Mailbag: Lie of the Year edition
By Louis Jacobson
Published on Friday, December 14th, 2012 at 1:56 p.m.
The Lie of the Year prompts some of the most spirited (and angry!) comments we get. So our selection of the Romney campaign's ad on Jeeps made in China as our Lie of the Year inspired a blizzard of responses. We didn't get as many comments as last year, when we selected the Democratic claim that Republicans wanted to "end Medicare," but once again criticism outweighed praise by a ratio of at least 20 to 1 -- and the language was just as passionate.
Here's a sampling of the criticisms. The most popular alternative offered by readers was United Nations Amb. Susan Rice’s claim that the Benghazi attack was inspired by a web video rather than planned and carried out by terrorists.
"Americans died in the Benghazi cover-up and you have the gall to call out the Jeep ad as the Lie of the Year? You’re pathetic."
"Your Lie of the Year post is dishonest. Romney was just repeating what a Jeep executive said in his own words. There was more truth in that ad than almost any other campaign commercial of the season. The lie is that the Jeep corporate office walked back the comments. They got busted, walked it back, then smiled when the Dems threw Romney under the bus. Your decision on this one cheapens your image."
"Although I believe the statement was a bit of a stretch. ‘Lie of the year’ sounds extreme. For the longest time, all non-USA automotive companies that sold in the USA market imported vehicles. Later, many of these major manufacturers set up shop in the USA, mostly in the Southeast. I believe China doesn't allow this - all foreign car manufacturers have to set up joint ventures within China to sell their automobiles. The bigger question is why does the USA allow this unfavorable trade practice to exist and assign China favorable trade status. It would seem logical that this practice costs USA manufacturing jobs. These were the type of issues that were completely ignored by the media during the campaign."
"The Benghazi cover-up, where an American ambassador and three others were killed, under the narrative spun by the Obama White House as a mob's reaction to a ‘horrid anti-Muslim’ video was by far the biggest lie of the year. Repeated lies -- by Jay Carney, Hillary Clinton and Mr. O himself -- of this narrative staring straight into the camera surrounded by star struck media has been running for months now without serious confrontation by a fawning press. Shame on you. Shame on the majority of the American press."
"You seize on something so trivial while Obama's multiple and repetitive lies have caused real hurt to real people. Now your true colors come out. No politician is perfect. But your ‘Lie of the Year’ is akin to adding a jaywalker to the 10 Most Wanted poster while giving Al Capone a humanitarian award."
"PolitiFact has just disqualified itself as a reliable source of information. Romney’s comment on Jeep production was an error, not a lie. Your obviously biased politics is blurring your vision. Think I’m some disgruntled Republican or Mormon? Guess again. I’ve been an agnostic Democrat for over 40 years and I’ve watched lies, distortions and hate take over my party. You are an example of the problem. Truth is the only solution. Try it sometime."
"Choosing to print this now in order to gin up readership shows how shallow and wasted you are. Get a life. You are wasting yours."
"You call that the biggest lie of the year when Obama's entire life is a lie? Everything that comes out is a lie. He is a traitor, un-American, and worse yet anti-America. He should be impeached, arrested, and in jail for life as an example the next individual that tries to sell out our country."
"PolitiFact wouldn’t know a fact if it walked up and said ‘Hi, I am a fact!’ PolitiFact, or PolitiFarce as it is known by most, is pure unadulterated B.S. Another cog in the Democrat machine that is ruining America."
"I am totally disgusted. How dare you publish this trash? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. What about the ad about Romney killing someone whose husband lost a job? What about Ryan being portrayed as a person pushing granny over the cliff? What about Obama lying about Benghazi. Must I remind you morons that four people died in Benghazi, and while the president knew about it being a terrorist act, he had people go out and tell people it was just because of a movie? Before you go slam Romney, you stupid jackass, why not get your head out of your leftist ass and see that your best friend Obama is a big liar? No, you want to kiss Obama's ass and this is why the media is a sham and a disgrace."
"Glad we have top reporters like yourself out in the field to cover all the lies the Republicans have been telling us! It's also great to see your degree in journalism from ITT Tech is really panning out! I'm going to return to my life of blissful ignorance under a socialist regime and keep relying on top economically incompetent reporters like yourself!"
And here's a sampling of comments from readers who agreed with the choice:
"This was a good choice, because it's not just the magnitude of the lie that counts. In this case, the Romney campaign lied, the lie was pointed out, and instead of correcting it or just moving on, they kept repeating it ad nauseam and even made a political ad out of it. When the Romney campaign intentionally lied to millions of people, it was obvious that they only did so because they had such a low opinion of the intellect of the American voter. That's what makes the lie particularly offensive."
"The blatancy of this lie, the fact that it was repeated even after it had been shown to be false, and the effect it had on the election make this a great Lie of the Year choice."
"I agree with the Jeep story being the Lie of the Year. But why did you include this? ‘It’s not that President Obama and his campaign team were above falsehoods, either. Their TV ads distorted Romney’s positions on abortion and immigration to make them seem more extreme than they actually were. A pro-Obama super PAC even created an ad suggesting Romney was responsible for a woman’s death when her husband lost his job at a Bain-controlled company?' In the 2011 Lie of the Year article, you included no such qualifier regarding the Republicans. This year, you unnecessarily included the, ‘yeah but they did it too’ statement trying to appease the Republicans. Shoddy and dishonest."
Emails and Facebook posts by PolitiFact readers.
Researchers: Louis Jacobson
Names in this article: Mitt Romney
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