Polifact has meditated, debated, cogitated and estimated (and, no doubt, masturbated), and after serious consideration of the kind that mere mortal non-journalists are clearly incapable of undertaking, they’ve reconsidered their judgment about whether 40% is a majority. Let it be known to all comers that Marco Rubio’s statement that a majority of Americans are conservative is no longer “mostly true”, even though no poll shows a majority believing that. The masters of truth have spoken once more, and forevermore, or at least until they speak on this matter again, Rubio’s statement is “half true”.
I don’t know what’s more pathetic, the half-assedness of this correction, or the fact that it took almost two weeks for them to come up with it. (Via Jay Rosen, who should be harder on them for this.)
c u n d gulag
Uhm… “Half true,” also means, ‘half lie,” no?
Or is that too much parsing?
Villago Delenda Est
Two weeks to be wrong, again?
What is up with these twerps? Too proud to admit they fucked up? Afraid that they might lose credibility if they admit they fucked up?
I’ve got news for them…the ship has sailed, the train has left the station, the fat lady has sung.
The term mockery has to be re-invented just for these guys.
I don’t get it – How can a statement be mostly true just two weeks ago and now all of a sudden the very same statement is half true?
Not that I cared what politifact did one way or the other before this as they had already become a joke, but this doesn’t help.
It just goes to show that the louder you scream, the more truthful your statement. At least according to politifact.
Well to be fair to PolitiFact, the Battleground poll shows close to 60% of responders claiming to be conservative, while only around 30% claiming to be liberal.
Politifact should just change their name to Pravda and get it over with.
The only way I can really consider a statement weighed for objectivity to be half true is if half of it is true and half of it is not. (I can see how something like “sure, I love cats” could be half true but I don’t really think that’s what PF is trying to do.) But this whole continuum of truth idea is really dumb. If I say that Barack Obama has a 106% approval rating, is that “half true?”
WTF does “half true” even mean? I’ll be half-honest, I’m half-confused by this mealy-mouthed half-shit.
Villago Delenda Est
Yeah, but it depends on how “conservative” is defined.
American movement “conservatives” don’t believe in conservation, or trying to wargame out consequences, or trying to reinforce social stability. They’re as pure about ideology as the most fanatic Trotskyite. They’re not into pragmatism at all.
“Conservatives” are about an incredibly dynamic and disruptive free market that is anything but conservative, while simultaneously insisting that the masses not have unauthorized sexytime, which is actively encouraged by said disruptive free market attempting to sell crap based on how likely it is to get you some sexytime.
A mass of conflicting impulses.
c u n d gulag
The difference is that in the USSR, the people knew that everything in Pravda (Russian, for “truth”) was bullsh*t.
Not so with the ignorant rubes in the USA, who think FOX, and now Politif*cked, are speaking truth to them.
I don’t understand this reasoning that gets spouted by the likes of Scarborough, Hannity and Limbaugh that this is a “center-right” nation. There was that great piece over at GOS several months back that showed quite clearly that the socially the country has been moving into the “liberal” column for years, evidence of that is the amount of States that are making gay marriage legal. I really do not understand how 60% of people self identify as “conservative” based upon the ugly face of “conservatismn” that we see today.
Exactly. I don’t understand why they are still relevant. I don’t take a single thing they say seriously after the last fuck up.
From the correction:
It would seem that they have adopted “That is not intended to be a factual statement” into operational practice. That, or their staff is the Psych detective agency.
It’s like how a lot of Democrats who support the right to an abortion identify as “pro-life” because they wouldn’t get an abortion themselves.
Labels are pretty meaningless. Studies have shown that the vast majority of independents are really just partisans too hip to identify themselves as a member of the party they so obviously support.
c u n d gulag
Too “hip,” or too ignorant?
Look for a further revision from PolitiFracked : 2/5ths True.
Villago Delenda Est
@c u n d gulag:
It’s hip to be square.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
If eighty percent identified as conservative then it would be true. Forty is half of eighty, so half true.
One problem with asking people “Are you conservative or liberal?” is that the label a person puts on himself is one thing; his stand on each of various political issues is quite another; and whether one of these decides his vote in a given election is something else again. So I don’t know if such self-applied political labels are very meaningful.
As for Politifact’s revised “half true” conclusion, I call it bollocks. Rubio claims conservatives are a majority in America. As Politifact admits, the best available evidence says they are only a plurality. A plurality is different from a majority. Therefore Rubio’s statement is false.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
hip ? or too embarassed to associate with their party?
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”:
So much institutional fail.
@Rome Again: Last fuck up? The phrase, “That was not intended to be a factual statement” comes from a press flack to Sen. Kyl in response to his ridiculous statement that abortion is “well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does”. In response, Planned Parenthood pointed to their audited accounts that demonstrate that abortion only accounts for less than 3% of the services they provide. However, Politifact rated that 90% claim False instead of Pants on Fire because they’d like to use a different yardstick than the one Kyl himself used.
They also think Planned Parenthood are liars, which is to allege that they are criminals, with no basis and a extremely stupid rationale.
These guys have had their thumbs on the scale for a long, long time. They just started getting into problems now because Republicans are such brazen liars that their constant Republican grade inflation hasn’t been good enough to achieve intended results.
Politifact should just go ahead and change their name to the Ministry of Truth.
40% is half of 100.
War is Peace.
And we have always been at war with Eastasia.
Baron Jrod of Keeblershire
@c u n d gulag: Definitely too hip. A lot of these folks are ignorant as well, but that’s not why they refuse to pick a side.
See, when you call yourself an independent, what you’re really trying to convey is that you’re just too canny to fall for the big parties’ bullshit. Oh no, you are too bright for that, not like those other rubes. You see through the scam that is the two party system, maaaaan.
That’s why I can’t really fault Politifact on this one. In the one poll that refuses to let the respondents cop out about their actual beliefs by calling themselves a moderate (a completely meaningless term), a majority has consistently picked conservative.
Of course, we all know that when you break it down to individual issues, a majority usually chooses the liberal side. All the same, those same people will shrink back in disgust and terror if you ever suggested to them that they’re liberal.
The way I see it, liberal and conservative are pretty much meaningless as indicators of actual political beliefs. They’re nothing more than self-applied labels. By that definition, the majority of Americans are conservative. Politifact was right to give Rubio’s claim a mostly true.
Honestly, it’s good for us on the left side to recognize this fact. Too many of us think that if we just get the facts out there, people will flock to our side. Sorry, but it’s not that simple, and this is why. We’ll never find any sort of solution to the problem of people voting against their own interests because of their chosen cultural shibboleth if we refuse to acknowledge that it happens.
ETA: None of this is to suggest that Politifact is a worthwhile institution that wouldn’t improve the world by its self-destruction. Blind squirrels and nuts is all.
I have seen this exact pathology many times. As a life-long hockey fan I know that some refs feel they have to call the same number of penalties on one team as on the other. That means if you are playing a bunch of goons either they are going to get away with it or your team is going to get called for a lot on BS stuff. Its where the term “working the refs’ came from.
Obviously Politifacts can’t be impartial unless they call the exact same number of ‘lies’ on each party. Truth is no defense in these cases – Well one side lies 3 times more than the other THATS why we called them liars 3 times as often. Nope, that won’t do, you either have to stop calling Republican Lies lies or start calling Dems true statements lies until the numbers are about the same.
Behold the power of propaganda. People have been barraged with the idea that “liberal” is a dirty word, and it has an effect.
But, what I have heard is that, when you start asking self-identified “conservative” poll respondents about specific issues, many of them are actually on the left of them.
This can be calculated precisely. Rubio says that a majority (50.1 percent) of Americans are conservative, but only 40 percent actually are. 40 percent of 50.1 percent is 20.4 percent. That is the absolute level of truthfulness of Rubio’s statement.
Please pass this on to Politifact.
It doesn’t matter what Politifact says. The brand is destroyed, the ship has sailed, etc. etc.
For democratic members, Politifact uses the half false rating
For republican members, it’s half true.
Politifact would say both ratings are the same though.
woo hoo!!! i’m two-thirds president of the united states!
If that’s their reasoning it gets even worse. If they want to focus on his underlying point, then why they did they rate the Democratic claim that Republicans want to eliminate Medicare the biggest lie of the year? The underlying point of the Democrats was that Medicare as we know it would no longer be there.
Why was the Democratic claim rated the biggest lie of the year while Rubio gets a “mostly true/half true” rating (who the heck knows what their rating will be two weeks from now since they keep changing it?)?
I am just asking a rhetorical question, of course. The right-wing tend to scream louder than the left-wing, which of course affects how politifact rates things.
@Egypt Steve: I think your gastritis is acting up. 40 is 80% of 50, not 20.
So, 40% of Americans (in ONE poll) consider themselves to be conservative and Politifact finally rates that as HALF-true.
So, 40%=Half for Politifact.
I rate that as mostly true.
(most polls would report lower numbers, especially when conservatism is actually defined as conservatism)
OT but you might enjoy it anyway.
A song, “Virginia Doesn’t Own My Vagina”.
I posted this down-thread, but since this post is about the sorry state of journalism, I thought folks might be interested in seeing the front page of today’s Tennessean. Banner headline, yada yada.
The corporate media is just so full of fail these days, I don’t know where to begin.
Culture of Truth
It’s like “mostly dead.”
Villago Delenda Est
@Culture of Truth:
Or ‘slightly pregnant’.
c u n d gulag
@Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:
Yeah, “fact” is a 4-letter word to a lot of people.
And the more you show them they’re wrong, the harder they dig in.
@c u n d gulag:
“Facts are stupid things.”
— Saint Ronald Reagan
There was a poll on MJ this morning (that I cannot find a link to) which the bobble heads were saying “the health care law hurts Obama more than it helps” but when you looked at the poll it said exactly the opposite. Only 30% said that it would make them less likely to vote for him (like they were ever going to vote for him anyway) the majority said it “made no difference” or they were “more likely to vote for him” . It was like watching an alternate reality.
Politifact – a wholly owned subsidiary of Frank Luntz.
i think this is more interesting.
Operation Frequent Wind Redux, anyone?
OT: This kind of tragedy would have easily prevented if all the students are allowed to carry guns in their backpacks. To shoot back, of course, and only hit the bad guy.
Villago Delenda Est
Gosh, we’re doing a great job of winning hearts and minds there, aren’t we?
“Gentlemen, you cannot fight in the war room!”
@Villago Delenda Est:
Simple. Politifact first wanted to demonstrate that their judgments could be bent to the right by conservative complaints, and now they want to show that their judgments can be bent to the left (and to truth, in this case) by liberal complaints.
Basically, they wanted to prove that they weren’t independently verifying objective facts, but rather just spinning in the political winds like a weathervane.
Rethuglicans have spent the last thirty years or more selling the lie that “conservative” means “reasonable, respectable, safe” and “liberal” means “crazy radical”. Most people who respond to opinion polls have no idea what the labels they pick or reject mean in terms of political reality or policy. They respond to the lable that has a positive emotional resonance for them.
Issue by issue most Americans are liberals including many self-identified conservatives.
The glass is 40% full.
I just keep dreaming of the day that the term “fiscally conservative” is abandoned in favor of the term “fiscally responsible”.
There are light years separating the difference in meaning.
@Litlebritdifrnt: That one is pretty simple, actually. Wingnut talk radio and Fox have spent decades demonizing the word liberal, and as a result, fewer people (and especially politicians) identify as liberal. I suspect they thought that it would bully people into not supporting liberal positions and causes, but it hasn’t, so we have a larger number of people who self-identify as conservative, and a larger number of people who are actually liberal, whether they call themselves that or not.
@Yevgraf: Yeah, I’ve wished for the same thing. “Fiscally conservative” should be abandoned to mean “cut taxes and never raise them ever ever ever, and magical budget ponies will pay for everything that actually deserves it,” because that’s what it really means now.
Look at their new feature. The Flop-o-Meter. They rate Full Flop, Half Flop and No Flop.
Out of the two dozen ratings, Romney doesn’t appear once. Are you EFFING kidding me?!?!?!
Only to people like us, unfortunately. They’re still getting cited in news stories and included on newspaper sites (don’t know if the references appear in the print editions or not.)
Unless we can stop that, the people who were already capable of fact-checking on their own will know Politifact is BS, but I doubt the general reader will.
@Redshift: there are a LOT of citizens that are organically conservative but will NEVAH vote republican.
they are black, brown, yellow, and female.
Seeing “Serious Journalism Update” and Politifact in the first four words of htis post makes me giggle.
mistermix won the thread when he posted it.
Agree with Ash Can: Politifact’s ship has sailed. Whether north, south, east or west, I cannot say, and Politifact would find fault with an accurate compass anyway.
Politroll is just working the business plan. They got such great mileage out of the original fucked-up rating, they figured the wholly inadequate recalibration would be good for a few more page views. As long as people are motivated to click on through to the website, mission accomplished.
Yeah, I think Politifact in local papers is insidious.
They’re routinely in the Richmond Times Dispatch, and I wouldn’t take anything they say without a lot of personal research.
The RTD leaning right (or used to?; it was quite conservative) makes their featuring Politifact prominently on the website suspect.
@Elizabelle: biologically speaking, half the population should have conservative tendency. But a significant part of the conservative half will nevah vote GOP because they are darkskinned or female.
A more interesting poll question would be…..how many respondents that declared conservative tendency would actually vote republican?
Half? I would have expected maybe 1/3 conservative, 1/3 liberal, 1/3 in the middle, but no empiric reason for my assumption.
The right has had great success in making “liberal” a bad word, but it’s interesting that, when you separate identifying political view from the issue or question at hand, a majority of respondents will go for the “liberal” view, because it’s reality-based.
Rachel MAddow has been blistering towards them and their lies
@MikeJ: No, 40 is 80 percent of 50, but 40 percent of 50 percent is 20 percent.
Start with 100. To get 50 percent of that, multiply by 0.50. Leaves you with 50. To calculate 40 percent of that, multiply by 0.40. Result: 20, i.e., 20 percent of the original 100.
I guess you went to Rick Santorum’s Home School of Arithmetic?
@Elizabelle: there is no “middle” in tendency…..just more or less strongly. Its the tails of the bell curve of conservative or liberal tendency.
Think of a bimodal gaussian curve, where the tails overlap.
that is your “middle”.
Thanks, Samara. I will look that up.
(googling stuff like this is why Google thinks I’m into science. And a 64-year old male …)
I am reminded of the small-town editor who apologized for the headline “Half the City Council Are Corrupt” by running the correction, “Half the City Council Are Not Corrupt.”
Only Politifkt does not have a sense of humor.
…the light’s out, the butter’s getting hard, the jello’s jiggling….
Nice one Mistermix.
I’ve started making fun of politifalse on twitter.
I encourage others to contribute to the politifact hash tag.
Oh, for beans sake! I propose that the statement, “Polifactiness doesn’t have the brains God gave a goose,” is false! They DO have the brains of geese! (Or at least half the brains of geese- in which case, half-true!)