Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Weekly Standard: "PolitiFact Mucks Up the Contraception Debate"

This year has sped by at a breathtaking pace so far, and we've neglected to review some worthy stories about PolitiFact simply because we placed a higher priority on some stories than others.

But it's not too late.

In February, The Weekly Standard's Mark Hemingway weighed in with yet another damning assessment of PolitiFact's talent for fact checking:
Before I explain why PolitiFact is once again being deliberately misleading, grossly incompetent, or some hellbroth of these distinguishing characteristics, you'll have bear with me. Part of the reason PolitiFact gets away with being so shoddy is that it counts on its readers believing that it can be trusted to explain any necessary context to justify its status as judge, jury, and factual executioner.
Obviously the right thing to do now is click the link and read the whole thing for yourself.

For those who don't have the time, I'll sum up:

Hemingway's latest example of PolitiFactian perfidy concerns its use of a Guttmacher Institute publication to support an Obama administration claim that 98 percent of sexually active women use birth control.

The Obama administration was trying to justify its insurance mandate requiring birth control as a basic coverage requiring no copay.

Hemingway noted the Guttmacher Institute's lack of neutrality, a number of the arguments marshaled against its findings and PolitiFact's selective use of the evidence.

At the end of the day, a study drawn from a group of women aged 15-44 does not justify extrapolating the data to the set of all women of any age.  PolitiFact went soft again on an administration claim.

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