PolitiFact Twerks To The Left
I've always maintained that the PolitiFact feature run by the local newspaper (and its national counterpart) is to journalism what Miley Cyrus is to ballet.
I essentially see PolitiFact as an opportunity for largely left-leaning reporters to write left-leaning editorials under the guise of "investigative reporting" as a way to generate controversy and promote sales of newspapers. Mind you, there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. It just is what it is.
I've always believed that readers need to anticipate any new PolitiFact piece in the same way they look forward to the next installment of Family Circus. In other words, "What will those crazy kids do next to try to get a laugh"?
Still, even by that standard, today's PolitiFact was a doozy.
The headline of the piece screams "Walker misleads with Philly Fed index" and proceeds to take Governor Walker to task for "emphasizing an obscure measurement to argue that his policies were improving the state's economy: an index created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia". The article then goes on to argue why this Index is essentially useless, especially for state to state comparisons.
That would be fine as far as it goes, I guess. Chalk it up to simply another attempt by quasi-opinion columnists at the local newspaper to attack the Governor. In other words, same old, same old.
However, on June 5th of this year, the same newspaper that now dismisses Walker's claim of an improving business climate prominently ran a story with the following headline: "Fed index ranks Wisconsin 49th in economic outlook". The index they used? You guessed it! The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
The PolitiFact writer for the local newspaper today claims that it's not valid to use the Index to make state to state comparisons on economic growth. Yet less than five months ago, that is precisely what the local newspaper used the exact same Index to do.
The difference? Apparently five months ago when the local newspaper thought it was okay to use this Index, it painted economic growth under Walker in a poor light. Now, when the Index suggests things are looking up, the local newspaper decides the index is worthless.
Personally, I have no opinion on whether the Philly Fed Index is or isn't a good indicator of economic growth. I do find it interesting (but not surprising) however that it suddenly becomes unreliable only when it suggests that the business climate is improving.
PolitiFact and Miley Cyrus. Entertainment for the young at heart and the strong of stomach.
And we still have over a year to go until the next election.