Fact-checking the Fact-checkers

The Washington Post ran a piece (also carried on MSNBC.com) fact-checking the claims of both sides in last night’s debate.

Cheney’s made the following statements that are not true, according to the WaPost piece:

  • He claimed that he has never tied together 9/11 and Iraq. Untrue.
  • He asserted that only $120bn has been allocated to Iraq. Untrue.
  • He asserted that other countries have contributed $80bn to Iraq’s reconstruction (mostly through debt relief). Untrue.
  • He asserted that Kerry would give the UN a veto over US policy. Untrue.
  • He asserted that Kerry’s tax plan would increase taxes on 900,000 small businesses. Highly misleading.
  • He asserted that Kerry voted for 98 tax increases. Untrue.
  • He asserted that Kerry and Edwards oppose No Child Left Behind. Untrue.

On the other hand, here are Edwards’ statements that the WaPost piece says were incorrect:

  • Edwards asserted that there have been 1.6 million private-sector jobs lost under the Bush administration. The WaPost writers said that this was untrue, and that the real number was 900,000. However, the fact-checkers are wrong; the 900,000 figure they cite refers to total jobs. The actual number of private-sector jobs lost is a bit over 1.6 million, so Edwards’ statement was exactly correct.
  • Edwards said that the Bush administration is in favor of outsourcing. That assertion is somewhat misleading, but not entirely, according to the WaPost piece.

So what’s the conclusion? Lots of lies from Cheney, and none (maybe just one misleading statement) from Edwards.

By the way, for future reference, it seems that the fact-checkers apparently need to be checked themselves.