Fact Checks

FiveThirtyEight and atheists in prison

“Atheists are underrepresented [in federal prison].” Mona Chalabi, in a March 12, 2015 article for FiveThirtyEight   Overview FiveThirtyEight uses data inadequate for the task of estimating the percentage of atheists in federal prison. FiveThirtyEight’s argument won’t even support a probabilistic case that atheists are underrepresented in the federal prison population. The Facts FiveThirtyEight’s Mona Chalabi received a request from…
Read more

Did Netanyahu take Kerry out of context?

“Netanyahu Takes Kerry Out of Context” —FactCheck.org, from a March 3, 2015 fact check of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu   Overview FactCheck.org’s assertion that Prime Minister Netanyahu took Secretary of State Kerry out of context appears to lack any basis in fact. The Facts On March 3, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a well-publicized address to both…
Read more

Would the 2013 immigration reform bill have allowed immigrants to take American jobs?

“Myth: Immigration reform will allow illegal immigrants to take away jobs from hard-working Americans.” —The Democratic National Committee, from its “Your Republican Uncle” website, November 2013   Overview Not every illegal immigrant would take away the job of a hard-working American citizen, but it’s likely some would. The Facts Our examination of the Democratic National Committee’s “Your Republican Uncle” website…
Read more

Quote check: ‘We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers’

“We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” —Neil Newhouse, Mitt Romney campaign pollster, Aug. 28, 2012     Overview A media myth surrounds an oft-repeated quotation. The Facts On Aug. 28, 2012 the campaign pollster for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, Neil Newhouse, participated in a media breakfast event sponsored by Yahoo! and ABC News….
Read more

Waterboarding fact check: Kessler vs. Cheney

“Contrary to Cheney’s assertion, waterboarding was an important charge in a number of the lesser-profile cases.” —Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker, from a Dec. 16, 2014 fact check of former Vice President Dick Cheney   Overview In a fact check of the former vice president, the Washington Post Fact Checker muddies the waterboarding. The Facts Former Vice President Dick…
Read more

PolitiFact vs. Giuliani on murder conviction rates

“[Rudy] Giuliani said, “the conviction rate is almost exactly the same” for whites and blacks who commit murder. … Without statistical data to back up his claim, we rate it False.”   —PunditFact, from a Nov. 26, 2014 fact check of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani   Overview: Facts and consistency escape PunditFact’s grasp as it overlooks an extensive…
Read more

CNN misreports “classic study on race”

“In a classic study on race, psychologists staged an experiment with two photographs that produced a surprising result.” —CNN’s John Blake, in a Nov. 27, 2014 story titled “The new threat: ‘Racism without racists’.”   Overview: CNN and the expert it sourced, Howard Ross, both provide badly distorted accounts of a research project. The Facts “The new threat: ‘Racism without…
Read more

Is health care the ‘single biggest factor’ driving down the budget deficit?

“Obama said the cost of “health care is now the single-biggest factor driving down” the federal budget deficit. … We rate Obama’s claim Mostly True.” —PolitiFact, from an Oct. 8, 2014 fact check of President Obama   Overview The mainstream fact checker PolitiFact exemplifies inconsistency with its fact check of President Obama. The Facts On Oct. 8, 2014, PolitiFact published a…
Read more

Poll shows Republicans like Obamacare more under a different name?

“Survey: Republicans Like Obamacare a Lot More if You Call It by a Different Name” –Headline of a Jonathan Cohn article in The New Republic, Sept. 15, 2014   Overview The survey doesn’t say what Jonathan Cohn and The New Republic say it does. The Facts On Sept. 15, 2014 the left-leaning magazine The New Republic published a story by…
Read more