Commentary

Media Bias/Fact Check Blinded by Science Feedback? (Updated)

Recently we chanced on the Science Feedback evaluation at Media Bias/Fact Check, a website that uses subjective ratings to score the bias and accuracy of various websites (including Zebra Fact Check). Apparently blinded by “Science,” Media Bias/Fact Check gave Science Feedback its highest rating for factual accuracy. Indeed, Media Bias/Fact Check proclaimed Science Feedback a “Pro-Science” source. Yet in 2019…
Read more

An Unhealthy ‘PolitiFact Health Check’

This week PolitiFact, with its franchise partner Kaiser Health News, published what was, in effect, a fact check of a prediction by President Barack Obama. “PolitiFact Health Check” awarded Mr. Obama a “True” rating for his prediction. Spoiler: For good reason, fact checkers usually try to avoid doing fact checks on predictions. A Trump Lawsuit Seeking to Overturn the ACA?…
Read more

Facebook’s Fact-Checking Needs Work

For whatever reason, we encounter very few examples of Facebook’s fact-checking effort while using Facebook. An example today renews our concerns about that effort, with the system flagging a picture the fact-checking system associated with false content. “See Why”? Let’s. The photo of two women wearing facemasks supposedly counts as false information because a “Viral poem about staying home was…
Read more

Scandal: Fact Checkers Fail at Accountability

The International Fact-Checking Network’s Epic Fail on Fact-Checking Accountability It’s a scandal when an accountability organization fails to provide accountability. After years of finding fault with mainstream media fact checkers, especially PolitiFact, it came as welcome news in 2018 that the International Fact-Checking Network would institute a formal system for registering complaints about its stable of fact-checking organizations. A properly…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

PolitiFact's Medicare-For-All Unexplainer

CORRECTION: This article received a significant correction the same day it was published, affecting three paragraphs. Find specific details here. In addition to its “Truth-O-Meter” and “Flip-O-Meter” judgments on political speech, PolitiFact delves fairly often into the “explainer” genre. PolitiFact’s November 2019 “Medicare For All” explainer contained a number of misleading elements while offering its readers a credulous view of…
Read more

Washington Post Fact Checker wrongly dings Gabbard on Russian ‘grooming’

When numerous media outlets produced conflicting reports, op-eds and fact checks on whether Hillary Clinton said the Russians were grooming Democratic Party presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Zebra Fact Check weighed in on the issue. After looking at the whole context of the Clinton interview on David Plouffe’s podcast, we said Clinton had tended to mix statements about Trump campaign…
Read more