PolitiFact's editor Bill Adair has responded to the flurry his fact-checking operation set off when it named the Democrats' claim that Republicans "voted to end Medicare" its "lie of the year." Critics of the decision, mostly liberals, had a lot to say about it: that the lie of the year wasn't a lie, that Politifact was just trying too hard to appear "balanced," etc. But Adair stands by the decision, attributes the backlash to the partisan echo chamber his site is meant to counteract, and fiercely defends PolitiFact and its mission. He even addresses some of the critics in recent days by name:
The most over-the-top response (was it tongue-in-cheek?) was a rant from Jim Newell in Gawker under the headline "Why PolitiFact is bad for you." He conveniently ignored the fact that our fact-checks are based on hours of journalistic research and portrayed them as the work of rogue bloggers with a gimmicky meter.
"PolitiFact is dangerous," he said.
Really? It's dangerous to put independently researched information in the hands of the citizenry?
Unsurprisingly, the army of writers who criticized the initial PoiltiFact post are not in the least appeased by this news or the way Adair chose to explain it. "Politifact responds to factual criticisms of its work with ad hominem whining. Sad," tweets Slate's Dave Weigel. "This is pathetic and hilarious," tweets Salon's Alex Pareene. So then, controversy definitely NOT resolved.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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