Author Archive: Bryan W. White

Where’s the beef?

Alas!  Sorry for the lack of new content lately.  It’s not for lack of effort, as I’ve been working furiously on a fact check of PolitiFact Texas.  PolitiFact’s fact check had to do with a statement from President George Washington. My research on this one has proved so extensive that I’m planning a fact check entry as well as a…
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PolitiFact vs. Marco Rubio

PolitiFact Florida:  “Marco Rubio tweets that GOP didn’t support Social Security changes”   Overview Fact checker commits fallacy of equivocation in posting false headline. The Facts Marco Rubio’s tweet from 1:16 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2012:   Report that #GOP insisting on changes to social security as part of #fiscalcliff false.BTW those changes are supported by @barackobama.   PolitiFact reports…
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Brooks Jackson and firefighting

Brooks Jackson, the founder of Annenberg Fact Check, published a review in December of his past nine years at  Titled “Firefighters, Fact-Checking and American Journalism,” the review focuses largely on the role of the fact checker. Jackson deserves credit for steering what is and has been the best fact-checking organization.  But his defense of mainstream fact checking does much…
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Two new rating icons added

Over the past weekend we created two new icons for use with our rating system. First, we filled the anticipated need for an “out of context” icon. We also added an icon for use with statements that rely on or suggest apples-to-oranges comparisons. More planned changes include a revised front-page presentation as well as  category pages that display only a…
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Fact checking the White House infographic about Plan B

On Dec. 26, Zebra Fact Check published an evaluation of claims by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about the Republicans’ “Plan B” for resolving fiscal cliff negotiations. In that article, we noted that the White House put forth a statement similar to Pelosi’s on the official White House blog, and did it with “Get the facts” in the headline. The…
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Does the Republican ‘Plan B’ raise taxes on working families while giving millionaires a tax break?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “As I’ve said to you before, Plan B is to send a bill to your children and grandchildren in order to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in our country, and still those making over a million dollars get a $50,000 tax cut, we’ll add nearly a half a trillion dollars to the…
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Atwitter about the framers and guns

Attributed to Thomas Jefferson on Twitter:  “Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” Attributed to Benjamin Franklin on Twitter:  “Never trust a government that doesn’t trust its own citizens with guns.” A massacre at a Connecticut elementary school last week has led to a great deal of news about gun control proposals along…
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The “true” ruling

We use the “true” icon when our analysis allows for the truth of a statement either based on an obvious interpretation or else a charitable interpretation. If the analysis applies a charitable interpretation to allow for the “true” rating then one of three icons representing charitable interpretation will accompany the “true” icon.

The Zebr-O-Meter?

Not long after I first started criticizing the fact checkers at PolitiFact, I declared that I could come up with a better system of rating fact checks than the “Truth-O-Meter” system PolitiFact uses. I gradually fleshed out the main idea over the course of a year. The system would not jam statements into ill-defined categories and would summarize the key…
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