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Keep Chuckin’ Those Facts!


Give the most useless website in the known universe this: they’re consistent. Once again, they have awarded a “pants on fire” award, in this case to Harry Reid, despite providing no evidence whatsoever that Reid lied. Here’s the problem:

Many readers asked us to put Reid鈥檚 claim to the Truth-O-Meter. We conclude that Reid, despite repeating the claim on at least two occasions, has not produced any solid evidence it is true.

This does not, in fact, constitute a “lie.” If it is, then Romney has told “pants on fire” lies about what he’s paid in taxes in the years we don’t have returns released for as well. And PolitiFact is double-pants-on-fire-with-an-additional-Pinocchio lying, since they haven’t provided the slightest evidence that Reid wasn’t told by someone that Romney hasn’t paid taxes. As always, PolitiFact simply doesn’t understand what facts and lies are, which is kind of a problem when you purport to be a fact-checker.

If you want to say that Reid is engaging in dishonorable tactics, you can. For the reasons SEK and Jonathan Zasloff have stated, I don’t agree — Reid didn’t breach any actually existing standard of civility in American politics, and highlighting the embarrassing information that must be hidden in Romney’s past returns if Romney refuses to follow the existing norms and release them is Politics 101. A specific charge that can be refuted by releasing information that every other presidential candidate has released for decades isn’t McCarthyism. But all this is a matter of judgement; if PolitiFact wants to refuse to award Reid the David Broder Award for Adhering to Standards of Civility That Have Never Existed that’s fine. But it can’t call Reid a liar without providing some evidence that he’s actually lied.

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