The Associated Press is running with a rather tendentious headline at the moment, "AP FACT CHECK: On climate science, most GOP candidates fail." For their fact check, the AP asked a group of Ph.D. scientists to grade presidential candidates based on their statements about global warming. To keep this supposedly unbiased, they didn't tell the scientists which statements were from which candidate.Read more
This morning, Washington Post fact checker Glen Kessler decided to fact check Marco Rubio's statement at the latest GOP debate that Hillary Clinton lied about al Qaeda's involvement in the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi. In public, Clinton initially attributed the attack to spontaneous protests arising from a blasphemous YouTube video.Read more
The Washington Post fact checker looks at "repeated, misleading claim that Planned Parenthood ‘provides’ mammograms." Michelle Ye Hee Lee's conclusion is spot-on:Read more
The media have been quite zealously attacking Ben Carson for criticizing aspects of Islam that he believes are incompatible with the American political system. The skeptical among us -- and that, unfortunately, must include every discerning consumer of mainstream media -- would note that much of this criticism is motivated primarily by a disingenuous desire to make Republicans look bad, as no honest liberal would support, say, Islam's political approach to women's rights.Read more
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.Read more
PolitiFact, which has really been outdoing itself with its coverage of the Planned Parenthood scandal, has come up with another doozy. Here is the statement PolitiFact chose to evaluate:Read more
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.Read more
Following Marco Rubio's announcement that he's running for president, the Associated Press decided to "fact check" some of the candidate's rhetoric. If you follow the news, you're probably aware that "fact checking" is more often than not a lame attempt to cloak partisan opinion behind a veil of irrelevant contextual details. On Thursday, the AP really outdid itself in terms of pure hackish nonsense.
Here is the first claim the that AP's Steve Peoples decided to "fact check":Read more
On March 10, Senator Ted Cruz said the following: “On tax -reform, we, right now, have more words in the IRS code than there are in the Bible—not a one of them as good.” It’s no surprise that Republicans in Congress tend to hate taxes and love the Bible, and as Republican rhetoric goes, this is about as anodyne as it gets. The Scrapbook never thought that such a straightforward sentiment would engender controversy, but never underestimate the -media’s desire to willfully misrepresent and dispute the words of politicians they don’t like.Read more
Recently, Rudy Giuliani raised some eyebrows when he got in a heated discussion with Michael Eric Dyson on Meet the Press. He was discussing the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri and said the following: “Ninety-three percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We’re talking about the exception here.”Read more
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.Read more
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 theirRead more
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
Over at Huffington Post, Dan Froomkin has an interview with Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein titled, "How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign." It turns out, the single biggest story the media ignored is the fact that Republicans lying liars, to paraphrase the title of a book by Senator Al Franken, who happens to be a close friend of Ornstein.Read more
Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic convention is widely seen as a pivotal moment in President Obama’s reelection campaign. It was an undeniably powerful speech, but particularly noteworthy were his remarks about the popular and bipartisan 1996 welfare reform Clinton himself signed into law. As a result of the law, Americans were required to work as a condition of receiving welfare benefits, and could not receive benefits indefinitely. The reform shrank welfare rolls dramatically and remains wildly popular to this day.Read more
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.Read more
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:Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
The Associated Press came out with a lengthy and extremely tendentious "fact check" regarding the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate. I am on record as deploring the media fact checking phenomenon in pretty strong and detailed terms. And this fact check was so bad it made even my jaded toes curl.Read more
Type in your email
address to get started:
Thank you for signing up for the Jonathan V. last newsletter! You should receive your first newsletter very soon.
We're sorry, there was an error processing your newsletter signup.