Some on the right claim that PolitiFact.com has a bias to the left, but PolitiFact calls out anyone who is wrong with a claim. This is apparent on their list of statements made by pundits. The first one currently listed is Keith Olbermann who stated, "Subsidies for oil and gas companies make up 88 percent of all federal subsidies. Just cutting the oil and gas subsidies out would save the U.S. government $45 billion every year." PolitiFact ranked this as "False" because "He muffs two statistics in two sentences"
PolitiFact's analysis of Glenn Beck's statements
The following are the false statements as documented by them on their "All statements involving Glenn Beck" page:
- "The 2000 Census cost $4.5 billion. The 2010 Census is set to cost up to $14.5 billion." Half true, Beck's count on census is flawed
- "Franklin Roosevelt never allocated more than 12 percent of GDP to federal spending, while the percentage for Barack Obama is not projected to drop below 22.8 percent." Barely true, Only if you eliminate the final third of FDR's presidency
- "Thomas Jefferson created the Marines for the Islamic pirates that were happening." Half true, Off by one president
- Chile ranks third internationally in economic freedom, while the U.S. ranks 17th. Barely true, Chile's economy has grown, but Beck's rankings are off
- Labor union president Andy Stern is "the most frequent visitor" at the White House. False, Only if you use incomplete, outdated data
- Less than 10 percent of Obama's Cabinet appointees "have any experience in the private sector." False, Most of them do, to varying degrees
- "In the health care bill, we're now offering insurance for dogs." Pants on fire, No public option for Bo
- "Mitt Romney ... gave you government health care that is now bankrupting the state" of Massachusetts. False, It's the economy, actually
- Forty-five percent of doctors "say they'll quit" if health care reform passes. False, A questionable assertion based on questionable data
- "You don't know if this (the H1N1 vaccine) is gonna cause neurological damage like it did in the 1970s." Barely true, Three decades of flu shots since then without problems
- Covered in yesterday's post: Van Jones "is an avowed, self-avowed radical revolutionary communist." Barely true, "Was," not "is"
- Van Jones signed a petition indicating he "thinks the Bush administration blew up the World Trade Center and covered it up." Half true, A conspiracy theory of the left
- John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, "has proposed forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population." Pants on fire, Holdren never endorsed these ideas
- "Why do we have automatic citizenship upon birth? We're the only country in the world that has it." False, Brazil, Canada, Guatamala, Romania...We could go on.
This list is by no means exhaustive. For more on Beck's systematic mangling of the facts, click on the "Contents" button at the top and review the largest category of posts on The Glenn Beck Review, Beck's false claims:
PolitiFact's language, Pants on fire, false, barely true and half true correspond to the concentric circles around the mandala of truth that is explained on "What is the truth about Glenn Beck" and shown below.
The concentric circles surrounding the mandala designate various degrees of distance from the truth. Moving away from the truth are white lies (half true), to lies (barely true), to false accusations (false) out to whoppers (pants on fire), the outer ring.
The issue of this and the previous post is not that Beck never tells the truth or that when he does tell the truth, it has a reactionary spin on the facts. Spinning facts to comport with one's values and understanding is part of the human condition. The issue of Glenn Beck's deceit is that he combines fact and some degree of a lie to tell deceitful stories about his foes. That is not part of the Christian condition. The systematic efforts of Glenn Beck to deceive his viewers are un-Christian, and that makes Beck a hypocrite when he tries to convey his Christian authority and his moral righteousness.
Beck's supporters, who are unwilling or unable to grasp this chink in Beck's armor, are gullible tools in the construction of his media empire. Using lies and deceit to increase his personal wealth is nefarious enough. Lying about the President as a staple for fooling some of the people all of the time to advance a reactionary agenda is close to criminal and an assault on this nation and its founding principles.
Before more people start tuning into Beck'sCONvincing propaganda,
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