When PolitiFact Comes Calling
These have been a big couple of months for me.
First, Talker's Magazine names me to their 2013 "Heavy Hundred" list of talk show hosts. Now, one of the reporters assigned to the PolitiFact feature at the Journal Sentinel comes calling.
Here's the e-mail I received last night from from reporter Tom Kertscher:
I plan to do a PolitiFact story on your statement at the top of your show Wednesday that the state "thinks you should have to" wash your hands "at least 28 times to make one peanut butter and jelly sandwich."
"How many times do you wash your hands while making the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Maybe once, right? Maybe? Well, the State of Wisconsin thinks you should have to do it at least 28 times to make one peanut butter and jelly sandwich."
Can you email me before the end of the day Friday evidence to support that statement? Thank you.
This topic, of course, refers to a lawsuit filed by Outagamie County against the State of Wisconsin after the County-operated nursing home was cited for improper food preparation. The lawsuit alleges that the State's interpretation of the Federal Food Code would "require twenty-eight (28) hand-washes during the preparation of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich".
The comment quoted by the reporter was not made during the actual discussion of the topic. It was, instead, made at the beginning of the show as a way of informing listeners what was coming up next on the program. The actual discussion of the topic (which I personally thought was quite interesting) occurred a few minutes later.
Here's a link to the podcast of that hour of the show. The discussion of the great peanut butter and jelly controversy starts around the 17 minute mark.
As long-time listeners know, I have long been a critic of the PolitiFact feature (both locally or nationally). As a matter of fact, I made a conscious decision a while back to stop referencing it on my program because I thought it was so unfair.
Nevertheless, here's my response:
As much as I think the PolitiFact is a complete embarrassment to all involved, I'm glad to play along.
The assertion is not mine, it's made by Outagamie County - and was attributed as such during the show. Here's a link to the story in your newspaper that reports the claim. http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/outagamie-county-sues-over-food-code-inspections-ji9sc7i-206522431.html
Here's a link to the claim in the lawsuit.http://media2.fox11online.com/pdfs/Outagamie_Co_Amended_Complaint.pdf. You'll find the assertion in Paragraph 11 of the Complaint.
Best regards ... Jeff"
Where could this be going? Will I get the Charlie Sykes treatment or will my comments pass PolitiFact scrutiny?
I guess we'll have to buy a copy of the newspaper to find out.
Which is, I guess, the point.