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Is it PolitiFact or PolitiFiction?


This is an oldie from Politifact.com, but it is also a goodie that tells you a lot about the websites "fact checking" authors.   They fact-checked this statement for you:

"94 percent of candidates in 2010 had more money than their opponents"

They reported to you that this statement is Mostly True.

Mostly True strikes us as, well, something that has a lot of truth to it.  So we are curious to know what our readers think of the Mostly True reporting for this Politifact post.  Here are the "facts" they present relating to the statement:

"In congressional races in 2010, the candidate who spent the most won 85 percent of the House races and 83 percent of the Senate races, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  That’s a large percentage, but it’s lower than what the sign indicated.  Indeed, the percentage for 2010 was lower than it had been in recent election cycles.”

In other words, the data in their narrative shows that it is False that 94 percent of winning candidates had more money than their opponent in 2010.  The facts say the numbers are 85 and 83 percent. 

So why the Mostly True ruling, you ask?  Let's move along to find the "facts" that support that ruling.  For that, we can look at what they say in their conclusion, which is usually where you can get the gist of their true/false assertions.  Here is what they said:

“The protester has a point: Even in the relatively atypical year of 2010, a large majority of contests for congressional and state legislative races were won by candidates who spent the most money, and the 94 percent mark was reached in federal races in 2006 and nearly again in 2008.”

Huh, errr, what?  We thought fact-checking websites were about helping people weed through the opinion onslaughts and get to the facts.  Apparently we have reached a new level in our media and Mostly True no longer has to be Mostly True, you just have to find a creative way to report it as Mostly True.

Alas, here we are with the American media, where even the fact-checkers get to take facts, spin them around and upside down until the reader is dizzy and confused once again, leaving them ripe and ready to receive someone else's processed opinion on the subject.  Call us old fashioned, but we think people can process facts and formulate their own opinions.

Politifact is a registered trademark of the Tampa Bay Times and the Times Publishing Company, St. Petersburg, FL.

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Voting Key


Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True