Barack Obama’s childhood dining on canine fare is the proverbial man bites dog story that has been all the rage this week. It spawned hilarious photoshops and its own twitter hashtag, #ObamaDogRecipes. It’s also one of the easiest stories to check out. PolitiFact could do one or both of two things to fact check it: They could ask Obama whether he ever ate a dog or not, or they could just read and quote from one of the two books he supposedly wrote about his fascinating self.
Actually, they could just listen to his audio book.
PolitiFact chooses to quote from the book, but does not accompany its post with the Truth-O-Meter. PolitiFact copped out and posted it in the “In Context” series.
The president ate dog when he lived in Indonesia, or at least there’s a passage in his book that says he did. It turns out, eating dog is not a common custom in Indonesia. You have to go out of your way to fetch a Scooby snack. A genuinely inquisitive media might whistle up a question or two to bring this question to heel.
This whole dog-eared story is a can of worms for Obama now. For PolitiFact, Barack Bites Dog represents a nasty dilemma: Rule “True” and confirm that POTUS ate Chow Chow Mein, rule “False” and suggest that he either embellished or didn’t even write his own book. Rule somewhere in between and you just muddy up the water bowl. So PolitiFact put its tail between its legs and didn’t chew on the Truth-O-Meter at all.