Friday, August 31, 2012

Honest Politicians?

I have become a fan of PolitiFact, installing it's app on my iPhone and iPad. The app allows me to check on the truthfulness of statements made by politicians and the PACs that support them. I particularly like PolitiFact's Pants on Fire rating, given for statements that aren't simply false, but outrageously so. 

The sad reality of the political climate today is that both parties' presidential and vice-presidential  candidates have earned Pants on Fire ratings. 5% of 56 statements by Vice-President Biden earned the rating, as did 1% of 603 statements by the President. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, earned the rating for 9% of 22 statements. Mr. Romney won that rating for 9% of 161 statements. 

Michael Steele, the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, was interviewed on Thursday by Jon Stewart. One of Mr. Steele's comments was that with new communication technology people may challenge false statements made in political campaigns. I am not optimistic, given that PolitiFact's check of 18 statements posted on Facebook found that none were true and that 28% of them earned the Pants on Fire rating.

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