ProJo PolitiFlacks for Cicilline
Oh, it sounds so good, doesn’t it? PolitiFact will fact check politicians to see what is true and not. But, as we’ve been pointing out here and there, PolitiFact can be used as another vehicle to slant political news coverage, albeit under the guise of “fair and balanced” fact checking. Justin has already explained how context can skew the “meter reading”, but selection bias is also a major factor in the sort of “news shaping” for which the ProJo is obviously using Politi
FactFlack when it comes to the Laughlin/Cicilline Congressional race.
The ProJo has already endorsed Cicilline, but it’s also interesting that the last three “fact checks” done by their inferentially unbiased PolitFact feature have all had to do with the 1st Congressional District race and all have come out favorably for Cicilline. They include a “Mostly True” in favor of a Cicilline claim against Loughlin, a “Barely True” regarding an independent ad attacking Cicilline and a “False” about a Loughlin claim regarding global warming (which doesn’t seem particularly germane to the overall race). Overall, since the beginning of the race, the ‘Flacks have given Loughlin 1 “Barely True”, 2 “False” and 1 “Pants on Fire.” Meanwhile, Cicilline has earned 1 “True”, 1 “Mostly True”, 1 “Half True” and 1 “False” (Cicilline’s exaggerated claim that he brought $3 billion in economic development).
It’s understandable that a Congressional race would garner significant attention from the ‘Flacks. But the breakdown of their “results” and their late concentration on this race to the exclusion of others is revealing. Could it be that the CD-1 race is a little too close for comfort for the Fountain street gentry?