Column: PolitiFact Celebrates Fact-Checking Donald Trump 1,000 Times

February 14th, 2024 5:48 AM

Never call PolitiFact an “independent fact-checker.” They are every bit as liberal and biased as their fans in the liberal media. Recently, they announced they had published their 1000th “fact check” of Donald Trump.

“American fact-checkers have never encountered a politician who shares Trump’s disregard for factual accuracy,” they proclaimed. “Ever since he descended the escalator at Trump Tower in 2015, we have encountered a firehose of claims.”

In those 1,000 checks, PolitiFact tagged Trump on their “Truth-O-Meter” as “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire” in 757 of them (75.7 percent). Trump was found “True” or “Mostly True” in only 121 checks (12.1 percent).

Barack Obama is currently in second in the “fact check” count with 603. PolitiFact was founded in 2007, when Obama was running for president. Donald Trump was a real-estate developer until 2015.

But look at the difference in “Truth” ratings. Almost half of Obama’s “checks” were “True” or “Mostly True” – 289 of them (48 percent). Only 143 (or 25 percent) were “Mostly False” or worse. Obama has been rated “Pants on Fire” nine times. Trump’s been found flammable 184 times.

Hillary Clinton came in third with 301 checks. She has an even better “True” side percentage – 148 out of 301 (49.1 percent). Only 83 (26.5 percent) landed on the “False” side, and only nine “Pants on Fire” warnings.

Joe Biden is fourth with 286 checks. He hasn’t been blessed with the magic that the other two top Democrats have. Since 2007, he was on the “True” side on 80 occasions (33.2 percent) and on the “False” side in 121 articles (42.3 percent). He has only seven “Pants on Fire” ratings over more than 16 years, and just one as president. Trump has drawn seven “Pants on Fire” ratings since last June.

So it was comical when Molly Olmstead at the leftist website celebrated the Trump 1000 by wondering how a team “so diligently committed to the cause of fighting misinformation with data and passionless expertise, how it feels to operate in a world where objective truth seems to matter so little.” Objective? Passionless? That’s not what the numbers say. The numbers strongly suggest “selection bias.”

PolitiFact senior correspondent Louis Jacobson deserves a “Mostly False” for claiming: “We’re not trying to push any kind of agenda. We just want to provide people who are open-minded enough with information that we think can be helpful for understanding politics.”

When pressed, Jacobson will say their Truth-O-Meter isn’t like a scientific instrument. It runs on human opinion. He told the Texas Standard “we do check things that we find significant, notable, interesting to us.” On that scale, Trump’s almost four times more “interesting” than Biden. The conservatives and Republicans are far more “interesting” than Democrats.

Joe Biden can say the Republicans are “Jim Crow 2.0” segregationists, and PolitiFact naps. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas can pronounce “the border is secure,” and it’s crickets. MSNBC host Ali Velshi can say Trump and the Republicans “want to let fewer brown people in,” they want immigration to be “the most painful process possible.” Free pass! Nothing "notable" in these statements.

But when Elon Musk speculates Biden’s border strategy is to “get as many illegals in the country as possible” and “legalize them to create a permanent majority,” he gets flagged as “False.” 

PolitiFact's archives easily undermine their claims that they're just here to help give citizens the "information they need to govern themselves in a democracy." It's more like they dole out the information Democrats need to stay in charge of the government.