Zebra Fact Checks

Fact checks and commentary articles that fact check fact checkers

PolitiFact abets witch hunt for ‘climate change deniers’

“Organizing for Action said that Rubio ‘refuses to accept the basic science’ on climate change and is ‘a climate change denier.’ … We rate the statement ‘Mostly True.’” —PolitiFact, Aug. 16, 2013   Overview PolitiFact’s ruling defies logic and sets aside its own standards. The Facts PolitiFact used an email from OFA’s Ivan Frishman as the subject of its fact…
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President Obama says deficit is falling at fastest rate in 60 years; PolitiFact says ‘True’

“Barack Obama said the deficit has fallen at the fastest rate in 60 years. … the president used an acceptable approach and his numbers are accurate. There are no statistical tricks in play.” —PolitiFact   Overview Eyes wide open, PolitiFact falls for the oldest statistical tricks in the book. The Facts President Obama made the speech containing his reference to…
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PolitiFact says it’s false that the McCain campaign banned Sarah Palin from mentioning former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers

“Palin said she was banned from talking about one-time domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, but the record shows the complete and utter opposite.” —PolitiFact, July 26, 2013   Overview PolitiFact’s conclusion lacks a basis in logic. The Facts On July 26, 2013, PolitiFact published a fact check of a statement by John McCain’s 2008 vice-presidential running mate, Sarah Palin. Palin, appearing…
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One “Pinocchio” is not enough

On July 19, 2013 the Washington Post Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, published a fact check of President Obama’s claim that the ACA’s medical loss ratio rules saved consumers $3.4 billion. That interested us, for we fact checked a version of the same claim coming from Consumer Reports.  Finding other fact checkers investigating similar claims provides an opportunity to see how…
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PolitiFact Ohio claims increased federal expenses for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion do not contribute to the federal deficit

What about (Ohio state senator Maag’s broader point — that Medicaid expansion under Obamacare would result in more deficit spending? … But the facts, projections and law, as they exist today, do not support his claim. We rate it False. —PolitiFact Ohio   Overview PolitiFact Ohio uses specious reasoning in its rating of a Republican lawmaker from Ohio. The Facts…
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Nancy Pelosi says health care reform drives the decrease in the budget deficit

 “The Affordable Care Act is bringing the cost of health care in our country down in both the public and private sector. And that is what is largely responsible for the deficit coming down.” —House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, May 13, 2013   Overview A logic deficit undermines Pelosi’s claim about the budget deficit. The Facts House Democratic Leader Nancy…
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FactCheck.org says federal spending has increased ‘far more slowly’ under Obama than under Bush

“Federal spending under Obama has grown faster than inflation, but far more slowly than it did under President Bush.” —Annenberg Fact Check   Summary We rate a second recent claim from FactCheck.org, stemming from the same “Obama’s Numbers” article that prompted our earlier fact check.  Again, Annenberg Fact Check spins like a politician. The Facts The federal government substantially increased…
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Annenberg Fact Check says Obama beats George W. Bush on jobs.

“Now that we have figures for the full four years of Obama’s first term, a surprising fact emerges: The economy added more jobs during four years under Obama than it did in the entire eight years under Bush.” —Annenberg Fact Check   Summary FactCheck.org closely imitates the methods of a typical misleading political campaign advertisement. The Facts We do not…
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PolitiFact says gun prosecutions didn’t nosedive under President Obama

“Sessions said that Obama “has allowed, each year he’s been here, the prosecutions of gun cases to go down. .. [sic] They’ve declined every year since President Bush left office.” That’s true — but the data covers only the first two years of Obama’s term, and it didn’t nosedive under Obama since it was already a tiny percentage under Bush.”…
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Social Security, deficits and the fact checkers

On April 10 we published a fact check of a House Democrat presentation of Social Security, claiming that Social Security has never added so much as a dime to the deficit.  We found the claim false based on the Social Security Administration’s reports of revenue falling short of expenses. We’ve since surveyed the way various mainstream fact checkers treated similar…
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