Author Archive: Bryan W. White

Email Outreach to Poynter Institute President Neil Brown, Nov. 25, 2019

Following up on a lack of response from the International Fact-Checking Network regarding our inquiries, we phoned the Poynter Institute to try coaxing an official response either from the IFCN or its parent organization. Zebra Fact Check’s phone call was transferred to the office of the Neil Brown, president of the Poynter Institute. We left a phone message and then…
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Email outreach to PolitiFact, March 3, 2020

On March 3, 2020 Zebra Fact Check took note of a number of major errors in a PolitiFact Wisconsin fact check published on Feb. 28, 2020. After trying to bring PolitiFact Wisconsin’s attention to the mistakes on Twitter, we sent a request for major corrections to [email protected] That email message follows in .pdf format. We will update this item if…
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Correction: Substituted duplicate IFCN complaint for a different complaint

In 2019, when we were posting a string of correction requests and formal complaints to PolitiFact and the International Fact-Checking Network, respectively, we posted one complaint about PolitiFact Oregon twice instead of posting about a separate case involving PolitiFact Oregon. We did what we believed was a correction on the complaint to the IFCN, thinking the problem was merely embedding…
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Email outreach regarding IFCN error reporting on Pew Research findings

In July 2019, Zebra Fact Check discovered an error in the International Fact-Checking Network’s coverage of a Pew Research survey. The IFCN-published story falsely said “Almost half of Americans believe that fact checkers are biased, and the majority of those skeptics are Republican.” Pew Research data apparently do not support the latter proposition. Zebra Fact Check received no reply to…
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Misspelled ‘Demings’

In our Feb. 7, 2020 examination of PolitiFact’s Feb. 3, 2020 fact check of Rep. Val Demings we were guilty of misspelling “Demings” by giving it two m’s in one instance. We corrected our mistake on Dec Feb . 7, 2020. Correction Feb. 7, 2020: The correction detailed above did not occur on Dec. 7 2020, which isn’t here yet,…
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PolitiFact’s subjective treatment of Val Demings

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” said the late Sen. Patrick Moynihan, “but not to his own facts.” Fact checkers like PolitiFact have a way around Moynihan’s maxim. They first choose which claim to check, then choose how to check the claim. Both steps feature subjective judgments. The end result? The fact checkers choose their own facts. PolitiFact’s Feb….
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A Trifecta of Fact Checker Error on IG Report

The so-called “elite three” mainstream fact checkers, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker, all followed the mainstream press in making a serious error reporting on the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation. What the IG Report Said The IG report repeatedly said investigators failed to find “documentary or testimonial evidence” of political bias. But the…
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