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Politifact Is Full of Shit on Christie Shore Claims

Beyond Stenography and “He said/She said” Lap Dog Journalism

We wrote last week about Governor Christie’s outrageous lies about shore water quality, his environmental record, and the motivations of those in the environmental community that criticize his policies – see: Of Monster Algae Blooms and Monstrous Lies

The Gov. was so over the top, we rhetorically asked: “where the Hell is Politifact when you need them?”

Well, today we found Politifact – with their head far up Christie’s ass – see: a “mostly true” finding in Gov. Chris Christie says Jersey Shore water quality is “perfect

Not surprisingly, Politifact has set up this column with a link to NJ.com, which goes nowhere, making it impossible to comment on it.

So, until Politifact gets their links right, I felt the immediate need to write to the author and editor of Politifact, with a copy to Tom Moran in editorial:

Greetings – needless to say, I strongly disagree with your selective quotation, factually incorrect, incomplete, scientifically flawed, and deeply misleading evaluation on Gov. Christie’s shore claims.

First of all, here is the Governor’s full quote you clipped – a totally unprofessional practice:

“Christie, in a news conference in Bergenfield today, said his environmental record is strong and that the ocean “is the cleanest it’s been in decades.” The beach this year, you saw no type of debris, no type of waste coming up on the beach this year,” Christie said. [Asbury Park Press 9/15/11]

Let’s repeat what you ignored: “no type of debris, no type of waste coming up on the beach this year.”

Second, you ignored multiple – multiple – sets of data and environmental indicators that contradict the governor.

Third, selective and exclusive focus on bacteria is a scientifically flawed and highly misleading assessment of water quality – and water quality is just one part of ocean ecosystem health. [Note: scientifically, this is the equivalent to a doctor giving a clean bill of health to an end stage cancer patient based on normal blood pressure readings.]

You not only clipped a direct quote and omitted facts that contradict the Governor’s statements, you ignored the context. This does a grave disservice to readers.

For additional news and science sources that contradict your assessment, see this post:

Of Monster Algae Blooms and Monstrous Lies

BTW, the Governor also said this, which opens the door to an assessment of the motives of environmental sources:

“There are some folks in the environmental movement who will never give me credit for anything I do, because they didn’t support me in the election and they’re Democrats, so they’ve got a political agenda,” he said.”

So, – now that the Governor has put the political motivation of the environmental community on the table – if you knew anything at all about the NJ environmental community – you would know that Clean Ocean Action is a partisan outfit when it comes to ignoring, selecting, and bending facts to support Republican Governors. Just go back and read the clips during the Whitman Administration – including the COA letter to US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee supporting Whitman’s confirmation as EPA Administrator (I’ve got links if you’d like).

Last – and I realize this is a difficult issue to fact check – in addition to attacking and smearing environmental groups, the Governor also falsely claimed his “environmental record is strong”.

That is the biggest lie of all and you gave it a pass.

Shoddy journalism is too kind a characterization of this POS – Shame on you.

Bill Wolfe

[Update – here is the Politifact author’s reply:

Good morning, Mr. Wolfe,

My fact-check was based exclusively on what the governor said at Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach, not Bergenfield. I listened to his entire statement and transcribed, verbatim, what he said regarding the Jersey Shore. I will be more than happy to send you the YouTube link when i am back in the newsroom on Wednesday since i do not have it at home. I will be at a conference Monday and Tuesday.

PolitiFact checks the veracity of exact, specific statements made by public officials. My story was not about the governor’s environmental record in totality. It was about his very specific statement that the quality of the water at the Jersey Shore is “perfect.” Those were his exact words.

Thanks for your note.

Caryn Shinske

That’s not a “fact check”, that’s a blowjob.

[Update #2Politifact has fixed the link to NJ.com – so please, comment away!!

[Update 3 – 9 pm it is impossible to find the NJ.com article to comment on. Hidden again.]

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