PolitiFact is a far-left fake Fact Checker, created by far-left Tampa Bay Times and run by far-left Poynter Institute,.
Balance through looking at both sides[edit | edit source]
The way I figure out bias, is by reading both sides views of something, and then comparing their facts and complaint, sampling each of them (fact checking them), or fact checking their fact-checking, and you can get a good idea of how biased they are.
I tended to follow Newsbusters (MRC) and MediaMatters (same organization) or ThinkProgress and MediaMatters (different organizations) for about a month, comparing their complaints and weighting their arguments for severity of infraction and accuracy. MRC/Newsbusters certain gets a little whiney at times and does the lies of omission (or clipped edits) in parts to prove their point a bit too much. But they do it a tiny fraction of the other side, and have about 4 times the content, 3 times the support for their points, and much more validity if you know the topics than the latter two combined. That gives you a picture.
When you look at Politifact, the picture becomes pretty clear -- they're very partisan, sometimes wrong, and when they are wrong they behave badly by either:
- (a) not fixing errors that are known falsehoods, letting the disinformation remain
- (b) correcting the errors without admission of their mistake (just fixing the article without noting that this was a retraction)
- (c) pretending the earlier errors didn't exist in later articles
- (d) attacking those that point out the errors
None of which instills confidence in their professionalism, or quest to speak truth to power (as they're the power). On top of that, you have the other two common ways of bias:
- Selection bias
- Standards bias (double standard)
Below I offer examples of each of them (and more).
This is too easy, as there are websites dedicated to debunking the bias in fake unbiased places like Politifact. Like the popular:
- Examples of that bias are here: http://www.politifactbias.com/p/research.html
But in the end, if you go through that site, they decimate Politifact facade of not being partisan hacks. If you read any examples of their known falsehoods, or long winded lawyering of issues they don't want to admit are true (because they make a Republican look good), or make excuses for why they soft-pedaled a Democrat who was obviously wrong, then you kind of get the idea. Assuming you're not too partisan to be self-blinded to it.
Types of Bias[edit source]
|There are many forms of bias when doing studies or trying to analyze data like: #Selection Bias (what they pick), #Oversampling Bias (picking the same thing over, or minute variants), #Standards Bias (not holding both sides to the same standard), and so on.|
Examples[edit | edit source]
Here are a few examples of their mistakes:
PolitiFact • [11 items]
- 2019.10.10 Trump, Obama and DACA - PolitiFact (and Poynter Institute) have always been DNC water-carriers masquerading as objective journalists. When Trump tweets that Obama admitted DACA wouldn't hold up to Court Scrutiny, and if the Supremes uphold it, it give Presidents all sorts of new powers. The FakeNews water carriers tried to do intellectual gymnastics to defend Obama, instead of the truth.
- Candice Owns beats Fact Checkers - Candice Owens pointed out the truth: that Joe Biden was NOT yet the President-elect (until the electoral college has met), and thus the media is lying when they claim he is. So Facebook and PolitiFact censored her. She sues, and they were forced to back down.
- Critical Race Theory/PolitiFact on Winsome Earle-Sears - While Fact Checking Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears Politifact totally blows it. They corrected her claims that Loudoun County School spent about $300K on CRT, by saying it was only $30K -- which would have still shown her correct, as the left was claiming that CRT doesn't exist. But then receipts show it was $397,500, and the fact-checkers failed/misrepresented.
- Death Panels - Republicans (and Sarah Palin) started using the term "Death Panels" to describe part of the ACA, where a panel of 15 (called IPAB) could make life and death decisions over what treatments would be covered or not. The left denied it existed, but accounted for the savings these panels would bring by denying care. Fake Fact Checkers denied they existed.
- Fake Facts/Late Term Abortion - Focus on the Family ran Facebook ads accusing states of allowing full-term abortions. PolitiFact admits that 6 states do allow what was alleged, then rating it "Mostly False" anyways because they claimed these late-term abortions “are rare” in the six states. Rarity was not a point made. And thousands per year is rare compared to 900,000 abortions, but not THAT rare.
- Politfact on Carly Fiorina - Claims Carly Fiorina (R) said, "I should have [laid off 30,000 HP employees] faster" was half true. It was completely false. What she said, years earlier, that a few of the top execs she asked to leave, she should have asked quicker, not the 30,000 employees that were eventually laid off. That's not half true.
- Politfact on Hillary Quote - Claims NRA was "mostly false" when they claimed Hillary said gun confiscation "would be worth considering." PolitiFact claims that Hillary saying that we should consider an Australia-like forced Buy-Back, was nothing like calling for Gun Confiscation... thus they imagined this as "Mostly False", when it's most certainly a "Mostly True" (if not completely).
- Politfact on Recession - For 50 years, the common definition used by PolitiFact and others has been, "2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP". Once Biden claims that we're not in a recession despite that reality, PolitiFact jumps to his defense, and pretends he's NOT spinning/lying. And they pull up NBER's definition (which still can qualify) and offers none of the other context. .
- Politfact on Veterans Vote - Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) said that his opponent, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), skipped a vote for veterans, which she did. so Politifact gave him a “mostly false” rating by claiming while Rosen didn't vote, the bill passed anyways -- so she didn't need to be there. That doesn't make Dean's point false. And that nitpicking they'd never do for a (R) shows PolitiFaked is not non-partisan.
- Politfact on the Wall - Trump rightly claimed that Schumer supported the border barrier (the Wall). PolitiFaked claims that's mostly false, because while it's true... Trumps hyperbole on the wall is that it'll be bigger or partially made of concrete.
Politifact • [20 items]
- 2009.12.18 Death Panels - Obama claimed there was no "death panels"... just a panel that would make your life and death medical decisions for you. Fake Fact Checker PolitiFact came in and called the claim of "Death Panels" the "Lie of the year", because it wasn't the panel but the disease/malady that would kill you. The panel would just deny you life saving treatment that would have changed the outcome.
- 2013.12.12 Obama and Politifact share lie of the year - 2008-2013 Politifact rated anyone who criticized Obama's "If you like your plan/doctor, you can keep it" as Pants-on-fire. Then in 2013 the lie of the year poll was the promise that you could keep your doctor/plan. It wasn't even on the ballot, it was a write in by so many that had lost coverage, that PolitFact had to admit it. (Without retraction or apology).
- 2014.08.06 VoterID Fraud - Justin Levitt did a "Study" that found only 31 convictions of voter fraud. It was utter crap (methodologically), but started the idea among the gullible and dishonest that we don't have a voter fraud problem. In truth it shows that we don't have enough tracking to arrest/convict most people committing voter fraud. And Democrats are fighting adding any controls.
- 2016.05.02 Hillary and the Rapist - One complaint was against Hillary for laughing about getting a child rapist off when she was a defense lawyer. This was true. Even lefty-FactCheck admitted it was true. But Snopes, WaPo and Politifact parsed words, inferred intent (It was just a nervous laugh), and went beyond fact-checking into water-carrier status.
- 2017.04.11 Spicer: Hitler didn't use chemical weapons - Sean Spicer (Press Secretary) misspoke and apologized/corrected himself in the same news-conference (while talking about chemical weapons). Far-left outfits (CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Snopes, Politifact), ignored the correction/clarification and used the gaff as a way to attack Spicer and Trump, and spin a non-story into evidence of why they were a bad administration.
- 2017.05.25 NATO - Trump criticized European Countries for doding their responsibilities to NATO, they startled slacking on their obligations slightly less, and came up with more money. The Press, Left and EU blamed Trump for hurting NATO by pointing out their failures and demanding they do better, white NATO confesses they got $100B and stronger because of it.
- 2019.04.02 Misleading Teacher Salary claims - Harris put out a completely deceptive and dishonest claim, "that teachers pay is falling short of living wage in 30 states" and we need the fed to help. FakeNews Politifact backed her up, because completely misleading, if you parse everything she said in a way that most of her readers won't, then she's technically not wrong, so they mislabelled it as mostly true. Something they'd never do for a conservative.
- Fake Facts/Birth of Birthers - Fact checkers (CNN, Politifact, Snopes, FactCheck) answered whether Hillary originated the Birther movement, and exonerated her. It was only her top strategists plan and her campaign staffers, but not her personally -- so they pretended that Trump was lying to imply she had anything to do with creating these rumors.
- Fake Facts/Dems remain seated for Navy Seal - Many Democrats remained seated during Trump's first address to congress in 2017, in protest of his very existence. Fake Fact Checkers tried to spin it for the Democrats favor, but showing a few of them might have stood for a nanosecond, very late, but ignore that most did not.
- FakeNews about Cagegate - This FakeNews fiasco was the fallacy that Trump's new immigration policy was breaking up families and putting kids in cages. The omitted reality was criminals (border jumpers) have always had the kids separated from the adults, as you aren't sure who are parents, and detaining both in the same place risks harm to children. The media even used faked propaganda images from Obama era to sell it.
- Green New Deal - The Green New Deal was a program championed by AOC, endorsed by the left, confirms everything conservatives have been warning about the 🍉 Watermelon Environmental Movement: their goal is not to save the planet, but use that to enact communism/socialism in the U.S. $93 Trillion boondoggle intended to collapse the economy, and make everyone a dependent.
- Hillary Clinton/Cattlegate: Futures Trading Miracle (1978) - First time Cattle Futures trader Hillary, make a 9,987% returns with perfect trades, (done for her, by a scummy lawyer), then she never trades again. She claims she learned how on the Wall Street Journal, which doesn't talk about cattle futures. Democrats and Fake Fact Checkers claim nothing sounds fishy.
- Hillary Clinton/Lootergate (2001) - After leaving the White House, Hillary was forced to return an estimated $190,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork that she had taken. The Clintons water carriers in the media fake "Fact Checked" this and tried to exonerate the Clintons by word parsing or misleading the public on what happened.
- Hillary Clinton/Open Borders - Wikileaks leaked the text of private, paid speech to a Brazilian bank where Clinton said: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders..." 3 years later, Politifact, FactCheck and CNN were claiming that Hillary never said or meant it, despite evidence to the contrary.
- Hillary Clinton/Travelgate (1993) - Clinton friend Harry Thompson create a new company, and when the WhiteHouse Travel office rightly rebuffed the newcomer, Hillary ignored conflict of interest laws, got involved, gave him a tits $500K no-bid contract. Oh, and used the IRS to harass their enemies/complainers/whistleblowers. The Fake Fact Checkers stayed away from this whole fiasco.
- Hillary Clinton/Troopergate (1980-1993) - Troopergate was where Bill Clinton used Arkansas state police assigned to his security detail, to keep an eye out for Hillary or ferry women in and out of the Governors mansion for him (as well as keep track of his sexual scoring system). While Hillary was using state troopers to take her to clandestine meetings with Vince Foster at a resort (for an alleged affair).
- Ilhan Omar/Racism Claims - Ilhan has had a series of racially insensitive claims, especially against Jews/Israel. Not all of them are up to MY standards of racism (racially insensitive isn't racist, unless the folks believe the entire race is inferior to another) -- but that's not the standard the left uses. By their standards, she'd be racist, so they should censure her.
- New Jersey and the Economist - The Economist ran an oft quoted FakeNews story that blue states subsidize red states (via taxes/benefits). They did it by ignoring borrowing, compliance costs, and other inefficiencies. What it really showed is that if you spend $2.63 (in taxes, debt, etc) you get $.60 in purchasing power back, and some will see the $.60 (ignore what it cost) and think they're coming out ahead.
- PolitiFact/DGU Disinformation - PolitiFact slammed a weak-sauce study, using a far worse/weaker study to "prove" their point. And intentionally ignored other studies that showed DGU (Defensive Gun Uses) are in the millions per year, and have saved hundreds from mass shootings.
General bias[edit | edit source]
Tom Feran as editor of Politifact Ohio caught doing multiple "Gobama!" and "evil conservatives" tweets. Sure, and Sean Hannity would make a non-partisan fact-checker as well:
Louis Jacobson of PolitiFact reported that (a) one of Kevin D. Williamson (of National Review) had made an erroneous claim (that ACA covered things like acupuncture and naturopathic medicine), because it did (b) that the reporter had tried to reach Kevin for comment, but was unable to get to him. (This reach out was by tweeting, instead of email or a phone call). Instead of owning their mistakes, they pretended the original claim was half true, but first straw-manning Kevin's claims.
Retractions[edit | edit source]
I know of exactly one retraction PolitiFact has made. Back in 2014 John Kerry made the laughable claim that the Obama administration had helped broker a deal that successfully removed "100 percent" of chemical weapons from Syria, that they rated as "Mostly True". When 3 years later Syria used chemical weapons to kill up to 100 civilians, and human rights workers are pointing out Syria still has at least 12 chemical weapon production facilities, that claim isn't holding water. Of course, I expect there are hundreds or thousands of citations of that fact check, or other fact checks that were based on it for the last 3 years, which all made out the Obama/Kerry administration to be honest when they were lying, and anyone that questioned them was called a liar, when they were telling the truth.
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
My problem isn't just with the rampant bias, it's with the media that celebrates and quotes from PolitiFact freely when they're making obvious partisan mistakes (like the ones mentioned), but then rarely offers retractions or corrections when PolitiFact is eating crow. If you don't remember widespread discussions on talk shows and the news about PolitiFact's failures, or they still get cited as a reputable source for non-partisan fact checking, or anyone uses them as a "fact check" site, then it proves my point.
Just wander the Hillary Clinton many scandals, scams, or gasslightings, and see how PolitiFact handles them. They seem more like a DNC PAC, than objective journalism, both on issues they touch, and how they handle them. (Especially when you contrast them with how they handle unsupported claims against Trump). (People whine that makes me a Trump supporter, but I just care about using the same yardstick):
- Hillary Clinton: Lootergate (2001)
- Hillary Clinton: Healthcare Reform debacle
- "Fact Checking" her book and being unable to find any lies
Remember, PolitiFact was given the Pulitzer Prize for exceptional dishonesty and lack of objectivity in Journalism -- which reflects more on how politically embarrassing Pulitzer has become, than any honorific deserved by PolitiFact, just because it's the most widely quoted "Fact Checkers" popular among the left leaning media. And it's not just PolitiFact (though they're the focus of this article), the AP, FactCheck, and the other sources are just as bad, or worse. But again, that doesn't prove PolitiFact's journalistic standards, it just proves the medias bias.
- PolitiFact is given the Pulitzer Prize for exceptional dishonesty and lack of objectivity in Journalism
- At least one place (US News) notes that's most likely because of PolitFacts biases, and shows we need someone fact checking the fact checkers.
- HotAir/Townhall Posts a summary of Politifacts bias, and Politifact doesn't admit their mistakes or ignore it, their executive director attacks the author on Twitter instead:
- Rachel Maddow lost it over Politifact for doing the right thing for once -- they say a claim by Rubio that most Americans were Conservative is mostly true, since 40% + said they associated conservative, and if you divide the 35% that say they're moderates as either leans conservative or leans liberal, it was likely to put Rubio's statement over the top and true.
- Liberal front CMPA (Center for Media and Public Affairs) did a "Study" that found Republicans lie more than Democrats, based on PolitiFacts bias:
- If you want to see the quality of their staff, read up on their hiring of Alan Grayson:
- Fact Checking the Fact Checkers: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/?s=PolitiFact&submit=Search
Examples of Bias