Tag Archive: PolitiFact

PolitiFact botches judgment on Ben Carson tax plan

PolitiFact vs. Ben Carson

“[Becky] Quick’s math is sound, based on what’s publicly known about Carson’s plan. Carson’s 15 percent flat tax would generate a $1.1 trillion hole. By his own math, his plan would create a $1 trillion hole.” —PolitiFact, from a Nov. 4, 2015 fact check of GOP presidential contender Ben Carson   Overview PolitiFact’s omissions and misrepresentations leave behind a misleading…
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Fact-checker agreement—and disagreement

In recent months we’ve pored over a pair of scholarly works on the topic of fact-checking. One, Checking the Fact-checkers in 2008: Predicting Political Ad Scrutiny and Assessing Consistency by Michele A. Amazeen, we reviewed earlier this year. The second, a doctoral dissertation by former PolitiFact writer Lucas Graves, contains much material we’ll address in one way or another over…
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Revisiting the Romney Jeep ad

Fact Checkers are Great Because They Condemned Mitt Romney’s Jeep Ad? In the peer-reviewed article Revisiting the Epistemology of Fact-Checking, researcher Michelle A. Amazeen offers readers an example of the beneficial effects of good fact-checking: When a framework of fact-checking becomes established, it should become more difficult for a politician to fabricate claims. For example, at the end of the…
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Review: ‘Checking the Fact-Checkers in 2008: Predicting Political Ad Scrutiny and Assessing Consistency’

In 2014 we first heard of a branch of scholarly research purporting to support the accuracy of mainstream fact checking. The research was mentioned in a paper by political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, The Effect of Fact-checking on Elites: A field experiment on U.S. state legislators: While individual fact-checks sometimes veer into punditry or semantic disputes (Marx 2012;…
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Quote check: ‘We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers’

“We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” —Neil Newhouse, Mitt Romney campaign pollster, Aug. 28, 2012     Overview A media myth surrounds an oft-repeated quotation. The Facts On Aug. 28, 2012 the campaign pollster for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, Neil Newhouse, participated in a media breakfast event sponsored by Yahoo! and ABC News….
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PolitiFact vs. Giuliani on murder conviction rates

“[Rudy] Giuliani said, “the conviction rate is almost exactly the same” for whites and blacks who commit murder. … Without statistical data to back up his claim, we rate it False.”   —PunditFact, from a Nov. 26, 2014 fact check of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani   Overview: Facts and consistency escape PunditFact’s grasp as it overlooks an extensive…
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Is health care the ‘single biggest factor’ driving down the budget deficit?

“Obama said the cost of “health care is now the single-biggest factor driving down” the federal budget deficit. … We rate Obama’s claim Mostly True.” —PolitiFact, from an Oct. 8, 2014 fact check of President Obama   Overview The mainstream fact checker PolitiFact exemplifies inconsistency with its fact check of President Obama. The Facts On Oct. 8, 2014, PolitiFact published a…
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The give and take on political donations

Occasionally the mainstream fact checker PolitiFact will publish an article giving an overview of a fact check topic. But two recent fact checks of political attack ads point to the need for one PolitiFact has yet to publish: the relevance of the source of political campaign cash. On March 27, 2014, PolitiFact published a fact check of an ad by…
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