Thursday, May 31, 2012

Big Journalism: "PolitiFact Bases Entire Fact Check on Author's Intuition"

John Sexton of Big Journalism (and Verum Serum fame) joins Matthew Hoy in slamming PolitiFact's rating of a recent Crossroads GPS ad.

Sexton notes that the ad says one thing and PolitiFact claims the ad says something else:
The ad is clearly about the President's promise that you could keep your insurance, not some insurance. Instead of staying on that point, PolitiFact's introduces a novel new interpretation of the ad's meaning. Suddenly, it's not about the President's promise at all, rather " Its point seems to be simply that a lot of people will lose coverage." Really? Where does it say that?
Sexton draws attention to a recurrent problem at PolitiFact.  Statements that fail to accord with the views inside the left-skewed journalistic bubble often receive an uncharitable interpretation that the original speaker would scarcely recognize.  PolitiFact ends up appearing either unable or unwilling to understand the readily apparent meaning.

Sexton makes other good points as well, so visit Big Journalism and read it through start to finish.  Sexton gets Bill Adair on the record defending PolitiFact's journalistic malpractice, and that's always worth seeing even if it draws  from one of Adair's two favorite cliches:  People won't always agree with PolitiFact's ratings and PolitiFact gets criticized from conservatives and liberals (PolitiFact, therefore, is fair).

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