Friday, July 12, 2019

PolitiFact Unplugs 'Truth-O-Meter' for Elizabeth Warren

We seem to be seeing an increase of fact check stories from PolitiFact that do not feature any "Truth-O-Meter" rating. One of the latest pleads that it simply did not have enough information to offer a rating of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's claim that the U.S. Women's National Team (soccer) pulls in more revenue while receiving less pay than the men.

But look at the low-hanging fruit!


The women on the USWNT are not doing equal or better work than the men if the women cannot beat the men on the pitch. The level of competition is lower for women's soccer. And Warren's introduction to her argument is not an equal pay for equal work argument. It is an argument based on market valuation aside from the quality of the work.

It's reasonable to argue that if the women's game consistently creates more revenue than the men's game then the women deserve more money than the men.

That's not an equal pay for equal work argument. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

It was ridiculous for Warren to make that stretch in her tweet and typical of left-leaning PolitiFact to ignore it in favor of something it would prefer to report.

Did that principle of burden of proof disappear again?

PolitiFact's statement of principles includes a "burden of proof" principle that PolitiFact uses to hypocritically ding politicians who make claims they don't back up while allowing PolitiFact to give those politicians ratings such as "False" even if PolitiFact has not shown the claim false.

The principle pops out of existence at times. Note what PolitiFact says about its evidence touching Warren's claim:
Ultimately, the compensation formulas are too variable — and too little is known about the governing documents — for us to put Warren’s claim on the Truth-O-Meter.
 So instead of the lack of evidence leading to a harsh rating for Warren, in this case it leads to no "Truth-O-Meter" rating at all.

Color us skeptical that PolitiFact could clear up the discrepancy if it bothered to try.


Afters

Given Warren's clear reference to "equal pay for equal work," we should expect a fact checker to note that women who compete professionally in soccer cannot currently field a team that would beat a professional men's team.

Not a peep from PolitiFact.

Women's national teams do compete against men on occasion. That is, they do practice scrimmages against young men on under-17 and under-15 teams. And the boys tend to win.

But PolitiFact is content if you don't know that. Nor does its audience need to know that the U.S. Women's National Team's success makes no kind of coherent argument for equal pay for equal work.

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