Study finds significant pro-Democrat bias by PolitiFact

by Dan Lucas

Study finds PolitiFact rates Republican statements false 3 times the rate of Democrats

A February 2011 study published by the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics news site, a part of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, finds a significant bias on the part of PolitiFact in favor of statements made by Democrats: “That means a supermajority of falsehoods documented by PolitiFact over the last year – 76 percent – were attributed to Republicans, with just 22 percent of such statements coming from Democrats.”

A glance at the most recent PolitiFact ratings by the Oregonian would definitely support findings of a pro-Democrat bias.

The University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics study especially calls out “how statements are selected” by PolitiFact: “there remains a fundamental question of which statements (by which politicians) are targeted for analysis in the first place. A Smart Politics content analysis of more than 500 PolitiFact stories from January 2010 through January 2011 finds that current and former Republican officeholders have been assigned substantially harsher grades by the news organization than their Democratic counterparts.”

Smart Politics is a non-partisan political news site authored and founded in 2006 by Dr. Eric Ostermeier, a Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

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