Our example this time comes from PolitiFact Florida. PF Florida has looked at Florida Governor Rick Scott's claims on environmental spending, working to ensure that people do not believe Florida is spending a record amount on environmental issues generally, even if it's true that the state is spending a record amount to revitalize the Everglades and its natural springs.
The latest rating, a "Pants on Fire" given to Scott for repeating the "record funding" claim drew our attention thanks to the lack of context PolitiFact offered. Supposedly Scott made the claim at a June 2 economic summit attended by, among others, a number of GOP presidential hopefuls.
PolitiFact Florida noted that Scott made his claim in the company of a number of other claims.
As he boasted about the state’s record during his economic summit for GOP presidential contenders in Orlando June 2, Scott reeled off a bunch of statistics about Florida’s budget and economy including this one: "If you care about the environment, we've got record funding."We confirmed that by locating Scott's speech on CSPAN. We created a clip that provides the context of Scott's remarks.
We have two main questions.
What led PolitiFact Florida to tweeze out that one statement from Scott from the many it could have fact checked?
Should we consider the issue adequately fact-checked when PolitiFact Florida's story publishes no comparative spending totals and fails to separate state funding from federal funding?
We don't think so.