Watchdog: Politifact bat-guano crazy on ‘facts’ about size of U.S. Navy

Watchdog: Politifact bat-guano crazy on ‘facts’ about size of U.S. Navy

[Ed. – Goodness, I had no idea.  The “Washington Treaty” touch is awesome enough to write a haiku about.  There should at least be an interpretive dance to express Politifact’s body of work on this topic.]

The Weekly Standard‘s Mark Hemingway has written a harsh and richly deserved takedown of PolitiFact’s fact-free foray into opinion journalism on the issue of how many ships the U.S. Navy has, or should have …:

Hemingway has been on the PolitiFact beat for some time, and his brutal survey of their work here—”PolitiFact has zero credibility on this issue”—is worthing reading in full. A highlight is when he points out that, in one of its many attempts to promote the argument that the Navy has enough ships (despite the analysis of, among others, the Navy) Politifact suggests that the reason the United States has so few ships is because it and everyone else still adheres to the 1922 Washington Naval Conference. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, Politifact does not seem to be aware that since 1922 there have been one or two reasonably well-publicized incidents that have shaken the otherwise ironclad grip of the Conference’s moral appeal. …

PolitiFact seems to have had trouble finding anyone credible to go on the record for them, and have had to settle for quoting a single expert, Lance Janda, a “military historian at Cameron University.” Janda provides PolitiFact with the following argument:

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Ultimately, Janda said, fans of the talking point will ultimately have to answer this question: “If you could choose, would you go to war with the Navy we have now — at 288 ships — or would you rather have the Navy of World War II, which had well over 1,000?”

“The answer,” he said, “is pretty obvious.”

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