Thursday, April 22, 2021

Newsbusters and fact checks not published

We at PolitiFact Bias have long noted that fact checkers have a bias against fact-checking things that seem true, or at least publishing fact checks that confirm somebody said something true.

How does that affect an entity's "Truth-O-Meter" report card? Well, depending on how many favorable ratings were spiked, it skews the report card unfavorably. It's a form of selection bias.

And that brings us to NewsBusters (hat tip to Tim Graham).

In brief, Newsbusters published a chart to Facebook. PolitiFact initiated an investigation of the information in the chart, asking NewsBusters to show the specific source of the information. Newsbusters did that, apparently to PolitiFact's satisfaction, and PolitiFact never published any fact check about it.

How often does that happen and to whom? Nobody outside of PolitiFact really knows.

It's just one more symptom of a corrupt fact-checking system. PolitiFact buttonholes Newsbusters with the threat of social media sanction hanging over the latter. If Newsbusters doesn't respond, PolitiFact may issue an unfavorable rating based on its "burden of proof" criterion.

Meanwhile, PolitiFact can preposterously report that real wages are increasing but failing to keep pace with inflation with no plausible threat of sanction to its work.

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