Politifact Articles

PolitiFact Claims Treaty that's Been Defunct for 80 Years is the Reason We Have a Small Navy

6:16 AM, Aug 26, 2015

For several years now, PolitiFact has been waging war on anyone who points out that America has the smallest Navy it's had in nearly a century. Mitt Romney pointed out this fact in a presidential debate in 2012 and PolitiFact rated his statement "pants on fire" even though the number of ships in the U.S. Navy dropped below 300 in 2003 and the last time the U.S. Navy had fewer than 300 ships was 1916.

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PolitiFact and Planned Parenthood: Erroneous Fact Checks All the Way Down

12:35 PM, Aug 05, 2015

Planned Parenthood now finds itself being heavily criticized after being caught on tape brokering fetal body parts. Fortunately for them, they have no shortage of allies in the media, including PolitiFact.

Fox Business reporter Sandra Smith recently said on air "Almost 95 percent of all (Planned Parenthood) pregnancy services were abortions." On Tuesday, PunditFact, a division of PolitiFact, rated it false.

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Mar 09, 2015

Last week National Review’s Jonah Goldberg and Kevin Williamson were left to sort out one of the most inane and idiotic media “fact checker” efforts The Scrapbook has ever seen. And when you consider what has appeared in these pages regarding PolitiFact, that’s saying something (see, among other entries, Mark Hemingway’s “Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Fact Checking’ ” from our December 19, 2011, issue). 

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PolitiFact: Democratic Senate Candidate Can Predict the Future!

12:03 PM, Oct 21, 2014

From last week, another example of PolitiFact's incredible bias:

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Fact Checkers Reach a Suspicious Agreement on Tom Cotton

11:25 AM, Sep 25, 2014

Rep. Tom Cotton, the Republican nominee in the Arkansas Senate race, is running an ad highlighting his leadership in trying to fix Washington's broken farm bill legislation. The ad isn't particularly controversial ormaking false claims, in any discernible way and yet "fact checkers" at the Washington Post and PolitiFact have pretty savagely attacked it. Once again, the fact checkers are wrong on the merits. But more than that, there's something very fishy about their Cotton critique.

You can watch the whole ad, but here's the supposedly objectionable claim Cotton makes:

“When President Obama hijacked the farm bill, turned it into a food stamp bill, with billions more in spending, I voted no. Career politicians love attaching bad ideas to good ones. Then the bad ideas become law, and you pay for it.”

As far as legislative sausage-making goes, there are few spectacles more off-putting than Capitol Hill's periodic farm bill extravaganza. The farm subsidies are bad enough on their own, but for decades the bill has also included funding for the unrelated Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka food stamps. The result is the worst kind of bipartisanship—rural Republicans compromise on bloating the cost of food stamp funding in exchange for Democratic votes to get their farm subsidies.

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PolitiFact on Obama's Efforts to Reform the VA: 'Promise Kept' UPDATE

10:30 PM, May 21, 2014

As is well established, I have been less than impressed by the efforts of media "fact checking" organizations. Of these organizations, however, PolitiFact deserves special consideration.

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PolitiFact: Obama Lied About Health Insurance, But Let's Blame Glenn Beck

11:53 AM, Nov 07, 2013

Last week, after the President started receiving a torrent of criticism over his broken promise that Americans who wanted to could keep their health insurance plan under Obamacare, I wrote an item asking the question "Will PolitiFact Ever Correct Its Biggest Obamacare Error?" I noted that the fact checking organization had repeatedly rated Obama's "if you like it you can keep it" promise as being "half true." Further, PolitiFact had done nothing to go back and update their

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Will PolitiFact Ever Correct Its Biggest Obamacare Error?

2:34 PM, Oct 28, 2013

PolitiFact has a pretty terrible and rather partisan history of Obamacare fact checks. However, there's one, in particular, about Obamacare that remains especially puzzling. It's the "half-true" rating the organization gave when President Obama promised that, If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance under Obamacare. This was not a casually tossed-off statement by the president, either.

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Once Again, PolitiFact Struggles to Explain Data Showing They Treat GOP Unfairly

12:42 PM, May 31, 2013

The Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University is out with a new study on media fact checkers, and unsurprisingly, their results suggest that PolitiFact has it out for Republicans. Dylan Byers at Politico summarized CMPA's findings:

The fact-checking organization PolitiFact has found Republicans to be less trustworthy than Democrats, according to a new study.

Fifty-two percent of Republican claims reviewed by  the Tampa Bay Times fact-checking operation were rated "mostly false," “false” or “pants on fire,” versus just 24 percent of Democratic statements, according to George Mason University's Center for Media and Public Affairs. By the same token, 54 percent of Democratic statements were rated as "mostly true" or "true," compared to just 18 percent of Republican statements.

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PolitiFact Concedes Their 'Lie of the Year' is the 'Literal Truth'

6:38 PM, Jan 18, 2013

Earlier today, I wrote a lengthy critique pointing out the inconvenient fact that PolitiFact's Lie of the Year -- "The Romney campaign's ad on Jeeps made in China" -- turns out to be true. It involves a lot of complicated back and forth, so I encouage you to read that post if you're not familiar with what's going on. But the thrust of the matter is that the Romney campaign ran an ad saying that Jeep, the recipient of a taxpayer bailout, was going to start producing cars in China.

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Whoops: PolitiFact's 'Lie of the Year' Turns Out to Be True

12:25 PM, Jan 18, 2013

Last month, PolitiFact selected its "Lie of the Year." Given PolitiFact's dubious record of singling out Republicans for lying far more often than Democrats, you probably could have guessed the winner of this particular sweepstakes was a Mitt Romney campaign ad:

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Some Fact Checkers Are Better Than Others

2:45 PM, Oct 24, 2012

Since I've become a pretty outspoken critic of "fact checking", I often get asked if there's any media fact checking efforts I approve of. The short answer is no, not really.

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PolitiFact’s Parent Paper Endorses Obama

1:50 PM, Oct 23, 2012

The Tampa Bay Times, the paper that puts out (and funds) the supposedly unbiased PolitiFact, has just enthusiastically endorsed President Obama for a second term.  The Times writes that “[w]ithout hesitation” it “recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president.” The paper cites Obama’s “steady leadership.” It’s no wonder the Times is backing Obama.

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How to Read PolitiFact’s Broken ‘Truth-O-Meter’

8:45 AM, Oct 05, 2012

After staring in some amazement at PolitiFact’s ostensibly unbiased rulings on the truthfulness of various statements made during Wednesday night’s presidential debate, I finally realized what the problem is: PolitiFact’s self-described Truth-O-Meter is clearly broken. Thankfully, however, it’s broken in a way that’s both predictable and fixable.  You see, if you simply turn the Truth-O-Meter two notches to the right for any claim made by a Republican, and two notches to the left for any claim made by a Democrat, its reading actually becomes surprisingly accurate.

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Only Fact Check, Never Explain

Asked about evidence of partisan bias, fact checkers struggle to defend themselves.
12:19 PM, Sep 27, 2012

Yesterday, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. the heads of all of the major media "fact checking" organizations convened for a panel discussion. On the panel were PolitiFact editor Bill Adair, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler, the Associated Press's Jim Drinkard, and it was moderated by Brooks Jackson of FactCheck.org.

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From PolitiFact to PolitiFiction

2:23 PM, Aug 28, 2012

Yesterday, I wrote a lengthy blog post taking PolitiFact to task for their shamelessly skewed "fact checks" on the Romney-Ryan health care plans. And as it happens, I woke up today and National Review has an excellent editorial on the same topic. It's worth reading in full, but this part was as amusing as it was discrediting:

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PolitiFact's Credulous Romney-Ryan Health Care Attacks

2:32 PM, Aug 27, 2012

Perhaps if we all ignore PolitiFact, they'll go away. But for the time being, the supposedly independent organization continues to crank out skewed and partisan work. There's no better example of this than the the current jihad the "fact checking" organization is waging against the Romney-Ryan health care plan.

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Politifact Ohio's Partisan Crusade Against GOP Senate Candidate Josh Mandel

9:40 AM, Aug 17, 2012

I know those of you masochistic enough to pay close attention to media fact checkers aren't going to be surprised by this, but Media Trackers, a nonpartisan watchdog, combed through the personal Twitter feed of PolitiFact Ohio writer Tom Feran and found he's a pretty vocal liberal. You can review the evidence here, but it turns out that he's not a fan of George W. Bush, refers to conservatives as "wingnuts" and "yahoos," and tweets out links to blog postings on the "The Cancer of Conservatism." On the other hand, Feran is an enthusiastic Obama supporter—"Go-bama!"—and supporter of Occupy Wall Street.

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Romney to PolitiFact: There You Go Again

Bold new fact checking truthiness: "The numbers are accurate but quite misleading" and "TRUE BUT FALSE."
4:17 PM, Apr 11, 2012

The Romney campaign is none too happy with PolitiFact at the moment, issuing a blistering response to a recent fact checking item on a campaign talking point. As a response to Democrats' "war on women" rehetoric, the presumed GOP presidential nominee's press secretary pointed out that under Obama's presidency, women account for 92.3 percent of the job losses. This kind of statement—a bold claim involving an actual statistic—is catnip to media fact checkers.

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PolitiFact Mucks Up the Contraception Debate

11:10 AM, Feb 16, 2012

Before I explain why PolitiFact is once again being deliberately misleading, grossly incompetent, or some hellbroth of these distinguishing characteristics, you'll have bear with me. Part of the reason PolitiFact gets away with being so shoddy is that it counts on its readers believing that it can be trusted to explain any necessary context to justify its status as judge, jury, and factual executioner. So first, some background.

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PolitiFact's 'Epic Fail'

12:52 PM, Jan 20, 2012

A lot of people are buzzing about this blog post by Tom Bruschino, assistant professor of history at the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Bruschino was contacted by PolitiFact and asked to weigh in on Mitt Romney's claim that "Our navy is smaller than it's been since 1917. Our air force is smaller and older than any time since 1947."

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PolitiFact Can’t Get Its Story Straight on Romneycare and Abortion

1:22 AM, Jan 20, 2012

In tonight’s debate, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum both questioned whether Mitt Romney actually governed in a pro-life fashion, even after his public conversion on abortion. Both claimed that Romney’s health care law increased access to taxpayer-subsidized abortion. Romney denied any culpability, replying, “That was done by the courts.” Fortunately, PolitiFact has looked into this matter on more than one occasion.

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Liberal Pundits Shocked to Discover PolitiFact Not Always Factual

4:30 PM, Dec 20, 2011

So the liberal punditry woke up today to find that PolitiFact has declared the "Lie of the Year" to be Democrats's claim that Paul Ryan's budget will "end Medicare" or "end Medicare as we know it." They're having quite the collective freakout—see Paul Krugman, Jonathan Chait,

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PolitiFact’s Problem with Long Division

9:00 AM, Aug 09, 2011

Last month, I wrote that President Obama’s own handpicked Council of Economic Advisors had released an estimate that the president’s economic “stimulus” had added or saved just one job for every $278,000 of taxpayer money spent.  Obama’s economists said the “stimulus” had cost $666 billion to date and had added or saved 2.4 million jobs. $666 billion divided by 2.4 million is $278,000.

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