Rachel Maddow Blasts PolitiFact: ‘What Does It Take To Get A False Rating?’


In February, Rachel Maddow declared PolitiFact effectively dead. On Thursday, Maddow (who’s been feuding with the site for a while now) revisited that remark, and noted that PolitiFact does indeed live — but it’s far from a good thing. Far from accurate fact-checking, Maddow said, the effort is essentially changing the meaning of the word “fact.”

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They “continue to supplant actual fact-checking to silly the whole concept of fact-checking as a meaningless brand,” Maddow said, “and to change the meaning of the word ‘fact’ in the English language.” PolitiFact, she said, “lives after death like a zombie eating our brains.”

The story in question: “Anti-abortion groups says Obama White House screens unborn babies” — which said that visitors to the White House must register unborn babies as part of the guest count.

PolitiFact got the following statement about this story from a Secret Service spokesperson: “This refers to a pregnant woman providing information for a tour in the future that will include the new family member. So, for example, when a seven-month pregnant woman is providing information for a tour that is four months in the future, there is a ‘place holder’ for the new baby.”

So the White House isn’t counting a pregnant woman as two people, Maddow said. PolitiFact said this fact was “wildly false, she said, and then gave the rating “mostly false.” She continued:

Mostly? You can get something, quote, wildly wrong, and still be only mostly wrong about it? What does it take to get a false rating on PolitiFact? False, as in you got it wrong.
Is it true or is it false? Oh, you found it false, so your rating is mostly something? PolitiFact, God bless you. You are not dead, but every time your trademarked Truth-O-Meter points at something, something dies in this country. Go away, PolitiFact.

Take a look, via MSNBC:

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