Thank goodness for fact checkers
Updated: Thursday, September 6 2012, 10:05 PM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In just a few hours, President Barack Obama will accept his party's nomination for a second term in the White House.
Then, he and Mitt Romney will launch what will be by far the most expensive political contest in history.
There have been lots of great speeches over the past ten days at both conventions, but how factual have they been?
Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says thank goodness for fact checkers.
What a difference a week makes.
Last week I thought Congressman and Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan blew the doors off the campaign with his sincere "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" delivery of his convention speech.
Could there be a better all-American-boy-makes-good story?
Good looking. Athletic. Boyish. Clear thinking. A numbers man.
Turned out, though, that with his family looking on, Ryan was often lying.
FOX News columnist Sally Kohn wrote that it "was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech."
Ouch! Painful. Especially when the voice of darkness came from FOX News.
But factcheck.org was no kinder. It said Ryan lied about a number of things.
He said President Obama's health care law funneled money away from medicare—but it doesn't. It actually improves the system's finances—something Ryan had to have known.
Ryan faulted Obama for allowing a factory to close in his hometown. In fact, it closed while George W. Bush was still in office.
Ryan blamed Obama for the loss of a triple-A credit rating for the united states, when in fact the rating agency blamed the downgrade specifically on congress' unwillingness to compromise.
Factcheck.org goes on and on.
Ryan doesn't look like the kind of guy who would falsely say he ran a two-hour marathon, but he did.
Like it or not, this is the age of fact checkers. Thank goodness. Lies will no longer get repeated often enough that they become truth.
So I waited until this morning to get the word on Bill Clinton's electrifying speech last night.
Last night, he had to have struck terror into the hearts of republicans by dismantling just about everything the Romney and Ryan campaign is based on.
With the sincerity of a college professor who just wants to set the record straight, he had half the country wishing he was running again. He was just awesome.
I waited for fact-check to set the record straight.
Here's what it had to say:
Clinton's "stem-winding speech was a fact-checker's nightmare: lots of effort to run down his many statistics and factual claims, producing little for us to write about. Republicans will find plenty of Clinton's scorching opinions objectionable. But with few exceptions, we found his stats checked out."
A politician spoke to a national audience... Made great claims for his party's accomplishments, and largely told the truth.
Doesn't seem right.
In this corner, I'm Tom Van Howe.