impotent Little Fact-Checker.” In another Breitbart.com piece, Nolte attacked the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, calling him “dishonest” and a “feckless, impotent little fact-checker.” Nolte went on to write: “This isn't journalism; this is extortion. And ”lie" is nothing more than the new word the corrupt media uses to describe any and all effective attacks launched against Their Precious One." [Breitbart.com, 8/30/12]
Jon Scott: “Some Media Outlets Suggesting He Got Some Of His Facts Wrong. Is that fair?” On Fox News' Happening Now, anchor Jon Scott questioned the fairness of “suggesting” Ryan “got some of his facts wrong” in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention:
SCOTT: Meantime, a rousing speech from Paul Ryan gets folks at the convention all fired up. But there's also been some criticism of the speech. Some media outlets suggesting he got some of his facts wrong. Is that fair? [Fox News, Happening Now, 8/30/12]
National Review: “Maybe It's Liberal Bias That Explains PolitiFact's Blown Calls.” In an editorial titled “PolitiFiction,” National Review accused the nonpartisan organization PolitiFact of “liberal bias” for rating “false” the Romney campaign's claims about Medicare under the Obama administration, asserting that “PolitiFact can't be trusted to get the story right”:
The website PolitiFact is going to be truth-squadding the Republican convention speakers this week, delivering verdicts on which claims are “mostly true” and which deserve a “pants on fire” rating. Our advice: Pay no attention to those ratings. PolitiFact can't be trusted to get the story right.
Maybe it's liberal bias that explains PolitiFact's blown calls. Whatever the reason, it is no good at distinguishing between truth and falsehood, which is to say at its professed mission. It should therefore give itself a “pants on fire” rating and shut itself down. [National Review, 8/28/2012]
Erick Erickson: “The Fact Checkers Are Not Checking Facts, They Are Spinning.” In a RedState.com post, CNN contributor Erick Erickson compared fact-checkers to “lemmings” that work “hand in hand” with the Obama campaign “to drive a narrative designed to advance Barack Obama's re-election,” adding:
The fact checkers are not checking facts, they are spinning. And the media, which is no longer respected by the American people, has abdicated the fact checking role it consistently refused to do to a group it created. The media's fact checkers are propped up as arbiters of truth when they just still promote the media's own bullcrap, just this time with a “truth” label stuck to it. [RedState, 8/30/12]