the Blog

Short news items and site announcements.

Glenn Kessler defends his use of the Neil Newhouse quotation

Early on Dec. 31, 2014 we published a critique of the way the three major mainstream fact checkers, FactCheck.org, the Washington Post Fact Checker and PolitiFact, used a 2012 quotation from Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse. Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker, didn’t waste much time in responding. That’s one thing we absolutely love about the guy. On Twitter,…
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Review: “Truthiness Check”

A different approach to fact checking partially unveiled itself on the Web in October 2014. Dubbed “Truthiness Check,” the site takes a Wikipedian approach to fact-checking. We’ve moved slowly to review Truthiness Check partly since we’ve puzzled over how to figure out what the site is even saying about various political claims. The creators have acknowledged the problem and promise…
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Strategic pause

Zebra Fact Check isn’t likely to publish any new fact check material for about three weeks. We’re getting caught up on some neglected projects and exploring ways to increase our impact. We believe as strongly as ever it will benefit the American media landscape greatly to have a reliable fact-check source that isn’t blind to the conservative viewpoint. If you…
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The Plain Dealer’s ‘Truth in Numbers’ project

Last year, the Cleveland Plain Dealer stopped publishing stories under the PolitiFact Ohio banner.  We read with interest the criticisms of PolitiFact coming from Plain Dealer staffers. On June 7, 2014 Plain Dealer reader representative Ted Diadiun lauded the start of the paper’s Truth in Numbers fact check effort.  He told how the Truth in Numbers system improved on PolitiFact’s…
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Pushback on the Will McAvoy speech

Did Will McAvoy’s speech on “The Newsroom” make sense? We’ve looked forward to surpassing the transparency of more established fact check sites by regularly answering the best criticisms we receive.  Sadly, we haven’t had much to work with over the first year or so.  We’ve decided to begin highlighting criticism by replying to a critique from “Arseny.”  Arseny objected to…
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‘Your Republican Uncle’ put to the test

Your Republican Uncle

Announcing a fact check series on the DNC’s “Your Republican Uncle.” Sometimes fact checks just fall into our lap.  Other times we have to hunt for interesting statements to check.  We give thanks to the Democratic National Committee for sponsoring a set of talking points meant to answer conservative family members during the holidays.  The site, under the title “Your…
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ZFC joins the “Report an Error Alliance”

This site has joined the Report an Error Alliance. Members agree to prominently post reminders for readers to report any errors they see.  That reminder helps remind readers, in turn, that the site’s proprietors value accuracy.  The Alliance encourages members to download and use its icons.  We’ve taken the liberty of modifying an icon (the originals come from Mignon Khargie)…
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How do you solve a problem like Martina?

Pardon the “Sound of Music” pun. The liberal blogosphere is once again agog at the inadequacy of PolitiFact’s rating system. Tennis great Martina Navratilova claimed 29 states lack legal protections against job discrimination over sexual orientation.  Specifically, she stated a person could be fired for either being gay or simply because the boss thinks they’re gay.  PolitiFact noted a few…
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