One problem with the popular genre of journalism amusingly referred to as “fact-checking” is that sometimes facts don’t reflect badly on the Republicans. What is a “fact-checker” to do when faced with an actual fact that doesn’t help the Democrats?
Easy. Just pretend it’s not really a fact!
In 2009, Judicial Watch made a big splash when they revealed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been using military aircraft to travel to and from her home district in California to the tune of millions of taxpayer dollars.
The spendthrift nature of the Democrat-controlled Congress was a key election issue in 2010 and Speaker Pelosi’s extravagance was Exhibit A. In response, Rep. John Boehner promised that if the GOP took control of the House and he was elected speaker, he would fly commercial to and from his district. After Republicans won, he reiterated his pledge.
Which brings us to March 23, 2012 and this update at self-appointed watchdog Politifact. Reporter Molly Moorhead referenced documents from the House and the Congressional Research Service and came up with absolutely no evidence that Boehner has been asking for or receiving military transport to and/or from his district.
Going by the old theory that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, Moorhead and her bosses at Politifact, decided that this merited an “In The Works” label…
“In The Works.” You’d think it would be either “True” or “False,” but that’s just because you don’t know any better.
I like PolitiFact’s style: “We can’t prove you’re lying, Speaker Boehner. In fact, there’s absolutely no proof of our suspicion whatsoever. Nice try!”
In reaction to PolitiFact’s non-ruling on the matter, Hoy filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Air Force. They claim to have no record of John Boehner using military aircraft since becoming Speaker of the House.
Which just leaves one question for PolitiFact:
What is the Air Force hiding???