Zebra Fact Checks

Fact checks and commentary articles that fact check fact checkers

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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