The Corner

I Challenged a PolitiFact Rating, and You Won’t Believe What Happened Next

I was on This Week last weekend, and the Jade Helm conspiracy theory came up. Liberals love right-wing conspiracy theories because it’s a handy way to paint all conservatives as irrational, so I pushed back by arguing that both sides have their kooky fears and citing a left-wing example: “During the Bush administration, you actually had a prominent liberal write a book about how Bush was preparing for a fascist takeover of this country.”

After the show, I got an e-mail from someone at PolitiFact asking what I was referring to. I sent a link to Naomi Wolf’s book on how Bush was preparing a fascist takeover of the country. Then, I wondered whether they would even rate it since it’s so obviously true, or how they would try to wiggle out of its obvious truth, if they did rate it. And sure enough, the rating came in yesterday that what I said was “Mostly True.” 

Amazingly enough, the rating itself contained this quote from Wolf from 2007: “It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society.” Apparently, the PolitiFact reasoning was that Wolf thought the 2008 election would actually come about, therefore I was exaggerating. If you are going to get Jesuitical about it, I said “preparing,” not “implementing,” but put that aside, because Wolf really did think the coup was upon us.

Here’s a painful video where she talks about the coup that is underway in 2008:

In my view, there shouldn’t have been an argument about any of this in the first place, but to their credit, confronted with the video, Politifact actually went back and changed the rating from “Mostly True” to “True.”

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