PolitiFarce

Accepting PolitiFact (or not)

By Justin Katz | March 12, 2011 |

To be honest, I sort of hoped that the PolitiFact brand would drift away after the election. Sometimes, I guess, these contrived media brands are like government departments — more or less permanent. In the interest of public service, I’ve created a new category for posts to help deepen and broaden the brand, after a…

Reporting on Experts

By Justin Katz | March 8, 2011 |

Theodore Gatchel notes a perpetual problem facing a public that wishes to be informed: There are so many experts on virtually every subject imaginable that anyone who relies on them for information is faced with the problem of determining which experts to trust. Unfortunately, almost everyone falls in that category. Investors rely on experts for…

Terry Gorman: The Burning Truth About the Cost of Illegal Immigration

By Engaged Citizen | February 16, 2011 |

I feel compelled to clarify some of the misstatements made by reporter Gene Emery in a PolitiFact hit piece which gave me a rating of “Pants On Fire”. First off, when I first spoke with Mr. Emery, he stated that he became interested in the cost of illegal immigration after seeing a RIILE sign at…

Sadly, the Propagandist Can’t Be Ignored

By Justin Katz | January 11, 2011 |

Look, Pat Crowley of the National Education Association Rhode Island is a paid union hack. One knows what his conclusions will be simply by looking at his job title. He allows no illusion that he will say anything other than what he thinks will benefit his employer, whether true or not. If read at all,…

Truth-O-Meter, Pants on Fire

By Justin Katz | December 24, 2010 |

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t give PolitiFact a grade, but one suspects it wouldn’t even reach the level of “half true”: So the watchdog news outfit called PolitiFact has decided that its “lie of the year” is the phrase “a government takeover of health care.” Ordinarily, lies need verbs and we’d leave the media criticism…

More Bias on Display

By Justin Katz | December 10, 2010 |

We’re well past the point at which it became fruitless to care, but it’s fascinating to watch a mainstream media “fact check” feature contort itself to justify the bias that we all know to exist in the halls of Big Journalism. One can almost see the erased editorial marks reading, “this organization couldn’t possibly say…

ProJo’s Politiflackdom is built into the Model

By Marc Comtois | November 17, 2010 |

I promise after this that I won’t hack at the ProJo’s politiflack (for at least today). Remembering that the ProJo’s model for Politifact came from the St. Petersburg Times, I note Mark Hemingway’s reminder that “‘Politifact’ is often more politics than facts“: In 2009, Politifact won a Pulitzer prize, so people put a lot of…

What Chafee Means by “Harmful”

By Justin Katz | November 17, 2010 |

I’ve received reader email expressing cynicism at the Providence Journal PolitiFact’s release, post-election, of its finding that Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee’s statement was “barely true” that “experts say the property tax ‘is the most harmful to economic growth and … the sales tax is least harmful.” Indeed, Eugene Emery’s article notes: [Tax Foundation economist Kail] Padgitt…

With the Journal’s Hot Air in His Sails

By Justin Katz | November 8, 2010 |

This paragraph, from a post-election article by Providence Journal staff writer Peter Lord deserves some reflection: For much of the general election campaign, polls indicated there was no contest. Cicilline was running ahead by 20 points or more. And he raised and spent about $1 million more than Loughlin, though that included financing his primary…

UPDATED: RI House Summary

By Justin Katz | November 3, 2010 |

The RI House now has 9 Republicans (ten, if you include John Savage, from East Providence). 12% is better than nothing, I guess. At least both chambers will have heckling sections, now that Rhode Islanders have given the Democrats the run of Rhode Island, with Linc Chafee as a governor alternately to cheer buffoonishly as…

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