Tuesday, I laughed at Harold Cook’s blog about PolitiFarce. Now, I’m ticked off about his target — PolitiFact.
That’s because the geniuses behind PolitiFact chose to truth-test the following Boyd Richie quote about Rick Perry: “He’s spending Texans’ hard-earned money to live like Louis XIV.”
Man, have you ever seen such a withering, scandalous and altogether outrageous attack? That Boyd Richie sure is playing rough. Or maybe not.
Though the truth test acknowledges the statement’s rather-gentle humor, precious ink and bandwidth were, nevertheless, wasted Wednesday on a literal analysis of its truth. We’re told about Louis’s 20-room house, the gardens, the orange trees and the theater – all of which are denied to poor old Rick. The piece concludes with a rating of Pantalon en Fue, or Pants on Fire. That’s their designation for a whopping lie.
Since I’m completely unfamiliar with French, I’ll butcher some Spanish for my thoughts on this: Caca de caballo!
Literalism is the refuge of a twit. Very often, it’s a defensive maneuver designed to hide one’s inability to formulate a reasoned response to another’s argument. Or, in this case, an inability to find some better use for one’s freakin’ time.
Moreover, PolitiFact’s literal analysis was as deep as a baby pool and, shall we say, just as pristine. Did Louis’s house, circa 1715, have indoor plumbing and bathrooms? How big was his fridge? How loud was his stereo? Did he have one of those fancy, color-coordinated washer-dryer combos? Did he have a freakin’ Food & Wine subscription? Should we give a rat’s ass?
Still, it wasn’t the literalism that set me off. Nor was it the shallow reasoning. I don’t really care about that stuff.
It does make me a little mad that PolitiFact is trying to suck out the last particle of humor left in politics, but that didn’t inspire me to spew invective.
What I do care about and what really torqued me is that this is the second time PolitiFact has provided cover for Perry by diverting the debate off-point.
Remember Rick’s “act of God” line about the oil spill? Did PolitiFact challenge that? Nope. Instead, they tested Perry’s explanation that came after the controversy boiled over. And sure enough, PolitiFact said he was right.
Never mind that Perry isn’t a lawyer and probably didn’t know “act of God” was a legal term of art. Never mind the irony “act of God” clauses being used to deny insurance payments to people like those poor souls on the Louisiana coast.
Boyd Richie and the Democrats are making this point: Rick Perry is living high on the hog at the taxpayers’ expense while average Texans are struggling through a recession that, if you will recall, our Governor once said didn’t exist.
Moreover, Perry is living his taxpayer-funded lifestyle of the rank and fatuous after becoming a millionaire himself over the last 20 some-odd years in politics. How in the hell did that happen?
Perhaps Perry will say getting rich was also an act of God. Who’ll join me in betting that PolitiFact rates it true?