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View Diary: PolitiFACT openly admits FACTS are not its focus (119 comments)

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  •  I did say that in paragraph three (0+ / 0-)

    Both were rated "half-true" initially.  Aren't they both "true" under the strict definition we think Politifact should apply? (Gingrich's might have to be tweaked a little (e.g., "more people are on foodstamps since Obama became President") to be completely true.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 12:28:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I saw that paragraph. The line I was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Upper West, Tonedevil

      disagreeing with was this:

      "Aren't they both "true" under the strict definition we think Politifact should apply?

      The answer to that is no. Gingrich's statement should not have been rated "half true" because it's not--it's false. And tweaking Gingrich's statement to make it true makes it a different statement.

      I agree with your conclusion that "Fact checkers should stay away from everything except clear, demonstrable falsehoods." But Gingrich's statement about President Obama putting more people on food stamps than anyone else is such a falsehood.

      •  Of course. (0+ / 0-)

        If Politifact was evaluating the "put people on food stamps" statement, it would unquestionably be false.

        My "tweaking" comment was not to credit Gingrich or Politifact with anything, but to illustrate that some true statements have inherent problems, no matter what side they are from.  Applying a strict standard, without analysis, you'd have to find that both the "more people are on food stamps" and "businesses have created more than 3 million jobs ... they created the most jobs since 2005" are true.

        The issue is whether a fact checker should evaluate causation in relation to the true statement.  Politifact is trying to do that and failing miserably, either because of its own bias or pressure to find "both sides" at fault.

        The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

        by Upper West on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 01:27:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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