Donald Trump

Facts Still Matter, but They Don't Change Many Voters' Minds

Fact-checking reduced voter misperceptions but had no discernible effects on their candidate preferences.

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Good news: Facts still matter. Or at least they do in political science experiments.

In the experiments, participants looked at various claims floating around the political world, including the assertions that solar power employs more people than does the oil industry (asserted by Hillary Clinton), that immigrants commit crimes disproportionately to native-borns (declared by Donald Trump), and that more violence is being committed against the police (alleged by Ted Cruz). As it happens, all of those claims are false, and the experiments showed that people's views tend to become more accurate after reading information correcting the politicians' specious claims. Hooray, right?

Not so fast. Yet more research finds that facts don't seem to matter much when it comes to people's attitudes about the politicians they favor, at least in the context of a hotly contested presidential campaign.

In a forthcoming paper, University of Michigan political scientist Brendan Nyhan and his colleagues sought to answer a key question: When presented with a realistic fact-check of a false statement made by a candidate, will people not only revise their factual beliefs but also alter their attitudes toward the candidate?

The researchers looked at the effects of journalistic fact-checks of two claims made by Donald Trump, one during his convention speech and the other during the first general election debate. The surveys they drew on were conducted during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. This means that neither the researchers collecting the data nor the survey participants knew at the time who the winner of the 2016 campaign would be.

In his convention speech, Trump claimed America was under assault from a dangerous and rising tide of violent crime. As evidence, an annotated speech released by the campaign cites (among other things) a January 2016 Washington Post story that reported a 17 percent increase in homicides in the country's 50 largest cities. Yet when Trump gave his speech, the most recent FBI data (from 2014) said the national murder rate was at a record low of 4.5 per 100,000 people. It subsequently ticked up in 2016 to what it was in 2008 (5.4 per 100,000), then dropped back in 2018 to where it was in 2009 (5.0 per 100,000).

The fact-check used in the study states, "According to FBI's Bureau of Justice Statistics, the violent crime rate has fallen dramatically and consistently over time. According to their estimates, the homicide rate in the U.S. in 2015 was half that recorded in 1991."

The second Trump claim involved job losses in Michigan and Ohio during the first presidential debate. The candidate said: "Thousands of jobs [are] leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They're all leaving." That turns out to have been old news. In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in the past year Ohio had gained 78,300 jobs and Michigan had gained 75,800; their respective unemployment rates stood at 4.7 and 4.9 percent. (The national unemployment rate in August 2016 was 4.9 percent.)

The fact-check for this claims states: "In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment has fallen in both Michigan and Ohio. Both states each saw 70,000 new jobs over the last year."

In the first survey, more than 4,000 participants read a story citing Trump's claim about a rising crime wave. Some read an uncorrected story, another group read a story with the correction included, and another group read the correction along with a disparagement of the accuracy of FBI statistics from Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who claimed the FBI statistics are suspect because the agency had failed to charge Clinton over the private email server scandal.

"Though Trump's supporters were more likely than Clinton's to believe that crime had increased or not declined significantly over the previous ten years, corrective information reduced misperceptions among supporters of both candidates," report the researchers. By how much? After reading the story with the correction, the perceived level of crime dropped on a five-point scale from an average of 4.17 to 3.31 for Trump voters and from an average of 3.3 to 2.7 for Clinton voters. The views of both Trump and Clinton voters about crime rates became more accurate when presented with factual information.

Among people who read the story that included Manafort's comments, the perceived level of crime dropped from 4.17 to only 3.62 among Trump supporters, from 3.3 to 2.9 for Clinton voters. This suggests that whataboutism can work.

But none of this changed how people viewed the candidate. The participants were asked to rate him on a five-point favorability/unfavorability scale before and after reading the fact-check. The researchers found "no significant effects of the fact-check on favorability toward Trump regardless of respondents' candidate preference." They conclude: "Fact-checks can still spur people to hold more factually accurate beliefs. However, these changes in belief accuracy do not seem to lead to corresponding changes in attitudes toward the candidate being fact-checked."

And the second claim? Around 1,500 participants sorted into Trump and Clinton supporters were asked in advance to watch the first presidential debate and to respond to a survey that closed at noon the day after. The participants were also surveyed five days later. The researchers again found that "fact-checking reduced misperceptions but had no discernible effects on participants' candidate preferences, including supporters of the candidate who had been fact-checked."

The authors acknowledge some limitations on their research:

First, we did not test a fact-check of a Clinton misstatement and cannot evaluate how her supporters would have reacted. Second, Trump was infamous for extreme exaggerations and misstatements, which may have made some respondents receptive to fact-checking but also prepared his supporters to rationalize their continued support for him.

In 2016, journalist Salena Zito famously summed up reactions to Trump's constant stream of hyperbole and lies: "The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally." These studies seemy to bolster that idea. As the researchers write, "Trump supporters took fact-checks literally, but not seriously enough to affect how they felt toward their preferred candidate."

This is disturbing. If politicians suffer essentially no diminution of support from being wrong and/or lying, they'll have no reason to hew to the truth. And the proliferation of lies debases public discourse and inflames partisan passions.

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  1. //If politicians suffer essentially no diminution of support from being wrong and/or lying, they’ll have no reason to hew to the truth. //

    That is one part of the equation. The other part it that the people claiming politicians are lying (i.e. the media and journalists) are often little better in their relationship to the truth than the politicians.

    People would also have an easier time being skeptical of Trump if every single headline, every single day, from every single major media network, stopped insisting that it’s the end of the world because Trumped picked a wedgie out of his ass. It isn’t that people don’t care about facts as much as they used to; it’s that the constant onslaught of exaggerated coverage has lowered desensitized them.

    When you scream about nuclear disaster brewing outside your home, a carbon monoxide leak in your bedroom doesn’t seem so bad.

    1. Then there’s the “fact checkers” who require a great deal of checking on themselves

      1. Fact checks tend to be the fakest of #FakeNews, as they combine political mendacity with incompetence in knowing how to precisely express facts, particularly statistics.

        It’s infuriating to see this kind of verbal diarrhea self righteously masquerading as “fact-checking”.

        In fact-checking as in everything else, Leftists Always Project their sins and failings on the Right.

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        3. Especially when fact-checks ignore some of the facts to paint the picture they like. Claiming that the most recent murder statistics in 2016 were from 2014, so Trump was wrong about crime going up ignores there was a spike in Homicides in 2016, Chicago’s murders soared from 468 in 2015 to 762 in 2016, in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign.

          The fact that is was a one year blip doesn’t make Trumps actual statement false, or the issue manufactured. People can read the papers and make some judgements without only having recourse to 2 year old FBI crime statistics.

      2. “First, we did not test a fact-check of a Clinton misstatement and cannot evaluate how her supporters would have reacted.”

        That says it all. They weren’t studying whether correcting misstatements could change political outcomes. They were studying how much indoctrination would be needed to get Republicans to vote Democratic.

        Anybody without a bone to pick would have tested misstatements by both sides.

    2. I won’t argue with the comment that every day of Trumps version of the office of president, builds up to a constant stress level that people tune out. But I also feel strongly that Trump has shown ample evidence he has a deal with Putin, and Moscow Mitch and the GOP are in on it, to decompose democracy, the rule of law, ethics, truth, our constitution, human rights and more.

      The problem is magnified as we the people let ourselves become divided, as that is what they want. I can easily imagine a bunch of people that support him no matter what he lies about. saying after we lose our democracy and he declares himself King, “How the Hell did we miss this?”.

      Our planetary health has given way to special interest groups & dark money who fund their elections and maybe more. Can we afford to even risk this loss of clean air, water, species and a livable planet? HELL NO! So time for people that prefer Russia to visit there and people that prefer a democracy that works better, time to stand tall, reason through things and make sure our votes count.

        1. You’d hope so, but the Left really is a giant hivemind of mass psychosis

          1. I looked for the word ‘clinger’ and saw none. Guess it can’t be Kirkland. 🙂

            1. I guess that you are right hobby nutten You have free chat credits for this one

        2. No. Parody is ridiculous when referring to Trumpian buttkissers. They’ll follow Dear Leader anywhere. 80% of Evangelicals, for example, support this philanderer and probable child rapist. I ask you… how can you parody that? I tried, but gave it up.

          1. Lacking talent will do that to you

          2. You’re a stupid piece of shit, so you failed.

            Stupid failures tend to fail.

      1. Maybe, if UnityFollowsValues’ post isn’t parody, the writer should look at the fact that the anti-Trump cadre are the ones, who most attempted to curry favor with Russia. Something a two year probe by like-minded people turned up zero evidence of.
        That it was the left, who had most admired Russia, when it was the anti-democratic Soviet Union and who have been in a concerted effort to undo what our representative republic decided, through a democratic process, who should be the leader of the country.
        And that, on this subject, it is the anti-Trump side, that has been proven to have told all of the lies.

    3. Facts versus opinions? Perhaps Mr Bailey will inform himself about the physical and atmospheric properties of CO2.

      1. Don’t hold your breath.

  2. Since we are talking about voters and facts, I’ll just leave this here:

    https://www.justfacts.com/news_2019_survey_voter_knowledge

    “Among 8 of the 10 questions in which the electorate was most deluded, the wrong answers they gave accorded with progressive storylines propagated by the media. Moreover, these answers were often far removed from reality, not just slightly mistaken.”

    1. That is not surprising. But, come on! Cut them some slack. There’s LITERALLY children in cages being tortured and forced to drink from toilets at the border. Don’t be a monster.

      1. And a Trump is LITERALLY Hitler, too!

      2. Yea, well, climate change causes a lot of horrible things.
        The only solution is to throw wads of cash at the sky

        1. But only from ground level because throwing cash out of airplanes to reduce carbon emissions is self defeating.

        2. I think he’s worse. It does not take a mental genius to recognize that Trump has a clear agenda and that is to be a dictator. He refuses to listen to advice, work with the constitution and he shows zero respect despite all his lies and self praise. I do not know if some that tell me America is getting dumber as one that grew up with street smarts and street creds, I can see through things. It’s like all in the GOP took classes on deflection, spin, alternative truths as Jim Jordan and Collins are poster child’s for.

          The longer we wait, the deeper the hole we have to dig out of. Hold all these violators and those complicit fully accountable for mistrust, greed and control in government. Charge them to clean it all up. Take the money spent on manipulative TV ads few like, and work with media to shape a true solution for a system under attack by those who would rather rule us than treat us fairly.

          1. “It does not take a mental genius”

            It sure doesn’t…

          2. UFV, did you not see the link that Overt provided, where the overwhelming number of people, who are wrong and have been victims of deflection, spin and alternative truths are believing what is clearly coming from promulgators of mistrust, greed and control in government – your leftist comrades?
            You’ve got things completely backwards.

    2. Eh – this is a little bit misleading. For example, here’s one of the questions, and their analysis:

      Question 18: On an average day, what portion of U.S. households with children do you believe will have at least one child who experiences hunger? Less than 1%, 1% to 10%, or more than 10%?

      Correct Answer: Less than 1%. Per the latest data from the USDA, 0.14% or less than one out of every 700 U.S. households with children have any child who experiences hunger on an average day. This includes children who are hungry due to poverty, not those who skip meals because they are late for school, don’t feel like eating, or are trying to lose weight.

      Note that the question asked how many kids experience hunger, NOT about how many kids experience hunger _due to poverty_. So if I had taken this survey and answered “1% to 10%” because I was including kids who occasionally skipped meals as “experiencing hunger”, I would have been counted wrong on this survey.

      So their survey wasn’t terribly well designed, I think.

      1. A*little* removed from your point, but this deserves to be better known.

        1. Ha. Well done.

        2. Damn that was good. Thank you for that.

      2. You would have answered stupidly, as usual, because it is obvious what the question is trying to ask, food scarcity and availability. it isn’t a survey for number of anorexics.

        1. People respond to the question that is actually asked, not to the question that you think was asked. Because people can’t read your mind.

          The question didn’t ask about hunger *due to poverty*. It asked about hunger.

          1. I think most people actually respond to the question they think you asked.

            1. That’s right. That’s why “trick questions” fool people, and why they trip up smarter people more than dullards. Brighter people can’t resist helping the questioner by trying to answer the question they thought was “really” asked, while duller people are more likely to take the question at face value.

          2. So they’re not only deluded, they’re very stupid?

            For once, I agree

          3. Fat kids are always hungry we probably have the fattest poor kids in the world.

          4. Jeff is correct Jesse! Now, sit back down, raise your hand and wait to be called on. Then we all can pretend we know what you’re thinking!

            1. Jesse is thinking lies as usual!

              Jesse thinks that “words cannot be crimes”.

              I’m STILL awaiting his results from his test of this theory of his, wherein he threatens elected officials with violence, and sees what happens as a result. Maybe Jesse has already done this, and is writing his posts from jail, as a result? But jailbird will NOT admit it?

              Jesse made his bed,
              Jesse made his bed,
              Lie in it, Jesse!
              Lie in it!
              (I know, I know, Jesse… You’ll keep right on doing it, whether anyone cheers you on, or not… And your vastly over-fed ego makes you UTTERLY incapable of EVER admitting error!)

              1. Lol. The fucking idiots leading the idiots.

                1. Tell us all about your adventures, jailbird!

                  1. Squirrelly, you really need to end your own life. Quit procrastinating.

                    1. Shitlords for Drinking the Kool-Aid! Libertarians for suicide! Can you FEEL the appeal?! For Satanists, at least…

      3. chemjeff radical individualist
        January.10.2020 at 4:01 pm
        Eh – this is a little bit misleading

        It’s not, but you did find the one question that conforms to your ignorant bullshit

        1. Question 8: Do you think the federal government spends more money on social programs, such as Medicare, education, and food stamps—or does the federal government spend more money on national defense, such as the Army, Navy, and missile defense?

          Correct Answer: Social programs. In 2018, 62% of federal spending was for social programs, and 18% was for national defense. In 1960, the opposite was true, and 53% of federal spending was for national defense, while 21% was for social programs. Reporters sometimes mislead the public about the composition of federal spending by using a subset of spending that omits the vast majority of social programs.

          Correct answer given by 36% of all voters, 14% of Democrat voters, 59% of Trump voters, 40% of males, 33% of females, 23% of 18 to 34 year olds, 36% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 41% of 65+ year olds

        2. Question 15: Without government subsidies, which of these technologies do you think is the least expensive method for generating electricity? Wind turbines, solar panels, or natural gas power plants?

          Correct Answer: Natural gas power plants. Determining the costs of electricity-generating technologies is complex, but data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that natural gas is considerably less expensive than wind, and wind is considerably less expensive than solar. Affordable energy has many important benefits, and for poorer people, it can mean the difference between life and death.

          Correct answer given by 40% of all voters, 23% of Democrat voters, 57% of Trump voters, 53% of males, 29% of females, 25% of 18 to 34 year olds, 43% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 41% of 65+ year olds

          1. Pretty clear that male Trump voters aged 35 and up should be in charge. Of taking surveys about facts and stuff.

            1. It’s just data.
              What you do with that data is on you

          2. It is disappointing to see how bad everyone across the board is at knowing facts. Further, why is the split between democrats and Trump voters? For parity, wouldn’t it be dems and reps?

            1. I think it’s a more accurate split.
              But from the perspective of the poll, they’re looking at the influence of factual knowledge on candidate choice.
              Trump is obviously a candidate, but the Ds don’t have one yet.
              So the demographic split doesn’t care about party affiliation, only candidate choice.
              In this case I’d imagine the participants were asked who they planned to vote for, leading to the split between”Trump” and “Democrat X”

      4. Sorry, jeff, but Trump voters consistently outperformed the average and your comrades consistently underperformed

        1. Stop it. Jeff is neutral.

      5. I would have guessed “nearly 50%”. As would anyone who ever lived and had to feed teenagers boys.

    3. “46% for Trump voters
      43% for males
      41% for 35 to 64 year olds
      38% for 65+ year olds
      37% for 18 to 34 year olds
      36% for females
      32% for Democrat voters”

    4. Interesting read on just facts

    5. Ok, you try to parody All these apologists for Trump’s bullshit and lies. Harder than you think.

      1. Harder than *you* are capable of. Which ain’t much.

  3. No shit. People can’t vote for specific policies, because they get just one vote, period.

    People vote for personalities because that is the only thing they can vote for.

    That’s why Trump won, and nobody seems to understand that. He speaks his mind far more “honestly” than any other politician, and compared to Hillary, his “honesty” was far closer to real. Same thing for all the current crop of circus clowns.

    1. Donald (and Trumpistas) simply cannot or will not recognize the central illusion of politics… You can pussy-grab all of the people some of the time, and you can pussy-grab some of the people all of the time, but you cannot pussy-grab all of the people all of the time! Sooner or later, karma catches up, and the others will pussy-grab you right back!

      Pussy grabbers for Trump!!!!

      1. “You can pussy-grab all of the people some of the time, and you can pussy-grab some of the people all of the time, but you cannot pussy-grab all of the people all of the time! Sooner or later, karma catches up, and the others will pussy-grab you right back!”

        Not seeing the downside here, SQRLS.

        1. Being pussy-grabbed is all A-OK when you WANT to be pussy-grabbed!

          I’m not finding, via “The Google”, what I was looking for… I have read that if you’re a super-stud handsome Dude, you are FAR less likely to be “called on it” when you hit on some random babe! (Than if you’re a way-ugly old poor fart).

          Be rich and handsome! And-or politically powerful! And Stormy Daniels WILL sit on your lap, and more! If NOT? Prepare to be sued and prosecuted!

          Here’s the best I could cum up with:

          https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/24/us/politics/jean-carroll-trump.html
          ‘She’s Not My Type’: Accused Again of Sexual Assault, Trump Resorts to Old Insult

          1. From the point of view of the pussy politicians, who doesn’t want to be pussy grabbed?

            Can you imagine Trump and Pelosi getting into a good grab ass?

            Both would be realizing their dreams.

            The lawsuits would simply be gravy.

            1. “Can you imagine Trump and Pelosi getting into a good grab ass?”

              Is there video? Asking for a friend!

              What will Melania say? Also… Is there video of Trump and Pelosi and Hillary and Maggie “Iron Pants” Thatcher? (Once again, asking for a friend-fiend, fiend-friend, or all of the above). (PPS, including Bill Clinton and Monica in a blue dress would be OK by me, oh, I mean, by my friend, ass well).

              https: …

              //www.reddit.com/r/
              …. MensRights/comments/e3vlr1/attractive_men_less_likely_to_be_accused_of/

              Attractive men less likely to be accused of inappropriate advances

              https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-019-00215-y

              Oppression or Opportunity? Sexual Strategies and the Perception of Sexual Advances

              Ugly men keep it in yer pants! Cute and powerful and rich men? Cum up and SEE my some time, says Stormy Daniels! And here cums The Donald!

              1. TDS on display.
                Fuck off and seek help.

                1. Pro-Trump TDS is a FAR greater hazard to living things, than anti-Trump realism is!

                  1. “anti-Trump realism”

                    Bwahahahahahahaha!

                    Seriously the last time there was even a tiny fragment of realism in American politics was 7/4/1776.

              2. “Attractive men less likely to be accused of inappropriate advances”
                Donald’s point exactly.

                1. Yes, he was literally commenting on how much you could get away with as a wealthy reality show star. Key point: “get away with”.

              3. “Is there video? Asking for a friend!”

                I hope not. I’ll take things you can’t unsee for $1000 Alex.

          2. “Being pussy-grabbed is all A-OK when you WANT to be pussy-grabbed!”
            That’s exactly what Trump said.
            He didn’t say he did grab pussies, but that women, who want access to celebrity and power “will let you” grab their pussies to get that access.
            All the criticism of Trump as “pussy grabber” are a lie, based on an interpretation of what he said, that doesn’t conform with the actual spoken words.

            1. I believe there’s a LOT of truth in what you say here… For the LITERAL pussy-grabbing. It’s the metaphorical pussy-grabbing that I object to. In the case of rich and powerful men, to what extent their power has been unrightfully grabbed from us, the pussy-grabbing is done at our expense! (Even if the free wills of the female sluts for power and wealth are NOT violated by the make sluts for power and wealth).

              The Donald made much of his money by going bankrupt (stiffing his creditors). That’s metaphorical pussy-grabbing in my book! And there is FAR more, to include his rip-off of a “reality school”, AKA, “get rich quick like me” school.

              I think voters (many of them, especially at the “R” primaries, where there were better choices) voted for Trump, because he was a time-tested metaphorical pussy-grabber for himself and his family… So why NOT have Trump be the metaphorical pussy-grabber in CHIEF for the USA, pussy-grabbing other nations for us, in endless trade wars and border wars, and so forth!

              For a more complete list, see http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

              “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet”

              1. We get it: you’re psychotic.
                We’ve known that for a long time

              2. Don’t need a “Cheat Sheet” to know what a raving lunatic you are.
                DIAF.

                1. Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

                  You are sitting on a GOLD MINE with your EXTREMELY persuasive writing talents!!!

      2. I didn’t care about Clinton’s pussy grabbing, and I’m not going to start caring about it now.

        (Normal adults know how to deal with pussy grabs anyway without running to the government for help.)

        1. If you get raped, just hire the local vigilantes to take care of things, then? Murder, the same? Hatfields and McCoys, anyone?

          Speaking of fiddles and fiddlesticks and kerfluffleddicks…
          Lemme lay on ya, some alternative history schmistory…
          Fiddlin’ Around with the Hatfields & the McCoys…

          Y’all ever hear of the Hatfields or McCoys? There in down-home Appalachia?
          You’ve read your “alternate history” books, yes? HarryTurtledove, etc.? I’ve been thinking of writing fiction like that… But I need a history expert to help me out! Anyone out there game to co-authoring a work of such fiction with Yours Truly?
          So here, check this out: The Hatfields and the McCoys get in a spat, just like in our timeline… Except they don’t shoot and kill each other, they challenge each other to a down-home, ol’-time country hoe-down, fiddle contest. Each family puts up their finest 8 or 10 fiddlers, to go at it, spelling one another (per each family team) through vacations, eating, sleeping, and potty breaks, so that the fiddling contest can go on and on and on… This is the song that never ends, my friends, and it goes on and on… Till the losing side gives up, or it goes on… FOREVER!
          So I’m first-off, looking for a good working title…
          I’m thinking…
          I’m a-thinkin’…



          “The Endless Cycle of Violins” might work!

          1. If you get raped, just hire the local vigilantes to take care of things, then?

            Are you too ignorant to understand the difference between “rape” and “pussy grabbing”?

            1. Are you too ignorant to understand the difference between “rape” and the Intergalactic SmegmeeGronoids eating (eating ALIVE!) all living beings on the planet Earth?

          2. Don’t know about that SQRLSY

            But you got your theme song here for the project

            https://youtu.be/wBjPAqmnvGA

            1. Thanks! Good tunes!!!

              Also very good for Southern Country tunes is Leroy Troy, Ghost Chickens in the Sky!

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkdci55adqk

    2. I think the average Trump voter knows that the man is likely to fire off some uninformed bullshit from time to time. The fact that’s he’s factually wrong on occasion doesn’t matter to them.

      This result seemed to look primarily at Trump voters. I suspect you’d find the same with Bernie bros, but you might find opinions swayed if you looked at voters in the Democratic primaries choosing between candidates.

      1. Not to say it wouldn’t work in a Republican primary, but there’s no point in the presidential republican primary this year with an incumbent president.

  4. “This is disturbing. If politicians suffer essentially no diminution of support from being wrong and/or lying, they’ll have no reason to hew to the truth.”

    And this is new???

    Trump was elected to be a bomb and alter or abolish DC jobs. Does anyone care if the bomb lies?

    No.

    We only care that the Trump bomb symbolically goes boom and large enough to create a crater where DC jobs used to be.

    1. >>Trump was elected to be a bomb

      word. i love it.

      1. Rinse and repeat across the board. Would the world really end if the Federal government workforce was shrunk to 1984 levels? I mean, I know it was really tough back then… 🙂

        1. How about 1830 levels…

  5. It’s hard to believe that politically weaponized fact checking articles aren’t moving the needle.

    1. Hard to believe that people keep writing credulous articles about fact-checking as an honest and neutral pursuit.

  6. Yet more research finds that facts don’t seem to matter much when it comes to people’s attitudes about the politicians they favor, at least in the context of a hotly contested presidential campaign.

    A modest proposal: Use (something like) “Watson” as one of the debate mediators. Three strikes and you’re out.

    1. That would be pretty funny. I might actually watch one.

      Or have Trump for the moderator; he’s got TV experience. I might actually pay a buck or two to watch that.

      1. Trump would be great. “You’re fired … UP tonight!”

  7. People always talk about voting for the lesser of two evils. So it makes a lot of sense that people wouldn’t switch their candidate of choice just because you caught that candidate in a lie.

    People already know their preferred politician lies. That’s baked in. What matters is that that other politician lied worse/more! This is not a uniquely Trump thing, either.

    1. People already know their preferred politician lies. That’s baked in. What matters is that that other politician lied worse/more! This is not a uniquely Trump thing, either.

      I believe Sanders and Warren are telling the truth that they are socialists who want to fundamentally change US society, want to make it more fair and equal, and want to copy collectivist features of Europe.

      That is why I will never vote for those people.

      Whether they otherwise tell the truth or lie is irrelevant.

  8. Facts matter greatly when you believe you are getting the whole story and the facts have not been interpreted to mean something other than you would interpret them. Trump’s lies are easy to spot, and the points he is trying to make with them clear. On the other side we get partial truths which are interpreted to support ideas that the greater reality doesn’t. I would rather be able to spot the lies easily.

    1. Precisely.

      Trump lies in the shadow of the truth. His political opponents lie in the shadow of their delusions.

      Are illegal Mexican immigrants running around raping and killing everyone? No. But some are, and open borders are a real problem.

      The lie from the progressives, however, would be to insist that illegal immigration is not a problem at all (in fact, it is a benefit) and that the stories of criminal behavior are just propaganda that only racists and idiots believe. Therefore, we need open borders, more Mexican nationals, less white people, and Beto.

      Well, fuck.

    2. Trump’s lies are easy to spot

      The lies in WaPo, NYT, and Reason are also easy to spot and numerous; if you don’t see them, it’s because you refuse to.

      1. But they have just enough credibility, or at least ‘plausible deniability’ baked in so that people who want to believe them can do so.

        New York Times: “We didn’t SAY that Trump has a shrine to a shirtless Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office that he sacrifices immigrant children to every night, we just reported that ‘an anonymous source close to the President’ SAYS that he does!”

  9. the fuck appointed anyone a fact checker?

    1. Hollywood, liberals, Democrats, and that crazy chick you’re trying to bang from the local chapter of the DSA.

      Get with the facts, or pass on that ass.

      We’ve all been there.

    2. Who?
      The liars, who began to see the people not falling for their lies, anymore.
      They needed the backing of “fact checkers” to try to convince the people that their lies were the truth.
      Apparently, it isn’t working but when did that ever stop the left?

      1. The Claim: Democrats are anything short of virtuous and impeccably honest.

        Snopes Rating: Anyone who believes this is LITERALLY HITLER!!!1111

        1. “The Claim: Democrats are anything short of virtuous and impeccably honest”

          Alt right conspiracy theory

  10. also, long live Neal Peart. holy fuck.

    1. Just ruined my day…

      Maybe they freeze him and we can resurrect him in 92 years.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZm1_jtY1SQ

      1. i’m in. time stand still.

      2. I saw them several times in their peak… He was always worth going to see. And of course their long-form albums were very influential in my youth.. Particularly Hemispheres and of course 2112.

        1. I did too.

          Then I saw them again a few years ago on their Time Machine tour where they played all of Moving Pictures during the second half of their concert.

          It was amazing.

          Poor guy had so much tragedy in his life. His daughter died in an accident. His wife died of cancer. And then he got brain cancer.

          So depressing.

    2. Baruch Dayan HaEmet….Rest in peace, Neal Peart.

      Yeah, that hit home. Rush was my all-time favorite group as a kid. I saw them at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City as an adult. Seeing Rush in concert was one of the things on my bucket list. Makes me feel….older. Sigh. 🙁

      1. Neil opened up a whole world at the drum kit. He wrote those awesome lyrics. A poet and light unto the world who used and gave his all until his time.

        His drumming was not just in the pocket. Perfect timing. He was an explorer filling and expanding the space between the notes. He brought in percussion and new sounds and concepts.

        In his music nothing was out of place. Every note was intentional every hit to the drum or cymbal was confident. There was no hesitation or holding back in this man. He always knew exactly what he was doing.

        The Professor.
        z”l

  11. solar power employs more people than does the oil industry (asserted by Hillary Clinton)

    Well duh! Don’t most people work the day shift?

    1. she counted farmers

      1. ….but couldn’t count on them.

    2. This misses the key point, which is that solar power taking more employees to produce the same amount of power is a BAD thing! It’s just like farming, or anything else that we do only because it’s necessary to allow us to do the things we really want to do: The smaller the percentage of the population that have to produce energy, the more people can be devoted to the fun part:

      Using it!

  12. Simple reason facts don’t matter almost everyone has conflated truth with facts. People are voting their truth.

    1. Truth is fact. Here is the factual definition of truth. I wonder if it doesn’t matter to you.

      “ Conformity to fact or actuality:”

      1. Rob Misek
        January.10.2020 at 6:30 pm
        “Truth is fact…”

        And a scumbag bigot like you has no idea what “truth” means.

        1. The term bigot describes you, not me.

          I provide and consider counter arguments. You do neither and your actions define bigotry.

      2. A fact of belief that is accepted as true.
        Truth isn’t fact its your perception of something as fact regardless of accuracy. Or your or your interpretation of facts in framing a understanding of events or reality.

        1. Please rephrase that in English.

        2. “ Truth isn’t fact ”

          Well if you’re going to deny our dictionary definition of truth, what’s to prevent to from defining anything variably “according to you”?

          Clearly that negates all civilized communication.

          What could you possibly have to say that anyone needs to hear?

          1. “What could you possibly have to say that anyone needs to hear?

            Says the bigoted asshole who’s only argument is, “Anyone who doesn’t confirm to what I believe and say is a bigot”.

            You are inconsequential and without value. Shut up and sit still.

            1. “ Says the bigoted asshole who’s only argument is, “Anyone who doesn’t confirm to what I believe and say is a bigot”.”

              Firstly, that is your fabrication alone and has no relevance to anything I’ve said. Or you should provide a quote from me to support your lie, but you can’t.

              I provide and consider counter arguments. You have done neither and are the bigot by definition.

  13. Facts don’t change people’s minds.

    You just described a bigoted society.

    1. I think the reality is that some facts don’t matter. Others do.

      Trump is a pig and a liar.

      Hillary is a traitor and a liar.

      My oath is to the Constitution. I don’t have a duty to deal with pigs.

      1. The facts matter when the issue does.

        If not the person is a bigot.

        1. “If not the person is a bigot.”

          That would leave you out of any discussion, scumbag.

        2. The facts matter when the issue does.

          We elect representatives so that they look at facts and formulate policies. What matters to me as a voter is finding representatives that share my values; once they get into government, I assume they are going to get all the facts to do the right thing without bothering me too much about it.

          Of course, some lies about facts indicate that a candidate doesn’t share my values. But in that case, it’s the lie, not the facts, that matters.

          1. So if you are saying that candidates base their policies on facts, truth how can they be in conflict,

            Facts, truth, reality can never be in conflict.

            You also say your principles and values are based on fact, truth. That’s great, so are mine, so we could never be in conflict.

            It sounds like a foolproof ideology.

            1. So if you are saying that candidates base their policies on facts, truth how can they be in conflict,

              The way you seem to imagine representative democracy works is:

              facts -> policies -> politicians -> elections -> government

              The way I imagine representative democracy works is:

              values -> politicians -> elections -> facts -> policies -> government

              That is, facts are determined after elections, so facts are of little interest to me when voting.

              You also say your principles and values are based on fact, truth.

              My values are not based on fact or truth, and I didn’t even use the word “principles”.

              That’s great, so are mine, so we could never be in conflict.

              You can’t even be bothered to read five lines of text and accurately reference it in your reply and you delude yourself into thinking that you have “fact, truth” on your side?

              1. “ My values are not based on fact or truth,”

                That’s all you needed to say.

                When someone admits that they don’t value truth, fact, what could they possibly have to say that anyone needs to hear?

                1. “When someone admits that they don’t value truth, fact, what could they possibly have to say that anyone needs to hear?”

                  Except that’s not what NOYB2 said… The statement was, “My values are not based on fact or truth.”

                  Here’s how those things are not the same:

                  It’s a *fact* that some people are unable to survive on their own and require assistance from others. It is also a *fact* that if resources are spent in one place they cannot be spent in another.

                  Those facts can lead you to any of these policies:

                  1) We as a society have an obligation to help those who cannot make it on their own, even if we spend some money to do it.
                  2) Those who cannot make it should be left to die so that we don’t “waste” resources.
                  3) We should actively eliminate those who cannot make it on their own because that will ultimately save resources and make us stronger.

                  Unless you start with the *value* that human life is sacred and choose politicians who share that value, you cannot assure that government will evaluate the original facts and not enact option 2 or 3.

                  1. Everyone dies eventually. No amount of assistance prevents it. People can survive on their own until they die. Only heterosexual reproduction extends the life of ones DNA into their offspring.

                    Resources can be divided.

                    Your perception of facts are wrong. Similarly your conclusions probably are.

                    1. If ones values are not based on fact or truth, they obviously don’t value fact or truth.

                    2. Only heterosexual reproduction extends the life of ones DNA into their offspring.

                      For the sake of argument, let’s assume your statement were true. So what? The fact that you need to perform certain actions in order to pass on your DNA says nothing about whether you or anybody else values you passing on your DNA. Facts and values are different from one another. One can agree on all facts and still have completely different values.

                    3. When a person’s values are not based on truth, fact, the person is being disingenuous and a bigot.

                      If you value corruption and murder, I assure you that they are not based on truth and you do not value truth, facts.

                  2. When a person’s values are not based on truth, fact, the person is being disingenuous and a bigot.

                    “Values”, “truth”, “disingenuous”, and “bigot” are terms you obviously don’t quite understand.

                    What is clear is that the terms “disingenuous”, “evil”, and “bigot” apply to you.

                2. You really need to read more carefully. I said: My values are not based on truth. Examples of values are property rights, individual liberty, personal responsibility, non-violence, the freedom to choose when and how I die, etc. Such values are not “based on” truth; they can’t be proven or disproven by facts. Your values may be different. You may value collective success, security, and economic equality, all values that I couldn’t care less about.

                  I also happen to value truth. Here is a truth for you: “My values are not based on truth.” is a completely different statement from “I value truth.” If you value truth, as you claim to, I admonish you to understand the difference between the two statements.

                  1. It is illogical to say you value truth AND that your values are not based on it.

                    The two are mutually inclusive.

                    Our values are based on things we value. That’s why we call them VALUES.

                    1. Our values are based on things we value. That’s why we call them VALUES.

                      You’re making a category error. Our values are reflected in the things we value, they are not based on them.

                      As I was saying: “values” and “truth” are terms you obviously don’t quite understand. You’re making a category error.

                    2. “Our values are reflected in the things we value,“

                      Vs.

                      “Our values are based on the things we value”

                      They mean the same thing. There is no practical difference.

                    3. No, Rob, they don’t mean the same at all.

                    4. I’m pleased with the optics of this exchange.

                    5. I’m pleased with the optics of this exchange.

                      You are pleased with the optics of your anti-Semitism. You obviously need to have your eyes examined.

            2. “Facts, truth, reality can never be in conflict.”

              It depends on your perspective. If I am looking at the heads side of a coin and you are looking at the tails side of that same coin we both see something totally different and yet we are both correct.

              It is only by looking at BOTH sides of the coin that the truth may be discerned. However, we are human. I doubt it is possible for us to abstract ourselves far enough to ever know “the truth”.

              This leaves me with two options. I can either ignore other’s perceptions and see only my own, or I can try to see from the perspective of others and enhance my own understanding.

              Since my own understanding is just as biased and incomplete as most others, there is never any foolproof ideology.

              Therefore I draw a line where I must.

              If someone points guns at peaceful people, or sends armed people to point guns at other peaceful people, IMO, eat a bullet.

              Hillary campaigned on her wish to send thugs to point guns at peaceful people. Donald campaigned on his wish to point guns at the thugs.

              Both lied and continue to lie. Its the nature of politicians to do so. However, of the ENTIRE scummy field of candidates in 2016 only one person was even willing to suggest fighting back.

              Cliven Bundy for president 2024!

              1. If at issue is what’s on the coins surface, it wouldn’t be logical or scientific to base the conclusion on one side only.

                Is that what you would do?

                1. “If at issue is what’s on the coins surface, it wouldn’t be logical or scientific to base the conclusion on one side only.”

                  Politics however is never about such a question. The purpose of politics is to leverage perceived fears for power. The issue here is to ask the proper question you must consider the un-reasonable nature of politics.

                  Politicians don’t ask, what do you see? Politicians state that they see something the same way you do and leverage fear into creating a heard with the pol at the top.

                  Hillary gained power by listening to the fears of a bunch of lefty twats.

                  Trump gained power by listening to the fears of just about everyone else.

                  Since Lincoln this has been the state of US politics. The question is, how do we eliminate the politics of fear?

                  IMO the answer is to restore the balance of Liberty and Justice and dispense with the lie which is law and order.

                  1. Politics is not about facts or truth, I agree.

                    It’s about persuading people to agree with you by any means available, especially lying.

                    When lying, truth, facts only get in the way.

                    The question is, for all of us, does reality, facts, truth matter?

                    Bigotry is when issues matter but facts don’t.

    2. Facts are largely irrelevant to politics. People vote mainly on whether a politician shares their values. I really couldn’t care less about the facts that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders get right or get wrong, I disagree fundamentally with their values, so I’m not going to vote for them.

  14. People do not vote based on the position of the candidates. They do not vote based on issues. They vote based on 2 things: taxes and political party overall gestalt. The Dems are the “we raise taxes” party and the “we are all SJW identity warriors” party. That shit doesn’t fly in the rural areas. Trump will win again in 2020.

  15. Until Ron writes: “Although there is scant evidence that man has any impact on global temperatures, many are adamant believers” or the equivalent, you are wise to ignore him.

  16. To be fair (and I don’t mean to start anything), Trump’s focus around the border has been the focus of every politician for decades. And it was about “illegal” immigrants. So, I’m not sure this publication is accurate on their “fact-checking” since it’s common knowledge if you are a citizen of the US, you are most likely not in poverty, and crime is nearly always committed by those in poverty. Illegal immigrants have a high rate of those in poverty, therefore by common knowledge, they would have a higher rate of crime.

    Additionally, if you can control the path to immigration, then you can also control the crime committed by those who jump the border illegally. And, that is whole the point: to remove the crime which you can control and remove.

    If you don’t like Trump, that’s fine (I’m not a big fan on some things), but vilifying his supporters that agree with wanting to control something that could be controlled for the safety of Americans seems like it really hurts your cause to want to get him out. But that’s just what I think.

  17. Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (Who Watches the Watchers?)

    When the fact-checkers have, on too many occasions, shown themselves to be biased it becomes a question of whose facts get checked, to what degree, and with what bias. Much like in a court of law, the facts can be agreed on but the meaning and interpretation of those facts can be the quite opposite.

    1. Please describe how the meaning of facts can differ.

      1. “Please describe how the meaning of facts can differ.”

        Can’t, except when a scumbag bigot like you presents your idiotic fantasies as “fact”. Liars like you do that regularly, but it doesn’t have any effect on the meaning of “fact”, just the identification of “scumbag bigot”.

        1. I provide evidence of logic and science to demonstrate truth, fact. It is also the only way humanly possible to do so.

          Anyone has the opportunity to refute what I say similarly. Nobody has because I say the truth, fact.

          You’re replies are always bigoted rhetoric.

          1. I provide evidence of logic and science to demonstrate truth, fact. It is also the only way humanly possible to do so.

            Rejecting bad evidence and bad logic is also the only humanly possible way of coming to the truth. That’s what’s happening in your case.

            1. Please demonstrate the fault in my logic or science.

              Rejecting bad logic or science with good logic or science can refute an argument but alone it doesn’t demonstrate truth.

              1. I have demonstrated several faults in your logic and “your science”. So have others.

                1. You have tried and failed.

                  1. No, he hasn’t. You and your arguments are consistently discredited here. You are an obsessed Jew hater and nazi enthusiast.

                    There is nothing good about you, or what you do.

                    1. You’re a delusional bigot.

                    2. I’m afraid he is right.

                  2. Why is your response to simply call everyone a bigot?

                    Bigoted against whom?

                    Isn’t it okay to be bigoted against an ideology? Can we be bigoted against communists? Wouldn’t you be onboard with that kind of bigotry?

                    I do really want to understand what you mean when you use the word, and why you think it’s bad to be a bigot per se.

          2. Was my grandmother’s bigotry against innocent Nazis at play when she showed me pictures of all her relatives that were murdered in Hitler’s death camps?

            What about the surviving relatives that I met who told me about it and showed me their tattoos?

            Were they all part of a conspiracy? Why not just tell me the truth and include me in the conspiracy?

            Or do you assume that I’m in on it too?

            I always wanted to ask a neo Nazi that. Do you figure we all get invited to the global Zionist conspiracy meetings?

            That seems dangerous to include all Jews. You’d figure at least one of us would talk.

            But it’s amazing to me that my grandmother, who couldn’t be trusted with house keys at a certain point, was so good at maintaining that complicated lie up until her death.

            I should really be upset that my family never trusted me to be involved in the conspiracy. I think I’d be a really good Zionist conspirator.

            1. “Were they all part of a conspiracy? Why not just tell me the truth and include me in the conspiracy?”

              Probably for the same reason that there are very few actual first hand witness accounts as recorded testimony for any single alleged event. One liar is easier to maintain than several who under questioning would reveal contradictions.

              How much financial compensation does your grandmothers family receive annually for being a “victim”? If she doesn’t actually know the truth and lived in a nation where it is a crime to ask, what could she do?

              Does it bother you, at any level, that objectively reviewing the alleged crime scenes in Europe where any actual physical evidence might exist is a crime? That the holocaust narrative can be embellished with impunity but questioning it is a crime?

              That is the extent of your complicity.

              1. Roman

                There is no point in arguing with an antisemite neo Nazi.

                A few infect this website. Nobody here buys the crap they spew.

                For what it is worth. Don’t feed the trolls.

                1. You’re just another bigot advocating bigotry.

                2. Echo,

                  I’m not gonna argue with him or get angry in any way. I’m amused that a genuine holocaust denier is willing to put himself.

                  I’m endlessly curious about how these people think.

                  Like was Hitler right about wanting to exterminate the Jews, because he knew they were just the type of people to lie about being exterminated?

                  I just want to take away his argument that his speech is being suppressed. Why would we want to suppress his speech? The more these people talk the more odious and ridiculous they appear to the world.

                  1. “ I just want to take away his argument that his speech is being suppressed”

                    Excellent, keep up the good work.

                    When it is no longer a crime to review the physical evidence that objectively refutes the holocaust narrative, real fact checking will begin.

                    Fortunately some have already disobeyed the law and written science based reviews that truly refute your cherished false narrative.

                    Alas, we currently live in a society of self proclaimed bigots and while we can lead asses to water, we can’t make them drink.

                    1. All fun snark aside, I really do believe in right to convey whatever your beliefs are about any subject. I don’t think there should be such a thing as “hate speech” laws.

                      Our free speech bonifides are only tested when we’re confronted by such things as Nazi sympathizers.

                      It’s not often that I get the opportunity to speak with anyone who really thinks the Jews were the real bad guys in the whole WW2 story.

                      I’m interested in your thoughts and how they somehow don’t ultimately contradict themselves.

                      I mean, if Hitler was right about the Jews, and his intent clear, then is it such a big deal to set the record straight that he straight up failed to do everything that he wanted to do? Doesn’t that just paint him as a loser who failed to be as efficient as we give him credit for?

                      And if you ultimately believe that there should be a reckoning where we do get the holocaust right, do you really think that strengthens your argument that the Jews are lying about all of this persecution?

                      Do you think it’s just a coincidence that holocaust “truthers” just happen to mostly be people who think pulling such a thing off would be a really good idea?

                    2. I think that if you really don’t want to be a bigot and truly understand what a holocaust denier is thinking you need to review the evidence that refutes the holocaust.

                      Nickolas Kollerstroms book, Breaking the Spell is a good place to start.

                      If you decide not to, you are a bigot according to its dictionary definition.

                      Examples of bigotry in a Sentence
                      “ a deeply ingrained bigotry prevented her from even considering the counterarguments”

                      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigotry

              2. My grandmother never received compensation. She just lost her mother, most of her siblings, and cousins to Hitler’s final solution.

                Like I said, I have personally seen the number tattoos on a couple of her relatives that survived the death camps. They did not tattoo themselves in service of some grand conspiracy to make Nazis feel bad.

                And no, my family never received any compensation for any of it. They just received a smaller family and horror stories.

                These are first hand accounts. It happened.

                And to answer your question, I do not believe it should be a crime to
                question anything. I’m as close to a free speech absolutist as there is. For moral and practical reasons. I want my Nazis outed. I don’t want despicable peace censored. Let them tattoo themselves with their disgusting ideology. As long as we never again allow them to tattoo others against their will.

                But I’m so curious to know why you think Hitler didn’t do what he obviously wanted to do. Do you believe the Nazis were just bumblers who weren’t nearly as efficient in their murderious ideology as we give them credit for?

                The intent was there either way. The evil was just as evil no matter how big their death toll.

                Or do you think Mein Kampf was a very reasonable reaction to the Jewish problem?

                1. People get tattoos and during war some die in prison camps.
                  That’s not proof of the holocaust narrative.

                  Read kollerstroms book. He has a doctorate in science and history and you will learn facts that can be explained no other way than by recognizing no holocaust occurred. Or don’t read it, and be just another bigot.

                  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23629458-breaking-the-spell

                2. I’ll gladly tell you why I share the facts I do.

                  In short, if we don’t want history to repeat itself, we have to know the truth.

                  Jews were very busy in the 20 th century.

                  In 1917 they led the communist revolution in Russia.

                  That same year they were awarded the Balfour Declaration for bringing the hapless Americans into the war in exchange for the promise of Palestine.

                  In 1933 they declared global economic war on Germany.

                  In 1948 they stole Palestine creating a terrorist apartheid state and causing the last 72 years of Middle East war.

                  Poor suffering people you are not.

                  Oh, I’m sure that the vast majority of Jews are just as brainwashed as everyone else is forced to be.

                  We still need to know the truth.

                  1. Oh Rob, you’re so naive. None of us are brainwashed. We all know the truth.

                    And you haven’t even scratched the surface.

                    We control everything. No matter what you expose you’ll never understand how deep it goes.

                    The holocaust did happen, but it was done by Jews. We sacrifice a few million of our own every once in awhile because that’s how diabolically evil we are.

                    But we never really die as we are all shape shifting lizard people.

                    We’ve even got most of you goyim convinced that the world is round. And we perpetuate that hoax for absolutely no reason except to amuse ourselves.

                    We obviously can erase you from existence at a moment’s notice for daring to expose us at all, but don’t worry. You amuse me so at the next meeting of international Zionist terror I’m gonna tell my fellow horned blood suckers to take it easy on you for awhile.

                    And the funny part about this is most people will think I’m just kidding with this post. Isn’t that the saddest thing? Only you will see the truth in it but people will think you’re crazy for taking me seriously.

                    It’s a messed up world thanks to us Jew/Lizards.

                    But keep fighting the good fight, Rob. Not that it will ever do any good, but you fighting the good fight does amuse us endlessly.

                    Oh and the tattoos are real. We’re born with them. Most of us apply make up every morning to cover up all those extra numbers.

                    I’d explain it to you but it’s a complicated Kabbalah thing. Your tiny goy/human brain would never understand.

                    1. You may be a disingenuous bigot, but when enough people recognize the facts, truth, there will be a reckoning and nobody will feel sorry for you.

                    2. There will be a reckoning? What does that mean?

                      You’ll succeed where Hitler failed?

                      Who am I bigoted against? Nazis? I’m bigoted against an idiolgy while you want a reckoning against an entire ethnicity for their perceived collective crimes, isn’t that right?

                      Why dance around what you really mean when you’re so bent on truth revealing.

                      You believe in the wholesale slaughter of Jews. Is that correct or not?

                      If not, what does a reckoning specifically mean? Don’t be afraid of the truth if you are the good guy in your story.

                      Say it clearly. What do you want to specifically do to Jews in this reckoning?

                      And explain the justification for collective punishment based on their DNA.

                      And why do you label others as bigots when you clearly don’t think bigotry in and of itself is bad? You think bigotry against Jews is justified, don’t you? But not bigotry against Nazis?

                      Is that correct?

      2. Simply asking that question calls your motives into question.

        Snopes famously pivoted so far into left-bias that they started fact-checking the parody site Babylon Bee when it made fun of left-ideas.

        The history of leftist propaganda masquerading as fact-check is long and well documented. The first “fact check” sites to wear that label were quite explicitly created and funded for the purpose of promoting progressive ideas and discrediting conservative/republican ideas.

        Pretending to be ignorant of the existence of any of this isn’t just silly, it outs you as being disingenuous in your participation in the discussion.

        1. You conflate facts with “masquerading facts” and call me disingenuous. That’s rich.

          My question related only to actual facts not lies. How can the meaning of a fact differ?

          1. Actually, he said “meaning and interpretation” of a fact. His meaning was quite clear that he was referring to individuals’ interpretation of what facts mean.

            You’re either being deliberately disingenuous or you’re too stupid for basic reading comprehension. Either way, don’t whine because you got called out for it…you brought that on yourself.

            1. You seem to think that the meaning of a fact can change with interpretation. How?

              Fact is reality. That doesn’t change with interpretation.

              If you think it does, how?

              1. You seem to think that the meaning of a fact can change with interpretation. How?

                Facts are established through the interpretation of observations. Assuming that the observation itself is uncontested, the interpretation of the observation may be faulty.

                For example, Bailey claimed as a fact that illegal immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans. That is an interpretation of state level correlations between crime and illegal immigrant populations. Since his reasoning is faulty, his “fact” turns out to be unsupported. His statement of fact might be true under some assumptions, but it might also be false under other assumptions. (FWIW, his statement of fact is probably false.)

                1. Truth, fact is demonstrated with the evidence of logic and science. It is the best that we humans will ever be capable of understanding. You can’t do any better. Get over it.

                  I didn’t say that faulty logic and science demonstrates truth, fact so your counter argument is irrelevant.

                  1. I didn’t say that faulty logic and science demonstrates truth

                    And your logic is frequently faulty, as is your understanding of science and epistemology. Nobody cares to debate that with you anymore since you obviously lack the background even to have an informed debate on it. People simply point it out to you, as I’m doing now.

                    1. I have provided and considered evidence of fact, truth with logic and science,

                      You have just admitted that you can’t similarly refute it, so you will happily be a bigot and just deny it.

                      Fill your boots.

                    2. Oh, when it comes to people like you, I’m a bigot and proud of it: nothing will ever make me change my opinions on an illogical, irrational anti Semite like you.

                    3. You should have just started with that and not wasted everyone’s time, bigot.

                    4. Asking many of the delusions you suffer from is that people are having debates with you, Obergruppenbigot Misek.

                    5. There are plenty of bigots but few as stupid as you to proudly admit it on the internet.

                      Fuck off troll, lest I rub your nose in it.

      3. The context can change interpretation = Please describe how the meaning of facts can differ.

        1. How does context change the meaning of a fact?

          How does interpretation change the meaning of a fact?

          1. Perception is reality.

            1. Faulty perception does not define reality.

              This is why in civilization we depend on good logic and scientific methods.

              Reject this principle at the expense of your rationality.

            2. Here is the factual definition of perception

              “ An interpretation or impression; an opinion or belief:”

              Not reality.

              1. Rob MiseKKK’s reality includes that the (prominently or primarily) anti-jewish holocaust wasn’t real! Go figure!

                1. Yes it does because I have considered many of the counter arguments and right now there is no science or logic to support the holocaust narrative but plenty that refutes it.

                  If you haven’t considered the counter arguments but think the issue is important, you are by definition a bigot.

                  1. Tell that to all the personal survivors that I have met, who lost relatives and friends to the holocaust. What were they, bodily taken up into Heaven in The Tribulation? Abducted permanently by space aliens?

                    1. While paid and coerced testimony is inadmissible as evidence, the facts tell a very different story.

                      Become familiar with some of the counter arguments in a well written book by Nickolas Kollerstrom or be a bigot.

                      http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23629458-breaking-the-spell

                    2. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060995068/reasonmagazinea-20/

                      Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland Paperback – April 24, 1998

                      Totally, exquisitely detailed history (bazillions of sources and footnotes) of the utter barbarity of NAZI slaughtering of jews!

                  2. Rob, if you respond to nothing else, please just tell us about this reckoning you advocate for.

                    If we concede that Hitler blew it, will you tell us what actually SHOULD happen to the Jews?

                    This is where you can be most informative. We already know where you stand on the history of the holocaust (or lack thereof).

                    What we don’t completely understand is what you WANT to happen to the Jews.

                    You have a total free speech forum here and a chance to persuade people on a subject that actually matters.

                    I honestly want to hear what the plan should be.

                    1. I know you’re having fun with this, I am too.

                      For all the disingenuous pissants like you who got the full bore holocaust brainwashing at home such that your entire victim mentality psyche is based on your cherished narrative, the best reckoning will be to recognize it’s all bullshit.

                      The perpetrators of the hoax that resulted in the death and persecution of so many wrongly accused should suffer more of an eye for an eye reckoning.

                      I’ll do my best to see to it.

                    2. I am an atheist. My ethnicity is an accident of birth. I have no victim mentality.

                      Do I deserve to die in this eye for an eye reckoning?

                      And to be clear, this is a reckoning for the wrongfully persecuted Nazis who are the real victims in all of this?

                    3. I keep flagging comments by accident. I even flagged my own. Please disregard any flags I hit as it’s never intentional.

                      Am I the only one who has this issue when viewing on a phone?

                      I wish it had a confirm option before flagging.

          2. “Fact” refers to a statement which can either be proven or DISproven. The opposite of a fact is not a false statement, but rather an opinion.

            This is taught to first graders.

            1. What’s your point?

  18. They’re a liar but they’re my kind of liar

  19. The more the government hands out more and more of your money to “gangster research” organizations like PETA, Solar, Climate Change the crappier “Research” gets.

    Its not as if these “Researchers” are looking for a pin-head of truth. They’re just there to publish with our money lies and cherry-picked numbers so that politicians can use the catch-phrases like “Research” which will always contradict other “Research” that will entirely contradict yet-another’s “Research” and etc.. etc.. etc..

    Funny how all this “Research” which is mostly Q&A numbers exist and thought to be so accurate and I have yet to answer a single Question on ANY topic of this supposed “Research”.

  20. “First, we did not test a fact-check of a Clinton misstatement and cannot evaluate how her supporters would have reacted.”

    They were worried their lie-detecting machine would explode if they fed too many Clinton statements into it?

  21. I take every politician’s statement with a barrel of salt. Their actions are much more indicative. Trump surprised me on walking back the Iranian missile incident. I am too used to the Iran hawks leading him around, much like Cheney/Rumsfield did Bush Jr. But der Kleinencocktenfuehrer is still a big blowhard.

  22. Everything you know is wrong.

  23. Good news: Facts still matter. Or at least they do in political science experiments.

    Facts matter very little in politics and they ought to matter very little in politics, because most political disagreements are over values, not over facts.

    For example, facts about climate change don’t matter to me because I find the proposed solutions unacceptable. Facts about inequality or racial discrimination or immigration don’t matter to me for the same reason.

    Facts only matter to people with a progressive mindset, people who suffer from the delusion that the job of government is to improve people’s lives.

  24. No surprise in any of this. Good article. But I will quibble and pivot.

    “In 2016, journalist Salena Zito famously summed up reactions to Trump’s constant stream of hyperbole and lies”

    And yet, we never the words ‘hyperbole’ and ‘lies’ to describe Barry before Trump.

    I seem to recall some doozies from blaming Benghazi on a video (and then throwing the poor scapegoat sucker in jail for good measure just to reinforce what kind of a jackass Obama was), to rising sea levels (and then Mr. Green went off and bought himself a $15 million mansion on Martha’s Vineyard), to ‘you can keep your doctor’ (not to mention promising premiums wouldn’t go up).

    The biggest lie of the all is him in possession of a Nobel Peace prize and then proceeding to lead his country into constant war (not to mention a scheme of running illegal guns into Mexico with F&F) – including toppling a leader of a sovereign country in Ghaddafi.

    Talk about someone whose actions didn’t fit the perception (remember he evolved on gay marriage and him taking Catholic nuns to court over contraceptions?) of him.

    The irony of them all, though, is Trump introduced prison reform through First Steps which directly affects the black community something Obama never did while setting conditions for the unemployment rate to plummet for African-Americans and Hispanics. Right about now the KKK may be asking him to turn in his ‘white supremacy’ coupons.

    How ’bout dem apples?

  25. Dumb fuck Reason article of the day

  26. Facts matter greatly when you believe you are getting the whole story and the facts have not been interpreted to mean something other than you would interpret them.

  27. Fat kids are always hungry we probably have the fattest poor kids in the world.

  28. If people voted for Trump only because of what Trump said about jobs in Ohio and about the general crime rate of the country then this article would make a little sense. Mostly this article simply reaffirmed my discontent with the fact that tax money is being used to fund politically motivated “research”, and crappy research in general.

  29. “…The researchers looked at the effects of journalistic fact-checks of two claims made by Donald Trump, one during his convention speech and the other during the first general election debate…”

    And since they are politically neutral, they didn’t bother to check any effects regarding the claim that Trump had a prostitute pee on him!

  30. A couple of things you may not have picked up.

    There is solid research on bias and cognition in this arena. When a belief is deeply held, facts do not have a persuasive effect. Motivated reasoning and cognitive bias will kick in, protecting the closely held beliefs. In fact, this kind of belief is actually strengthened by contradicting facts.

    This sort of belief includes religion and politics.

    Second, this particular area of research in political bias and persuasion is long and storied…. and littered with terribly designed, highly biased studies by groups with thinly veiled agendas and that are completely unreliable. This study would appear to be one of those.

    1. That is true Cyto.

      I am more interested in the implication, though. If facts really don’t matter all that much in changing a voters mind, then what are we left with? To me, it means that the emotional (meaning, non-rational) aspects of a politician are what matters even more.

      Then the question becomes: How do you sway the bias the way you want?

      1. Key to effective communication is understanding that direct reaction isn’t everything, and that communication is fundamentally the delivery of stimuli.
        That is, in discussion you can argue “2+2=4” and be met with the repeated insistence that “2+2=22”. You can debate for hours and never get closer to agreement, but that’s not the end of the story.
        Stimuli=particle=information.
        The conscious mind can reject things all it wants, but the information is still being sensed.
        That sense is both conscious and unconscious.
        Like particles, information has mass.
        Correct information has more inherent mass than incorrect.
        The conscious mind will, like cyto states, try to maintain it’s belief system. But even if a particular piece of information is consciously rejected, if true it will stick unconsciously.
        The accumulation of unconscious information affects conscious thought processes.
        So, if your goal is to sway biases, you have to aim at the unconscious and just keep delivering shots on target.

        1. If you’re trying to convince someone that “2+2=4” when they believe “2+2=22” you just keep delivering your argument. Eventually, through experience, the belief that “2+2=22” proves less accurate in practice than “2+2=4” and you’ve laid the foundation for correct belief in the unconscious.
          A conflict will arise. If the “22” believer’s survivability isn’t threatened, it may remain just discomfort for them. But if the “22” believer encounters a significant situation they can’t explain and is a problem, internal civil war breaks out.
          This is nervous breakdown. The neural network of belief must be broken down because its proven inaccurate. To survive, new belief must be mapped.
          This is what Trump particularly, and world events largely, has wrought on the Left.
          They’re dealing with the discontinuity between their belief and stimuli received, and it’s resulting in a mass nervous breakdown.
          Now it need not go this far. If the information is less significant for survival, a “22” believer can eventually have that belief replaced by belief that “2+2=4”, and may not be aware of it or even remember that they once believed “2+2=22”.
          That’s partly why the beliefs about socialism are still being fought. Because believers in socialism haven’t experienced it. Telling the it killed 100 million people is abstract and un-relateable. This is why I like the “classroom demonstration” where the professor proposes redistributing/socializing test scores. People FEEL the injustice.
          So if you’re trying to argue against a socialist, you don’t worry about convincing them consciously. You have to demonstrate times they’ve experienced socialist stimuli, and get the unconscious to associate that experience with socialism.
          If you’re position is accurate, the unconscious will do so regardless of the target’s conscious desire.
          It’s just tough in our society, because the superficial/conscious dominates day to day function

        2. I used to have a “friend” I’d see from time to time to pick up floral arrangements, and we’d get into philosophy/political discussions.
          He was a gun control guy, and we went back and forth.
          He never straight up agreed to drop his gun control positions.
          But after a couple months, his defense wore down.
          Eventually we’d have more discussions, and he started making the same arguments I’d proposed months before, without realizing it.
          Took a while, but he’d learned and processed the information I presented and made it his own. At the end of that process, HIS position changed because HIS information changed. The arguments I’d made stuck and came to outweigh the less massive information he previously had.
          Learning has to come from within

      2. XY

        Emotional messaging is what always happens in politics. Some are better at it than others. Trump is particularly good at it. Reagan was the best that I remember. I think Bill Clinton was pretty good but Hilary was terrible.

        Over time to an increasing extent it is less about ideas. Red and blue just keep changing seats but nothing really changes much. Blue wants you to fear red and vice versa.

        Think about immigration. One side wants you to fear rapists, murderers and economic catastrophe. The other wants you to fear racism, xenophobia and government cruelty. Nobody really cares about facts and reasoned arguments. They just chose what they want to believe.

        1. Agree completely. It is the swaying of people’s bias in an unconscious manner that is the real battle of the mind.

    2. Hence the old adage that you cannot reason somebody out of a position he did not reason himself into.

      But what you can do is seek to understand the basis for the belief.

      And the basis for this article seems to be a frustration among gatekeepers about people choosing other gates.

  31. that immigrants commit crimes disproportionately to native-borns (declared by Donald Trump)

    First of all, Trump’s statement is literally about illegal immigrants. Second, Bailey’s article misinterprets Light’s study. Light’s study does not show and does not purport to show that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes, it only shows state level correlations between a higher illegal immigrant population and lower overall crime data (e.g., illegal immigrants might simply be preferentially attracted to states with lower crime rates, even if their own crime rates are higher).

    If you can’t even get simple quotes and statistical facts right, don’t complain that people fart in your general direction.

    1. Its almost like Reason doesn’t care about the facts

      1. Reason uncritically repeats the facts they want you to know. The facts they do not want you to know they either ignore, or report negatively. So, in that sense, they are quite concerned with facts.

        Honesty and integrity? Not so much.

    2. Fact.

      John Cleese got the idea for the French Taunter based on actual history. Taunting from the battlements was an actual medieval thing as was catapulting dead animals and other refuse.

      He also plays Tim the Enchanter in the movie.

      Oh wait. Forgot what we were talking about. Never mind.

      1. Trash talk has a very long history

  32. I recall numerous articles about this concerning climate change. They were all of the form where you take a group, take a survey, watch Inconvenient Truth, and then take another survey.

    Almost universally, there was no method to determine whether there was denial, ignorance, or educated disagreement. There was also no evaluation about whether the information was actually new. The conclusions were, unsurprisingly “anyone who disagrees with climate change policies will not be dissuaded by evidence”.

    So, we’ve seen this before.

  33. As evidence, an annotated speech released by the campaign cites (among other things) a January 2016 Washington Post story that reported a 17 percent increase in homicides in the country’s 50 largest cities. Yet when Trump gave his speech, the most recent FBI data (from 2014) said the national murder rate was at a record low of 4.5 per 100,000 people. It subsequently ticked up in 2016 to what it was in 2008 (5.4 per 100,000), then dropped back in 2018 to where it was in 2009 (5.0 per 100,000).
    The fact-check used in the study states, “According to FBI’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the violent crime rate has fallen dramatically and consistently over time. According to their estimates, the homicide rate in the U.S. in 2015 was half that recorded in 1991.”

    This is why we call you #FakeNews. The “fact check” is confused propaganda. As are most “fact checks”.

    Here’s the quote from the Trump campaign document:
    Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities.

    I nice, clear, specific stat. A *year over year* increase in homicides in the 50 largest cities. 2015 had 17% more homicides than 2014.

    But what you’ve given here as the “fact check” hasn’t addressed *that* quantity at all.

    The “fact check” refers to *national* data (not top 50 cities), and even says it had increased from 4.5 in 2014 to 5.4 in 2016 (a 20% increase in the *rate*, looking a lot like that 17%, eh?), and then you squawk about the rate coming back down in 2018, because of course if Trump isn’t psychic, he’s a big liar liar pants on fire, and then you whine about long term crime rates coming down.

    It’s two paragraphs of verbal diarrhea that entirely fails to address the stat Trump used, pretending to demonstrate that he lied.

    It’s so completely verminous.

    For those who would like to know what a fact check for this would look like:
    According to Source X, in the 50 largest US cities, there were N homicides in 2014 and M homicides in 2015, yielding a (M-N)/N *100% homicide rate increase.

    It’s not rocket science, if you’re honest, and not an #EnemyOfThePeople.

  34. I know the whole Hillary Clinton “lie” was thrown in just so Reason writers could appear all non-partisan and all, but just for the record it comes across as snotty and above-it-all— especially considering it’s not true.

  35. Two points: 1. There is a clear explanation for the findings of the “research”, though not the only explanation one that the researchers don’t seem to consider. Fact checking does not sway supporter’s view of candidates because fact checking demonstrates that ALL politicians are lying to some degree. When presented with two politicians and examples of each lying, it is not unreasonable for a voter to conclude that they may as well go with the one that says things they like. That is what we saw in 2016, but it’s what we always see if we look at other elections – this is not new behavior, the fad of internet fact checking just clarifies the behavior. A reasonable way of summing this up is that people support their liar because they agree with the intent of their liar’s lies.
    2. The research is flawed, though at least the researchers acknowledge that they didn’t really look too much into why Clinton supporters had not been swayed by fact checking. From a epistemological point of view, this sounds like confirmation bias waiting to happen, looking for what one expects to find – why all these idiots voted for Trump. Look instead for why people vote for who they vote for, regardless of who that politician is.

  36. It’s not that people are unresponsive to facts. We just don’t agree on what the facts are. For instance, when Ohio and Michigan had a net gain of jobs, that doesn’t disprove that jobs left those states. When fact checking veers into the realm of semantics, that’s when people start tuning out.

    In reality, most fact checkers are nothing more than pseudo-legitimate narrative pushers. Facts enjoy special status and recognition, so all they want to do is convince enough people that their statements are factual, truth be damned. Literally 2+2=5.

  37. “that immigrants commit crimes disproportionately to native-borns”

    Every person that entered the country in contravention to immigration and border control law is by definition a criminal. Therefore the rate among all immigrants – legal and ILLEGAL (thus criminal) must be very high.

  38. Its almost like Reason doesn’t care about the facts

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