Sunday, January 26, 2020

PolitiFact tweets out gender pay gap blunder

So long as Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders doesn't tangle with Joe Biden, he can probably count on getting a break from the left-leaning "non-partisan fact checkers" (liberal bloggers) at PolitiFact.

Another case in point, this time from PolitiFact's Twitter account:

PolitiFact mismatched the fact check of Democrat Bobby Scott with the Sanders claim. Though PolitiFact is inconsistent, it usually rates claims like Sanders' "Mostly False."

In rating Scott's claim, PolitiFact Virginia took pains to detect nuance (bold emphasis added):
The statistics are across-the-board comparisons for all jobs lumped together and do not specifically compare men and women performing the same jobs. Many people, citing the statistic, wrongly use it as an apples-to-apples comparison of pay for equal work.

Scott’s statement, however, is nuanced. He says women get 80 percent pay for doing "similar" jobs as white men, which is different than saying the "same" job as men.
In spite of that, PolitiFact's tweet suggests Sanders' statement about women receiving 79 cents on the dollar for the same work is "Mostly True."

And after PolitiFact Virginia did all that work to argue "similar" means something different than "the same" (baloney, we say), PolitiFact's tweet tries to send PolitiFact Virginia's message using the word "equivalent."

That sure clears things up (Merriam-Webster).

Definition of equivalent

1 : equal in force, amount, or value also : equal in area or volume but not superposable a square equivalent to a triangle

2a : like in signification or import

b : having logical equivalence equivalent statements

3 : corresponding or virtually identical especially in effect or function

4 obsolete : equal in might or authority

5 : having the same chemical combining capacity equivalent quantities of two elements

6a : having the same solution set equivalent equations

b : capable of being placed in one-to-one correspondence equivalent sets

c : related by an equivalence relation

Why couldn't PolitiFact just take the straightforward route and present one of its old ratings directly parallel to the claim it attributed to Sanders?

Perhaps we'll never know. But it was probably bias.

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