Zebra Fact Checks

Fact checks and commentary articles that fact check fact checkers

David Axelrod attacks Romney’s ‘$5 trillion tax cut’

David Axelrod:  “Governor Romney, the centerpiece and really the only piece of his plan that is real is this $5 trillion tax cut, $2 trillion in extra spending for the Pentagon, no plan to pay for, it and deregulate Wall Street.“     Overview The “$5 trillion tax cut” language relies on creative math and a contested study from the…
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Romney wrong about Jeeps to China?

Editor’s note:  A different version of this post was originally published on Oct. 31 but was subsequently lost.   The Romney ad about Chrysler building Jeeps in China is apparently the fact check topic of the week. Here’s the ad:     The ad makes a number of claims. GM lost 15,000 workers.  China gained 15,000 workers through GM.  And…
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Presidential debate fact check: Our greatest geopolitical threat is …

President Obama:  “Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been…
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Presidential debate fact check: The Obama apology tour?

Mitt Romney: “And then the president began what I have called an apology tour, of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America.” President Obama: “Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign. And every…
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When fact checkers make things up

We have an example from yesterday of a fact checker doing something a fact checker should not do. PolitiFact, the popular fact checking site associated with the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, cherry-picked a definition and ruled on a politician’s statement based on that cherry picking. PolitiFact’s mistake occurs as it checks a claim from Republican senate candidate Linda McMahon.  McMahon’s…
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PolitiFact obfuscates on President Obama’s Rose Garden speech

Earlier today I read a fine fact check by Glenn Kessler of President Obama’s claims about Libya from the second presidential debate.  And a few minutes ago I read the PolitiFact version. PolitiFact:   Some have parsed Obama’s remarks and argued he didn’t say the Benghazi attack was specifically an act of terror. However, given the overall context of his…
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The Tennessean “fact check” skimps on context

Our fact check of Paul Ryan’s charge that the Obama administration called Syrian ruler Bashar Assad a “reformer” nearly carried a bonus critique of PolitiFact’s reporting of the context. The problem?  The mainstream press appears to downplay the force of the Syrian crackdown prior to Clinton’s infamous statement on “Meet the Press.”  The Tennessean provides perhaps the best example so…
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Was Paul Ryan correct that the Obama administration called Bashar Assad ‘a reformer’?

Paul Ryan:  “We should not have called Bashar Assad a reformer when he was turning his Russian-provided guns on his own people.”   Overview During his debate with Vice President Biden, Republican candidate for vice president Paul Ryan claimed the Obama administration referred to Syrian leader Bashar Assad as a reformer.  Though PolitiFact rated the claim “Mostly False,” we’ll find…
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