Zebra Fact Checks

Nobody’s perfect. Our Zebra Fact Checks look at problems with the “zebras” like FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker.


Poynter: A Florida gag order on climate change?

Note (Dec. 29, 2016): We have updated this item in response to a critique from Aaron Huertas, the main target of our criticism. Find a … Continue reading

PolitiFact California walks back its ‘conversion therapy’ ruling

On July 29, 2016, we fact checked PolitiFact California’s ruling finding it “True” that Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence once advocated diverting federal money … Continue reading

Is context optional at PolitiFact?

If it’s about Trump it’s too good to check? Fact checkers in 2016 (not to mention 2015) showed a tendency to take vague statements from … Continue reading

Fact checkers awry on Trump and nuclear proliferation

“Donald Trump has repeatedly said he is OK with more countries having nukes.” —Headline from LA Times fact check, Oct. 4, 2016     “Donald … Continue reading

Snopes’ ‘Mixture’ ruling on Mike Pence and ‘conversion therapy’

“Mike Pence once supported the use of federal funding to treat people ‘seeking to change their sexual behavior.’” —Snopes.com, from a fact check published on … Continue reading

Live fact-checking: What could go wrong?

The mainstream fact checkers can’t seem to wait to grasp one of the Holy Grails of fact-checking: Live fact-checking. The problem? Live fact-checking leads directly … Continue reading

Traffic stops, racism, Tim Kaine, and PolitiFact

“Kaine said Castile was stopped by police 40 or 50 times before the time when he was fatally wounded. According to multiple independent press reports, … Continue reading

Murders up or down under Mayor DeBlasio?

“Donald Trump off-base in saying murders are up in New York City” —PolitiFact headline, Sept. 27, 2016   Overview Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said … Continue reading

Lauren Carroll, PolitiFact botch the “Trump Effect”

“They asked about 2,000 K-12 teachers who reported in large part that they were seeing an increase in bullying, especially among immigrants, children of immigrants … Continue reading

PolitiFact’s ‘Trump Effect’ failures

On Aug. 26, 2016, mainstream fact checker PolitiFact published a spectacularly awful examination of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s claim that teachers were reporting … Continue reading