It’s bad enough when biased news organizations claim to be “fact checkers.” It moves to the ridiculous when politicians try filling that role. Even the New York Times noticed that Barack Obama didn’t exactly cover himself in glory when he tried taking on a new role as Arbiter of Truth:
Mr. Obama this week, for the first time, entered the fray. Campaigning on Tuesday on college campuses in Iowa and Colorado, he told thousands of supporters not to believe the opposition’s attacks because, “how do I put this nicely? They will just fib.” On Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va., he ramped up his complaint, winning applause from the estimated 6,500 people.
“Sometimes they just make things up. But they’ve got a bunch of folks who can write $10 million checks, and they’ll just keep on running them,” he said. “I mean, somebody was challenging one of their ads — they made it up — about work and welfare. And every outlet said this is just not true. And they were asked about it and they said — one of their campaign people said, ‘We won’t have the fact-checkers dictate our campaign. We will not let the truth get in the way.’”
Wow — that would be a fine catch for any Obama Truth Squad member, let alone the Truth Commander in Chief! Except, as the NYT notes, no one actually ever said that they wouldn’t let the truth get in the way:
Mr. Obama was referring, as many other critics of the Romney campaign have, to a comment that its pollster, Neil Newhouse, made to reporters at the Republican convention on Tuesday, dismissive of those faulting the campaign’s television ads. What Mr. Newhouse actually said was, “These fact-checkers come to those ads with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs. We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
Mr. Newhouse did not say, “We will not let the truth get in the way.”
D’oh! Mark Hemingway calls this “a near perfect encapsulation of how the Obama campaign is leaning on incompetent partisans masquerading as “independent” media fact checking organizations to do their dirty work[.]” I just call it a case of projection. Like Mark, though, I eagerly await the mainstream media’s fact checkers and their ruling on the President’s attempt to try out for a job. A few more of these, and Obama may need one in January.
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Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.