Washington Post names Elizabeth Warren one of its ‘biggest Pinocchios of 2015’

–Jonathan Ernst / REUTERS

At the end of every year, veteran journalist Glenn Kessler, who runs the Washington Post’s political “Fact Checker’’ blog, releases his biggest Pinocchios of the year.

This is an honor, awarded to the highest degree of false claims, most politicians may like to avoid.

That said, congratulations Sen. Elizabeth Warren, you made the list!

The Massachusetts Democrat was given “Four Pinocchios’’ for a speech in April in which she cited a flawed study that estimated auto-dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year.

The 2011 study, conducted by the Center for Responsible Lending, only collected data on subprime auto loans, which accounted for only one-fifth of the overall market at the time. Pressed by Kessler, even the CRL’s senior vice president admitted the data was incomplete.


But the Pinocchio didn’t end there.

Though Warren said the $26 billion number represented “auto dealer markups,’’ the figure also included “compensation for dealers who arranged the loans for car buyers’’ — compensation for additional services to the customer, rather than a “markup.’’

“But besides citing a faulty number, Warren misleadingly says it represents ‘auto dealer markups,’’’ Kessler wrote. “The group that produced the report said that figure includes reasonable compensation owed to car dealers.’’

And so Warren makes the fib list. But she is hardly alone.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump scored a hattrick, making the year-end list three times: for falsely claiming thousands of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks, for falsely claiming Mexican immigrants were criminals, and for falsely (and vastly) overstating the amount of Syrian refugees the United States was admitting.

Hillary Clinton, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, Secretary of State John Kerry, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, President Barack Obama, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the phrase “Hands up, don’t shoot,’’ and bad reporting on sex trafficking statistics also made the list.

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