Francis Di Domizio wrote:The issue with the Burke add wasn't that it was compared apples to oranges, so much that it actually stated that unemployment had gotten worse under Walker. While providing a comparison between when Burke left the government employ and Walker's current numbers which ignores that all of the job loss took place before Walker took office. The "pants on fire" rating came because the statement about increased unemployment under Walker was completely false...
Is 6.2 higher than 4.8? The ad talks about Mary Burke's time as Commerce Secretary and then says "under Scott Walker unemployment is up..." Which it is, compared to 4.8 and ignoring the ups and downs between the two points cited. Just like the RGA and Scott Walker's boosters in general love to conveniently not notice that the jobs number turnaround started under Doyle and slowed under Walker (though, true, it hasn't reversed; as long as one more job is created than lost then that's progress, right?). Same basic deception. Which totally irritates me in both cases, by the way, but I do get that they are playing a game of rhetoric in these commercials, not descriptive statistics.
It's a fine line, but the difference is Burke made a direct statement that was patently untrue while the RGA made a true statement that was mostly meaningless given other facts. That it was the RGA getting the "mostly false" tag versus Burke's campaign that get's the "pants on fire" rating isn't a good first start if you want to convince voters you have more integrity then your opponent.
The RGA was knowingly repeating a statistic that had already been judged "Mostly False." How that doesn't rate a "Pants on Fire" is a mystery to me.
I agree that a "Pants on Fire" for an ad that came from the Burke campaign (vs. some dark money surrogate) is not a good start even if it was only a matter of leaving out a few words that would have clarified what was being compared to what and prevented deliberate misreadings (which is a trap that the PolitiFact writer falls into, it seems to me; but it's the Burke campaign's own fault for not putting a guard rail around the pit they were setting up). I'm sure Scott Walker's surrogates will try their best to use this one rating to neutralize Walker's many many negative PolitiFact ratings -- watch for it.