Monday, January 31, 2011

PolitiHack Tracker: "PFT Voter ID Hackery"

Translating the title:

"PolitiFact Texas' voter ID hackery"

PolitiHack Tracker keeps tabs on PolitiFact's Texas operation at the Austin American-Statesman, and PolitiHack Tracker's Weston Hicks finds an example of the type of bad fact checking all too typical at PolitiFact:
Politifact Texas uses wooden literalism to put a bad graphic next to Attorney General David Dewhurst. AG Dewhurst made the following statement when making the point that requiring a photo ID is hardly a novel concept in our society, and that, in fact, we require photo IDs for many less important activities:
“…you can’t get on a plane without a photo ID, you can’t buy a Sudafed without photo ID, you can’t check out a library book without photo ID, we need to protect the sanctity of our votes.” 
PFT then cherry picks his statement about libraries, giving a “Barely True” because localities don’t uniformly require photo IDs to check out books.

This part of the critique is concise and spot on. Hicks perhaps goes a little to excess later on in the review by implying that PolitiFact spins by intent. While that may not be the case, his anecdote fits with a large collection of similar ones that treat conservatives unfairly.

Anecdotal evidence shows bias based on such cumulative results.

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