Friday, January 29, 2016

Response to G, of the G'nO

Our post on the worst of PolitiFact's Reddit AMA drew a lengthy response from "G, of the G'nO." Interested readers can find that comment through the link in uninterrupted form. Here, we'll respond point by point in conversational fashion, breaking G's comment up into separate sections as we offer comment.
Wow. I was actually excited to see this site but, it looks so far like I might be the only one who has -- but, I'll step up and comment on this anyway. Overall, I think the questions you posed in this post are valid, on track, and worthwhile asking. Unfortunately, I also feel your interpretation of the answers to the questions posed completely nullifies them, takes them way off base, and makes it all a virtual waste of time.
We can't wait to read the specifics.
Your first two-part question:
Part 1: I would have to say that I believe (but, of course cannot state with certainty) that Sharockman most likely knows or, at least, has a large degree of insight into the ideological make up of his staff. My gut agrees with you in saying that he dodged that question.
Okay, on this one it sounds like we agree. Just to be clear, however, the question was not originally posed by us. It is "ours" in the sense that we used it as a heading in our post.
Part 2: From this point you state "it gets worse" but what actually happens is you just get a bit silly. Sharockman gave a reasonable answer -- you just didn't like it. That said, your idea that they could have "more balance" could certainly hold water. But then it just begs the question as to who wants to expend the energy schlepping that bucket of water around. After all, this portion of the two part question primarily seems to address the possible bias around the rating system itself. If I make the claim "that purple ball is blue" we would be able to read it a multitude of ways: false, mostly false, half true, mostly true. But, regardless of its ultimate rating, the fact still remains that the ball is purple and everyone except the colorblind should be able to get the point.
While we did not write anything about not liking Sharockman's answer, we did offer a substantive criticism of his answer that you do not appear to acknowledge. If Sharockman doesn't know the ideologies of his staff, he has no reason to have any sort of confidence that three or four people in PolitiFact's "star chamber" will produce judgments based on ideological balance. Without that assurance, Sharockman's reassuring words are empty.
Your follow-up question about the predominance of conservatives being fact checked -- I agree: great question.
Again, it wasn't our question. And we did not offer the opinion that it was a great question. We thought Sharockman could have offered a good answer but did not.
But, here again, Sharockman actually provided a good answer and, while it seems like you might be on the scent of making a good point, you never really make it -- and your response is fatally flawed from multiple angles:
** First, your statement "The only way the number of fact checks of Obama can carry is relevance is if that number is greater than the number of ratings of conservatives." That's just an absolutely silly assertion. Why would Obama (a single, individual liberal) need a greater number of ratings than all conservatives combined to carry relevance? In the vein of your flimflammery verbiage, I say hogwash!
Quite simply, touting the large number of ratings given to a special case (the only U.S. president PolitiFact has ever really bothered to rate, as well as a two-time presidential candidate) does nothing to address the imbalance charged by the reader. It's a meaningless metric in answer to the question, and any fact checker should know better. It's like saying more Raiders than Texans make the Pro Bowl and somebody objecting by saying "But the Texans' Joe Smith has been named to the Pro Bowl three years straight." It doesn't address the issue.

Combining the Obama rating with the ratings of other Democrats could mean something. But the Obama ratings by themselves mean nothing. It's a nutty case of cherry-picking.
** From there you say you found 68 ratings for Clinton since 2010. OK, good. You then make the point that a Clinton statement in 2008 is not relevant to 2016. Agreed -- but, the statement from 2008 lands outside of the range of those 68 ratings you found and doesn't really seem to apply to anything. However, since you made the point, that point can actually be used to poke holes in your next comment -- you found 86 ratings for Trump since 2011. So what? Sharockman's claim that, [of the 2016 candidates, Clinton was fact checked the most] may have actually been made within the context of relevance to the 2016 campaign -- which would pretty much make everything before 2015 moot. How many times has Clinton been rated since the beginning of the 2016 campaign? I don't know. I haven't checked. Like I said, you may be on the scent of making a good point -- but you have yet to make it.
Don't neglect our point, which is that Sharockman isn't making any sort of reasonable point. If you look at the ratings, both Trump and Clinton are arguably putting themselves forward (as candidates--ed.) at the beginning of the timeline we identified. We didn't go into detail because we're not fact-checking Sharockman. We're just poking holes in his argument. Compare Trump to Clinton however you wish as a 2016 candidate. Chances are exceedingly high you'll need to cheat to put Clinton in the lead on the number of ratings.

You don't appear to have made any sort of argument that rescues Sharockman from the charges we've made against him.
As to the difference between "false" and "pants on fire" -- I actually like this question but, really, who cares?
We do. And so should you. One of the main features of our site is a research section. The most developed research project we've published so far looks at PolitiFact's bias in applying its "Pants on Fire" ratings. The key premise of that research is the lack of any objective means of distinguishing between "False" ratings and "Pants on Fire" ratings. We're always amused when figures from PolitiFact address the issue in a way that supports the premise of our research.
There are obviously five general ratings which are all fairly defined with the criteria for each. False is false -- and, you know what -- pants on fire is also false. It just has a little flair attached for style and enjoyment of the readers -- it's childlike and funny. It points out things of a ridiculous nature -- like the post to which I write this reply. Is that subjective? Sure, I guess it is…
The other ratings are better defined than the giant blur that divides "False" from "Pants on Fire." But there's no good evidence PolitiFact pays particular attention to the definitions it gives for its ratings. A literally true statement can receive any rating. We pick on the "Pants on Fire" rating because the definition offers no real guidance at all in applying any objective criterion. And you appear to at least lean toward our view that the rating is essentially a subjective measure.

So, let's see what we've got:

  • You more-or-less agreed with us twice.
  • You said Sharockman's reasoning was good but didn't support your statement.
  • You said our view of the importance of the Obama ratings was hogwash but didn't say why.
  • You think maybe Clinton was rated more times than Trump (do maybes support Sharockman?).
  • You don't know why the line between "False" and "Pants on Fire" is important. Hopefully we cleared that up for you.

You really have to marvel over how much better we are than PolitiFact at responding to critics.

19 comments:

  1. Looks like I wrote to much here! Part 1:

    Haha! I have to say, I guess I'm flattered. This is definitely a first and, yes, does illustrate an example on your part of a fairly substantial response to a critic -- but, more on that later…
    Just to make clear up front -- you have a lot of skin in this game while I have none. We are not really on the same page, and that's OK -- but it is important to note. You're on the page of trying to debunk this guy and his methodology whereas, I'm simply on the page of saying you didn't do a very good job (IMO) in the single post of yours that I read. I have very little experience with Politifact (I've heard of them before, I've seen them quoted, and it's possible that I have visited their website a couple times in the past but I cannot point directly to a single occasion) and I really could not care less about Sharockman, his website, his methodologies, his staffing choices, et.al. I'm glad these resources are available to me (his, yours, that other guy's, etc) because they all end up being good tools for me to use in forming my own views on things. I always feel the practice of questioning my own beliefs is one of the best ways I've learned to grow, personally. It's a great exercise to, for example, examine my own opinions on gun control from the standpoint of assuming they're wrong and do some research on the pros and cons in my own little schizophrenic debate, of sorts. Last night I was wanting to take a look at Politifact to check a source that I had seen quoted somewhere. As I pulled up Google and started to type "politifact bias" popped up in auto-fill and, true to form, I was compelled to look. (I actually derailed myself in looking and I don't even recall what it was that I wanted to check on in the first place…!!)

    We're not on the same page because your goals in writing here and my goals in writing here are not in alignment. I was making no claim of support for Sharockman or Politifact -- merely stating my opinion that your original post (now separated from this conversation) fell short of what I had assumed to have been your goal.

    To be continued...

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    1. Part 2:

      To some of the points you've made in this new post:

      I feel I actually did acknowledge your criticism of Sharockman's answers regarding the ideological bias of his staff, at least in a way -- I agreed the questions were worthwhile and that what I perceived to be the root of your criticism held water. My point however, was directed more towards the concept of a lack of importance in the rating system itself -- which is what the question appears to me to have been targeted toward. (And you have basically addressed that here.) We all know that facts can be checked. However, in the grand scheme of fact checking, they will all end up either being true or false. I would suggest that creating a gradated system for truth vs falsehood will always lead to or stem from subjectivity at some level. As example: If I make the claim that 9.751 divided by 0.482 equals 20, that claim cannot be deemed to be true. It's false -- but it could be mostly true. It's true if I rounded. It could also be mostly false, and so on. If I said that it was "about 20" most people might agree that's true. But, since I offer the gradated system of truth vs falsehood, I invite subjectivity. The person out there with a PhD in applied mathematics might say that a deviation of greater than 1% is too far to use the term "about" in my mathematical assertions. It's still subjective, but everybody gets the point -- I was not precise enough in my claim for it to be true in an absolute sense so the door is open to scrutiny. Ultimately, if a gradated system is going to be used, by default, there will be least one person has to make a judgment call. (When it could all be done solo, at least Sharockman sees the value in requiring 3 or 4 people to agree on the judgement.) Judging every judgment call, followed by the judgment of that judgment ad nauseum, creates a perpetual line of futility. In other words: my point in all of that is that I felt your point is mostly pointless (note the intended gradation) and I still feel that way.

      To be continued...

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    2. To the liberal/conservative imbalance, I agree that your comment here (in this thread) holds merit: "Quite simply, touting the large number of ratings given to a special case does nothing to address the imbalance charged by the reader." However, my point in the other thread (now removed from this conversation) were two:
      1: That some of your commentary on Sharockman's reply was ridiculous -- thus hogwash -- or "pants on fire" if preferred. (VERY IMPORTANT: In this thread you state: "Combining the Obama rating with the ratings of other Democrats could mean something." -- but that was not your comment in the previous thread and has nothing to do with what I took issue with in the first place. Had that been your comment, I would've just been sitting there nodding my head.)
      And 2: That the facts you used in your rebuttal were "possibly" as pointless as was Sharockman's reply to the original question. (Note: ["possibly" as pointless] in your case because I also suggested that I agree you might be on the right track -- just not there yet, IMO.) I do like your Pro Bowl analogy though! Without fact checking the analogy, my gut would tell me that maybe the Raiders have had better overall players than the Texans have. Along that line, if there are more conservatives than liberals who are fact checked, maybe the general commentary from conservatives and the track record of fact checking outcome over time, simply yields itself to the idea that conservatives are more worthy of being fact checked. (Hmmm?)

      To be continued...

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    3. Part 3 -- or 4 if you assert that I missed 3 above!

      As a wrap -- you state that "[I] don't appear to have made any sort of argument that rescues Sharockman from the charges we've made against him." That is true. As I mentioned at the top, doing so was not my intent there and nothing has changed here. Essentially, it's my position that "true objectivity" does not exist. Everybody wants it but nobody has it. It seems to me that, rather than chipping away at someone's rating system, efforts would be better served in chipping away at the base conclusions -- whether the bottom line outcome of the fact checked (true or false, ignoring the overtly subjective) is actually accurate. After looking around a little more this morning, it appears that you're doing that here as well so, I applaud your efforts on that end.

      *******

      So, here's what we've got:

      1) I have no intent to agree or to disagree with you...
      2) I really didn't assert the fact that I feel "Sharockman's reasoning was good" but, using the word good, I acknowledge that he at least answered the question with something. My basic point was that you didn't seem to support your position that his statements were in adequate. For the most part, I think you've satisfied that here by offering a bit more clarity. (And changing one of your statements...)
      3) You misunderstood the direction of my "hogwash" comment but that should be clear now.
      4) I make NO CLAIM as to whether Clinton has been rated more times than Trump (and maybes might not matter) and I feel that you have still not directly shown that not to be the case in a relevant sense.
      5) I don't believe the line between "False" and "Pants on Fire" is important and, while I still view it to be frivolous, you have cleared up for me why it remains important for you.

      While your use of the word "marvel" may be an overstatement, I am impressed with how you have responded to my post. That said, making a new thread to do so was a little over-the-top and could come at the risk of losing context. It would've been better kept it as a reply within the confines of the original thread. (Anyone reading this post has to hop over to the original if they really want to figure out what we're talking about...) As to "how much better [you] are than PolitiFact at responding to critics" -- I think you need a few more critics (I may be the only one so far and I'm hardly a real critic) before a jury can even be assembled to weigh in on that!

      Keep up the good fight...!!
      (As it's not my fight, I'll likely bow out from here...)

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    6. Okay, there' quite a bit on which we agree. That's good. At the same time, it's kind of boring, so my reply will focus on the points where we disagree.

      "some of your commentary on Sharockman's reply was ridiculous"

      Given the context (Sharockman's attempt to use inappropriate stats to prove his point) and my point (highlighting Sharockman's attempt to use stats inappropriately), there's nothing ridiculous about what I wrote. You can complain that I provided too little explanation for you to follow the point if you like, and I'll accept the writer's responsibility for making my point adequately clear. But what I wrote is perfectly defensible except perhaps in terms of clarity.

      That the facts you used in your rebuttal were "possibly" as pointless as was Sharockman's reply to the original question.

      I looked at the fact checks, so I know that's not true. I provided a link to the material I looked at, so anybody so inclined can verify that for themselves. The comparison between Clinton and Trump allows Clinton a wider window for statements considered to come from a 2016 presidential candidate. Trump's still rated more times. It's not legitimate to count Clinton's 2008 presidential run and her career as Secretary of State as fact checks of a 2016 presidential candidate when the charge against PolitiFact concerns a generalized imbalance in story selection. I can explain that to someone who questions the reasoning, but I think some would see that point very quickly without the explanation, particularly regular visitors to the site. And keep in mind I'm not trying to make the case Sharockman is wrong. I'm just making the case that he's got no case. He chose measures that do not address the question he was asked.

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  2. My advice is to find an inner critic, or perhaps an outer one. Your comments should have begun and ended with this-->

    "You state that "[I] don't appear to have made any sort of argument that rescues Sharockman from the charges we've made against him." That is true."

    You also threaten us with the following:

    "To be continued..."

    Please, don't.

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  3. I have deleted a couple of my posts above -- this is only because they were somehow duped copies of previous posts. (No content removed...)

    I felt the need to com back because there might be a bit more relevant info to add here. Before I get to that, I want to address a couple points from the replies above. First, to the reply from Jeff:

    First, from my perspective, I was amply critical of
    the original article by Bryan White. The only disconnect was that he didn't seem to get that my criticism as being directed toward the way he chose to take on and address his argument. Rather, he kept looking for my support of Politifact -- which just wasn't there. It seems a bit odd that if, for example, I were speaking into the health benefits of apples, I should be required to begin my discourse with "oh, by the way, what I am about to say has nothing to do with oranges. I should be able to make a point and hope the average person would be able to follow the line conversation.

    Last, my notations of "To be continued..." were in no way designed to be threatening. If you take the time to notice in my first reply (well, the one after "Hello"), you see the opening line "Looks like I wrote to much here! Part 1:" -- from there, TBC/Part 2, TBC/Part 3, and so on. I initially wrote my entire reply, from beginning to end, using voice recognition with the Notes app on my phone. (I type very slowly so so that save a TON of time!) Cut, paste, and voilà -- usually. This time, I had simply exceeded the number of characters allowed in your reply box so I opted to bust my reply into separate part. It's that simple and should have gone without explanation. No threats whatsoever -- and I find it fairly amusing that you actually perceive them.

    Why would that be amusing?
    Because, if you look at the two items above in tandem, it seems there might be a pattern among Politifact Bias writers of inability to follow a line of conversation. It's true that this is a very isolated case, but the correlation certainly could raise an eyebrow -- or, at least so thinks my inner critic...

    Moving on, it seems the "relevant info" I wanted to add here actually applies directly to Bryan's subsequent reply to my post(s) so I'm going to launch into writing that up now. I will avoid using the phrase that seems frowned upon, but I am going to post this initial reply now -- before my next reply. (Trust me, it will be easier to follow if I do it this way.)

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  4. Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: SPAN
    Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: U

    Irritating...

    Plus -- Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters

    Two more coming sometime soon...

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  5. G, of the G'nO wrote:

    "The only disconnect was that he didn't seem to get that my criticism as being directed toward the way he chose to take on and address his argument. Rather, he kept looking for my support of Politifact -- which just wasn't there."

    Is the "he" above Jeff or me? I don't see in my post above what you could take as "he kept looking for my support of PolitiFact." I kept my focus on Sharockman's argument, adding descriptions of PolitiFact's operation for added context.

    "Last, my notations of "To be continued..." were in no way designed to be threatening."

    One of Jeff's strengths is his sense of humor. He was making a joke at your expense.

    Because, if you look at the two items above in tandem, it seems there might be a pattern among Politifact Bias writers of inability to follow a line of conversation.

    So we've got a problem of comprehension if you don't get the joke. Are you sure you want to go there?

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  6. "Two more coming sometime soon..."

    We have a Facebook page, if you'd find that easier to deal with.

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  7. ALL html removed...
    To Bryan's reply above -- isolating the first point:

    I think you need to re-read your original post to understand the specific comment to which I took exception. For ease, I'll quote you one more time here:
    Your response to Sharockman's comment that Politifact fact checks Obama more that any other, included this:
    "The only way the number of fact checks of Obama carries relevance is if that number is greater than the number of ratings of conservatives."

    THAT is the root of my "hogwash" comment.

    Now, you've inadvertently corrected yourself in this thread by writing this:
    "Combining the Obama rating with the ratings of other Democrats could mean something."

    This is not an act of providing greater clarity -- these two statements say entirely different things. I'm pretty sure this is a fairly settled point but you've never acknowledged your fist comment and you keep trying to say you said nothing ridiculous. But, unless your usage of the words "conservative" and "democrat" are equally interchangeable (I'm assuming that's not the case), the initial comment on the other page makes no sense whatsoever and is exactly that -- ridiculous. (And, that all I took exception to...)

    ***************

    To Bryan's reply above -- isolating the second point:

    I completely get (I think) where you're coming from on all this. Again, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. And, YES, I agree that cherry-picking two liberals does not address the meat of the question. However, in two very different ways, you opened the door to this line of questioning in the other article when you said this:
    "We don't think Clinton's statements about John McCain in 2008 count as statements by a 2016 presidential candidate. Not in any relevant sense, anyway.”

    Due entirely to that comment, I questioned in my head whether Hillary's statements in 2010 and Donald's in 2011 would count as statements by a 2016 presidential candidate in any relevant sense. After all, it was 5 and 6 years ago -- but, time is not the only measure of relevance. Perhaps the ones you chose to exclude were irrelevant to the 2016 campaign, but I took a look at Politifact's "The presidential scorecards so far" article which you all posted recently. I'm thinking you must have chosen to exclude more than the Clinton statements about John McCain in 2008 because I can't imagine there were EIGHTY of those, totaling 54% of all Hillary's comments checked. According to the Politifact article, there are 84 scores for Trump and 148 (76% more) scores for Clinton. So, it would seem that Sharockman's response to the original question (while possibly dodging it) was indeed true and you, quite subjectively, just chose to eliminate 54% of Hillary's comments that had been checked, citing only an undefined handful as unrelated to the 2016 campaign -- a qualifier which you arbitrarily chose to add after the fact. (To be clear, before it becomes an issue, Sharockman's reference to the facts checked on the 2016 candidates was referring to that group of individuals with no requirement that the comments be related to the campaign itself or to the individual as a candidate of the campaign.)

    Since I've already agreed that I believe you're onto something and that I agree that Sharockman may have side-stepped the question, I'll quit whipping that dead horse and summarize my issue more clearly:

    My issue on this subject is:
    Your critique of the fact checker and the alleged subjectivity of the rating system would seem to be, itself, laden with subjectivity and incorrect facts.

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    1. G, of the G'nO wrote:

      "I think you need to re-read your original post to understand the specific comment to which I took exception. For ease, I'll quote you one more time here:
      Your response to Sharockman's comment that Politifact fact checks Obama more that any other, included this:
      "The only way the number of fact checks of Obama carries relevance is if that number is greater than the number of ratings of conservatives."

      THAT is the root of my "hogwash" comment."


      If you're that bad at reasonably parsing English then you might as well work for PolitiFact.

      The numbers Sharockman offered for Obama mean nothing because Sharockman did not combine them with other statements from Democrats. I addressed Sharockman's use of the number, not some imaginary use of the number that you kept in mind to try to make Sharockman's argument seem not completely unreasonable. The context is Sharockman's use of the figure, however much you may wish to pretend otherwise.

      "I'm thinking you must have chosen to exclude more than the Clinton statements about John McCain in 2008 because I can't imagine there were EIGHTY of those, totaling 54% of all Hillary's comments checked."

      Brilliant deduction. Clinton ran for president in 2008. In 2008 she was a 2008 presidential candidate, not a 2016 presidential candidate. Similarly, while Clinton served as Secretary of State under Clinton there is no good reason to take her statements as part of her Hillary 2016 campaign. Perhaps the fairest way to fact check Sharockman(which we have explained we were not trying to do), would be to count the statements for each that PolitiFact has fact-checked since each of the two candidates formally announced their candidacy. As I mentioned earlier, you'll have to cheat to make Clinton the winner. Sharockman is full of it.

      What we have here is you judging Sharockman by a much more favorable standard than you're applying to me. Is that because I'm biased? ;-)

      Seriously, it's completely ridiculous for Sharockman to pass off Clinton's total PolitiFact history as fact checks of a 2016 presidential candidate. PolitiFact's guideline (often ignored at PolitiFact) is to judge statements by what was known at the time. Was it known in 2010 that Clinton would run for president in 2016?

      "Your critique of the fact checker and the alleged subjectivity of the rating system would seem to be, itself, laden with subjectivity and incorrect facts."

      If challenged on that point, you'll find you have no facts to back it up. What's left after that? Your subjectivity?

      What led you to think Sharockman's response invoking Obama's numbers was reasonable, considering Sharockman made no mention at the time of adding in the numbers of any other Democrat to achieve something like a cumulative total?

      I was going to let this go initially, but I think I owe it to you to show you how you discredit yourself:

      "Sharockman's reference to the facts checked on the 2016 candidates was referring to that group of individuals with no requirement that the comments be related to the campaign itself or to the individual as a candidate of the campaign.

      Because there's nothing at all wrong with answering the charge that PolitiFact predominantly rates more conservative claims by pointing to how many times PolitiFact has rated Hillary Clinton the most often among 2016 presidential candidates after she was a front-runner in the 2008 election and subsequently Secretary of State?

      Do I really need to explain to you why that's all kinds of wrong?

      http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/66-cherry-picking

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  8. Bryan, to your 6:48 reply:

    Since I was speaking solely into Jeff's comments and, in a sense, talking to him about comments I made to you, it would seem to follow that "he" = you, not him, otherwise I would have said "you" meaning him. Your (you) post here, often often look for me to substantiate Sharockman's argument.

    I'm always OK with being the butt of a good joke. But, since I don't know Jeff, I am obviously not privy to his jubilant personality. Since I can't read intonation in text, and I didn't hear a chuckle, and I see no winky emoticon, all I can really do is take what he writes at face value. But, now that that's all clear, I can appreciate the humor. (I'm a long-winded type so this cap at 4,000 characters is really a buggar for me...!!)

    ...Do I really want to go there?
    I don't mind -- but in light of how loudly you've tooted your own horn in this thread about how well you respond to your critics in conjunction with how combative that sounds (I don't know you or whether you have a personality as equally jubilant as Jeff's and I can't read intonation in text, and I didn't hear a chuckle, and I see no winky emoticon), I doubt whether you want to go there.

    But again, I have no skin in this game...

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    1. G, of the G'nO wrote:

      "he" = you

      My point being, you have no evidence from my post supporting your charge. As I said, I focused on Sharockman's argument and only mentioned PolitiFact to explain context to you.

      "all I can really do is take what he writes at face value."

      There's the option of not jumping to conclusions. But obviously that route's not for everyone.

      in light of how loudly you've tooted your own horn in this thread about how well you respond to your critics in conjunction with how combative that sounds

      The claim was that we're better about responding to criticism than PolitiFact, not that our responses are better. Though it happens that our responses are better. For some reason you expressed doubt about that without citing any example of PolitiFact offering a better response. Does that make sense to you?

      "But again, I have no skin in this game..."

      You're ruining the reputation of a perfectly good pseudonym.

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  9. Doh! (As much as I hate being the victim of my own accusations, I'm sitting here hanging my head in shame...)

    One of my weaknesses (known to me) is that once I apply a misinterpretation to something, I often continue to apply it as long as I stay in my own little bubble and, often times, I need to push the info through an alternate route (ie: hearing vs reading, vice-versa, etc) to get out of it. I didn't want to believe that you could be this dense so, this morning, I had my wife read these sections aloud to me. As it ends up, "I" was being that dense -- and I completely withdraw my hogwash commentary. (It seems pretty damned basic now so I'm not really sure why I was unable to get that comment right the first time around, but...)

    Again, keep up the good fight!

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    1. It's too rare for folks to own up when then go awry, so you get major props for doing that.

      It's not easy assessing things from a neutral point of view, and we try not to lose sight of that. And that's one of the reasons why we try to take all criticism seriously.

      Thanks for commenting and especially for your graceful conclusion.

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