Two newspapers in one!

PolitiFact Virginia, an arm of the (usually) respected award-winning fact-checking organization, is run by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Apparently, PolitiFact Virginia needs to spend some time reading, and debunking, the Richmond TD’s editorial page.

For example, on Aug. 6, PolitiFact Virginia looked into Bob McDonnell’s parroting of Mitt Romney’s accusation that Barack Obama was gutting work requirements in the welfare reform law. As did its parent organization (and every other independent fact-checking organization), PolitiFact Virginia found the charge false.

A full week and a half later, the Richmond TD’s editorial staff, apparently not having read their own paper – or any other nonpartisan examination of the scurrilous charge, repeated it, claiming, “And the truth is that — as the Romney campaign says — the administration has indeed gutted the 1996 welfare-reform law’s work requirement.”

In fact, no. That is a complete and utter lie. Even the Republican architect of the 1996 law – though he wishes Obama had consulted more with Republicans – is an enthusiastic supporter of giving states more flexibility to meet the work requirements.

So, what say you , Richmond Times-Dispatch PolitiFact Virginia? Does the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial page merit a Pants-on-Fire rating, or what?

UPDATE: Steve Benen picked up on this, too. He points out that the Times-Dispatch ran another story debunking the welfare lie. It mentions the editorial, but the writer artfully manages to debunk the lie without coming right out and saying that the editorial board was wrong.

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