John Lott is a big fat liar

Well, of course John Lott is a big, fat liar. He writes for FOX News. That’s the ultimate cesspool of journalism. It is where people actually go when they want to lie. It’s allowed there.

Lott recently gave a response to all the bloggers who called him out for being a big, fat liar.

My piece at Fox News yesterday on the inconsistent rules for counting ballots in Minnesota’s Senate race has produced a lot of reaction. Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight claims in the title of his post that my piece “blames liberal conspiracy.” My piece didn’t mention the words “liberal” or “conspiracy” (nor did it say that Democrats or Franken were involved in some secret conspiracy or use any similar synonyms). Nor did I say that people had made mistakes intentionally (unlike Nate, I don’t claim to know what is going on in people’s minds).

My point was simple: “The primary problem isn’t the rules. The real problem is the lack of consistency.”

There are actually two issues here. The first, of course, is that John Lott is a big, fat liar. The second is that he must be dumb. He’s a big fat liar because his point was not that the rules are inconsistent. His point was “[w]hen the recount is in Franken’s favor [a particular method] is used. When the original machine tally works best [for Franken] that is used.” This is the true point of Lott’s conspiracy piece. It isn’t that he actually cares about the inconsistency of the recount method. It’s that he cares that the inconsistency is favoring Franken rather than Coleman. That’s the very reason FOX News published his piece. And he must be dumb because it isn’t really necessary that he spell out the words “liberal” or “conspiracy”. It’s difficult to outfox your critics if you’re blatant about your bias. It would be like someone writing a book about the government killing JFK without using the word “conspiracy” and then subsequently whining “B-b-but it isn’t a conspiracy! I didn’t use that word! See? See!?”

Beside that, Silver was specifically referring to FOX News, not Lott’s big, fat liar piece, because this was displayed on the front page of its website:

FOX

Instead, he focuses on the fact that the Star Tribune data base made a mistake in classifying one of the ballots and that I relied on that for one of my examples. The fact that my website had already noted this and corrected that one ballot example before his post was put up is never mentioned by Silver. He also incorrectly implied that I hadn’t double checked that ballot, but he didn’t make any telephone calls or check this point either. It is not surprising that he wouldn’t try to check these points out before making his assertions.

This is why FOX News published Lott’s piece. He’s a liar that is incredibly ironic, but has absolutely no idea of this fact. Okay, Natey, you’re upset because Silver “incorrectly implied” something? Let’s take a look at your piece.

Nor can Coleman even win when there is an oval filled in for Coleman and the Constitution Party candidate receives an “X.”

And how is this not implying a bias toward Franken? Coleman can’t even win the bias is so bad! Oh, but you actually mean Coleman can’t win because the rules are so inconsistent. If the rules were simply inconsistent one would expect to see an averaging out with the inconsistency because both Coleman and Franken would experience the inconsistency. Because the results are so close, the errors would be relatively close for both sides in all likelihood or they would favor one candidate sheerly by chance. You damn well know that. You’re actually whining about a big, liberal conspiracy because you’ve discarded the notion that the rules are actually inconsistent – that’s the point of your piece. You’re saying the rules are inconsistent in favor of Franken. That means you were never actually writing about how the rules were inconsistent. You were writing about a big, liberal conspiracy. Oh, but you never used those words so nevermind, right?

But why are you complaining that Silver implied you didn’t double-check the ballot? You didn’t until after publication. Deal with it, you big, fat liar.

People like John Lott and FOX News are excellent examples of our failed media.

9 Responses

  1. 1) Note the quote from my piece says: “The primary problem isn’t the rules. The real problem is the lack of consistency.” I say in the piece what the “primary problem” is, and you response is to claim that this quote from the piece is giving readers and inaccurate notion what I was arguing the primary problem was.

    2) Nate Silver’s headline and discussion was “Fox News Finds Typo, Blames Liberal Conspiracy.” The Fox News piece though that he was referring to was by me, and the notion that he was referring not to me is silly and anyone reading his piece will see that it was directed at me.

    3) Please point to a single sentence in my piece where I was referring to a liberal conspiracy.

    4) Your assertion about me not contacting others to verify the information provided by the Star Tribune is false.

  2. 1) While it’s wonderful that you can craft a high school level thesis statement, that does not mean that all those other pesky words that came before and after it supported it.

    2) The front page of FOX was a big selling point in Silver’s piece. But you’re right, you’re just as guilty. You just didn’t do that new sneaky conservative trick of making a terse, derisive comment but then pretending that isn’t what just happened by putting a question mark after it.

    3) “Nor can Coleman even win when there is an oval filled in for Coleman and the Constitution Party candidate receives an “X.”

    4) Okay, I’ll grant that you contacted others about the ballot in question. So I guess you discovered that a mistake had been made from an informal source. So why publish it as fact? You just said you double-checked the ballot. So you must have known it was a mistake, right?

  3. To answer the one question that you pose: as soon as I discovered that that one ballot was misclassified a note was put up on my website stating the error and I immediately contacted Fox News and they corrected the piece. As you know, the Star Tribune had the same mistake and we beat them in correcting the ballot by almost an entire day.

  4. Again, as I have written before, I had the correction note up even before anyone else pointed to the mistake on that one single ballot.

  5. So in other words, you didn’t double-check that ballot (at least not sufficiently) before writing your article. Thanks.

    At any rate, you know exactly what FOX News was doing with its front page display.

  6. Not to be pedantic, but saying person X lies is the logical outcome of writing for company Y implies to me that all people writing for company Y lie in their articles.
    If a person believes what they are saying/writing/communicating, is it a lie when they express it?
    If I say “I did the assignment two weeks in advance” and know I did not, I am lying.
    If I run around telling people that a number to the power of the order of the set that contains the number is the number itself, and I believe it, then regardless of the accuracy of the statement, it is not a lie.

  7. Oh, and simply finding one person who has written all, totally factual articles for FOX would disprove what I think the claim is. I would check their weather archives. Or try to get one brief, thoroughly checked article into their archives and never write anything again. Or I could stop coming down hard on hyperbole or rhetoric or whatever exaggerating what one means for effect is.

  8. Hyperbole.

    Though FOX Noise is filled with mostly liars.

  9. Lott’s protestations are typically lame. If it walks like an idiot and quacks like an idiot but insists that it’s really a highly respected economist, then it’s an idiot named John Lott.

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