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Who checks the fact-checkers?

dem debateRemember the Democratic Presidential debate where every candidate raised their hand when asked to “raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants?” It was a touching show of solidarity from a group of people who are pretty much on the same page when it comes to ignoring any restraints to government power and authority.
 
Since then, GOP operatives have (understandably) used this in their advertising. They claim Democratic candidates said they wanted to give free health care to illegals.  You don’t need a political guru to figure this is something to take advantage of.
 
Not so fast, says the holy, unimpeachable fact-checkers at PolitiFact! They correctly point out that the debate in question featured only HALF of the Democratic candidates. OK. Fine. The fact that every one of them raised their hands certainly suggests a broad consensus, but if you want to nitpick about this, go for it.
 
But no. The sacrosanct fact-checkers take it a bit further. Evidently they are drawing a clear distinction between wanting to “give free health care to illegals,” and “providing coverage for undocumented immigrants.” Seriously. That microscopic distinction was enough for them to take an obviously-true statement and rate it as “Mostly False.”
 
Let ME ask for a show of hands. If you hear that the government is going to provide something to you, isn’t the assumption that it will come at no direct cost? That is to say, without you having to shell out beyond your regular tax burden?  Let’s put it another way.  If the candidates supported a proposal to “provide people with cars,” wouldn’t that mean that you would get your car without having to cut a check? Is that not a reasonable expectation?
 
This is Clintonian-level word-parsing.  This exceedingly-minor difference is enough for the brave firefighters at PolitiFact to take an obvious truth that was broadcast to millions of people and call it a lie.  Well, “Mostly False,” at least.
 
Keep this in mind when someone cites a PolitiFact fact check as the final and unassailable Word of God.  Much like the Mainstream Media hides behind the cloak afforded them by their status as “journalists” to produce a steady stream of hackery; Politifact and their ilk do likewise while shielding themselves under the rubric of being saintly fact-checkers.
If you want to be a hack, that’s fine.  But embrace it. Don’t pretend to be something else.  That makes you look like a filthy, mendacious coward.

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