Friday, October 21st, 2016

Jumping the sh…


I have not been a fan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Politifact” since it began, and I find no reason to start liking it now. Politifact looked at the question of whether Wisconsin created half of the jobs nationally in June. Amazingly, they mentioned the MacIver Institute but somehow missed my op-ed that shoots them down like zeppelins.

Then there was this ridiculous Politifact that decided that because the stimulus spent money on things other than salaries you can’t just divide the total amount spent on the stimulus ($830,000,000) by the number of jobs “created or saved” (Obama says 2.4 million jobs) and get $278,000 per job.  My favorite part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s reasoning?  That’s what their counterparts in other cities decided so that’s good enough for the Journal Sentinel.

At least they’re consistent the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s new editorial policy of “We’ll take their word for it.”

With the latest Politifact, we can forget “jumping the shark.” Politifact has jumped the {poop}. They’re disagreeing with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s characterization of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District as one of the worst polluters in the country.

…the amount of waste water MMSD dumped into Lake Michigan in one week was 10 times the amount of oil spilled by BP in the disastrous Gulf of Mexico spill in April 2009. She cited a news report from WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) in Milwaukee that said 2.1 billion gallons of untreated sewage and storm water were dumped into Lake Michigan following storms that caused flooding in July 2010. That amounted to about 75 percent of the overflows for the year.

The 2.1 billion gallons is more than 10 times the 170 million gallons of oil spilled by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. But measurements don’t tell the whole story. One important difference: What MMSD dumps includes contaminants, but it is mostly water; BP spilled oil.

So because they prefer to measure the pollution on the basis of dollars rather than sheer volume, they rated Sensenbrenner’s claim as “false.” Not even “half-true.” Or even, “Mostly true” with the caveat that their personal preference for measuring pollution is whatever makes MMSD look good. Meanwhile none of the facts offered by the Sensenbrenner people as explanation are ever refuted. It’s merely Politifact writers having a difference of opinion.

Here’s a “Politifact” for you. We rate “Politifact” as mostly false advertising.

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