Home Media PolitiFact FAIL. Maybe Rename It PolitiFiction or PolitiBias?

PolitiFact FAIL. Maybe Rename It PolitiFiction or PolitiBias?


It’s sad, I had such high hopes for PolitiFact. Finally, a service that would do what the corporate media has failed so abjectly to do in recent years: report not just on what politicians say, but whether or not there’s any truth to what they say. Instead, what we usually get from the corporate media is phony “objective reporting,” wherein there are almost always two “sides” to everything, even if one “side” is a complete joke/lie/farce (e.g., global warming skeptics/deniers) while the other side is considered absolutely definitive by 99% of scientists or economists or whoever (e.g., global warming science).

Anyway, that’s what I was hoping PolitiFact would get at. But, sadly, they haven’t.

There have been several examples right here in Virginia in recent months. For instance, there was this hack job on Bob McDonnell’s job. Then there was this pathetic attempt at “balance” that was anything but. There’s also this hack job on Terry McAuliffe. And then there’s this one, in which PolitiFact puts on the kid gloves for poor wittle Wobert Hurt.

That’s just a few examples of PolitiFact Virginia’s struggles with fact vs. fiction in recent months. What about beyond the borders of our fair Commonwealth?

With that, we bring you…the latest PolitiFact FAIL — and for me the last straw with this organization —  this one on the question of whether, as Jon Stewart claimed the other day in his interview/debate with Chris Wallace, Fox News viewers are the “most consistently misinformed media viewers.” According to PolitiFactFiction, Jon Stewart is wrong. But is he really, or should PolitiFact actually be renamed PolitiFiction or PolitiBias?

Nope, didn’t think so.

A case in point is Politifact’s recent and deeply misguided attempt to correct Jon Stewart on the topic of…misinformation and Fox News. This is a subject on which we’ve developed some expertise here…my recent post on studies showing that Fox News viewers are more misinformed, on an array of issues, is the most comprehensive such collection that I’m aware of, at least when it comes to public opinion surveys detecting statistical correlations between being misinformed about contested facts and Fox News viewership. I’ve repeatedly asked whether anyone knows of additional studies—including contradictory studies—but none have yet been cited.

I suggest you read the entire debunking of PolitiFiction at DeSmog Blog. Bottom line: this is a major fail by PolitiBias. And, as DeSmog Blog concludes, “When the fact checkers fail-and in this case, they not only failed, they generated a falsehood of their own–they have a special responsibility to self-correct.” So, we’re waiting guys!

  • Clemgo3165

    Between misinformed and uninformed.  When your “news” tells you on a daily basis that there were WOMD in Iraq, you tend to believe it.  And when they keep telling you the same thing even after its been proven false?  That there is misinformation.

  • sspiker

    It’s really sad that you can’t accept that a fact-checking organization isn’t going to solidly back the Democrat 100% of the time, as you clearly wish they would. Apparently, not solely favoring your side makes them “biased”. Ironic, no?

    The examples you raise are ridiculous, too. Putting aside the eternal debate over Virginia’s budget (for a moment) and Jim Moran’s demonstrably false statements, you call an article that rates McAuliffe (D) as True a “hack job” for some really bizarre reason, and are upset that they call a statement by Rob Hurt as Barely True (as in, mostly false). Both of those calls went in your favor, yet you’re still pissed at them.

    Apparently, not reciting DPVA talking points makes them “hacks”. An interesting take. Have you no sense of self-awareness?

    All that said, they did get it completely wrong on the Stewart/Fox News piece, and I do hope they correct themselves.  

  • The Richmonder

    Then it decided to sell franchises.  When it sold a franchise to the right-wingers at Media General, the results were predictable.  Media General shamelessly shades the Politifact ratings it hands out.

  • glennbear

    I am sure the fact that the RTD is extremely right leaning and Cantor’s wife is on the Media General Board is just an amazing coincidence.