Sunday, April 12, 2015

Are PolitiFact's "report cards" misleading?

One of our recurrent themes at PolitiFact Bias concerns the misleading nature of PolitiFact's "report cards." PolitiFact admits it does not perform its fact checks on a scientific basis, particularly in that story choices do not occur randomly. Despite that, it's utterly common for PolitiFact to publish a "report card" story encouraging readers to consider a candidate's "report card."

The latest such asks readers to consider the record of just-announced presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The reader comments from PolitiFact's Facebook page offer us a window into the degree of deception PolitiFact achieves with its "report card" stories.

We'll omit the names to save these individuals unnecessary embarrassment.

"When you compare the overall honesty of Democrats vs. Republicans, it's no wonder that some Republicans believe that fact checking web sites are liberally biased. It's an easier explanation then the reality that Republicans tend to lie more."

"Better than Ted Cruz."

"Comparison: Clinton, true or mostly true = 48%; Rand Paul, true or mostly true = 15%; Ted Cruz, true or mostly true = 8% (from PolitiFact archives)."

I would love to see a chart comparison against the other candidates. Paul's record would be a joke, his pants have been on fire so much the fire department had to move into a spare room"

"Still not a Hillary fan, but at least she's more honest that the right wing."

"Not a bad record."

Many more after the break! 

"She's doing better than Fox, MSNBC and CNN!"

"Even I am surprised. Hillary seems to have the highest rating so far for telling the truth. Sadly, I doubt if any of the GOP hopefuls can come close - yet, as they do with Obama, they'll say that everything coming out of her mouth is lies, and the corporate media won't challenge them. Thank you, Tampa News."
"good record but I'm leaning more towards Bernie"

"Better than most of the politicians!"

"That is better than the average citizen and a lot better than politicians"

"Better than all of Fox News"

"A lot better than 99% of republicans."

"BIG contrast to Cruz's"

"Not a fan but she's doing better than most."

"Sad when almost 1/3 of what she says is a lie."

"Pretty good record I would say"

"Still much better than "only true 18% of the time" Faux Noise, which basically represents the republican party."
"She has a record that is SUPERIOR to the liars on the Right...!"

"Check hers against any other Republican."

"Compared to the announced competition, no competition."

"Show everyone that is going to be running…next to Hillary’s…now that would be interesting…"

"It would be interesting to see a graph like this for all candidates and potential candidates side by side."

"with lots of checks, she comes out much better than anyone else I've looked at."

"She does much better than any GOP clown"

The comments go on and on with similar comments occurring often. The people who run PolitiFact know these stories mislead people yet publish them anyway. That makes it a deliberate deception.

Why would a supposedly nonpartisan fact-check service deliberately deceive people?

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