Got this hot of the press from our friends at Chapman University and the Center for Media & Public Affairs from George Mason University on Politifact.com, a non-partisan website run by the folks at the Tampa Bay Tribune to fact-check both parties. The categories are true, mostly true, a middle, somewhat false, mostly false and pants on fire lie.
PolitiFact Rates GOP as Less Truthful in Campaign 2012
ORANGE, Calif., September 27, 2012 — The media fact-checking organization PolitiFact.com rates statements by Mitt Romney and other Republicans as false twice as often as statements by President Obama and other Democrats, according to a new study by Chapman University and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University.
This analysis of PolitiFact.com is the first release from an ongoing study of fact-checking organizations from July 1 to Election Day on November 6, 2012. Future releases will address The Fact Checker (Washington Post), and FactCheck.org (Annenberg Public Policy Center). We tabulate the ratings by fact-checking organizations but take no position on their accuracy.
“These are the first findings in our fact-checking analysis,” said Robert Magnuson, a Distinguished Fellow in the Future of Media at Chapman University and co-director of the study. “As we gather data from other organizations, we’ll be able to compare results and assess the value of media fact checking in terms of accuracy, objectivity and other measures.”
The study examined 98 election-related statements by the presidential candidates, their surrogates, and campaign ads fact-checked byPolitiFact.com from June 1 to September 11. Major findings: PolitiFact checked the assertions of Democrats slightly more often than those of Republicans (54% vs. 46% of all statements). However, PolitiFact rated Democratic statements as “mostly true” or “entirely true” about twice as often as Republican statements — 42% true ratings for Democrats vs. 20% for Republicans. Conversely, statements by Republicans were rated as entirely false about twice as often as Democratic statements – 29% false ratings for GOP statements vs. 15% false ratings for Democrats. (This includes categories labeled “false” and “pants on fire.”)
The same pattern holds for statements made directly by the presidential candidates and their campaigns. A majority of the Obama campaign’s statements (55%) were rated as true or mostly true, compared to one out of four statements (26%) by the Romney campaign. The difference is even greater at the other end of thespectrum, where 26% of the Romney campaign’s statements were rated as either false or “pants on fire,” compared to only 5% of the Obama campaign’s statements.
A detailed explanation of the study’s methods can be seen at www.cmpa.com.