Before I start with how I feel about Politifact, let me say this. I do not believe there are any undecided voters for the upcoming election. I think there may be people who may not know if they are going to vote at all, but to say that Trump or Clinton are going to sway anyone to their side is just not realistic, at this point. Barring a HUGE mistake, I think the debates are really for the bases of both candidates. These two people are extremely well known and there isn’t anything different going to come out about their positions by November.
With that said, anyone who thinks Politifact is a neutral organization is sadly mistaken. Here are a quite a few examples from the 09/26/16 Debate and how they sided with the Democratic Candidate:
*Why did Politifact say Hillary advocated a “wait and see approach to TPP?” There’s zero evidence of that. What was the basis of that statement?
*Was there no need to fact check a person saying “the gun epidemic is the leading cause of death of young African Americans?”
Politifact actually rated that claim as True? So crime isn’t the cause, it’s the method used to commit crimes???? At the very least they could have stated the obvious. An epidemic has negative connotations. There’s nothing negative about the purchasing of legal firearms. They could have said the illegal use of guns/illegal gun violence/Black victims homicides. Instead, an anti-gun or pro-regulation bias seeped into this rating. The Center for Disease Control lists no epidemics of guns, nor does the EIS..Epidemiology usage in relation to guns is pure rhetoric and has no place in a fact check rating of “True.”
*Why didn’t Politifact mention that the reporter is neutral and Blumenthal still works with Clinton when discussing the birther topic? Doyle never “suggested” anything. She said it, then “backtracked,” according to Politifact but she answered a direct question.
Blitzer: Someone supporting Hillary Clinton was trying to promote this so-called Birther issue? What happened?
Doyle: So we — absolutely, the campaign nor Hillary did not start the Birther movement, period, end of story there. There was a volunteer coordinator, I believe, in late 2007, I believe, in December, one of our volunteer coordinators in one of the counties in Iowa — I don’t recall whether they were an actual paid staffer, but they did forward an email that promoted the conspiracy.
Blitzer: The Birther conspiracy?
Doyle: Yeah, Hillary made the decision immediately to let that person go. We let that person go. And it was so, beyond the pale, Wolf, and so not worthy of the kind of campaign that certainly Hillary wanted to run.
They instead said that she was referring to “religion not birthplace.” There was no mention in the interview of religion. It’s 100% false.
*How could Politifact say that Trump saying that Doyle admitted to someone in the camp pushing the Birther issue was False? Why not just say it happened, but the person was immediately fired? Because it would mean they have to say that he was correct in what he said? Trump did not start the “Birther Movement,” as This Link Shows. Why would they not look into Hillary pinning the Birther issue on Trump with so much news footage dating back to that heated primary race?
*Hillary said Trump invited Putin to hack into Americans and they rated it as Half True? How?? It’s 100% false. He said he’d like them to find her personal deleted 30,000 emails. How can a fact checker accept this big of a stretch?
*Hillary said Iran was weeks away from nuclear capabilities…False…no mention. No need to fact check? Why would they make a deal at all, if that were the case?
*Trump mentioned four countries that do not pay for the US defending them and they found one country that does, but didn’t rate it mostly true or even mostly false? In fact they didn’t rate it at all
*Hillary said she made a mistake with deleting 30,000 emails, despite the FBI director proving she’s lied repeatedly about the emails and server, suggesting a knowledge of what was being done. No rating? When Trump said all of her staffers have been pleading the 5th. Politifact didn’t mention it even though Holt directly asked her about it. Why? Is that not worthy of a fact check?
*They rated Trump’s line that “The Obama administration “has doubled” the national debt in eight years. as Half True because of the roll of Congress, but didn’t rate her claim of her husbands economic success at all, much less Half True, for the exact same reason. Congress played the same role in the Clinton Presidency. It’s identical.
*She said “John Kerry and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program.” This was rated as Mostly True despite lawmakers on the left and right calling it a bad deal, because of the time frames restricting inspectors from being able to enforce anything in the deal and attempting to not allow anyone to read the deal. There was no transparency. How is that mostly true?
*She said his tax cuts “would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion.” And they rated it True while stating it would reduce federal revenue. At the very least, Politifact should’ve clarified that it is a half truth or exaggeration, depending on whether you consider those revenues as non-replaceable. When growth happens more taxes get paid via spending and not by force. It’s speculative and economists opinions vary on this topic.
*She said she voted for CAFTA but never did. They said she vouched, didn’t vote, but didn’t rate it as False. HOW is that possible?
*Trump said that China is totally powerful in relation to North Korea…They said it’s Mostly False despite them being the #1 country that keeps them afloat, in every way, financially….(Legally and illegally)
*The ransom was rated mostly false? A hostage, Pastor Saeed Abedini, said he was told it was a ransom, Iran said it was a ransom, but its mostly false???
So what are these ratings being based on? The words or explanations of the people being accused of not being straight forward? That isn’t fact checking, that’s verifying a point of view that they happen to agree with, and being critical of the opposite perspective on issues. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Bottom line? Do your own research. It’s definitely okay to use fact checkers, but fact check them. They shouldn’t be solely relied upon. The information is out there. You don’t have to research EVERYTHING, but if you’re going to blast it on social media as a fact and not as an opinion or in the form of question, why not look into it? At least you’ll be armed with some knowledge on the topic, instead of only being equipped with emotionally based, anecdotal arguments. It’s always good to be able to intelligently reply if someone happens to comment and disagree on your assertions.