Saturday, November 3, 2018

PolitiFact's Liberal Tells for $400, Alex

When PolitiFact released the results of a language inventory it commissioned on itself, we were not surprised that the researchers found no clear evidence of biased language. PolitiFact's bias is mostly found in its choice of stories accompanied by bias in the execution of the fact checks.

But ...

On Oct. 31, 2018 PolitiFact Editor Angie Drobnic Holan published an article on the top election issues for 2018 and promptly stepped in it:
PolitiFact has been monitoring and fact-checking the midterm campaigns of 2018 in races across the country. We’ve seen common themes emerge as the Democrats and Republicans clash. Here’s a look at what we’ve found to be the top 10 storylines of the 2018 contests. (We provide short summaries of our fact-checks here; links will take you to longer stories with detailed explanations and primary sources.)

1. Fear of immigration
We'll explain to Holan (and the audience) the right way to identify immigration as an election issue without employing biased language:
1. Immigration
It's pretty easy.

Use "Fear of immigration" and the language communicates a lean to the left. Something like "Inadequate border security" might communicate the opposite (no danger of that from PolitiFact!).

Others from Holan's list of 10 election topics may also qualify as biased language. But this one is the most obvious. "Fear of immigration" is how liberals imagine conservatives reach the conclusion that securing the border and controlling immigration count as good policy.

PolitiFact's claim to non-partisanship is a gloss.

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