PolitiFact Pounces on New House Speaker, Unlike Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries

October 28th, 2023 6:56 AM

The Democrats at PolitiFact jumped at the chance to “fact check” new House Speaker Mike Johnson’s acceptance speech after he was elected. They gave him a “Half True” for saying “Prices have increased over 17% in the last two years.”

Louis Jacobson nitpicked:

--The actual rate of increase over two years is lower, at 12%, though that’s still substantial.

-- Johnson ignored that wages have also increased, lessening the burden, although not as much as prices have.

"Johnson’s office sent PolitiFact data showing that consumer prices have increased 17% since the beginning of Joe Biden’s term in January 2021. However, Johnson said 'two years,' not two years and nine months." Why don't they fact-check real gaffes?

Jacobson and PolitiFact also gave Johnson a "Mostly True" for saying in the same speech “In the time it’s going to take me to deliver this speech, we’ll go up another $20 million in debt.”

PolitiFact also "welcomed" Johnson with an Amy Sherman article titled "Mike Johnson sought to overturn 2020 election. As House speaker, he'll oversee 2024 certification." Sherman ended by noting Johnson condemned the January 6 riot and "acknowledged in a Jan. 13, 2021, statement that Biden was the president-elect."

Statements that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen or illegitimate are ridiculous, earning PolitiFact’s Pants on Fire rating.

PolitiFact did not leap to check House Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries when he was elected by his caucus on November 30, 2022. Louis Jacobson did give him a "Mostly True" on January 8: "Hakeem Jeffries said a U.S. debt limit default would be a historical first. He’s mostly right."

There is NO fact check on PolitiFact about Jeffries repeatedly calling the 2016 election of Donald Trump "illegitimate." His incessant election denial still goes unchecked. 

They couldn't even put Jeffries on their "Truth-O-Meter" as they evaluated this junk in March: "Extreme MAGA Republicans want to ban books on the Holocaust," Jeffries said March 24. "Extreme MAGA Republicans want to ban books on Martin Luther King Jr., Extreme MAGA Republicans want to ban books on the LGBTQ journey, Extreme MAGA Republicans even want to ban a book on Roberto Clemente and baseball. And of course extreme MAGA Republicans want to ban a book on the Native American experience in the United States of America."

Several readers asked us to look at Jeffries’ statement. It’s hard to assess in this case what Republicans "want" in their hearts, and we’ve found before that what constitutes a "MAGA Republican" is difficult to define. 

However, a recent vote cast by all House Republicans provides support for much of Jeffries’ comment, though citing the banning of baseball books is a stretch.

Apparently, Duval County, Florida briefly pulled a Roberto Clemente book, and then returned it to shelves.