Latest Posts

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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About the reference style

References for this site represent a modified MLA style. Wherever possible we will use references available on the Web.  MLA Style requires no listing of a URL under ordinary circumstances, which works fine because we’re providing hyperlinks through the title of the reference.  We omit the indentations beyond the first line of the reference because the WordPress interface makes achieving…
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VP debate: Did Bush ‘credit card’ spending account for the recession as Biden claimed?

Vice President Joe Biden:  “They talk about this Great Recession if it fell out of the sky, like, ‘Oh, my goodness, where did it come from?’ It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for the…
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October update

The vice presidential debate is in the books.  We’ve got one fact check project in the works from the Biden-Ryan debate, but the research on the project has brought to the fore the need for a standardized reference style. Once that’s ironed out it will streamline the publishing process on projects that feature journal-style references that also happen to be…
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Does the AARP claim Romney’s plan would ‘undermine Medicare’?

Obama campaign video:  “AARP says (Romney’s plan) ‘would undermine … Medicare.’”   Overview An October 9 Obama campaign video presents the AARP as saying the Romney/Ryan premium support “voucher” system “would undermine … Medicare.”   The Facts The campaign video makes a series of claims about the Romney “voucher system” proposal before using a partial quotation from the AARP.  The…
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