Is PolitiFact Biased? This Content Analysis Says No

It’s a critique that PolitiFact has long been accustomed to hearing.

“PolitiFact is engaging in a great deal of selection bias,” The Weekly Standard wrote in 2011. “’Fact Checkers’ Overwhelmingly Target Right-Wing Pols and Pundits” reads an April 2017 headline from NewsBusters, a site whose goal is to expose and combat “liberal media bias.” There’s even an entire blog dedicated to showing the ways in which PolitiFact is biased.

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One thought on “Is PolitiFact Biased? This Content Analysis Says No

  • August 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Funke’s piece features a false headline and a quotation taken out of context (Weekly Standard, which is actually summarizing the work of Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota. And that’s just the problems occurring above the fold (before hitting “Read More”).

    A language inventory doesn’t allow for the blanket suggestion that the answer to the question “Is PolitiFact Biased” deserves a “No” in reply. It doesn’t even allow for a solid conclusion that PolitiFact does not employ biased language. All it says is that the tools the researchers used did not find it.

    But the researchers suggested a few methods that might find such evidence if they were tried. The article conveniently leaves that out (below the fold).

    Raise your hand if it makes sense to you for the Poynter-supported-and-housed IFCN to serve as the accountability mechanism for Poynter-owned PolitiFact.



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