Tag Archives: facts

Sarah Palin vs. PolitiFact

Sarah Palin’s gotten into a little tussle with the fact-checkers from PolitiFact. It started when they gave her a “pants on fire” rating for saying that the Democrats plan to let all the Bush tax cuts expire would amount to the largest tax increase in US history.

Palin earned her poor rating because a) the Democrats aren’t planning to let all the tax cuts expire and b) even if they did, it wouldn’t be the largest tax increase in US History. (There was a tax increase in World War II that was twice as big when considered as a percentage of GDP, the accepted way measuring the size of tax increases.)

So this made the mama grizzly really mad, and she posted all about it on her Facebook page, giving PolitiFact her own “pants on fire” rating. She said that the Democrats had no plan for renewing the tax cuts, and so absent a plan, they were “poised” to let them all expire. (She ignored being wrong about saying the tax increase was the biggest.)

PolitiFact has responded today. Well, PolitiFact doesn’t really “respond” like it’s a conversation. They just rate statements of fact. So they looked into how correct Palin was to say the Democrats have no plan. It turns out they do have a plan, and they’ve published all kinds of details about it. Palin got a rating of “false” this time.

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The downside of facts

Guess what? You’ve probably noticed this when you’ve tried to set a family member straight about some nutty political story, but facts often make people cling more to their false beliefs. On the other hand, you shouldn’t trust numbers you read in the news anyway.

Via The Morning News

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Keith Olbermann is not doing us any favors

Most of the time, when a public figure’s statement’s truthfulness earns a bad rating on Politifact, it’s because the person spinned and twisted some data point beyond its meaning as a cheap way to score points. They recently examined a claim by Keith Olbermann where he just totally misread the information and made a shocking and thoroughly false statement.

“Subsidies for oil and gas companies make up 88 percent of all federal subsidies. Just cutting the oil and gas subsidies out would save the U.S. government $45 billion every year.”

The report that Olbermann cites doesn’t really say this. He just misread it. Which is harmless enough, except that he misread it to say something so shocking that it should have warranted more suspicion and verification by his staff.

Keith, when you screw up the facts like this, you just give fodder to those who claim that liberals have their own Rushes, Seans, and Glenns.

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