The "Truth-o-Meter" at PolitiFact (and their subset PunditFact) is very strange machine. On January 11, PunditFact ruled it "HALF TRUE" when Sean Hannity proclaimed on his show on January 10 that "17,000 individuals with criminal records were apprehended trying to cross the border" in 2018. Hannity repeated that number on January 17. But they also admitted it was "basically correct."
On Thursday's New Day show, CNN's John Avlon presented another of his infamous "Reality Check" segments which is more akin to liberal spin than an actual effort to clearly inform viewers about the issues. The CNN analyst argued against a border wall as he cited Politifact to dismiss claims of 2,000 homicides being committed by illegal immigrants in one year being reported by ICE for FY2018.
Even when Donald Trump (and aides) precisely word an attack on a Democrat to withstand the "independent fact-checkers," they still find a way to suggest he "misleads". PolitiFact's homepage promised their liberal fans they were "Live fact-checking President Trump's address." They did not promise "Live fact-checking Democrat response to Trump's address."
The "independent fact checkers" at PolitiFact displayed their liberal stripes again this week by hailing the liberal student activists of Parkland High School as their victimized heroes of their 2018 "Lie of the Year." The "online smear machine" that tired to "take down Parkland students" was singled out as the very worst.
Republican John Cox is the dictionary definition of an underdog in the California governor's race against liberal Democrat Gavin Newsom. On average, he's down 29 points in the polls. So why are the "fact checkers" focusing on him? Bill Zeiser, editor of the Real Clear Politics Fact Check Review, noted both PolitiFact and The Washington Post are trying to pick apart Cox's claims.
It's the fall campaign season, so it's not surprising that PolitiFact is going to start providing the liberal spin to evaluate Republican campaign ads. On Monday, they threw a "Mostly False" rating at Rep. Martha McSally in the U.S. Senate race. Yes, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema wore a pink tutu to "No War" protests, but "we found no evidence of her disparaging troops."
The media don’t care about online censorship -- unless it happens to them. The liberal site ThinkProgress cried foul after it was fact checked for a story it posted on Facebook involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The original article said Kavanaugh would “kill Roe v. Wade.” Not only was ThinkProgress fact checked, but the article was fact checked by the conservative Weekly Standard.
We noted PolitiFact gave ultraliberal Sen. Kamala Harris a "Mostly True" on July 25 when her facts on apartment rentals weren't factual. By contrast, on July 20, PolitiFact declared it "Mostly False" when a Republican challenger tweeted that ultraliberal Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin "opposed displaying the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the National Anthem in our classrooms." Did she vote that way? Yes. But she later made other more patriotic votes in Congress.
Did she? Yes, that's true.
PolitiFact's kid-gloves treatment of prominent Democrats is on display again. Twitchy noted ultraliberal Sen. Kamala Harris drew a rare evaluation, but of course, the ruling was "Mostly True." PolitiFact has only evaluated Harris nine times -- five Mostly True, two True, and two Half True (and one of those was Democrat-on-Democrat warfare).
The "independent fact checkers" have a funny way of finding "technically correct" claims by conservatives to be "Mostly False." W. Gardner Selby at PolitiFact hammered that rating on Sen. Ted Cruz as he consulted liberal lawyers to insist Cruz left an "inaccurate impression" separation was required, when Trump could have chosen to let every illegal-immigrant parent and child go free into America.
After President Trump withdrew from Obama's executive agreement with Iran, Twitter Moments harped on Iranian politicians burning an American flag and saying "Death to America." As if Trump re-started this routine? On The Daily Show Wednesday night, Trevor Noah cracked "these guys are extreme in Iran's parliament. They're basically the Ted Cruzes of Iran." This offered a reminder that PolitiFact dinged Cruz as "Mostly False" in 2015 for saying Iran celebrates "Death to America Day," and Cruz backed it up with press clips.
Sen. Ted Cruz laid into PolitiFact as a “liberal parody site” on Twitter on Thursday, underlining how their “Truth-o-Meter” ratings differed on whether his Senate campaign opponent Beto O’Rourke was being condemned by a Republican or a Democrat. “When his Dem primary opponent said Beto ‘wants to legalize drugs’ they said ‘half true.’ When I said same thing, they say ‘false.’”