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PolitiFact.com Background as Provided by Tom Cotton's Campaign

Tom Cotton's campaign manager emailed the following document to KARK on Thursday in response to PolitFact.com deeming the congressman's political TV ad "false"
Tom Cotton's campaign manager emailed the following document to KARK on Thursday in response to PolitFact.com deeming the congressman's political TV ad "false":


POLITIFACT INFO

FOUNDER: Bill Adair

Professor at Stanford School for Public Policy and Knight Professor of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University.  Announced October 2nd that he would be replaced by Angie Drobnic Holan as he moved full time into academia.


NEW EDITOR: Angie Drobnic Holan

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s of library science from the University of South Florida. Her undergraduate degree is from the Plan II liberal arts program at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a native of Louisiana and attended the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.  Prior to taking over as editor Holan was Deputy Editor under Adair and prior to that she was a reporter for Politifact.

If you look at Holan’s current profile page on Politifact it lists recent Truth-O-Meter items from Angie.  Of the ones listed(10 total), she has only ruled 4 to be false.  2 of the four were internet rumors regarding the shutdown and the other two are from Cotton.

Holan has been caught issuing an incorrect Truth-O-Meter ‘false’ ruling against a Republican before.  link

3 out of the site’s 4 ‘Lies of the Year’ have been attributed to members of the GOP.

Link to University of Minnesota Study by Eric Ostermeier(@smartpolitics) link

Key findings:  76% of statements found to be false were GOP
new link
39% of all GOP statements found to be ‘false’ or ‘pants on fire’

("Selection Bias? PolitiFact Rates Republican Statements as False at 3 Times the Rate of Democrats"; Eric Ostermeier, Smart Politics blog, Feb 10, 2011)


Quotes about / criticism of PolitiFact:

“…it appears the sport of choice is game hunting and the game is elephants.”-Eric Ostermeier (@smartpolitics)

“…part of a larger journalistic trend that seeks to recast all political debates as a matter of lies, misinformation and ‘facts’ rather than differences of world view or politics.”  PolitiFiction (editorial), The Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904576031630593433102.html

“While there’s been little examination of the broader phenomenon of media fact checking, the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs recently took a close look at PolitiFact. Here’s what they found:

A Smart Politics content analysis of more than 500 PolitiFact stories from January 2010 through January 2011 finds that current and former Republican officeholders have been assigned substantially harsher grades by the news organization than their Democratic counterparts. In total, 74 of the 98 statements by political figures judged “false” or “pants on fire” over the last 13 months were given to Republicans, or 76 percent, compared to just 22 statements for Democrats (22 percent).

You can believe that Republicans lie more than three times as often as Democrats. Or you can believe that, at a minimum, PolitiFact is engaging in a great deal of selection bias, to say nothing of pushing tendentious arguments of its own.”

(“Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Fact Checking’, Mark Hemingway, The Weekly Standard, Dec. 19, 2011)

Link: http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/lies-damned-lies-and-fact-checking_611854.html?nopager=1


Criticism of PolitiFact from the left:

"This is so bad, so egregiously bad, that if they do not correct this one, I think we can safely assume that PolitiFact, for all intents and purposes, is dead," Maddow declared. "They are over."-Rachel Maddow after a Politifact ruling on an MSNBC ad where Lawrence O’Donnell said critics of the G.I. Bill called it “welfare.”(Feb. 21, 2012)  link

“The statement you were fact-checking is true, and until somebody figures out how to sue you in order to retrieve the meaning of the word fact from the dark and airless hole you have stuffed it into, Politifact, then no, it is not okay to just make this stuff up. You are truly terrible. Fact checking has to count for something, and Politifact, you are ruining it for everyone.”-Rachel Maddow (August 7, 2013)
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