Visitors to this site will likely know I hold a negative view of modern "fact checkers" as I feel much of what they do cannot reasonably be considered "fact checking." During a publicity thing one such organization, PolitiFact, did, I asked a representative how it goes about addressing problems people raise in things it publishes:
I was told to contact PolitiFact at a particular address with any such concerns. I did. Nothing happened. I got an automated response acknowledging the receipt of my e-mail, but I didn't hear anything else after that. I didn't hear anything when I followed up on the e-mail either. None of the articles I discussed in my e-mail to PolitiFact were changed either.
Naturally, I was disheartened. Continue reading
I had planned to upload a post today continuing my discussion of the misuse and abuse of statistics to claim to prove groups of people possess certain traits. I'm scrapping that plan though. My head has been killing me the last few days. That makes it too difficult for me to try to explain issues involving multivariate regressions in a clear manner.
Instead, I'd like to discuss something simpler. You may know I hold a rather negative view of the recent rise in "fact checkers" as I view what they publish as usually being little more than op-eds using the fig leaf of "fact checking" to try to gain more credibility than they deserve. Yesterday, I came across a piece discussing that via this tweet:
I know Jose Duarte a bit due to his criticisms of certain papers used in the global warming debate. Given I knew he and I share some views, I was curious to see he had to say about "fact checking." Unfortunately, what he said is quite wrong.
Readers of this site will likely know I am critical of the rise in "fact checking" as I feel what these "fact checkers" do is often more akin to punditry than fact checking. One such organization, Politifact, did a Q&A session on Twitter today where I happened to see it say:
In response to claims it is liberally biased. I felt this tweet exaggerates the impartiality of Politifact due to seeing a number of articles it published which seemed biased against conservative or toward liberal views. As such, I asked:
The answer I got directed me to e-mail Politifact with any specific concerns. I did so. I initially planned to give a sampling of issues in a number of "fact checks," but in the process of finely parsing one article I selected, I discovered so many problems there was little space. Indeed, there were enough problems with that article I couldn't even discuss them all in my e-mail.
I don't know what to expect from Politifact regarding this e-mail, but since I went through the trouble of writing it, I figured I might as well post it online for people to see. Perhaps it will give some insight as to why I don't hold much respect for "fact checkers." The e-mail discusses only a tiny fraction of the issues I've seen in Politifact's fact checking, and even so, it runs over a 1,000 words. Oh, and yes, I do realize there are a few typos in it. That's what I get for not having an editor. (I count three. How many do you count?)