Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers™: Comparing the Treatment of Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz by “Fact-Checkers”
I have decided to launch a new occasional Patterico series titled Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers.™ Here’s the problem: so-called “fact-checkers” gain an artificial credibility in political discourse, simply by invoking “fact-checking” as the name of their enterprise. But, as any sentient conservative knows, Big Media “fact-checking” is nothing more than leftist opinionating disguised in faux factual garb. We’re seeing more and more Democrats use these phony “fact checks” in their campaigns, and with 2016 just around the corner, I sense an urgent need for a fairly regular series of posts fact-checking the fact-checkers. Patterico to the rescue!
As most of you know, Ted Cruz recently slammed the head of the Sierra Club in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. If you missed the video, here it is again:
Cruz’s principal point was that there has been a “pause” in global warming, according to the satellite data, which has shown no significant warming for 17 years. There’s really no disputing that fact — yet the Sierra Club invoked Politi(cized)Fact to assert that Cruz’s claims had been “debunked.” This is how lefty organizations defuse effective attacks by conservatives: they cite an analysis by a “fact-checker” that says the conservative is lying — and the public gets the idea that the conservative must indeed be dishonest, because, after all, a “neutral” fact-checker said so!
Today, we’re going to look at the Politi(cized)Fact analysis of Cruz’s statement, and reveal how fact-checkers take true facts uttered by conservatives, and deem them “mostly false” because the conservatives didn’t give the lefty argument, but only their own. Then we’ll analyze a Politi(cized)Fact analysis of a Hillary Clinton claim, and show how the very same defects are present in Clinton’s statement — yet that one is deemed “mostly true.”
As we will see in detail below, Ted Cruz’s statement is found “mostly false.” He stands accused of “cherry-picking” because his data encompasses the years and measurements that best suit his argument, while he omits the arguments of his leftist opposition that the lefties think undercut his main point.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s statement is found “mostly true.” She bases it on a study done by two economists, at least one of whom is a rank partisan Democrat who has been an advisor to her husband and other Democrat presidential candidates, and who has donated thousands to Democrats. That study cherry-picks certain data that best suit the pro-Democrat argument, and Hillary omits the parts of the study that undercut her main point.
That, my friends, is how the “fact-checkers” do their work. The lefties can assert misleading facts and get a clean bill of health as long as the “facts” are true. Meanwhile, conservatives can state true facts, but still get accused of lying because the other side has arguments too.
Full details in the extended entry. Ready? Let’s do this!