The story by Jon Cassidy and Kenric Ward counts as the most complete reporting yet regarding the GOP's lengthy jab at PolitiFact Virginia. We found comments by Rick Edmonds of PolitiFact's owner, the Poynter Institute, of particular interest:
Edmonds speculated that Republicans come in for more criticism because they are the party in control of state government — not because of any built-in political bias by PolitiFact.If the party in control of the government receives the most ratings then shouldn't PolitiFact National show a marked lean toward Democratic Party claims for 2009? Democrats controlled both houses of Congress as well as the presidency.
“Naturally, the rulings focus on the majority party,” he reasoned. “It’s also possible that one side is making more outrageous or newsworthy claims that attract attention.”
Edmonds' claim resists clear falsification at the state level mainly because PolitiFact mostly runs state operations in states controlled by Republicans. And not all state operations freely allow the numbers to give the impression of bias, as we discovered from a figure associated with PolitiFact Georgia.
One wonders why Edmonds fails to mention the possibility of selection bias.
PolitiFact Bias has improved the case against PolitiFact's impartiality with the publication of our first research project earlier this month.