Jon Cassidy’s long and detailed takedown of Politifact is impossible to excerpt, so I won’t try. But allot yourself 5-10 minutes and read it. It’s essential reading, especially if you’re still inclined to take Politifact seriously.
I will note one interesting historical point, though:
PolitiFact started off straight. As a partnership of Congressional Quarterly and the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times) formed in 2007, the outfit won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 election. The partnership dissolved shortly after when The Poynnter Institute – the parent company of both outfits – sold off CQ.
The Florida journalists carried on alone, and their liberal tendencies became more obvious as the “Pants on Fire” rulings piled up on one side.
I’m glad to hear that, because I recall believing at one time that Politifact was good for something. My first inkling that something was very wrong with them was in October 2009.
POSTSCRIPT: This is just another example, like the many Cassidy cites in his piece, but it is a particularly pungent one. Despite acknowledging that every fact in the ad is accurate, they nevertheless grade it false, because they think it conveys an impression that they deem inaccurate. You can faithfully abbreviate their entire analysis this way: “We rate the statement False, because it gives the inaccurate impression that Obamacare is not a good idea.”