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Politifact’s Review of Josh Trevino: Mostly Hackery

RedState Co-Founder appeared on MSNBC last night discussing, inter alia, the debt ceiling, and liberals are in a tizzy. Some of them apparently contacted the liberal hack artists at Politifact (who have still got about 5 people on earth convinced that they are a neutral fact checker) to take a run at Josh’s claims about polling on the deficit. The clip of Josh’s performance is here.

By way of reminder, Politifact’s long history of liberal hackery has been discussed ad nauseam, including this absurd piece in which liberal gasbag Gary Trudeau was declared correct despite equating terrorism with homicides, legal shootings, and accidents, not to mention this ridiculous hit job on Rob Portman, among many other clearly politically motivated “fact checks.”

It must have really stuck in liberals’ craw that even Politifact was forced to rate Trevino’s statements as “mostly true.” However, an examination of the facts shows that even this grudging admission on Politifact’s part was nothing more than pure hackery. The relevant graf of Trevino’s statements that Politifact purported to check is as follows:

“Yesterday,” Treviño said, “we saw Gallup release a poll that had 42 percent of Americans, a plurality, opposed to raising the debt ceiling. And today we had a Gallup poll showing 50 percent versus 11 (percent) on the other side thinking that the debt and the deficit should be dealt with by mostly spending cuts. So the Republicans are on the side of the American people here, and I think that’s pretty clear.”

Politifact was forced to concede that Trevino’s characterization of the poll showing a plurality opposed to raising the debt ceiling was 100% correct and accurate. So what caused them to rate Trevino’s remarks as “mostly true” instead of “completely and entirely true”? Politifact claimed that Trevino’s 50% vs. 11% was not entirely accurate:

Asked how they’d prefer members of Congress to address the deficit, 20 percent said only by cutting spending and another 30 percent said mostly with spending cuts. Four percent favored solely tax increases, while 7 percent said they’d prefer to tackle the deficit mostly by tax hikes.

Uh, well, it has been a while since I have had a math class, but those two sets of percentages seem to add up to 50 and 11 according to my laptop’s calculator. What is the problem, exactly, Politifact?

Still, 32 percent said they’d support a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Put another way, at least 43 percent indicated some support for tax increases — most of them also backing budget cuts.

Memo to Politifact: the fact that a poll contains additional information that Trevino did not discuss does not make his statement less than entirely truthful. For example: if Trevino had been discussing the latest poll of the Republican caucus in Iowa and had claimed (correctly) that “Bachmann leads Romney 32%-29%,” his statement would not be rated merely “mostly true” because he did not disclose that Pawlenty was at 7%, Santorum at 6%, etc. Trevino by his own statement wasnt’ discussing the people who wanted the deficit solution split roughly down the middle, he was discussing people who favored “mostly cuts” versus “mostly taxes,” and his statement was (and should have been scored) completely correct.

These facts notwithstanding, liberal trolls went to the most notoriously liberal hacks in the fact-checking business, and weren’t able to get a response worse than “mostly true.” The reality, of course, is that Trevino’s statements were “completely true,” which doesn’t bode well for their position in the upcoming debt fight.

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