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MoPOP at dusk, Seattle

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Grand Old Prevaricators


Press Release
May 28, 2013
Contact: Katy Davis

Study: Media Fact-Checker Says Republicans Lie More

A leading media fact-checking organization rates Republicans as less trustworthy than Democrats, according to a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University. The study finds that PolitiFact.com has rated Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims during President Obama’s second term. Republicans continue to get worse marks in recent weeks, despite controversies over Obama administration statements on Benghazi, the IRS and the AP.
According to CMPA President Dr Robert Lichter, “While Republicans see a credibility gap in the Obama administration, PolitiFact rates Republicans as the less credible party.”

The study examined 100 statements involving factual claims by Democrats (46 claims) and Republicans (54 claims), which were fact-checked by PolitiFact.com during the four month period from the start of President Obama’s second term on January 20 through May 22, 2013.

Major findings:
PolitiFact rated 32% of Republican claims as “false” or “pants on fire,” compared to 11% of Democratic claims – a 3 to 1 margin. Conversely, Politifact rated 22% of Democratic claims as “entirely true” compared to 11% of Republican claims – a 2 to 1 margin.
A majority of Democratic statements (54%) were rated as mostly or entirely true, compared to only 18% of Republican statements. Conversely, a majority of Republican statements (52%) were rated as mostly or entirely false, compared to only 24% of Democratic statements.
Despite controversies over Obama administration statements regarding Benghazi, the IRS and the Associated Press, Republicans have continued to fare worse than Democrats, with 60% of their claims rated as false so far this month (May 1 – May 22), compared to 29% of Democratic statements – a 2 to 1 margin.
This study’s findings are similar to those of a previous CMPA study, which found that PolitiFact gave more negative ratings to the Romney campaign than the Obama campaign during the 2012 presidential election campaign.
Examples of PolitiFact ratings:
Pants on Fire: Michele Bachmann decries “huge national database” run by IRS with "personal, intimate" details. (May 15, 2013)
True: Obama says bipartisan background check plan “outlawed any (gun) registry.” (April 17, 2013)

The Center for Media and Public Affairs is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization, which is affiliated with George Mason University. It has monitored news coverage of every presidential election and every new administration since 1988. For CMPA findings on the Obama administration see: cmpa.com

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