Something Odd Emerges When Fact Checking The "Fact Checkers"

Tyler Durden's picture

The American electorate has never been more divided with people having wide ranging opinions on which party/candidate would be best for the future of the country.  Certainly economic and other facts help guide those opinions but, in the end, the decision is also based on the subjective views of each voter.  

But, for Politifact, apparently even the facts are subjective and based on party affiliation.  Take the following example:

On July 6, 2015, Bernie Sanders made the following comment about Black youth unemployment in the United States:

"For young people who have graduated high school or dropped out of high school, who are between the ages of 17 and 20, if they happen to be white, the unemployment rate is 33 percent.  If they are Hispanic, the unemployment rate is 36 percent. If they are African-American, the real unemployment rate for young people is 51 percent."

Shortly after that comment was made, Politifact decided to "fact check" Bernie's assertion that black youth unemployment was sky high and found that it was "Mostly True."

Sanders said that for African-Americans between the ages of 17 and 20, "the real unemployment rate … is 51 percent." His terminology was off, but the numbers he used check out, and his general point was correct -- that in an apples-to-apples comparison, African-American youth have significantly worse prospects in the job market than either Hispanics or whites do. The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information, so we rate it Mostly True.

The problem is that when Donald Trump made a similar assertion at a rally on June 11, 2016, Politifact's "fact checking" analysis had a slightly different conclusion.  Here is what Trump said:

"If you look at what’s going on in this country, African-American youth is an example: 59 percent unemployment rate; 59 percent."

But this time around Politifact claimed that "Trump exaggerates" the level of black youth unemployment through a "misleading use of statistics."  Politifact concludes that Trumps comments are therefore "Mostly False."

The unemployment rate is a widely used term with a specific definition: It refers to the percentage of jobless people in the workforce who are actively seeking employment. In May, the unemployment rate for blacks ages 16 to 24 was 18.7 percent, or less than one-third of Trump’s claim.

Wait, now it is 18.7% when Politi"fact" said a year prior that Benie's 51% claim was "mostly true?"


Both candidates were referring to studies like the one below from the Economic Policy Institute which attempt to find true unemployment rates based on the number of people employed to the total population adjusted for those still enrolled in continuing education.  On this basis, true white youth unemployment is in the mid-30s while black youth unemployment is in the low-50s after hovering around 60% for several years.

Unemployment by Race

Politifact was able to "recall" this study when "fact checking" Bernie but, like Hillary in an FBI interview, they "did not recall" the study when fact checking Trump. 

We rate Politifact's fact-checking Mostly Biased.

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Tallest Skil's picture

Aha! Hang on, I have more.

Lying about JUST Trump:

Lying when comparing Trump to others:

Ignatius's picture

Bill Clinton deregulated big media in '96, and now they've tied a knot in it.


knukles's picture

They won't need to fact check it because it's from a disreputable scandal sheet integral to the great right wing conspiracy ...

Oh, the Donald has sooooooooo much to go on.
It's gonna be Yuuuuuuuuuuooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooge

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

MSM has become a yapping liberal lap dog. Most people ignore it.

JRobby's picture

They are a faction of liars in a society of pathological liars.

Fact check all you wish.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Would anyone in their right mind trust an organization called: "Politifact?"


Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

We live in a world of universal deceit, so anyone who claims to have lots of facts, doesn't. The best anyone can do is squeeze out a few here and there.

greenskeeper carl's picture

But, but, but, they said they are nonpartisan.....

Vatican_cameo's picture


My Factchecker needle for the media wavers between "Mostly Bullshit" and "Completely Delusional".

zeronetwork's picture

Afghanistan is a landlocked country. Mostly Afghani traveling to Afghanistan disembark at Pakistan airports and enter Afghanistan through unmanned boarder crossings. legally they never go out of Pakistan.

knukles's picture

What was the name or names of any of the acts that he got passed to allow that to happen?
I've forgotten.  Near us out here in CA there's the Hunter Liggett base.  Which once was all the private property of Hearst (Hearst Castle, Rosebud) which was appropriated by FDR in retaliation for Hearst's nationwide massive control of much press and radio (Including some very powerful stations from mid-west transmitting almost all over the US at night) wherein his editorials vehemently opposed any US involvement in WW2.
So they broke' em up.

Just like they had to break up Ma Bell ....  Er wait...

Is that where "Break it if you got it!" comes from?

Ignatius's picture

1996 Telecommunications Act, I think.

Clinton is on record afterward as saying, "Yeah, maybe we went too far on that."

Fuck, I hate these people.

Hadn't heard about that Hearst history.  Interesting.

knukles's picture

Thank you Ignatious.
You're very kind.

Mr. Universe's picture

Hearst was a fuckwad of epic proportions.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Brought us the yellow journalism.  That makes him a real (fuckwad) leader.

ThirteenthFloor's picture

Telecommunications Act (Reform Bill) of 1996 was very damaging in many ways. Media Ownership became concentrated("orgy of mergers"), CALEA starting monitoring phone calls, and more...

Media Monopoly Ben Bagdikian
Mind Managers Herb Schiller

GreatUncle's picture

The narrative changes depending on the focus.

This election has really revealed that concept that the MSM now is a load of bollocks, ditto the FBI. How you going to sell your propoganda or concept of justice when everybody knows it is total bullshit?

You don't, a step down, from here on in the social structure changes.

1. You know you are a slave.

2. You know all the pretence in the world is not going to change anything.

One more step down, really turn up the military complex should do it there will be nothing left to save. Burn the lot!

NiggaPleeze's picture

Can one fact-check the fact-checkers of the fact-checkers?

If not, apologies in advance, as I did it for one of the points in the "when comparing Trump to others" graphic ... just 'cuz.

I looked at the video that supposedly supports The Donald's claim of seeing dancing Muslims in Jersey on 9/11.  Turns out, it's a CNN (AC360) report from November 11, 2009 about two "converts" to Islam (one who was born Joseph Leonard Cohen in Queens and who had studied at an Orthodox Rabinnical School in Israel, no less) who formed a radical group called Revolution Islam and preached some nonsense outside a mosque in NYC years after 9/11.  Oh, but the report does state that they believe "9/11 was justified".  (And, the converted Jew was later arrested for being an anti-Semite.)

Nigga, pleeze ....

Boscovius's picture

I think Donald was confused and was actually referring to the dancing Mossad Agents who had cameras set up and filmed the whole thing as it happened.

johngaltfla's picture

Politifact was started by the St Petersburg Times and is owned by one of the most flaming liberal groups in America. I dismiss almost everything in that newspaper which is considered local to me as to the left of the old USSR Pravda publication.

It's pathetic this election when people are sold lies by the Republicans and Democrats and their "icons" and people beleive them and the fact checkers.

Ted Cruz's latest BS is a prime example of it:

The Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Supreme Court Fallacy
Father ¢hristmas's picture

I haven't read the Tampa Bay Times or  TBT* since Trump was about to clinch the primary.  I know they've been on their period for the past year, probably.

Creative_Destruct's picture

"PolitiLeft", as I call it, is indeed owned by a liberal rag (Tampa Bay Times now, formerly St Pete Times). Incredibly biased. They bought out the Tampa Trib which went under, but was at  least tolerable.

"Dump on Trump" is a religious crusade for them, as is "Hype-up Hillary." Disgusting slanted POS.

centerline's picture

And those are facts. 

Politifact is a disgrace.  Its about as factual as the federal resereve is federal.  Political... well, they got that one right.

The_Dude's picture article is meandering garbage.  You need to get your head examined and understand the difference between the real conservatives and the spineless RINOs that are selling the country out.  You seem to have a lot of bile directed at those that actually have a spine and are trying to fight, espousing that they are the sellouts.

moonshadow's picture

Just fact-checking you- isn't Politifact operated by the Tampa Bay Times? That's where I usually read it...

EDIT: my bad, I read on to another comment and understand the evolution now

jcaz's picture


They found blacks with jobs????

tmosley's picture

Drug dealing, prostitution, and President of the United States apparently count.

Lurk Skywatcher's picture

What is their definition of "job"?

I bet its not what you think it is.

Everything is fucking semantics these days.


adampeart's picture

Yes, they're the ones who have a chip the size of a fire log on their shoulders at the Wendy's drive-thru.

dearth vader's picture

Not to stir a hornets nest, but when slavery was the rule, black youth unemployment was at zero, as were obesity, diabetes, internecine killing and plundering.

CNONC's picture

I think that qualifies as stirring. 

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

But Bernays Propaganda is alive and well.

Did you know that Edward Bernays and Sigmund Freud were related? By bloodline, and clan.

Chandos's picture

Yes....and did you know that Murray C. Bernays was one of the chief instigators of the sham Nuremberg trial?

To be more precise - and from what I could gather - they were brothers-in-law...Murray (((Cohen))) having decided

to take the surname of his wife, Hella F. Bernays, Edward's sister and Sigmund Freud's niece....

wmbz's picture

Your are correct! "Journalism is dead"

However it has long been dead. In fact I doubt few if any know the true definition of the word.

koan's picture

Just wanted to point out something occurring in the UK (and soon to be in the US?) with control of the Internet moving to international hands how much longer will we be able to discuss what is actually occurring?

css1971's picture

It's trivial to work round.

NiggaPleeze's picture

Nigga, pleeze ....

The move to permit ICAAN to be controlled by international stakeholders will have no effect whatsoever on free speech on the internet.

What ICAAN does, essentially, is provide the "base" of the mechanism that translates a domain (say to an IP address (say,  When you type "" in your browser window, your browser first has to convert that name to an IP address (, and then it sends a request to that IP address.  The conversion is done using a server called a nameserver, and ICAAN is essentially the root of the nameserver system.

When a government censors (blocks) an entire website, it interferes in this look-up process.  For example, Russia recently blocked PornHub (yikes!); to do this they simply modify how the look-up process works so that instead of returning the correct IP address of PornHub (, they return the IP address of the government censure agency computers.  As a backup, they can also update the routers on their Internet backbone so that requests made to are redirected to the government censure agency computers too - but this approach is less desirable since that same IP address may host many different domains / websites and these would be blocked as well.

Blocking Internet traffic based on content of a transmission requires deep packet inspection, and this type of censorship is completely independent of ICAAN and the domain name translation system.

In short, ICAAN just provides the default (i.e., overridable) root part of the internet domain-to-IP-address translation system.  Each country can override ICAAN wherever it pleases by controlling its own routers and nameservers.  Hence the change neither increases nor decreases the ability to censor speech.  At most, it may somewhat influence the future creation of top-level domains (such as .tv, .sex, .property, etc.) (the original TLDs were .com, .net, .org, .mil, .int,. .edu, .gov and .arpa).

It's all a tempest in a teapot, and both Cruz and Trump are wrong.

Catullus's picture

What is politico? Is that like a blog that only people inside the beltway read?

Supafly's picture

51 to 59 is a bit of a stretch.  They should fact check BLS.

adampeart's picture

I'm assuming, as ZH has in this article, that Trump's big sin was citing an a statistic that was 100% accurate in 2013. What a horrible liar he is!

Supafly's picture

Plenty of other examples of him being spot on and discredited.  I wouldn't defend him on this one, though his assertion was probably closer than most others' would be.

SubjectivObject's picture

Gangbangers have jobs too.

As gangbangers.

harleyjohn45's picture

Don't most politicians cite statistics?  You can prove anything with statistics.

El Vaquero's picture

Trump said black youths.  That chart says "young high school graduates," which is a broader category than just black youths.  59% is entirely possible.