Thursday, January 12, 2012

Anchor Rising: "Cicilline Gifted Another Mostly True From Politifact -- Seriously?"

Patrick Laverty and the Anchor Rising blog give us yet another quality criticism of PolitiFact.

PolitiFact just makes it way too easy.
Ok sure, the funding level was "close". It was in the 90s and it was more than the previous administration. However, as Politifact themselves often say, that isn't what Cicilline said. He said it was at 100% all but two years. It was there for all but six years. That's a big difference.

So the issue really speaks to Politifact's credibility, if they have much left. They are, at best, inconsistent with their rulings especially when it comes to Congressman Cicilline. This is the same newspaper that int 2010 endorsed Cicilline for Congress, in part due to his fiscal management of Providence. 
 PolitiFact's justification for the ruling?
Cicilline, in his off-the-cuff statement, mixed up where the years with the lowest contribution fell. But he made it clear a few times that he was citing figures from memory, so we’ll give him some leeway and rule Mostly True.
It's good to know that one can obtain some leeway if one is citing figures from memory.  At least when PolitiFact decides to grant such leeway (I'm not finding other examples of this kind of treatment).  If you're working from memory then the same set of facts can become more true than otherwise.  Like magic.

Looks like we can add a new wrinkle to the Principles of PolitiFact.

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