Comments about ‘Fact-checkers tackle Mitt Romney's RNC speech; fact-checker-checkers caution readers’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 31 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Riverside, CA

I love the way liberals believe they have won an argument just by spewing the name Karl Rove. Much easier than addressing any of the substance of what he says. Like him or not he is intelligent and does his homework.

The examples Rove cites are verifiable and most of us remember them well. Describe them however you like. I consider them apologizes, and yes "fact-checkers" are mostly political hacks.


I don't always agree with the ratings fact-checkers give, but almost always I learn valuable information.

I find it very disturbing that the LDS church-owned newspaper would write this type of article. One would think Deseret News, above all other papers, would be supportive of efforts to sort fiction/truth from fact/lies. Nowhere in the article does it point out the benefits and value of fact-checkers. The article points out the Investors Business Daily claims that fact checkers don't provide balance which is not true. Most fact-check both sides, using conservative and liberal sources.

Deseret News is just following the Fox strategy of discrediting anything that doesn't support/promote the conservative/GOP agenda. Many Republicans get most of their news/information from one source. Is this healthy for the future of our country and the LDS church? The LDS church sends missionaries out all over the world in hopes that people will have open, questioning minds/hearts, yet their newspaper has a narrow, one-sided message/focus.

Provo, UT

@DanO, I said nothing of whether or not Ryan was right. In fact, I called him outright disingenuous. He criticized Obama for the same thing of which he was guilty. There is no lie in that, but there is deception. My criticism was of the NYT article, which, as I mentioned, I had read right when it came out. Read the article. The title and writing suggest blatant, outright, made-up lies. Point for point, they go through Ryan's falsehoods, but none of the things they criticize as being infactual are actually infactual. They're opinion, and they're passing off their opinion a factual rebuttal, which it is not.

I regularly read fact-checks because I don't believe most politicians. There's a reason, though, that the fact-checkers are getting criticized on this one. There is a clear bias in the media, which in itself is ok if one is clear about it being bias and opinion. What's not OK is to pass bias as "fact." That is disingenuous.

Wisconsin Moderate

The Janesville plant closed during the Bush administration, before President Obama took office. That's a fact. What else needs to be said?

Heber City, UT

Articles like this are what lead many to believe statements of political neutrality by this paper's owners are merely lip service. When the " letter" is read to congregations in the next few months, half will roll their eyes and half will wink at each other.

There are "facts" and there is "the truth." it is a that each of has lied. It leaves a false impression to call each other admitted liars. Political ads/speeches are intended to leave impressions. I expect Mitt's integrity to elevate him above the fray, otherwise his election will have been in vain.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Here's substance for you:

Obama visited the Janesville GM plant as a presidential candidate in February of 2008 where he told the workers that hybrid vehicles were America's future. Obama said:

"The question is not whether a clean energy economy is in our future, it's where it will thrive. I want it to thrive right here in the United States of America; right here in Wisconsin; and that's the future I'll fight for as your President."

The plant was idled in April of 2008, laying off some 750 employees by July of 2008. The last vehicle rolled off the line in December 2008, before Obama took office. Source: Wisconsin State Journal

How a candidate's campaign trail encouragement translates into broken-promise causation before he was even sworn in is some "truthiness" that Romney and Ryan will have to explain. Or maybe the DN can do that for them.

I expected more from good, Christian candidates. Certainly there are enough real issues to address. I did not expect the Deseret News to be so engaged in helping to deceive the electorate.

Provo, UT

@Truthseeker, have you read the articles the DNews is criticizing? If you're going to call it one way, call it both ways. The fact-checking that is being criticized is nothing of the sort.

For the record, I'm neither a Repub. nor a Demo., I'm an independent calling it how I see it. For all those claiming Obama's words are not apologies b/c he didn't use synonyms of such, consider how we would perceive it if Ahmadinejad, Putin or Chavez toured the world and used those same words to discuss their countries' past policies.

Olympia, WA

I was glad to read the words of our President in this piece. It makes me proud to be an American again and I do not see his words as apologies. You might, and that is fine, in America; we can agree to disagree.


@bullet56 - although I disgree with your interpretation of Obama's comments, I respect that your opinion is reasonable. If you meant what you said, then you should agree with the message of the article. Politifact apparently does not believe "we can agree to disagree." Although many reasonable people interpret Obama's comments as an "Apology Tour," Politifact arbiters think everyone who believes that is basically believing outright lies, and denying indisputable facts, even thought we're dealing with opinions. As the article suggests, that demonstrates a bias with the fact checkers, and reduces their credibility.

Provo, UT

There were far more serious untruths and misrepresentations in Mitt Romney's speech than what he said about Pres. Obama's apologies, and I expect this newspaper to report such matters, just as I expect that you will do so for Pres. Obama's speech next week. And there may, indeed, be a story that needs to be reported about fact checking the fact-checkers. But in that case, I expect this newspaper to assess the performance of the fact-checkers across the board--the fact-checkers in the Washington Post and elsewhere have been quite persuasive about a host of Romney's deceptive statements in the convention speech. Falsities perpetrated by both parties, including the candidates, is one of the most urgent news items of this campaign, and the press needs to be the truth-tellers about, rather than the apologists for, what the candidates say.


I read the politifact articles, the Karl Rove article, the Robert Rector article, the Clive Crook article. As I said before, I don't always agree with politifact ratings but they do provide valuable information. Politifact in their critique of Romney's statement consulted communication experts, not political pundits and although I agree with their conclusion that Obama's speeches don't qualify as apologies perhaps I wouldn't have given it the rating--pants on fire that they do, because there is an element of subjectivity. I think Factcheck's approach is better in that they discuss/examine the facts/data and come to a conclusion but they don't have a particular rating system like politifact and the Washington Post do.

If Chavez etc said the same things as Obama I would imagine the press would highlight Chavez's criticisms of the U.S., downplay his acknowledgment of mistakes, and most certainly the press(and Republicans) wouldn't characterize his remarks as an apology.

btw, I was a registered Independent for over 30 yrs, at times voting on both sides of the aisle and have only been a registered Democrat the past 6 yrs.

Durham, NC

Has anyone of the people claiming a double standard here actually visited any of these fact check sites? They tear apart statements by the "liberals" equally, and yes, they will have plenty of fodder to work with this week as well. Stop playing the victimized here.

Here is a novel thought. We don't the members of each party hold their own accountable for their honesty and integrity. Lying is lying. It is party independent. Stop giving people a pass to these people just because they are of the same party as you, on either side. Lying is. A bad trite in any leader.

I get differences in opinion. I get differences in perspective. But there are clearly things said by both sides that are lies, and the acceptance of such behavior is most disappointing.

Salt Lake City, UT

Did the Deseret News really just print an article basically saying that there is no such thing as facts, only opinions? Yes, yes they did. Unbelievable.

By the way, there is not one apology in all the examples given. Words really do have meanings. And apology does have a definition, no matter that the D-News, for some reason, wants you to think otherwise.

You would think that people that actually use words for a living would be a bit more aware of this.


Does it bother any members out there just a little bit that one of the two political parties playing so fast and loose with the truth is now headed by a Mormon? When this is all over I wonder how we'll be viewed by the average American?

Clearfield, UT

Fact: The far right hates Obama. If you don't agree just listen to the rhetoric on talk radio. The day Obama took office Mitch McConne openly vowed to destroy his presidency. My opinion is the far right is terrified of Obama because he is a minority, perceived as being muslim and that means non-christian. Politics is about power and being in control. America's demographics are changing. Minorities are gaining poliitical power and that terrifies the far right. How many times have you heard the tea party followers attack the values of the poor, minorities and immigrants. America is changing and if the Republicans don't do more to reach out to women and minorities they are going to regret it. I am not an Obama apoligist. I am a conservative who is tired of the mean spirited and hateful rhetoric coming from the extremists in my party. Despite my dissapointment I am still voting Romney. I had expectations that Romney would run a more positive and honest campaign.


@NeilT - thanks for the biggest pile of baloney on the entire thread - baloney being altogether too mild a description, yet probably the most severe name the DN monitors would probably accept. Minority Republicans are treated like rock stars in the party. People hate Obama's efforts to "fundamentally transform" our country, which needs tweaking once in awhile but does not need to be fundamentally transformed.

One individual, Mitch McConell, made one stupid comment, and partisan hacks have been beating half the country with it for 3 years as though he speaks for us all. Seriously, way past time for a new false outrage to beat the Republicans with. I, like Mitt Romney said, wanted Obama to succeed because I want America to succeed. I don't think I'm unique among Republicans.

What are the values of the poor, minorities, and immigrants? I've never heard Tea Party members denigrate the poor, minorities, or legal immigrants, or their values. Seems to me you're swallowing a lot of swill from those with a vested interest in making sure Republicans are despised. A whole lot of baloney.

Heber City, UT

Talk about baloney. "One individual, Mitch McConell, made one stupid comment, and partisan hacks have been beating half the country with it for 3 years as though he speaks for us all." just Google post inauguration republican meeting to see the list of 15 powerful legislators and others who vowed to sink this president during his inaugural ball. " We've got to challenge every single bill."

Springville, UT

It is unfortunate that individuals have to politicize fact checker commentary. It really should boil down to this. Is what the politician saying a fair and accurate representation of the facts?
If the answer is "NO" then we as citizens should demand ethical commentary from our elected officials. Instead what we do is say, "well, the other side does it" or "just another attempt by the liberal media to denigrate a conservative". I know both sides do it but this article is in response to Ryan's speech and it is worthy of derision. At least, it is misleading and intellectually dishonest. At worst, it is outright lying. We ALL should demand more from our politicians and, until we do, they will continue to pander to the zealots in our country that love nothing better than a good sounds bite regardless of merit.


@Owen - are you saying that Republicans plotted to regain political power after losing the White House to someone who promised to "fundamentally transform" our country? Wow - really big revelation there. Maybe they have to challenge every single bill because they don't want our nation to be fundamentally transformed. I say thank goodness they challenged every single bill.

I know Democrats don't play any political games, and don't challenge every single idea from Republicans. Oh wait, there were those George Bush years, and Harry Reid will never bring a bill to the floor that has been sent from the Republican-led Congress.

Baloney indeed.

Riverside, CA

I hate lying and propaganda in politics and I see it on both sides - vastly more of it on the left. There is a big difference between lying and expressing an opinion.

In this entire thread I don't think I've read a suggestion of a better way to characterize Obama's statements around the world during his first few months as president, in which he pointed out what he considered shortcomings of the US. In context they sure seemed like apologies to me. Should it have been called "the United States has made mistakes in the past tour"? It's disingenuous to say he was not apologizing in my "opinion."

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