Talk:FactCheck.org

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Untitled[edit]

In "Most of its content consists of rebuttals to inaccurate, misleading, or downright false claims by both Democrats and Republicans." I removed "both", because there are other political parties. Dhochron 21:35, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

WHAT?![edit]

non-partisian? FactCheck.org is strongly unbiased, as far as the 2008 POTUS election. FactCheck.org overwhelmingly takes positions supporting the ticket. Is there any hope of FactCheck.org remaining neutral/credible in this election if its funding comes from the Annenberg Foundation, which also funded/supported the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) (also referred to as the Annenberg Challenge to Chicago) with Mitt Romney as its head? Iamst (talk) 00:51, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, FactCheck.org does claim to be nonpartisan.[1] This Wikipedia article supports that this is what the organization claims. To my knowledge the organization does not claim to be unbiased. Sarnalios (talk) 13:48, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Then the article should say it claims to be nonpartisan. 204.108.8.5 (talk) 15:49, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
The Annenberg Foundation is run by Leonore Annenberg, who has contributed to the McCain campaign and recently endorsed McCain. Therefore, you could just as easily claim that their association with the Annenberg Foundation causes them to lean to the right. I prefer to take them at face value when they say that Annenberg doesn't attempt to influence them either way. Myopic Rhino (talk) 15:17, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Bipartisan is decidedly not the same as nonpartisan. That a candy store being run by someone in the disputed zone between two rival criminal gangs pays protection money to both does not mean that the store's proprietor wants either gang subjecting him to extortion. Similarly, a criminal operating in such an area does not keep on good terms with both gangs without the expectation of getting support from both bands of thugs when he preys upon honest citizens. "Right" statist or "left" statist is still statist. Hardly nonpartisan.
The description of FactCheck.org as "nonpartisan" is ineluctably deceitful, and it is incumbent upon Wikipedia to stipulate that the operators of FactCheck.org claim to be nonpartisan. To do aught else is to provide a Wikipedia stamp of approval, and I don't think that anyone working on Wikipedia wants do do that. Do you? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.125.153.244 (talk) 03:28, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

non-partisian? FactCheck.org is strongly right-wing. Kevin Baastalk 19:47, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

No it isn't. On the front page today (July 11, 2006) are articles correcting Republican smear campaigns on the estate tax and Republican led efforts regarding global warming and immigration.--206.181.226.34 21:53, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
They criticize both sides, but I have witnessed times where they threw softballs to the right and hardballs at the left within a week or so, using different standards on the same subject. I have not followed them recently but judging from the time I did, I would "strongly right-wing" is too strong an adjective for them. In other words I agree that they are right-leaning, but would not go so far as to say they are hard right. I don't think there are enough reliable sources (it just hasn't come up enough that I'm aware of) to call them right-leaning in the article, but we should be cautious in implying that they are balanced and non-partisan. DanielM 09:27, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
We certainly shouldn't say that the organization rebuts "inaccurate, misleading, or false claims". It rebuts claims that it considers to fall within those categories, but we shouldn't endorse its POV. We should also include a reference to the criticism that it's biased toward the right. JamesMLane t c 05:42, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Umm, I looked at their homepage just now, and there are 8 articles that distinctly rebut Mcain-Palin, 2 articles that disctincly rebut Obama (no mention of Biden anywhere), and 1 article that rebuts internet rumors about Palin. 8 GOP rebuttals vs. 2 or 3 DNC rebuttals? How can this possibly be called right wing? If anything there's a left-leaning bias present, by about 3 to 1...
It's also possible the proportion of articles that rebut each candidate is determined by a different number of misleading ads or statements put out by each campaign. In other words, reality may be biased. Andreac (talk) 23:15, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Any inclusion in the article of claims that the organization FactCheck.org is biased in any direction will no doubt be challenged. Therefore, for any such claims to remain in the article they must be verifiable through reliable sources, according to WP:V, so unless anyone can provide such sourced information this discussion is not going to go anywhere. Sarnalios (talk) 17:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
The term nonpartisan is used for organizations that are not formally associated with any political party. The term does not suggest that the organization is without bias. An organization can thus be far out on either the right or left wing and still be nonpartisan.
To be included in a Wikipedia article, however, such supposed bias should be verifiable through information found in an objective third party source. If you can provide such a source for supposed bias in any direction, then you may have a case for inclusion of such bias information in the article. Sarnalios (talk) 23:09, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Factcheck does have multiple writers, does it not? Some could easily be republicans while others are democrats, and some probably hold all politicians to a higher standard than other Factcheck writers do. One article may seem overwhelmingly liberal while another appears to be right leaning. Besides that, claiming that Factcheck must be democrat-supporting because it is funded by a group that also funds another group which has Obama 'at its head' is called 'guilt by association.' Another example would be saying that The Nazis supported eugenics, therefor eugenics is bad and anyone who supports it is wrong. That connects one group to the nazis through eugenics, but doesn't provide any valid argument that the group in question is wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.255.48.162 (talk) 21:01, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

If it's a matter of official position, rather than bias, could we change that from 'claims to be non-partisan' to 'is non-parisan' in the first section? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.255.48.162 (talk) 23:53, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

nonpartisan is of course the politically correct term for Marxism —Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.206.73.200 (talk) 01:47, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Factcheck.org's claim at being non-partisan holds no weight until:

1. They diversify their staff from being overweight with journalism & communication majors (which everyone knows are typically liberal); to include members who are former engineers, military officers, financial advisers, etc (which are typically more conservative).
2. They publish the political affiliation of the staff. In order to actually BE non-partisan their staff ought to be well balanced with REGISTERED Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and even a Libertarian, Constitutional, and/or Green party voter as well.

Until they publish each staff member's affiliation and diversify their backgrounds, no one can honestly and scientifically consider them non-partisan and/or unbiased.

FactCheck doesn't back up it's facts[edit]

Here is an example, look at the "Not a Book Burner" section on this page about Palin: Sliming Palin

In the first paragraph they state, "Palin never asked that books be banned". Oh really? How do you know that? I don't see any reference to any evidence. Looks like they just want us to take their word for it. They go on to say, "many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication". How does a book not being in print keep it from being on a shelf in a library? I have many books on my shelf that are out of print. I bet you do to. Another example, "The librarian was fired, but was told only that Palin felt she didn’t support her. She was re-hired the next day." That sounds like harassment to me. Palin was jerking this person around by their paycheck. If that is not an attempt to control someone's actions then I don't know what is. Yet the writer for FactCheck says right up front, "Palin never asked that books be banned" Notice that this article is not signed by anyone? Who should be held accountable for it's information? There is also no chance for reader feedback on the page. FactCheck doesn't come close to Wikipedia's standards. Also, I have sent them several "Ask FactCheck" messages but have not heard any reply. Bluetd (talk) 14:33, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

FactCheck.org does actually back up their claims by linking to newspaper articles [2] [3]. These articles make it clear, by interviewing the librarian, that Palin did not ask the librarian to ban books, but only "asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books"[4] and "She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library."[5]
Concerning list with books that were not in print: the reason that they were not in print was that they had not even been published in a first edition at that time. The incident occurred in 1996, but the fourth Harry Potter book (that was supposedly on that list) was not published until the year 2000 (not even the first book in the series had been published in 1996).
The article is signed: it says "—by Brooks Jackson, Jessica Henig, Emi Kolawole, Joe Miller and Lori Robertson". Sarnalios (talk) 21:24, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I have found in the past that Factcheck.org exhibits a subtle right-wing slant, at times I think it's demonstrable. I emailed them a couple times describing, in a reasoned and calm way I think, some examples where they were employing a double standard and even using inconsistent math. I didn't get any response either. It's one thing for me or you to notice this, but it can't be put in the article until a newspaper or some other media points it out. DanielM (talk) 22:28, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I think I should mention; the 'Ask Factcheck' idea isn't supposed to be used to tell them that they are right-leaning, or attack their articles. From what I understand it's supposed to be questions on political statements and ads, not a method of reader feedback. They never intended to respond to any individuals. Also, could you give me an example or two of this 'inconsistant math?' —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.255.48.162 (talk) 21:09, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Financial ties with Chicago Annenberg Challenge[edit]

In the article is correctly claimed that FactCheck.org is primarily funded by the Annenberg Foundation. It is then suggested that because the Chicago Annenberg Foundation in which Barack Obama had a leading role, was also funded by the Annenberg Foundation, that their non-partisanship is questionable.

This seems unlikely for at least two reasons: 1. the Annenberg Foundation has handed out 5200 grants over a period of 15 years. It is like saying that because Acorn and abstinence promoting organization both received federal grants, they are linked. Getting grants from a Foundation does not automatically means they have a leading role. 2. the Annenberg Foundation's president and chairman is Leonore Annenberg, the founder's widow, is both endorsing McCain and supporting him financially. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.81.19.49 (talk) 18:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I think that both of the statements in the article presented below are questionable.

"Barack Obama was a founding member, chairman, and president of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which was also funded by the Annenberg Foundation.[1]

The president and chairwoman of the foundation, Leonore Annenberg, has endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. [2]"

Both statements presume that there is an actual bias in the FactCheck.org organization itself, but present equally weak evidence to support that, and what is provided points in diametrically opposite directions. In my view it would be more appropriate to include under the Criticism heading actual criticism directed at the organization. Sarnalios (talk) 21:44, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Let's WP:be bold together. I split the section into criticism and partisan political ties. Have you a better suggestion? I hope you will execute it! WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 22:11, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I find the whole reasoning that there is partisan political tie extremely flimsy: The Annenberg Society has funded over 5200 intiatives as it typical for a Foundation of this sort: they give money to causes they feel are interesting enough.

So I would rather formulate it like this:

There are suggestions that Factcheck is partial to Obama since Obama was part of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and both Factcheck is (partially) and the CAC was funded by the Annenberg Foundation. This seems unlikely as the Annenberg Foundation has given out 5200 grants over a period of 15 years and by that reasoning all those 5200 initiatives are interlinked. Furthermore Leonore Annenberg, the president of the Annenberg Foundation is endorsing McCain and supporting him financially: if the Annenberg Foundation would actively be influencing it seems unlikely they would steer Factcheck towards Obama. Lastly Obama/Biden statements have been investigated by Factcheck as well and received ungentle, and deservedly so, comments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.81.19.49 (talk) 09:35, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I think you should put that in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.255.48.162 (talk) 21:13, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Even though I understand your intention, I think adding such a long paragraph would only give weight in the article to these very weak claims of supposed indirect partisanship. Sarnalios (talk) 13:20, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

In response to the "connection":

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/he_lied_about_bill_ayers.html

"FactCheck.org and the “Annenberg Challenge”

Contrary to suggestions we've seen in some conservative blogs, there is no connection between the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and FactCheck.org, save for the fact that both received funding from the Annenberg Foundation. The foundation supports a wide variety of charitable causes – a total of 5,200 grants during its first 15 years of operation. It was founded in 1989 by Walter H. Annenberg, a newspaper and magazine publisher who died in 2002.

FactCheck.org is funded by, and is a project of, the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which was established by the Annenberg Foundation with a $20 million endowment in 1993. The Annenberg Foundation also made additional grants to support our work. We also receive funding from the Flora Family Foundation to help support our educational offshoot, FactCheckED.org. We receive no other outside funding.

FactCheck.org came into being in late 2003. Director Brooks Jackson states: "Our mission is to be as neutral and nonpartisan as humanly possible. Annenberg supports that, and nobody at the Annenberg Foundation has ever tried to influence anything we've written."

For the record, the Annenberg Foundation's president and chairman is Leonore Annenberg, the founder's widow. Public records show she's given $2,300 to the McCain campaign, which announced on Oct. 8, that she has endorsed him for president."


—Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.249.74.231 (talk) 03:31, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Criticism Section[edit]

The criticism section doesn't add much to this article and should be removed. It discusses a disagreement with a single article that was written. I'm sure that someone will likely disagree with the factuality of any given statement released by factcheck. Why should we include this particular back and forth? It seems like the only reason it is included in this wikipedia article is because it happened less than a month ago. This hardly seems like it is worthy of being included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.19.35.131 (talk) 04:12, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the Criticism section should be expanded. This site is obviously biassed. In fact, why is this site even in WIKIPEDIA? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.78.207.135 (talk) 13:14, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
If you have any sources with comprehensive criticism of FactCheck you should include those. As it stands, the criticism section is very weak and not worthy of inclusion in wikipedia. I'm taking it out as is. If anyone wants to include a new criticism section that covers perceived biases comprehensively and with sources, it would be a welcome addition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.34.153.81 (talk) 14:56, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


I will say the section is lacking, I'm not motivated enough to expand on it. I will say for those interested factcheck revisited the NRA issue more than once. But for the most part the organization gets things right. Occasionally they inject what appears to be opinion instead of sticking strictly to the facts. I am especially highly skeptical of articles written by Brooks Jackson. He is a repeat offender when it comes to opinion in his articles. HommieDaKlown (talk) 16:04, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Why is the NRA article the only one discussed here? There either needs to be a whole section with other known controveries, or this NRA article should be removed. What makes this single instance worthy of inclusion?Kettledrum (talk) 21:59, 9 September 2009 (UTC)Kettledrum

This article clearly needs a section talking about the site's detractors. It's lack makes the whole article suspect. I just came here looking for info on the site. Not addressing it's respectability or reliability makes the article borderline worthless. Thmazing (talk) 00:47, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Standards By Which Any Reputable Source Can Be Judged[edit]

My experience with FactCheck.org is that:
1) the references cited almost always support what is being stated, and
2) what is stated is almost always accompanied by a citation
3) there is very little "cherry picking" of the facts
4) they seem to have a good reputation.
I'll continue to use FactCheck.org as a resouce -- but, as they say, "trust, but verify". —Preceding unsigned comment added by FactCheckRedux (talkcontribs) 08:05, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Beauty Contests[edit]

Removed non-notable voting contests. More on the campaign for the online popularity contests can be found here: [6] The two seemingly different listed "awards" were from the same event. One was the "Poll" and the other the "award" for winning the "spam your friends to vote" contest. Here is a quote from the previous link to Factcheck.org thanking their "voters".

"We thank the FactCheck.org subscribers who responded to our email by voting for us at the PoliticsOnline website."

Let me emphasize that there is nothing wrong with Factcheck participating in contests, they are quite open about the details - I'm only spelling this out as not-notable for the purpose of an encyclopedic entry on the organization.75.49.223.74 (talk) 14:33, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Revert-bot?[edit]

I attempted to add this section to the article:

"Mockazine challenges the claim that FactCheck is nonpartisan, stating "More telling, perhaps, is the number and kind of articles they do publish. They have an awful lot of articles defending president Obama and their criticisms of him are with regards to mostly inconsequential issues." The magazine cites links to the Annenberg Foundation, whose director is Kathleen Hall Jamieson. [3] The article also cites Barack Obama as the first Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge."

This was immediately removed by someone called SluggoOne, WITHIN ONE MINUTE!!! Seriously, go look at the history and this change was eliminated one minute after I posted it. Real fair. It appears we have a goal-keeper here who is ironically protecting FactCheck from becoming Fact Checked. JettaMann (talk) 18:48, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

If you attempt to use a self-described "weblog that uses satire and parody to mock current trends and events" as your reliable source, don't be surprised when your edit is quickly removed. Read the Wikipedia guidelines about sources and citations, find a reliable source that establishes factcheck.org being partisan as a verifiable fact, and your edit will stand. (I will fight for you if such an edit gets removed, but I don't believe that it will be). Guy Macon 01:21, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Mockazine is not on the list of banned reference sources. If you try to post a reference using a source Wikipedia does not approve of, it automatically disqualifies it. The Mockazine article is a factual article that was researched. There is nothing wrong with its sources. JettaMann (talk) 14:43, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
You appear to "know" several things about Wikipedia that are questionable. That doesn't mean you are wrong, of course, but it does mean that you need to produce some sort of evidence that backs up your claims. Simply asserting that they are true is not sufficient.
In addition, you appear to have not followed my advice to "Read the Wikipedia guidelines about sources and citations." I highly recommend that you do so before replying to this. You can find them here: Wikipedia:Citing sources. Quoting the guideline is the best way to establish that your claims about Wikipedia policies are based in fact and not imagination.
Let me address each of your assertions.
"Mockazine is not on the list of banned reference sources."
True but irrelevant. There are an infinite number of sources that are not banned but do not belong in this particular Wikipedia article. See Wikipedia:Citing sources.
"If you try to post a reference using a source Wikipedia does not approve of, it automatically disqualifies it."
If you mean that there are a very few sources that are known to be bad and are banned, true, but as you just correctly stated, Mockazine is not on the banned list.
If you mean to imply that there is some sort of list of approved sources, prove it, and describe how ordinary Wikipedia editors such as myself access the list when making editing decisions.
"Wikipedia automatically disqualifies it."
Who is this "Wikipedia" you are talking about? Your edit as remove by SluggoOne, who is an ordinary Wikipedia editor. You are an ordinary Wikipedia editor, as am I. There is no mysterious group of overlords who are secretly pulling our strings in a vast conspiracy against you. There are only ordinary editors who are trying to follow the Wikipedia guidelines (Hint: Wikipedia:Citing sources ) that you can't be bothered to read.
"The Mockazine article is a factual article that was researched."
Evidence, please. Note: quoting the portion of Wikipedia:Citing sources that agrees with you would be excellent evidence.
"There is nothing wrong with its sources."
If the Mockazine article has sources that conform to the Wikipedia guidelines about sources and citations (Wikipedia:Citing sources) , please go back and add your assertion that FactCheck is partisan to the FactCheck Wikipedia article and cite these sources. If the sources are good and support the claim, it will stay in the article.
"The magazine cites links to the Annenberg Foundation"
No it doesn't. Perhaps you are not aware of what a citation is? Read Wikipedia:Citing sources.
"The article also cites Barack Obama as the first Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge"
No it doesn't. It *asserts* that Obama was the first Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. No citation. If you take my advice and use proper citations, you will also need a cite establishing what relation the Annenberg Foundation has to he Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
The only actual *citation* in the Mockapedia article is to someone called "texas-darlin", which is probably another blog. It returned a 500 Internal Server Error when I tried to access it.
Guy Macon 04:47, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Domain expired?[edit]

A recent edit by Histrion correctly pointed out that the domain factcheck.org expired on 29-Sep-2011. I am reverting that edit with an invite to discuss it here -- we can easily put it back in if the consensus is to do so.

The reasons I don't think that this belongs in the article at this time are:

[1] It does not affect anyone (yet). The website is still up and will be for a while (see below).

[2] It is likely that they will renew it within the next day or so, and Wikipedia is not designed to provide up-to-the-minute news about what is up or down on the web.

[3] When it expired, it normally would have gone into into the Registrar Grace Period (formerly Auto Renew Grace Period.) In he RGP, for some time (typically 30 days) the owner can still renew it. Should the owner fail to renew the site will go down and the domain will either go up for auction or go into the Redemption period.

However, the status is listed in the DNS record as "Status:AUTORENEWPERIOD". See http://www.register.com/policy/servicesagreement.rcmx for details. Basically, the registrar will attempt to renew the domain for a year by charging the credit card they have on file. They reserve the right to disable the domain during this period, but I would expect a 30 day grace period. Certainly if the site gets redirected to a pay-per-click page or a domain-for-sale page we should document that in the article.

Do you agree that we should wait a while? Please discuss.

Guy Macon 16:14, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Looks like someone else reverted it while I was writing the above. Guy Macon 16:17, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
As I predicted, on 04-Oct-2010 the owner renewed the domain. The expiration date is currently 29-Sep-2012. Guy Macon 16:34, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Disruptive edits by 72.177.49.70[edit]

IP User 72.177.49.70 keeps making unsourced edits, and has ignored several attempts to get him to discuss his concerns on the talk page. It typically takes several hours for his edits to be noticed and reverted. Is there something we can do about this? Guy Macon 18:09, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

See User talk:72.177.49.70 for the requests and warnings given.--S. Rich (talk) 19:27, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Citing FactCheck[edit]

Trial run at Talk:Rutherford B. Hayes[4], Note 4 in reflist below my sig --Pawyilee (talk) 11:14, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ "FactCheck and Obama ties". annenbergfoundation.org. 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/08/mccains-trumpets-endorsem_n_132954.html
  3. ^ http://www.mockazine.com/but_seriously/2009/11/fact-checking-factcheckorg.html
  4. ^ FactCheck (March 15, 2012). "Obama’s Fake Hayes Quote". project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Annenberg School for Communication. Retrieved March 17, 2012.  Unknown parameter |author link= ignored (|author-link= suggested) (help)

Flackcheck.org[edit]

I just got the current AARP newspaper thing today and it has flackcheck.org as a website. It does not reverse to factcheck.org, but it also says that it was supported by the “Annenberg Challenge”. The articles appear to be similar, but I haven't read them on both websites yet. Has anyone heard of this flackcheck.org website?? Thanks. Mylittlezach (talk) 02:33, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Non-partisan[edit]

Looks like this was discussed in 2008, but I think it may warrant re-opening.

"FactCheck.org is a nonprofit[2] website that describes itself as a non-partisan[3] "'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics"."

Seems sort of weird way to phrase this. Yes, it describes itself as non-partisan, but its being non-partisan isn't disputed in the article. From non-partisan; "Nonpartisanism is a lack of affiliation with a political party."

Unless FactCheck.org is affiliated with a political party, then I suggest revising the lede to simply be: "FactCheck.org is a non-partisan nonprofit[2] website that describes itself as a "'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics"." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.228.118.114 (talk) 17:16, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

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