Once upon a time, PolitiFact could only do so much damage with their biased, cherry-picked, misleading fact checks. If you were interested in finding out how they rated a particular politician’s claims, you would have to take the trouble to head over to their site yourself and peruse the articles. Nowadays, however, PolitiFact’s influence is everywhere. Including, most troublingly, at Facebook, where a “False” rating from the site can result in a post getting taken down or slapped with a “fake news” warning from the site.
This happened most recently with an ad from the pro-Trump group America First that accused Joe Biden of saying, “If you elect me, your taxes are going to be raised, not cut.” The ad goes on to directly quote Biden of promising that his plan will raise taxes on “all income groups.”
Now, this is surely a correct relay of Biden’s words, so how is it that PolitiFact rates the ad “Mostly False”?
“Some tax experts estimate that Biden’s plan would mean higher taxes on average for all income groups,” the fact-checker wrote in the first paragraph of their review.
Seeing as how PolitiFact acknowledges right off the bat that Biden’s plan is going to raise taxes for all Americans, we’re still not getting how they could arrive at a “mostly false” conclusion, no matter what else they dream up in their article.
They insist, however, that the ad – which is a whopping 30 seconds long – does not give the viewer enough “context” about Biden’s tax plans. If you’re a Republican group running an attack ad, apparently you need to make the ad an hour long just to make sure you cover all your bases.
“While some tax experts estimate that Biden’s plan would mean higher taxes on average for all income groups, those increases would be relatively small for all but the biggest earners,” they explained. “The full exchange shows that Biden was saying his plan would raise taxes for people who, in his words, ‘benefited from’ the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. A Biden campaign official said his point was that the wealthy — not all Americans — would not benefit from his plan. The ad’s portrayal of the exchange leaves a different impression.”
So, a Biden campaign official told you the ad was false and you just took that morsel and ran with it, eh?
Is PolitiFact even still pretending to be objective? And why is Facebook partnering with an organization this blatantly in the tank for the Democratic Party?
Why do we ask so many questions to which we already know the answers?