Posts tagged ‘media bias’

June 14, 2011

Claiming persistent bias, Democratic Party to stop taking PolitiFact’s calls.

by thoughtfulconservative

Accusing the Journal Sentinel’s continuing feature PolitiFact of persistent bias, leaders of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin say they will no longer respond to inquiries from the fact-checking operation’s reporters.

The party leadership acted after a series of PolitiFact stories they considered unfair, as well as an overall assessment that in its judgments about what to cover as well as its assessments of truth and falsity, “it just seems consistently weighted to one side,” [DPW communications director Graeme] Zielinski says.

via Inside Milwaukee – Dine, Shop, Entertainment and more.

I’m well-acquainted with the Right’s suspicion of PolitiFact, having originated with the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald, both well-known left-leaning newspapers in Florida. The Right is also suspicious of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of it’s left-leaning tendencies.

I’m also aware of the left side of the Cheddarsphere’s frustration with the Journal Sentinel which they lump together in one big lump with WTMJ 620 and WTMJ 4 under the Journal Communications, Inc. parent company. They believe the organization is right-leaning based on the WTMJ 620 talkers, Patrick McIlheran and others. I believe they also uncovered one of the Board of Directors contributing to a Republican candidate, bu I can’t put my hand on the link right now.

PolitiFact responded.

In a statement today, the Journal Sentinel editor in charge of PolitiFact, Greg Borowski, stood by the impartiality of the feature.

“At PolitiFact Wisconsin, our mission is to serve our readers by examining political statements to determine their accuracy — but also to identify where those statements are inflated, misleading or simply wrong. We do this by turning to outside sources to provide context to the issue, as well as by clearly stating how we came to the conclusion we did and what sources and reasoning we used to get there,” Borowski said.

Both left and right have had their problems with PolitiFact. One source of contention is the “Truth-o-meter” which does often seem pretty subjective. Other popular fact-checkers don’t have anything comparable, to my knowledge. As the author of the article writes,

Even so, PolitiFact’s critics have a point, but it’s a bit more complicated than partisan bias. The larger problem remains in its simplistic rating system and especially the incendiary “Pants on Fire” category, which doesn’t appear to be consistently applied.

He also notes,

Here [in wisconsin] the criticism has been most vocal among political activists on the left.

I not sure why that is. I sure my friends on the right think they’re biased, too; they just don’t seem to write about it.If they are some links to right-leaning posts, I would be glad to share them here.

By contrast, the national PolitiFact operation appears to get more criticism from conservatives.

Zielinski, who once worked for the Journal Sentinel, went on to say,

“We will deal with the Journal Sentinel. We have to,” he says. “It’s the largest newspaper in the state. We have good relationships with many of their reporters.”

But PolitiFact, he says, “is an instrument that we don’t think profits us anything, because we believe we’ve worked in good faith with them and not seen fair results.”

The writer of the article then states,

On the one hand, a casual examination of how party affiliation lines up with ratings from True to Pants-on-Fire makes doesn’t make an obvious case of bias for or against either side of the political spectrum. (You can see for yourself; if you disagree, feel free to comment below.)  Did you know, for instance, that 17 of Gov. Scott Walker’s 27 statements to be rated so far have been labeled as “Barely True,” “False,” or (in one instance) “Pants on Fire”? That seems difficult to square with a claim of consistent bias against Democrats.

No doubt the comment section will fill fast.

He sums up,

Perhaps the single biggest improvement in PolitiFact would be if there was just a little less of it, with topics more carefully chosen.

That might be something to shoot for. We don’t need a daily truth detector; and we don’t expect it to be perfect.

And, please, get rid of the “truth-o-meter.”


January 11, 2009

Waukesha Carnival, the 24 season premier edition

by thoughtfulconservative

Welcome to the January 11, 2009 edition, the forty-eighth. This is where I survey the Waukesha corner of the Cheddarsphere and bring what are, in my opinion, the best posts of the last week. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

Let’s get started.

Taking a look at some local items, over at Fairly Conservative, Cindy Kilkenny looks at the Elmbrook school slates. Be sure to check out the comments.

Alexander wonders at A little off Main if he’s in Madison and Vrakas is a RINO. I don’t go much for the RINO tag, but the post is worth a read.

Has Jeff made his last post at Five Points? If so, be sure to catch his update on downtown Waukesha.

Huckleberry Dumbell has some “lay observations” about the Waukesha housing market in this post at Spring City Chronicle.

You can read James Wigderson’s post about bias is all in the eye of Ricky on State at Wigderson Library & Pub.

Tom Gehl discusses The Denigration of Race in Milwaukee at Brookfield Basics.

In local sports, Tim Rock takes a look at the Trevor Hoffman deal with the Brewers at The Other Side of My Mouth.

Bryon Houlgrave is shooting Northstars. Wrestling pictures. You can find more of Bryon’s sports photos at

Looking about posts dealing with more general issues, Kyle Prast has a post at Practically Speaking showing us that not only is the Homeschooling movement is growing, but so is “unschooling”.

Linda Richter has a post decrying guilt by association by both sides at Inside New Berlin.

Chris from Racine, blogging at silent E speaks has a couple of posts on a recent experience with customer service.

Then concerning taxes and spending, Sen. Mary Lazich (chief aide Kevin Fischer?) makes a correlation at Conservatively Speaking between the fastest-growing states and those with the lowest tax rates.

The Asian Badger thinks Obama may have a one good idea with nominating a “Chief Performance Officer” to monitor spending.

Dad29 has a couple of charts illustrating that our infrastructure spending is already huge.

That concludes this edition. You can submit posts you liked in the comments. If you read something in the coming week, you can either put them in the comments, e-mail them to me or use this handy form. Archives can be found here.

See you next week.

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September 15, 2008

Waukesha Carnival 9-15-2008

by thoughtfulconservative

Welcome to this week’s carnival highlighting post from or about Waukesha that I found interesting.

In news around the county, Mr. Gravelle at The Daily Scoff tells us the key to a successful library.

Scott Berg at 359 Degrees invites input into Brookfield city’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

Bryon Houlgrave has photos from the New Berlin firefighters’ remembrance services on 9/11.

Fox Head took a look at a couple of local items, traffic lights at Waukesha West, and obtaining a building permit and taxes.

Darryl Enriquez at Waukesha FYI has a pic documenting the tree cutting next to John’s Root Beer on Accordion Arcadian Avenue.

James noted an e-mail from the Journal Sentinel’s Steven Walters that belies the notion of journalistic integrity or neutrality.

State-wide, Dad29 uses Patrick McIlheran’s column as a jumping off point to make more points of his own on Van Hollen’s suit against the GAB.

silent e takes apart a recent Journal Sentinel op/ed on Van Hollen.

On the subject of national politics, things continued hot and heavy at Fairly Conservative with Cindy’s continuation post on Anne Kilkenny’s e-mail.

Kyle Prast confesses the same ignorance of the Bush Doctrine that I had. I guess we’re not qualified to be vice-president.

Dave at Yorick’s Persiflage recounts an encounter with an Obama backer going door-to-door.

In general topics, The Asian Badger links to a post on a pilot landing on the fringes of Hurricane Hanna.

The Family Guy gives us a post on The New Face of Feminism.

Linda Richter may employ some hyperbole, but she has some points on surveillance.

That’s it for this week. You can always submit a post, whether a blogger or a reader, for the next edition by using this submission form. Or you can send the link to me at thoughtfulconservative [at] yahoo [dot] com. Past posts can be found here.

September 15, 2008

Charles Gibson: Palin vs. Obama

by thoughtfulconservative

Via Dad29.

Linking to Hot Air who quotes from The Anchoress, we see a comparison of questions, Mr. Gibson asked Obama, who’s at the top of the ticket, who will be president, if elected, with the questions asked Palin (links are from the post), who, last time I looked, is the vice-presidential candidate.

Hot Air also links to Newsbusters, who has Gibson’s interview with John Edwards in 2004.

Yeah, not much bias here. Softball questions for Democrats, tough ones for Republicans.

Look, tough questions are great. Just make sure everyone gets the same kind of questioning.

(Cross posted at Fairly Conservative).

November 28, 2007

Gay General member of Hillary’s campaign

by thoughtfulconservative

UPDATE II: I’ve put quotation marks around “plants.” I’m not sure the campaigns had anything to do with these folks asking questions, which “plants” implies. I still think, at the least, CNN did a sloppy job of previewing and vetting the questions submitted. I use “plants” here, then, as a shorthand for people CNN didn’t identify as being connected to other campaigns. CNN asked for questions, I don’t blame these people for submitting them.

Then there are the questions themselves. As noted on the CNN I-Reporter section, no question about health care, stem cell research, the economy other than taxes, the environment and global warming, the sub-prime crisis, I’m sure my readers could think of dozens more. Instead, we got a guy asking about the Confederate flag, three, yes three, questions on guns, space research, if Ron Paul was going to bolt after he loses, and whether the candidates believe the Bible. Please! No doubt these are important questions to the questioners, but with a limited number of questions why were these chosen, if not to show Republicans as unhinged.

UPDATE: Sean Hackbarth at The American Mind has more with several links and more “plants,”

It gets better (worse if you’re CNN). A woman who asked an abortion question is a John Edwards supporter. And the man who asked about support from the Log Cabin Republicans is an Obama backer.

In the various links at Sean’s place, especially Michelle Malkin, we see that these folks identify themselves as supporters in their profiles.

Steveegg at No Runny Eggs has more also and a couple of more “plants.”

That these people asked questions or even wanted to ask questions bothers me not a bit. They were fair questions. That CNN failed to let the public know who they were bothers me. That they had William Bennett on with 5 left of center folks plus Cooper bothers me. That they followed that up with a special emphasizing right of center attack ads and characterizing them as lies when they have not been proven that they are lies yet (since Kerry refuses to let his military record become public) bothers me. That CNN is now trying to scrub the debate video bothers me.

And Democrats avoided Fox because they thought they wouldn’t get a fair shake? If I were a Republican candidate, I would not go to another CNN sponsored debate.

Via Newsbusters,

CNN, as part of its Republican debate with YouTube, failed to mention that retired general Keith Kerr, who announced he was gay after his retirement from the Army, is a member of Hillary Clinton’s “LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee.” Not only did General Kerr ask the question via a YouTube video, but he was also present in the audience, and got to ask the candidates for a “straight answer” (pardon the pun).

CNN at the end of the “talking heads” segment, acknowledged this and said if they had know they would have certainly noted it. No mention was made of why it took them so long to verify it.

I guess Hillary sets up other candidates with questions, too.