This is my surprised face:
A Smart Politics analysis of more than 500 PolitiFact stories over the last year finds that statements made by Republican politicians have been rated as false at more than three times the rate of those made by their Democratic counterparts.
Interestingly, the study (which can be found here) focuses on Politifact itself, charging the nonpartisan analysis done by the St. Petersburg Times fact-checking unit with a systemic bias against Republicans.
However, there are other explanations that are equally, if not more, plausible than charging Politifact with grading in bad faith.
For one thing, the study was conducted during a time when the GOP was out of power. The party out of power, it could reasonably be assumed, is going to take more chances with their rhetoric, in an effort to turn the electorate against the party in office.
Of course, it could just be that we are in a period in history that the most high-profile political trainwrecks all happen to suit up for the same team. The Smart Politics study does note, after all, that the two runaway leaders in the falsehood/barely true categories (with an impressive total of 15 examples logged between them) were none other than Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin.
Rather than impugning the Politifact studies, couldn't the folks at Smart Politics simply concede that having those two on your team might muck up the curve just a little bit? After all, it's not exactly out of the realm of possibility, as a large swath of America has already concluded, that the tag team of Bachmann and Palin are reliable fountains of falsehoods.
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