That Politifact is a left-wing garbage dump of a “fact-checking” outlet isn’t necessarily news. They jumped the shark long ago, routinely describing truthful comments by Republicans as “false” or “mostly false.” But sometimes they manage to even one-up themselves when it comes to ridiculous pronouncements.
With the election approaching, their bias was on full display today again with what is perhaps the dumbest fact-check of the entire election cycle.
We don't have a crystal ball, but when Trump spokesman Jason Miller said “We will be over 290 electoral votes on Election Night," it's important to note that's impossible: Electoral votes aren’t cast until Dec. 14 and won’t be counted until Jan. 6. https://t.co/wrP14ZKQfs
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) November 2, 2020
The setup for this is that a Trump spokesman claimed that the President would be over 290 votes electoral votes on election day. For context, that’s him basically predicting they win one of Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania while holding states like Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona. Such a prediction isn’t crazy. It wouldn’t even take a big polling error for that to happen.
Regardless, it would have been bad enough had Politifact decided to fact-check what is clearly an opinion about a campaign’s chances by citing polls or pointing out that Pennsylvania and North Carolina won’t have all their returns in on election night. At least doing that, despite being blatant editorializing, would have been somewhat understandable given their known political biases. Instead, Politifact went the stupidest possible direction by noting that electoral votes aren’t officially cast until December 14th.
Well, no crap, but absolutely no one speaks in those terms when calling electoral votes on election night. If that’s how it went, no media outlet would ever get to call a state for a candidate because the electoral votes are actually separately cast over a month later. There are fact-checks and then there’s just partisan trash meant to snipe and spin a narrative. This Politifact piece falls firmly in the latter category. You’d think they’d at least call it “partly true” or something to maintain some semblance of credibility. But nope, they just went full metal partisan here.
These fact-checkers are a joke. That social media companies continue to use them are supposed fair arbitrators or information only shows how compromised those platforms themselves are. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong by making the statement they did and the American people deserve better “gatekeepers” if we are going to assume they must exist (and I don’t).
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)