Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Washington Post: "Virginia Republican Party publishes huge attack paper on PolitiFact"

Erik Wemple and the Washington Post stand as the first mainstream media entities, not counting PolitiFact Virginia itself, to weigh in on the massive pushback PolitiFact Virginia received yesterday from the Republican Party of Virginia:
The Virginia Republican Party has compiled an attack on PolitiFact’s Virginia operation that is virtually unbloggable. An 86-page document with a cover page stating, “TO THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA: A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF POLITIFACT VIRGINIA’S QUESTIONABLE OBJECTIVITY,” it starts with a two-page memorandum and a three-page table of contents. Even Rachel Maddow has never produced a PolitiFact critique as exquisitely formatted.
Exquisite formatting makes less gratuitous use of capitalization according to our tastes, but we credit Wemple for zeroing in on one of the most intriguing aspects of the ponderous critique:
To narrow the scope of its inquiry, the Erik Wemple Blog will start out by exploring only the most fascinating of the Republican Party’s allegations — namely, that PolitiFact Virginia attempts to bury good ratings about Republicans and tout bad ones.
The Virginia GOP may qualify as the first to notice a bias in the timing of the stories, so that makes it a good angle for Wemple's initial approach.

Journalists are still missing the big story:  No mainstream fact checker receives anywhere near the criticism that PolitiFact receives.  There's a story in there.  And it's an important one.

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