Thursday, September 18th, 2014

No, that's not what the Truth-O-Meter said

We've given False and Pants on Fire ratings to people who incorrectly cited our ratings.
We've given False and Pants on Fire ratings to people who incorrectly cited our ratings.

PolitiFact is all about exaggerations and falsehoods, so we shouldn't be surprised when people describe our work … using exaggerations and falsehoods.

We've seen several instances this year where candidates and political groups have incorrectly described our fact-checks.

Loretta Weinberg, the majority leader in the New Jersey state Senate, said recently that PolitiFact "listed Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin as the governor who told the most lies" and "our own ‘untruthful’ Gov. Chris Christie made it into Politifact's top five of ‘Lie-en governors’."

But PolitiFact New Jersey rated that False because we don't keep a "top five" list, and we do not have a complete accounting for all governors nationwide.

Yesterday, the state Democratic Party in New Jersey earned a False for claiming that we rated Paul Krugman True for calling Governor Christie a "fiscal phony."

In fact, we were rating the claim by the New York Times columnist that "there have been some job gains in the McMansion State since Mr. Christie took office, but they have lagged gains both in the nation as a whole and in New York and Connecticut, the obvious points of comparison."

In a December debate of Republican presidential candidates, Michele Bachmann responded to a challenge on her credibility by claiming that she had earned all Trues at a previous debate.

She was wrong because she had earned a Pants on Fire.

She earned another Pants on Fire for misstating our ratings.