Monday, January 31, 2022

PolitiFact doesn't know the meaning of 'and'?

 Well, well, well.

I've had to focus on things other than PolitiFact Bias posts lately, but PolitiFact and its owner, the Poynter Institute have pulled me out of semi-retirement with an extraordinary clunker of a fact check.


PolitiFact's fact check defies logic and establishes an early leader in the "Worst Fact Check of the Year" contest.

The "False" conclusion fails because it rests on a failure to understand the simple logic of "and." The conclusion would work for the logic of "or." But Hannity said "and" not "or."

If Bill says the square is green or red then the square confirms Bill's statement if it is red. Likewise the square confirms Bill's statement if it is green. Bill would be right either way.

But if Bill says the square is green and red then it's a different ballgame.

In the second case the square confirms Bill's statement if it is both green and red. So a square that is half green and half red could confirm Bill's statement. A square that is simply green would contradict Bill's statement. The same goes for a square that is red and not green.

This is extraordinarily basic logic and PolitiFact doesn't get it. 

 Observe how PolitiFact looks to prove Hannity false:

The claim ignored that both Trump and Reagan made similar vows to nominate women to the Supreme Court, then followed through on those promises. Other presidents in history have also considered race and religion as they have made their picks.

We rate Hannity’s claim False.

So, by analogy, PolitiFact says if Trump and Reagan both nominated green squares then both Trump and Reagan each nominated squares that were both green and red.

That's 2+2=5 territory.

Making this even more hilarious, PolitiFact's parent company, the esteemed Poynter Institute, chose to highlight this fact check at the main site. In the title, Poynter's headline writer substituted a comma for the "and," masking the error of logic for those who do not read the "fact check."

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