Zebra Fact Checks

Fact checks and commentary articles that fact check fact checkers

Obama and “what we said was”

President Obama official portrait

How PolitiFact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year” selection was even worse than you thought It was Nov. 4, 2013, and insurance companies had already started to send cancellation notices to customers whose policies failed to meet the administration’s “essential benefits” standards under the Affordable Care Act.  The media recognized the failure of the president’s pledge that Americans could keep the…
Read more

Three-quarters of employer plans already compliant with the ACA?

“[T]he International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans … found that about three-quarters of all employer-sponsored health plans already meet the criteria of the Affordable Care Act.” —PunditFact, Nov. 20, 2013   Overview PunditFact, the pundit-checking branch of PolitiFact, misuses a 2013 survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans to help excuse insurance plan cancellations under the ACA. The…
Read more

Geppettos for nothing (chicks for free?)

“From what we know now, [Jason] Furman’s statement stands up to scrutiny. He earns a rare Geppetto Checkmark.” —Glenn Kessler the Washington Post Fact Checker, Nov. 11, 2013   Overview Furman’s statement needs more scrutiny. The Facts The Washington Post Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, posted a fact check of a White House economic adviser on November 11, 2013. The adviser,…
Read more

PunditFact vs Glenn Beck on losing health insurance

PunditFact logo with Glenn Beck inset

“[Glenn] Beck said that when Obama promised that people could keep the plans they like, he knew that half of all Americans would lose their health insurance. Beck is wrong in every respect. The primary study he relied on contradicts his number, saying that at most 50 million people would lose coverage, not 125 million.” —PunditFact, Nov. 6, 2013  …
Read more

PolitiFact or PolitiFancy?

“[Sen. Ted] Cruz said Obamacare has led to premiums going up and up and up for virtually every person.” —PolitiFact, Oct. 17, 2013     Overview PolitiFact provides a sterling example of settling on an improbable interpretation of a politician’s statement. The Facts On Oct. 17, 2013, mainstream fact checker PolitiFact examined a statement from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): “President…
Read more

Media Matters proclaims it ‘myth’ that health care law will increase premiums

“Myth #2: Premium Prices Will Increase Due To Health Care Law” —Media Matters for America, Oct. 1, 2013     Overview If saying it makes it true then Media Matters has a good argument. The Facts On Oct. 1, 2013, Media Matters for America published a list of what it calls “myths” about the health care law, commonly known as the ACA…
Read more

A partisan divide for 19-26 year-olds covered under parents’ health insurance?

“Clinton was right—63 percent of young Republicans, compared to only 45 percent of young Democrats had signed on to their parents’ plan, something they couldn’t have done without passage of Obama’s law.” —PolitiFact, Sept. 5, 2013   Overview PolitiFact grades the literal interpretation of a trivial claim “True,” and passes a stinker of an underlying argument off on its readers….
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more