How does a fact checker measure worry?
No worries! PolitiFact Wisconsin claimed to have looked for signs Baldwin worried about Khalid Sheik Mohammed and didn't find anything. So it rated Vukmir's claim "Pants on Fire." PolitiFact Wisconsin skillfully circumnavigated Vukmir's clearly implied reference to a key reason Democrats opposed Trump's nominee, Gina Haspel: She had followed orders to implement enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. Mohammed was one of those to whom the technique was applied. Those are not the kinds of dots a fact checker like PolitiFact can connect.
8 Trump says senior White House official who said North Korean summit would be impossible to keep does not existThe New York Times reported a "senior White House official" said U.S. summit with North Korea would be impossible to keep on its original date. It turned out the official didn't quite say that, but instead said words to the effect that keeping the original date would prove extremely difficult.
When Trump tweeted that the the source did not exist, PolitiFact fact checked the claim. In doing so, the fact checkers set aside the idea that Trump was saying no senior White House official had made the claim attributed by the Times. The fact checkers concluded that Trump's tweet was "Pants on Fire" false because the person to whom the Times attributed its dubious paraphrase was a real person.
We count this as a classic example of uncharitable interpretation.
6 PolitiFact claims Trump was wrong that a civilian in the room with Omar Mateen might have prevented the Pulse nightclub massacre(Via Zebra Fact Check) When President Trump tweeted that a civilian with a gun in the room with Mateen might have prevented or reduced the casualties from the Pulse nightclub shooting, PolitiFact ruled the claim "False."
But PolitiFact made an incoherent case for its ruling. Trump was stating a counterfactual scenario, that if a civilian with a gun had been in the room with Mateen then the killing might have been prevented. PolitiFact argued, in effect, that the police detective doing guard duty in the Pulse parking lot counted as the civilian in the room with Mateen and had no effect on the outcome. A person in a parking lot is not the same as a person in the room, we say. And we see no grounds for the implication that the detective in the parking lot failed to contribute to a better outcome compared to having no armed guard in the parking lot.
The Weekly Standard took note of PolitiFact's factual interest in a matter of opinion.
PolitiFact often fails to follow its principle against fact-checking opinion or hyperbole, and this case serves as an excellent example.
PolitiFact found its straw man version of Trump's claim "False." As a matter of fact, the number of cars manufactured in the European Union and exported to the United States exceeded 1 million from 2014 through 2016 (the latest numbers when Trump tweeted). Definitely false, then?
3 Did added debt in 2017 exceed cumulative debt over the United States' first 200 years in terms of GDP?When MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said the Trump administration had added more debt than was accumulated in the nation's first 200 years, PolitiFact fact checked the claim. It was true, PolitiFact found, in terms of raw dollars. But experts told PolitiFact that the debt as a
Scarborough received a "Mostly True" rating for a claim that was incorrect in terms of GDP--what PolitiFact reported as the most appropriate measure.
Making this one even better, PolitiFact declined to fix the problem after we pointed it out to them.
Hawley accurately summarized PolitiFact's reasoning for its 2013 award. Obama's promise was emphatic that people would not lose their existing plans. Yet millions received cancellation notices in 2013 from insurance companies electing to simply drop potentially grandfathered plans. That led to Obama's promise sharing the "Lie of Year." PolitiFact baselessly claimed that when Hawley said people lost their plans he was sending the message that the millions of people completely lost insurance instead of simply losing the plans they preferred.
Happy New Year!
Correction Jan 3, 2018: Did a strikethrough correction, changing "measure of GDP" to "percentage of GDP"