Zebra Fact Checks

Fact checks and commentary articles that fact check fact checkers

‘Lead Stories’ and the hoax that wasn’t

An Oct. 18, 2019 story at National Review said Hillary Clinton claimed the Russians were grooming Democratic Party presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) for a third-party campaign. And the fact checkers at Lead Stories, a fact-checking organization verified by the International Fact-Checking Network called it a hoax. Lead Stories was wrong. But its role as a Facebook fact-checking partner…
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How Science Feedback flunked Fact-Checking 101

Note: See statement of transparency following the article. Science Feedback’s fact check of a pro-life video used poor methods and the IFCN’s review missed it An August 30, 2019 Science Feedback fact check (updated Sept. 3, 2019) ruled “Inaccurate” pro-life advocate Lila Rose’s claim “Abortion is not medically necessary.” Science Feedback’s status as a Facebook fact-checking partner, made possible through…
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Fact Checker Fail on Pre-existing Conditions

The Washington Post Fact Checker Turns Fact-Checking on its Head Health care has emerged as a key issue for the 2018 mid-term elections. The mainstream press has largely supported a narrative that support for a lawsuit asserting the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional shows opposition to protections for pre-existing conditions. The Washington Post Fact Checker published a fact check showcasing…
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PolitiFact Gives Zebra Fact Check the Brush-off

The Brush-off On Oct. 3, 2018 Zebra Fact Check contacted PolitiFact to point out the need for a correction to a PolitiFact Missouri fact check from Sept. 20, 2018. Our message explained the correction was necessary because PolitiFact Missouri had rated “Mostly False” a claim PolitiFact had stated as true in 2013. PolitiFact gave Zebra Fact Check the brush-off. PolitiFact…
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What if Fact Checkers Knew Logic?

An Aug. 3, 2018 PolitiFact fact check of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Medicare For All helps show the disadvantages of issuing fact check ratings without the benefit of logic. PolitiFact’s system ends up giving a “Half True” rating to Sanders’ entirely spurious argument. PolitiFact quotes Sanders to introduce his argument: Sanders said, “Let me thank the Koch Brothers of…
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Fisking Newsy’s Flimsy Fact Check Fix

PolitiFact recently partnered with a television news channel, Newsy, to spread its fact-checking content. Ordinarily the video version of a fact-check simplifies the fact check and further distorts any inaccuracies. But the Newsy version of a July 2, 2018 PolitiFact fact check actually does a more complete job of reporting. That said, the fact check of a President Trump claim…
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Was the BCRA Aimed at Reducing the Number of Medicaid Enrollees?

“The Medicare reduction was aimed at cost efficiency, while the Medicaid reduction was aimed at reducing the number of enrollees.” —PolitiFact’s Angie Drobnic Holan, during a May 9, 2018 Reddit AMA     “The Senate bill takes several steps to restrain Medicaid spending. It rolls back who is eligible.” —PolitiFact fact check of a Kellyanne Conway claim about Medicaid, written…
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Why Fact Checkers Need a Watchdog

Who fact checks the fact checkers? Since it started publishing occasional fact checks in 2010, Zebra Fact Check has found quite a few significant errors by mainstream media fact checkers. Unfortunately, our criticisms only rarely result in adequate changes in the original mainstream media fact checks. We held out some hope that the International Fact-Checking Network, hosted by the Poynter…
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Zinke, gas prices and PolitiFact

Does some form of Trump Derangement Syndrome make it impossible for mainstream media fact checkers to do their work properly? Consider President Donald Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. And consider PolitiFact. At the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference, Zinke claimed that under the Obama administration consumers paid about $100 to fill the tank with gas. Today, Zinke said, it costs…
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