One of the most useful roles for the internet is storage for an incredible amount of knowledge and information. Google alone must answer hundreds of thousands of questions a day. Medical information, historical facts, anything anybody wants to know about basically everything that exists is on the internet. Perfect for fact checkers as they make it hard for people to get away with lying and spreading misinformation.
With the current political campaigns being as absurd as they are and Trump being as clownish as he is, there’s a great deal of fact checking that needs to be done for almost everything that’s said. Websites like Politifact take statements made by politicians and determines how truthful they are in an attempt to make politics more honest.
The trouble is Politifact itself isn’t anywhere close to honest. Looking at what different politicians have said and what Politifact says about the truthfulness of the statements calls Politifact’s nominally neutral position into question.
In 2015, Bernie Sanders said regarding minorities in the workforce, “If they are African-American, the real unemployment rate for young people is 51 percent.” Politifact determined that Bernie’s statement was mostly true. About one year later, Trump stated that unemployment among young African-Americans was 59 percent. Politifact ranked Trump’s statement as a misleading use of statistics and mostly false, saying that the unemployment rate for young blacks was 18.7 percent.
How in the world can the actual number be 18.7 percent if Bernie was mostly correct giving a number of 51 percent and Trump’s statement mostly false at 59 percent? Something doesn’t add up here at all.
In 2012, Ron Paul stated that the federal income tax rate was zero until 1913, which is absolutely true. Aside from some temporary income taxes during the Civil War and in the 1890s, there was no income tax before 1913 when income taxes were permanently implemented. If nobody is being taxed, the tax rate is zero. Politifact ranked Paul’s statement to be half true. However, in 2015 Jim Webb stated “We did not even have a federal income tax in this country until 1913” and Politifact said that Webb was mostly true. Again, a serious contradiction.
Trump stated that the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is 30 million and was declared a “pants on fire” liar. However, former Mexican ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan in an interview with MSNBC stated “If you were to deport the 30 million undocumented immigrants in the United States that’s going to cost you about 130 billion dollars.”
Trump’s behavior may be ridiculous but it’s far more ridiculous to paint his truths as falsehood on a platform is supposed to be unbiased. Even at BC’s final debate screening event, facts were checked in real time by Politifact, yet the blatant bias didn’t seem to bother the organizers. The absolutely disgusting dishonesty in Politifact is being compounded when clueless yet trusted individuals support Politifact.
It’s not just Politifact either, the absurdity of fact checkers is apparent all through media. On Oct. 9, Trump claimed that Hillary acid washed her illegal, unsecured private email server to wipe evidence of her crime. NBC news fact check said that Trump was lying and Clinton’s team used an app called Bleach Bit to wipe the server, not a corrosive chemical.
How bad does it need to get for people to see just how broken things are? NBC is happily reporting Clinton’s crimes yet Trump is the bad guy for lying. Clinton has been caught completely in the open breaking the law and goes unexcused while Trump’s truths are called falsehoods.
The worst part is people blindly follow fact checkers, trusting them to actually check facts while it’s clear that even those who claim to be unbiased are biased beyond all acceptable limits. This political season has been a complete garbage fire and it’s only going to get worse until people grow a couple brain cells and care more about the actual truth instead of being spoon-fed misleading information that confirms personal bias.