Politifact Won’t Apply ‘Truth-O-Meter’ in Article About Obama Eating Dog Meat as Boy

Posted on Sun 04/22/2012 by

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Barack Obama at age 9, shown with his mother Ann Dunham, his Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro, and his less than 1-year-old sister Maya Soetoro in Jakarta, Indonesia.

By Tom Blumer ~

Karl at Hot Air and others recording their objections at Twitter caught Politifact being two-faced in deciding who gets the “Truth-O-Meter” text.

As Karl notes: “PolitiFact rated the story about the Romneys transporting the family dog on the roof of their car as ‘Mostly True.’ And PolitiFact rated the story about former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee frying squirrels in a popcorn popper simply ‘True.'” But in tackling the topic of President Obama’s boyhood appetite, even though the item is in the web site’s “Truth-O-Meter” directory, it kept the Truth-O-Meter in the closet, and only lamely reproduced some of the verbiage from Obama’s Dreams of My Father, introduced by the following narrative (original was in italics; internal links were in original):

In context: Obama’s comments on eating dog in Indonesia

Supporters of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have been sparring about dogs. Obama supporters have noted that Romney drove the family car with his dog Seamus attached to the top in a crate. Romney supporters have been saying lately that Obama has acknowledged eating dog when he was a boy in Indonesia. For today’s installment of our In Context series, we’ll explore what Obama has said.

The account comes from Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father, which includes an account of his interactions with animals shortly after moving to Indonesia. Obama lived there between 1967 and 1971 — when he was 6  to 10 years old — during his mother’s marriage to Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian-born student she had met at the University of Hawaii.

Politifact’s Louis Jacobson acts as if it’s only “Romney supporters” who are “saying” that “Obama has acknowledged eating dog when he was a boy” — almost as if no one else could possibly be doing so, and almost as if there’s any legitimate doubt that he did. “In context” (the words in Jacobson’s headline) — What about “I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy)” doesn’t he understand?

I’ll let Hot Air’s Karl have the last word:

… when it comes to stories about Republican presidential candidates eating unusual animals or arguably stressing a dog, PolitiFact has its Truth-O-Meter at the ready. When a Democrat president’s book contains the admission he ate dog, PolitiFact cannot find its Truth-O-Meter. When Obama is the subject, PolitiFact’ s “heart” simply disappears, even when the problem is made apparent to them by public complaint.

That this supposed Ministry of Truth is biased is not exactly news. A prior study by the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs found PolitiFact harbored a large bias against Republicans. But their double-standard is usually not so obvious and easily exposed.

The self-evident politicization in Politifact’s Truth-O-Meter items and its selective employment are both shameful, and really a shame, be it really could have been a useful as an objective enterprise. But it’s plainly not. The fact that it has a Pulitzer, a set of prizes long since rendered marginal by its own slant toward leftist reportage and subject matter, only serves to reinforce its growing uselessness.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com . http://www.bizzyblog.com/

Tom Blumer is president of a training and development company in Mason, Ohio, and is a contributing editor to NewsBusters

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