Crime/Corruption

SOTU: The Shit vs. Shinola Test

The Shit vs. Shinola Test is for the American people. Given their widespread and non-partisan inability to tell the one from the other, that’s an F.

PolitiFact shared this infographic on Facebook for it to be shared, so I’m assuming it’s okay to share here as well. If I’m wrong and you’re PolitiFact, please let me know and I’ll be happy to replace it. Otherwise, here it is.

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I’ll assume I’m the slowest one in the room and the last to look into this, but I like to vet my sources. According to Wikipedia, PolitiFact.com “is a project operated by the Tampa Bay Times, in which reporters and editors from the Times and affiliated media fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists, and interest groups.[2] They publish original statements and their evaluations on the PolitiFact.com website, and assign each a “Truth-O-Meter” rating. The ratings range from “True” for completely accurate statements to “Pants on Fire” (from the taunt “Liar, liar, pants on fire”) for false and ridiculous claims.”

Also according to Wikipedia, the Tampa Bay Times “is an American newspaper published in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. It has won twelve Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, and in 2009, won two in a single year for the first time in its history. It is published by the Times Publishing Company, which is owned by The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit journalism school directly adjacent to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus.”

I’ve found nothing damning about the Poynter Institute. I’m sure the Tampa Bay Times has detractors, but there’s nothing loud enough to have been picked up by Google prominent enough for me to see it in the first five pages of news search. PolitiFact, on the other hand, has its share of detractors. Are they rational detractors? You decide.

So I wonder to myself, “Self, what if? What if PolitiFact is horribly biased against Trump? Is that possible in a rational universe?”

Sometimes Self answers. Jung should have had it so easy. “Yes,” said Self.

Self is often about as useful as lips on a chicken.

“Do the math,” said Self.

Challenge accepted. According to the infographic, PolitiFact has rated 498 Trump assertions and put forth an image that he’s anywhere from bullshitting to completely full of shit a whopping 84% of the time! Well, that’s not what they’re saying, but you know and I know that that is how it’s mostly received.

I’ll assume that PolitiFact isn’t routinely demonstrably wrong, else there would be a firestorm of info available about that. Um, legitimate info. Your link to InfoWars doesn’t count. There isn’t. If there’s good reason to believe otherwise, I’m all ears.

So I’m left with the simple thing they actually put forth…that of 498 statements, the breakdown is as above. In simple numbers (with rounding), I get 74 so full of shit it’s not funny statements, 164 simply full of shit statements, 104 mostly full of shit statements, and 75 bullshit statements (so wishy-washy they could go either way…the typical pol’s stock in trade, ergo, a black mark on character). That’s a total of 417 bullshit-to-worse statements. I also get 60 mostly true statements and 20 true ones, for a total of 80 for which Trump should get credit.

Now, if I wanted to exonerate Trump on the claims that he’s a raging sack of shit-scented mendacity and indict PolitiFact for being biased, I think I would suggest that maybe, just maybe…and I’m really only playing devil’s advocate here…mayyyyyyyybe they cherry picked that sum of 417 and only threw a few true bones to the crowd to look unbiased. And if I were that person, I wouldn’t want to be able to say my guy only tells mostly true or better 51% of the time. I mean, that would be better than my idea of the average politician, but Trump is no average politician. He’d have to be more more honest than anyone since Abe and George. Honester! Big league honester!

A really heroic 75% is too much to ask of any mortal, though. If only he had more days of life in him, but he’s old and life is short. 66%, though. That’s doable. Hell, he’s probably already done it, but he’s too humble to boast about it.

Think of this as the 66% Challenge.

This means that his combined bullshit to so full of shit it’s not funnies must be 34%. We know that, as of that infographic, that is 417 statements.

As it happens, 417 is 34% of 1,226. All we need to prove that PolitiFact is biased like nobody has ever biased before and we can all just call them #fakefact or some other puerile Trumpism is to come up with a total of 809 combined true/mostly true statements germane to the events of the day. And he gets credit for 80 of those already!

That’s just 729 true-ish things. From Trump.

Assuming this to be accurate, Trump only has 1084 days left in his presidency (may it be so).

That means Trump just has to utter, on average, 1.84 mostly true or better germane statements per day until the next president is inaugurated. Oh, and stop bullshitting us. For every future moment of bullshit or worse, he’ll owe us an additional 2 truth-ishs to keep the 66% target in his sights.

Oh, Trump’s test is the 66% Challenge.

The Shit vs. Shinola Test is for the American people. Given their widespread and non-partisan inability to tell the one from the other, that’s an F.

4 replies »

  1. Shinola was a boot polish. Don’t think it’s still around.

    Funny thing, speaking of boot polish, Huber’s Original Pine Tar and Bee’s Wax boot grease has been bought out, so unless you can find a can or two of it still on the shelf in an old merchantile somewhere you have to order it online from a sex wax company, KY Jelly.

    ‘Muirka, Foke Yeah!

    • lol Last time I’d even heard the word was about 20 years ago when a friend actually found a can on a long neglected shelf in his pantry from back when his parents owned the place. I had no idea what it was until then, only knew the expression.

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