Epic takedown of liberal 'fact checker'

We tip our AT caps to Sean Davis of The Federalist for his superb takedown of a so-called “fact checker” from PunditFact, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that pretends to investigate claims found in journalism and render a fact-based judgment on their accuracy.

There are a number of leftist “fact-checkers” that function as arms of the Democrats, debunking conservative critics.  Davis and The Federalist drew the attention of PunditFact because Rush Limbaugh quoted their work:

Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants.

Davis explains what happened:

PunditFact just declared that a demonstrably true fact was false because, according to PunditFact, the factual claim “ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.” Facts are strange that way. They do tend to give an impression of the truth, even if some people find that impression discomfiting.

It gets more embarrassing than that, though. In an unsolicited April 28 e-mail to me, PunditFact author Louis Jacobson told me unequivocally that the demonstrably factual claim he was examining was “clearly accurate” and “technically true.” But today, Jacobson declares, that fact is suddenly “Mostly False.”

Last month, I wrote a meticulously researched article examining several years’ worth of financial data from the Clinton Foundation. What I found was that of the roughly $500 million raised by the Clinton Foundation from 2009 through 2012, barely 15 percent of its expenditures were charitable grants to other organizations. (snip)

The “Mostly False” declaration of PunditFact’s Louis Jacobson is even more fascinating given that he was not aware until I told him so that the Clinton Foundation annual report and the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings are not apples-to-apples comparisons. A researcher familiar with the subject material he was researching would have known that, but Jacobson did not. The annual report lumps together numerous distinct non-profit entities, whereas the tax filings were related to a single tax-exempt entity, the Clinton Foundation, also referred to as the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

“I didn’t re-run your calculations, but I entirely agree that the 990s paint a different picture than what the foundation says (such as in its annual report),” Jacobson told me in his initial e-mail to me. “It’s such a yawning gap that there has to be some sort of explanation, and that’s what I’m looking for.”

I gave Jacobson multiple explanations as to the source of that “yawning gap.” We’ll set aside for the moment that a decent journalist should’ve been able to figure out those gaps on his own by simply examining the annual report and the tax filings. We’re not talking rocket science here. Jacobson is not that journalist. Jacobson’s issue wasn’t with a lack of explanations. His issue was that the actual explanations didn’t jibe with the story he wanted to tell.

There’s more, which you should read if you want to see a lefty propagandist handed his posterior.  Oh, one other thing:

[UPDATE: Phil Kerpen notes on Twitter that PunditFact and PolitiFact are funded by a large and active Clinton Foundation donor and partner, a fact PunditFact conveniently failed to disclose in its defense of the Clinton Foundation.]

We tip our AT caps to Sean Davis of The Federalist for his superb takedown of a so-called “fact checker” from PunditFact, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that pretends to investigate claims found in journalism and render a fact-based judgment on their accuracy.

There are a number of leftist “fact-checkers” that function as arms of the Democrats, debunking conservative critics.  Davis and The Federalist drew the attention of PunditFact because Rush Limbaugh quoted their work:

Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants.

Davis explains what happened:

PunditFact just declared that a demonstrably true fact was false because, according to PunditFact, the factual claim “ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.” Facts are strange that way. They do tend to give an impression of the truth, even if some people find that impression discomfiting.

It gets more embarrassing than that, though. In an unsolicited April 28 e-mail to me, PunditFact author Louis Jacobson told me unequivocally that the demonstrably factual claim he was examining was “clearly accurate” and “technically true.” But today, Jacobson declares, that fact is suddenly “Mostly False.”

Last month, I wrote a meticulously researched article examining several years’ worth of financial data from the Clinton Foundation. What I found was that of the roughly $500 million raised by the Clinton Foundation from 2009 through 2012, barely 15 percent of its expenditures were charitable grants to other organizations. (snip)

The “Mostly False” declaration of PunditFact’s Louis Jacobson is even more fascinating given that he was not aware until I told him so that the Clinton Foundation annual report and the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings are not apples-to-apples comparisons. A researcher familiar with the subject material he was researching would have known that, but Jacobson did not. The annual report lumps together numerous distinct non-profit entities, whereas the tax filings were related to a single tax-exempt entity, the Clinton Foundation, also referred to as the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

“I didn’t re-run your calculations, but I entirely agree that the 990s paint a different picture than what the foundation says (such as in its annual report),” Jacobson told me in his initial e-mail to me. “It’s such a yawning gap that there has to be some sort of explanation, and that’s what I’m looking for.”

I gave Jacobson multiple explanations as to the source of that “yawning gap.” We’ll set aside for the moment that a decent journalist should’ve been able to figure out those gaps on his own by simply examining the annual report and the tax filings. We’re not talking rocket science here. Jacobson is not that journalist. Jacobson’s issue wasn’t with a lack of explanations. His issue was that the actual explanations didn’t jibe with the story he wanted to tell.

There’s more, which you should read if you want to see a lefty propagandist handed his posterior.  Oh, one other thing:

[UPDATE: Phil Kerpen notes on Twitter that PunditFact and PolitiFact are funded by a large and active Clinton Foundation donor and partner, a fact PunditFact conveniently failed to disclose in its defense of the Clinton Foundation.]