PolitiFact Beclowns Itself With Pretzel Logic ‘Fact Check’ of Ohio GOP Senate Nominee J.D. Vance’s Latest Ad
“An ad for candidate J.D. Vance portrays Tim Ryan as in lockstep with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, … Although the Democrats’ voting records are fairly aligned, the clip leaves out Ryan’s bid against her in 2016.” – PolitiFact
Just about every time I read a “fact check” from PolitiFact, I think to myself “this truly might be their most ridiculous one ever.”
But unlike those others I’ve checked out, a recent one they did on a campaign ad Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance ran criticizing his Democratic opponent Tim Ryan really might be the most ridiculous they’ve ever done, and I promise I’m not being hyperbolic.
Let’s take a look at the ad first before diving into the “meat” of PolitiFact’s argument.
In it, we see Vance correctly pointing out that Congressman Ryan has two faces: the fake “independent” one he puts on for Ohio voters while performing his “man of the people” shtick and the career politician one he puts on when he’s in Washington, D.C., where he votes with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Biden 100 percent of the time. Included in the clip is a short segment between Ryan and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow from 2016 where he discusses his “love” for Pelosi:
TV Tim is a fake. DC Tim is bad for Ohio. pic.twitter.com/IdUu6mfdhG
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) September 23, 2022
As per the norm, PolitiFact tried to run interference for Ryan, suggesting Vance’s ad didn’t tell the full story because in 2016 after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Ryan challenged Pelosi’s leadership position at the time (House Minority Leader), as though that changed the facts presented in the ad:
An ad for candidate J.D. Vance portrays Tim Ryan as in lockstep with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, playing a clip of Ryan saying “I do love her.” Although the Democrats’ voting records are fairly aligned, the clip leaves out Ryan’s bid against her in 2016. https://t.co/oRbBicL8Ms
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) October 5, 2022
In their write-up, they called the omission of Ryan’s failed attempt at becoming House Minority Leader an “important” one:
The clip omits an important “but;” Ryan went on to say that despite his love, it was time for a new Democratic leader in the U.S. House — Ryan himself. The clip was from 2016, when Pelosi was vying to remain the House minority leader after Trump’s presidential win.
Although Ryan votes with Pelosi’s priorities most of the time, he has disagreed with her on some topics.
So what? A leadership challenge doesn’t necessarily mean you disagree with the person in charge as far as their priorities go. In fact, in Ryan’s case he admitted in that interview with Maddow that his issue with Pelosi was in the way she went about trying to sell the Democratic agenda and win seats and not the agenda itself:
We`ve got to talk about the future. And I think we are going to have to win 30 or 40 congressional districts in the southern part of the country, in red congressional districts, southern Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan. We`ve got to win seats that are Upstate New York.
And we need a leader who can go into all of those districts and persuade people who voted for Donald Trump to come back into the Democratic fold. And I believe — I think I can do that. I know I can do that. I`ve been doing it my whole career and I just want to offer the members of our caucus an opportunity to have a choice in this.
Ryan’s voting record does show alignment with the priorities of President Joe Biden and Pelosi.
FiveThirtyEight, a website that analyzes data, including lawmakers’ records, found that Ryan voted with Biden 100% during the current Congress. That is not unusual for House Democrats; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a member of the party’s progressive wing, voted with Biden about 94% of the time.
So just how on earth can they rate Vance’s claim about Ryan “half true” when they acknowledged in what they wrote that what he said was correct? Because it’s PolitiFact, that’s why, where covering for Democrats is the name of the game, as we saw in their “fact check” on Republican critics of Vice President Kamala Harris’ disturbing hurricane relief “equity” comments.
The same holds true for another one they did earlier this week on a post-Hurricane Ian statement from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in which he said Lee County wasn’t “even in the cone” three days prior to the storm hitting the southwestern coast. Newsbusters dissected and took down that PolitiFact hit piece masquerading as a “fact check” here.
Needless to say, though fact checkers have demonstrated over and over again over the years that they can’t be trusted, they especially did not cover themselves in glory this past week with their horribly slanted takes on Republican claims with just a few weeks to go before the midterm elections.
It is precisely because I think fact-checking is so important these days, that I loathe PolitiFact. Its bad faith partisan hackery has delegitimized the entire concept of fact checking. They are just a self-parody at this point and no one should take them seriously. https://t.co/priE5AWYHd
— Brian Riedl 🧀 🇺🇦 (@Brian_Riedl) October 5, 2022
As the old saying goes, truer words were never spoken.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.