Press-Gazette / Post-Crescent’s Politifact Strikes Again

PolitiFact  |  8-10-2016

In its Wednesday, August 10th print edition, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and Appleton Post-Crescent featured yet another one of its “PolitiFact Wisconsin” pieces.

In this particular edition, PolitiFact addressed claims made by UW-Chairman of Political Science, David Canon, to the effect that House Speaker Paul Ryan has a low success rate at introducing bills that ultimately get passed into law.

The story’s headline is as follows:

UW Chair right on Ryan’s success rate with bills

WMC is particularly troubled by the papers’ use of the term “right.”  The Oxford Dictionary defines the term “right” as: “true or correct as fact.”

PolitiFact Wisconsin gave Mr. Canon’s comments as to Speaker Ryan’s legislative success a “Mostly True” rating.  WMC is therefore, obligated to question these statements. Are Mr. Canon’s statements “mostly true” or “right”?

Put simply; the headline misstates its conclusions. In doing so, creates an impression that Mr. Canon’s statements about Mr. Ryan should be accepted as true.  This is bias by headline.

It may seem like a trivial difference, but these days, the media increasingly appears to blur the line between “truth” and “half-truth”.

As we have stated previously, WMC is keeping a very close eye on these pieces. PolitiFact has a record for demonstrating liberal and Democratic leaning bias. This study and article about PolitiFact are just a couple of examples of that bias on display.

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