Free Beacon Study: Politifact's 'PANTS ON FIRE' Claim They 'Hold Politicians Accountable'

May 10th, 2022 6:36 AM

Andrew Stiles at the Washington Free Beacon proclaimed PolitiFact was "PANTS ON FIRE" in a Monday fundraising email sent by their audience director, Josie Hollingsworth. "Help us hold politicians accountable," she begged.

Stiles turned that around in fact-check style, and evaluated a month of the website's contents. "Mostly False" is probably a better rating, since they evaluate politicians a minority of the time.

The email asserts that PolitiFact is dedicated to "holding our leaders accountable." The claim lacks crucial context, and grossly misrepresents the truth about the organization's priorities, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of nearly 300 PolitiFact posts dating back to March 10, 2022.

Stiles and the Free Beacon found that more than half the PolitiFact fact checks published in the last two months involved random content posted on social media. More than a third (112) of the website's 290 fact checks over that period involved content posted on Facebook, which has enlisted PolitiFact and other so-called nonpartisans to "identify and review false information." This is their bread and butter. These are the easy lay-ups.

PolitiFact has been "holding our leaders accountable" by devoting it resources to fact-checking the asinine claims of random Facebook users: that John F. Kennedy Jr. is still alive and leading QAnon, that "paying taxes is optional," and that Hillary Clinton is imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. All three were given a "pants on fire!" rating, in case you were wondering.

An additional 59 fact checks over the past two months involved content posted by "bloggers" or by users of Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, as well as "viral images" posted on a variety of social media platforms. PolitiFact has been holding the powerful to account by debunking claims that actors Bob Saget and Gilbert Gottfried died from the COVID-19 vaccine, that Russian president Vladimir Putin was assassinated, that Disney CEO Bob Chapek was arrested for human trafficking, that the state of Tennessee was operating COVID-19 internment camps, and that Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh were portrayed by actors wearings masks during the latter's Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Stiles also compared the politicians and parties, as we do. PolitiFact published just three fact checks of Biden during the same period -- roughly one percent of their output. 

The most recent Biden fact check, published on April 22, involved the president's claim that "for four years, I was a full professor at the University of Pennsylvania." PolitiFact conceded that the claim was technically false—Biden was not a full professor and only held the position for two years—but nevertheless assigned it a rating of "Half True."

Less than a third of PolitiFact's posts (86 of 290) during the analyzed time period involved claims made by politicians or party committees. The vast majority of the politicians subjected to fact checks (62 of 86) were Republicans, and a majority of those claims (41 of 62) were rated "mostly false" or worse. Meanwhile, just eight claims made by GOP lawmakers or party officials were rated "mostly true" or better. Shockingly enough, Democrats were assessed to be far more truthful. Out of 24 total fact checks involving Democrats, 11 were rated "mostly false" or worse, and 10 were rated "mostly true" or better.

This is not just one unfortunate month. It is the pattern. Back in 2013, the Center for Media and Public Affairs reviewed four months of PolitiFact and found...the website reviewed Republicans three times as often as Democrats.

Nudge PolitiFact a little, and you would surely find they believe liberals are just more truthful people. That's why they're easily identifiable as the liberal media.