Zebra Fact Checks

Fact checks and commentary articles that fact check fact checkers

Is Donald Trump the least accurate politician PolitiFact has ever covered?

Popular mainstream fact checker PolitiFact published an article on Nov. 14, 2022 flatly proclaiming Donald Trump counts as the least accurate politician it has ever covered. The claim creates a problem for PolitiFact, for an objective proof of “least accurate” presents an exceptionally tall order. If PolitFact lacks that proof then its article ends up expressing a derogatory opinion about…
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PolitiFact’s FEMA ‘clarification’: Was it enough?

Zebra Fact Check logo

When Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said Vice President Kamala Harris spoke words amounting to the claim that disaster victims might receive faster FEMA aid depending on the color of their skin, fact checkers leapt into action to defend the vice president. Fact checkers, including PolitiFact, said critics took Harris’ words out of context. PolitiFact’s version of the fact check included…
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Reuters Fact Check dumps context to fact check abortion tweet

Zebra Fact Check found Reuters Fact Check using the same fallacy four fact-checking organizations “verified” as to their compliance with the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles used in rating a claim from anti-elective-abortion group Live Action. Live Action said abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother. Facebook justified censoring the offending meme by citing…
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Is abortion ever medically necessary? Second-guessing AP Fact Check

AP Fact Check w/strikethrough

When AP Fact Check looked at the question of whether abortion ever counts as medically necessary, we found its reasoning of a kind with the Health Feedback/Science Feedback fact check we panned back in 2019. Both fact checks equivocated on the key term “abortion,” and AP Fact Check went further by failing to identify key sources. The Equivocation Game In…
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PolitiFact’s ‘great replacement’ smear of Tucker Carlson

After PolitiFact published an article supposedly explaining “great replacement theory,” with Tucker Carlson as a key focus, PolitiFact published a preposterous piece on May 19, 2022 claiming Carlson feigned not knowing about “great replacement theory.” Fox News host Tucker Carlson falsely claimed he was unfamiliar with the racist and antisemitic “great replacement theory” cited by the mass shooter in Buffalo,…
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Uvalde and PolitiFact, updates and corrections

For years, we have scratched our heads over PolitiFact’s spotty compliance with its own policies. Zebra Fact Check has built a collection of correction requests where PolitiFact has either ignored the request or made a correction without following its policy on corrections. A PolitiFact Fact Check from May 26, 2022 introduces another stellar example of the fact checkers’ clay feet….
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PolitiFact does a correction–the wrong way

On May 5, 2022 at around 8:00 a.m. EDT, Zebra Fact Check sent a pair of correction requests to PolitiFact. One of the correction requests concerned a false statement PolitiFact included as a subheading. PolitiFact claimed a trailer for a film about the 2020 presidential election, “2000 Mules,” based its case on “cell phone footage.” That claim contradicted the content…
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PolitiFact botches abortion law fact check

On April 7, 2022 PolitiFact published a fact check concerning Colorado’s new abortion law. PolitiFact drew immediate criticism on social media for failing to support its conclusion. Colorado law and late term abortion After a Facebook post said Colorado’s law codifying state abortion rights made abortion legal up until delivery, PolitiFact stepped in to fact check. PolitiFact’s fact check, by…
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PolitiFact’s misleading ‘Truth-O-Meter’ explainer II

In 2021 PolitiFact produced a video explainer about its “Truth-O-Meter” process. We reviewed the video in our article “PolitiFact’s misleading ‘Truth-O-Meter’ explainer” on Oct. 4, 2021. A tweet from PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson on March 10, 2022 impels us to revisit the subject. Jacobson’s mention of the “chamber” suggested he was talking about the “star chamber” for PolitiFact New York. That…
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