We’ve taken down this @GregAbbott_TX promise update. An agency just provided fresh information we need to review. https://t.co/UkvwzuwmRp— PolitiFact Texas (@PolitiFactTexas) January 9, 2018
We checked and the article was gone from the PolitiFact Texas website. It was still available, and remains available, at Austin American-Statesman website, one of PolitiFact's partners for PolitiFact Texas.
And on Jan. 11, 2018, PolitiFact republished the old version of the story along with an updated version on the same page. PolitiFact Texas' actions make the temporarily unpublished version of the story look like a normal update, albeit the careful reader may notice that the second update followed just one week after the first one.
We think that's goofy.
Why do we think it's goofy? If the unpublished version of the update was just a normal update later updated with new information, then why unpublish it in the first place? It makes no sense.
In its current form, the story offers readers no hint at all that PolitiFact Texas unpublished the story for two days. Instead, PolitiFact Texas offers its readers this explanation:
Back when he was campaigning to be governor of Texas, Greg Abbott called for training school principals to be better leaders.Does PolitiFact Texas downplay the timing of its two updates or what? PolitiFact Texas does mention the date in an editor's note (not labeled as an editor's note) as part of an introduction to the earlier update:
Legislative proposals to get such trainings off the ground floundered, however, leading us to rate this Abbott vow a Promise Broken.
But that was before the Texas Education Agency alerted us to other efforts focused on bolstering school leaders.
We decided to look afresh at progress on this promise.
The Abbott-O-Meter update below was posted Jan. 4, 2018. It's eclipsed by the update above:If it's in italics maybe it automatically counts as an editor's note?
The finished product shows PolitiFact Texas rating a fulfilled promise as broken about a week before reversing itself to declare the promise fulfilled. But with no admission of any error and an incomplete description of what occurred.
PolitiFact thought it had erred, but was mistaken to think so?
We don't quite buy that.