I think it is probably a measure of the kind of show Rachel Maddow puts on that she is currently in a war of words with…Politifact.
Short background: A few weeks back Politifact, the non-partisan fatct-checking org, gave Maddow a ‘false’ on a show she did about the Wisconsin budget saying she had her facts wrong. Which turned a lot of heads — Maddow is not someone you’d associate with bad facts.
Last week Maddow fired (FIRED) back saying “Politifact, you are wrong here on the facts and bluntly and you ought to correct it.”
Nope. Seems they are quite comfortable with the ground they are standing on.
On Reliable Sources Sunday Politifact editor Bill Adair pushed back saying that they had not made a mistake in calling her claim false:
What she just said did was mislead everybody. She played a nine-word clip without putting in context. If you look at what she said, both the longer claim that Politifact Wisconsin checked, plus that claim that she said Politifact Wisconsin should have checked, you can see that we made the right call. We checked the right fact. She made a claim that Wisconsin tonight has a budget surplus. That’s false.
Indeed. Except. Well, let’s just say that’s a pretty black and white take on a rather grey issue. As Howie noted: KURTZ: She said it’s on track for a budget surplus. And then she said $137 million deficit, which we saw. That’s the brief clip. And then she followed by saying, coincidentally, Governor Scott walker has given away $140 million in business tax breaks. She didn’t say that caused the deficit. She — you could say she suggested it, maybe.
ADAIR: Yes. And I think there was a clear implication. You know, here, what we’re trying to do, Howie, is to answer readers’ curiosity. Viewers who saw her original segment would come away with the clear point that Wisconsin was on track to have a budget surplus. So that’s what we fact-checked.
KURTZ: But that seemed like a thin read to — I mean, saying that somebody said something false, not that maybe she should have said it better, or maybe it was misleading, or she didn’t put enough emphasis on it, that’s a very serious charge to hurl at a journalist. And it seems that’s where we get into this, you know, you brand somebody, in effect, a liar by saying they said something false.
Emphasis mine. Because Howie’s right, and considering her reaction the other day I suspect Maddow is not going to let this lie.
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