Rating Politifact Objectivity: Pants on Fire False

The most recent Politifact story “fact-checking” President Trump is a perfect example of why no one should trust this organization — other than liberals looking to buttress their beliefs with partisan hackery. Sorry, it’s just really that bad.

This sort of breakdown can be done on fact-check after fact-check after fact-check. The assessment ranges from overtly biased negativity for Republicans and Trump and positivity for Democrats and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. This is measurable below.

During the presidential campaign, Politifact rated well-known truth-purveyor Clinton as true or mostly true 51 percent of the time. Trump came in at a grudging 9 percent. Hillary was false or pants-on-fire false 14 percent of the time, while Trump was at whopping 61 percent.

These numbers alone are more than enough to convince conservatives about the veracity of Politifact. But a quick look at the most recent attack on Trump is just a glorious exposition on either purposeful deception or utter stupidity. (As a recovering journalist, my money is on purposeful deception.)

Politifact took this quote from President Trump’s State of the Union address to do their “fact-checking:”

“Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives…Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.”

The first problem they found with it is this:

“Neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents can directly petition for an aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew, in-law relative or grandparent to come to the United States.”

Ummmm, right. That’s why it’s called “chain” migration, because it is not direct migration. One link leads to another which leads to another into an ever expanding universe of immigration off of the one — but not directly by the one. This is a great example of a favorite ploy of progressives; create straw men to knock down and look brilliant and so obviously right. But straw men are just that. No one is saying it is direct. It’s a chain.

The next problem comes in the following paragraph:

“Theoretically, one immigrant’s arrival in the United States could lead to the immigration of an aunt or uncle — if the first immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen and petitioned a parent, that parent could eventually become a U.S. citizen and petition his or her siblings.”

I don’t think “theoretically” means what they think it means. If it happens in real life, it is not theory. It is reality. And this indirect immigration happens constantly and is documented, usually being uncovered when an immigrant commits a crime, and they are discovered to be in the country through chain migration several steps removed from the original immigrant.

Aren’t you supposed to be Politifact? Suggestion: Work on using the right words.

Next problem, same as the first:

“…there are restrictions. No one can directly petition for an aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew, in-law relative or grandparent, according to USCIS.”

But an immigrant can bring his dad, who can then bring his brother, who can then bring his son and bingo-bango-bongo, you have an uncle and a cousin through chain migration from the original immigrant.

And finally:

“Trump’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.”

Except of course, it’s entirely true — factually. Impressions are not facts. This organization isn’t called Politimpression, it’s called Politifact. According to the facts (not theoreticals and not impressions) Trump’s statement is undeniably true. You can make the argument that it does not include every nuance of the immigration code — the speech was long enough — but it is factually wrong to call it false.

We’ll pass on Snopes, but the exact same problem is at work there. It is led and staffed by publicly known liberals and it does the same type of work as Politifact. In addition to the above  example of how they arrive at a totally true statement being ruled mostly false, they cherry-pick what they fact-check, never going after Hillary Clinton’s endless lies or Barack Obama’s deceptions and errors, but most often fact-checking the non-controversial true things they say.

Liberals and Democrats can rely on Politifact to buttress their worldview. Moderates and conservatives should not waste their time or be sucked in. And if you still get your local paper, tell them to stop running Politifact.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act.

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