Trump Quotes Inane Media Criticism From Fox News Host Jesse Watters: ‘So True!’

This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite

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President Donald Trump quoted a mind-numbingly inane piece of media criticism from a Fox News host Monday morning in an attempt to undermine fact-checkers. Jesse Watters, who hosts a Saturday night show on Fox News, kicked off last week’s iteration with a lazy generalization: “The media fact-checkers are lying to you.” Watters’ dismissal of fact-checkers relied on reports that Trump’s recent false claims about violent crime in El Paso were false. Watters took issue with a specific headline from Vox, which he called a “distortion.” “The fact-checkers have become fake news,” he declared confidently. Trump parroted the remark on Twitter Monday, calling it “So True!”: Fact checkers can slip up — we’ve chronicled bad fact-checking on this very site — but to dismiss the entire practice as “fake” Continue reading "Trump Quotes Inane Media Criticism From Fox News Host Jesse Watters: ‘So True!’"

ACKSHUALLY: NPR’s ‘Fact Check’ On Trump Praise of Women In Congress Gets Ripped to Shreds

This post is by Julio Rosas from Mediaite

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In a post on their political account on Twitter, NPR tweeted a fact check on President Donald Trump’s line when he praised the record number of women serving in Congress during his State of the Union. “And exactly one century after Congress passed the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before. That’s great. Very great. And congratulations. That’s great,” Trump said. In response, NPR pointed out most of the women are not Republicans, but rather Democrats:
There are more women in Congress than ever before, but that is almost entirely because of Democrats, not Trump’s party. The number of Republican women in Continue reading "ACKSHUALLY: NPR’s ‘Fact Check’ On Trump Praise of Women In Congress Gets Ripped to Shreds"

Charlotte Observer Fact-Checks Trump’s Boast His Golf Course is on ‘World’s Largest’ Manmade Lake

This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite

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On Friday, President Donald Trump boasted during an event in North Carolina that his golf course in the state was on the “largest man-made lake in the world.” “I actually have investments in Charlotte,” Trump told those gathered at Central Piedmont Community College’s Harris Conference Center, before going on about how the “fake news” would call this a “conflict of interest.” “You know where my club is, right?” he continued on. “Trump National. It’s a very big success on Lake Norman. Beautiful. Largest man-made lake in the world by far, right?” However, Lake Norman apparently is not the largest man-made lake in the world because shortly after his comments, the Charlotte Observer pointed out Trump was very, very wrong. According to the Observer:
Is Lake Norman really the “largest man-made lake in the world, by far,” as President Trump asserted during a trip to Charlotte Continue reading "Charlotte Observer Fact-Checks Trump’s Boast His Golf Course is on ‘World’s Largest’ Manmade Lake"

Morning Joe Wonders Why Trump Supporters Won’t ‘Just Crank Up the Google Machine’

This post is by Caleb Howe from Mediaite

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On Morning Joe on Monday, the hosts were teasing an upcoming segment when they became sidetracked on the question of why supporters of Donald Trump don’t fact check things he says. Exasperated Joe Scarborough wants to know why people, including friends and members of his family, can’t just look things up. Co-host Mika Brzezinski explained that they were going to be doing a fact-check of the president’s recent economic claims, and that “some of it starts with a simple Google search,” and that’s when Joe jumped in about checking facts in general. ‘By the way why don’t people– why don’t my friends and family just turn on the Google machine?” he said. “Just crank it up in the backyard, just crank up the Google machine–” “Because as Elise just said, the truth has been devalued,” Mike replied. “And people must not care. That’s what this president has done.”
Continue reading "Morning Joe Wonders Why Trump Supporters Won’t ‘Just Crank Up the Google Machine’"

AP Fact Check After Trump’s London Tweets: He ‘Can’t Be Counted On to Give Accurate Information’

This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite

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donald-trump The Associated Press has a fact-check out today after President Trump‘s London tweets which actually says this right at the top:
“President Donald Trump can’t be counted on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding abroad.”
The fact check from the AP says Trump “got ahead of the facts emerging” both in London and in the Philippines this past week, sharing “visceral reactions… instead of statements shaped by the findings of the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic apparatus.” In particular, they take note of Trump’s retweet of the Drudge Report on Saturday: You may recall that NBC News tweeted they wouldn’t relay that RT at the time because, they said, “the info is unconfirmed.” The AP’s fact-check includes not just his Continue reading "AP Fact Check After Trump’s London Tweets: He ‘Can’t Be Counted On to Give Accurate Information’"

Trump Says NBC is Putting Out ‘Fake News’ Over Job Creation… But What’s He Really Upset Over?

This post is by David Bixenspan from Mediaite

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On Wednesday morning, President Elect Donald Trump directed his Twitter rage at NBC News while watching “The Today Show.” What drew his ire this time? A “Today’s Fact Check” segment disputed his claims that he was responsible for General Motors and others bringing new jobs to the United States:

#MetricShift Chat: The Metrics of Fact and Fiction

This post is by Tim Cigelske from MediaShift

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A little bit of lying can be good for metrics. But facts can fight back. In today’s polarized climate, both facts and fiction reward publishers with measurable traffic and engagement. So who’s winning? On one side, a BuzzFeed analysis found that hyper-partisan Facebook pages with millions of fans saw the most engagement with overtly partisan, misleading or opinion-driven posts. On another, NPR’s ambitious real-time fact checking of the first presidential debate produced its highest traffic day ever with more than 5 million visits. In our next #MetricShift chat, we will discuss the metrics of fact and fiction and how we can measure an informed society. It will take place Friday, October 28, at 9 am PST/ 11 am Central/ noon EST. The chat, which you can find by searching for #MetricShift on Twitter, will be moderated by Tim Cigelske, associate metrics section editor for MediaShift. Guests will include Claire Wardle, Research Continue reading "#MetricShift Chat: The Metrics of Fact and Fiction"

No pants on fire: Google News is now highlighting fact checks

This post is by Joseph Lichterman from Nieman Lab

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During the first presidential debate last month, Hillary Clinton said she hoped “the fact checkers are turning up the volume and really working hard.” Now Google is unveiling a feature that might make their work a little easier to find. On Thursday, the company announced that it would begin labelling fact checks in Google News. The fact check tag is appearing on the Google News website along with the Google News & Weather app on iOS and Android. It’s initially rolling out the fact check tags in the United States and United Kingdom. factcheck_articles-width-800 In a post, Google head of news Richard Gingras explained how the company is categorizing fact checks:
Google News determines whether an article might contain fact checks in part by looking for the ClaimReview markup. We also look for sites that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks. Publishers who create fact checks Continue reading "No pants on fire: Google News is now highlighting fact checks"

CNN Brings Back the Fact-Checking Chyron to Say Obama Didn’t Found ISIS

This post is by Lindsey Ellefson from Mediaite

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Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 1.51.18 PMChyron fact-checking is a new phenomenon that has been employed during this election season by CNN and MSNBC. When someone says something that is objectively false, these networks are refusing to simply print the quote at the bottom of the screen. Instead, they make a note to readers and viewers that the quote just isn’t true. Is this their call to make? That’s debatable. Has it been happening a lot lately? Yes. Today, while Wolf Blitzer talked about Donald Trump‘s insistence that President Barack Obama is the “founder of ISIS,” a chyron featuring “(He’s Not)” was present off and on throughout much of the segment. Beneath that were the words, “Fact check: al-Baghdadi founded ISIS.” Here is just a small chunk:
As the election season rolls on, there may be more fact-checking chyrons ahead, though what they Continue reading "CNN Brings Back the Fact-Checking Chyron to Say Obama Didn’t Found ISIS"

Obama Claims That It’s Easier for Teens to Get Guns Than Books. Come On.

This post is by Alex Griswold from Mediaite

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President Barack Obama made an extraordinary claim during a speech Tuesday on the ease with which many teenagers are able to get guns. “We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer, or even a book,” Obama said during an interfaith memorial service for the fallen Dallas police officers.
A shocking claim, but is it true? Of course not. To begin with, it’s against federal law for those below the age of 18 to own handguns, except in extremely limited circumstances. Licensed dealers are likewise banned from selling Continue reading "Obama Claims That It’s Easier for Teens to Get Guns Than Books. Come On."

7 Questions for Craig Silverman on Verification and Rumors

This post is by Meagan Doll from Mediashift

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In an age that craves immediacy and information, processes of verification are more important than ever, but not necessarily the norm. A new report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism produced by Craig Silverman details the ways news outlets spread — and debunk — rumors and misinformation. He found that many news outlets take few steps to verify the viral information that they share, often starting a chain of linking to and citing others who have already reported the rumor. “News websites dedicate far more time and resources to propagating questionable and often false claims than they do working to verify and/or debunk viral content and online rumors,” Silverman wrote. “Rather than acting as a source of accurate information, online media frequently promote misinformation in an attempt to drive traffic and social engagement.” Despite this discouraging news, Silverman goes suggests practical ways outlets can effectively debunk rumors while still having fun and maintaining traffic. Silverman is a journalist-enterpreneur, author and media critic based in Montreal, Canada. He is currently a fellow at the Tow Center at Columbia University and recently produced the report, “Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation” (PDF). EducationShift talked with Silverman about the report and what educators should take away from it.


What can educators do to better prepare students to wrestle with rumors in the media? Craig Silverman: I think that educators can start by communicating that rumors are a naturally occurring phenomenon, and they can have a significant role when it comes to reporting breaking news. I don’t think educators should be spending a huge amount of time on the psychology of rumors or going into deep detail, but instead just talk about the fact that rumors naturally occur in situations of uncertainty and anxiety. For example, when there’s a shooting or natural disaster breaking, there’s so much information out there. I think it helps to give an element of context when people teach and talk about breaking news, speed and accuracy.
Craig Silverman
Photo by   Pieter Ouwerkerk and used here with Creative Commons license.
Continue reading "7 Questions for Craig Silverman on Verification and Rumors"

Associated Press Fact-Checks Hillary Clinton’s Email Defense

This post is by Andrew Desiderio from Mediaite

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Former Secretary of State and likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave her much-awaited response on Tuesday to questions about the legality of her exclusive use of a personal email address instead of a government account during her time as Secretary. Following the press conference, the Associated Press released its fact-check of Clinton’s most notable statements. The AP didn’t cut Clinton much slack. They first went after Clinton for saying “others had done it.” That isn’t necessarily true, they note, because she is the only secretary of state who exclusively used a personal email address for all unclassified government business. The AP called it a “striking departure from the norm.” Clinton also said at the presser that she complied with every rule. The AP noted, though, that at the very least she violated the law by not using a email address to conduct official business — something the White House called “very specific guidance.” The AP also claimed Clinton dodged multiple questions about whether she sought permission beforehand. While Clinton said her server was under the protection of the Secret Service, the AP said she could not say for sure whether it was compromised by hackers. “She also didn’t detail who administered the email system, if it received appropriate software security updates, or if it was monitored routinely for unauthorized access,” the AP noted. On the issue of the “convenience” of carrying only one device, the AP pointed to Clinton’s comments at an event last month during which she said she had “an iPad, a mini iPad, an iPhone and Blackberry.” The AP’s response was, “if multiple devices were an inconvenience in the past, they may be something of an obsession now.” As Mediaite noted on Tuesday, though, there might be reasonable explanations as to why Clinton could not just put two email accounts on one phone. Continue reading "Associated Press Fact-Checks Hillary Clinton’s Email Defense"

Fact Check: President Obama Jawbones Mitt Romney On ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’

This post is by Tommy Christopher from Mediaite

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Perhaps the most meaningful exchange in Monday night’s foreign policy debate focused on that hot spot known as the People’s Republic of Ohio, the key battleground state most impacted by President Obama‘s auto rescue. The President and Republican nominee Mitt Romney got into a heated exchange over Romney’s repeated advice to “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” with both candidates urging voters to check the record to see who was telling the truth. On the style and the substance, President Obama won the point without contest.

The President opened by attacking Gov. Romney over his investments in companies that ship jobs to China, a note he hit all night like a Morse code operator. He quickly moved on to Detroit, saying “If we had taken your advice, Governor Romney about our auto industry, we would be buying cars from China, instead of selling cars to China.”

Romney lost style points by whining “I just want to take one of those points, again, attacking me is not talking about an agenda for getting more trade and opening up more jobs in this country,” then moved to defend his statements on the auto rescue. “The president mentioned the auto industry and somehow I would be in favor of jobs being elsewhere. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a son of Detroit. I was born in Detroit. My dad was head of a car company. I like american cars.”

This, by the way, was a near-verbatim recitation of the third paragraph of his infamous op-ed. Authenticity!

“My plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks,” Romney continued. “It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagreed with that. I said these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and in that process they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through a bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they had built up.”

“Governor Romney that’s not what you said,” President Obama cut in.

“You can take a look at the op-ed. I am still speaking,” Romney snipped. “I said we would provide guarantees and that what is what was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, to come out of bankruptcy. Under no circumstances would I do anything other than to help this industry get on its feet. And the idea that as has been suggested that i would liquidate the industry, of course not.”

“Let’s check the record,” the President said, recalling Romney’s humiliation at the second debate. “People in Detroit don’t forget.”

On the key question of whether Mitt Romney recommended government help to “go through bankruptcy,” Mitt Romney is wrong. In his op-ed, he only referenced post-bankruptcy loan guarantees:

The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

That’s A) not the same thing as a loan, and B) not helping them “through bankruptcy.” Without bridge loans from the government, there was no private capital available at the time to get them through bankruptcy, and even those commies at The Economist agree there would have been some liquidation. Romney’s plan was, essentially, to let the car companies crash hard enough to kill off retiree benefits and decent-paying jobs, then let some private financiers, with government guarantees, waltz in and buy the bones on the cheap.

To the extent that this debate makes any difference at all in this election, it will be in how this exchange is played, and replayed, in Ohio.

Here’s the clip, from Fox News:

Follow Tommy Christopher (@TommyXtopher) on Twitter.

CNN Fact-Checks Vice Presidential Debate

This post is by Alex Alvarez from Mediaite

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On Friday, Starting Point‘s John Berman offered a fact-check of the previous night’s vice presidential debate.

First up: The Romney tax plan. Ryan claimed that Romney’s plan would manage to cut taxes and not hurt the middle class in the process by eliminating deductions that benefit middle class families. According to the Tax Policy Center, however, it is not possible to perform the cut Romney wishes to without impacting the middle class. Verdict: False.

As for Biden’s claim that the Obama administration did not know that there had been requests for additional security in Benghazi, officials continue to say otherwise, although it is unclear who within the White House knew about these requests. Verdict: Unclear.

And then there’s Ryan’s claim that, under ObamaCare, 20 million people strand to lose their current insurance. In March, the Congressional Budget Office performed an analysis that provided a number of possibilities, including an unlikely one that 20 million people could indeed lose their insurance. However, one other possibility is that 3 million people could gain insurance under ObamaCare. Final verdict, then: False.

Berman then provided one last, final verdict:

Joe Biden? Has very white teeth.

Check it out, via CNN:

CNN Fact-Checks Debate: Candidates Fudge Truth About Tax Cuts, Medicare

This post is by Meenal Vamburkar from Mediaite

Click here to view on the original site: Original Post

While much of the morning-after debate talk is often about its inherent performance art, there’s this one other thing that also matters: facts. And given that politicians are wont to ignore and/or distort them, CNN’s John Berman checked some of their claims this morning.

Berman honed in a couple particular claims made by President Obama and Mitt Romney regarding tax cuts and Medicare. First off: Obama’s claim that Romney is proposing $5 trillion in tax cuts. Berman deemed this false, because, while Romney does propose a 20-percent across-the-board tax cut, he also plans to offset that cut by closing some loopholes and deductions.


That brings us to Romney’s countering claim that his tax cuts won’t add to the deficit. Berman gave him an incomplete on this one — because “all we have here is his word because Mitt Romney really has not laid out any specifics for how he will pay for his tax cut,” without specifying which loopholes he’d close or deductions he’d eliminate.

And then there’s Medicare. Which Berman said was “a missed opportunity for Obama,” before tackling Romney’s repeated claim that Obama is cutting $716 billion from Medicare, which will affect current people in the program. Berman’s verdict was false.

Obama is not proposing cuts to Medicare, Berman said. “Medicare will still grow, it will just grow more slowly…and also that money is coming from insurers and providers, not beneficiaries.”

Of course, this is just a sampling. Indeed, there are other claims worth checking, and we can be pretty sure they weren’t all true.

The segment below, via CNN:

Rachel Maddow Rips Into Romney For Defending Lies In Campaign Ads

This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite

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During an interview on CNN this week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was confronted about the inaccuracies in his campaign ads after being reminded that his campaign was going after President Obama‘s camp for lying in their ads. Romney insisted that his ads have been “absolutely spot-on, and anything that’s been amiss, we correct it or remove it.” This seemed off to Rachel Maddow, who proceeded to spend the next ten minutes going into detail about just how much Romney’s campaign has played fast and loose with the facts.

RELATED: Peggy Noonan: ‘It’s Time To Admit The Romney Campaign Is An Incompetent One’

Maddow said that while most political campaigns generally take down or correct inaccurate information, Romney’s comments this week are newsworthy because his campaign has not done that. She told viewers that this has been going on since past November, running an ad from the Romney campaign which erroneously misquoted President Obama, but an advisor for Romney defended the ad by saying it “worked.” Maddow pointed out the misleading ad is still up on Romney’s website, and said his campaign never bothered to correct the record.

Another ad released by the Romney campaign in May, quoting an administration official as saying Solyndra contracts were given to “friends and family,” was found to be “empirically false.” That ad is also still on Romney’s website, as Maddow pointed out, as is the highly controversial ad that accused Obama of removing work requirements from welfare programs. And how did the Romney campaign defend that one? As Maddow reminded viewers, a pollster for the campaign said that they won’t “let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta brought up the welfare ad in his interview with Romney this week. Romney did not back away from the ad, and despite the fact-checks to the contrary, defended its accuracy. Maddow acknowledged that political campaigns will often make mistakes or exaggerate claims, but they get called out and end up apologizing. The Romney campaign, she argued, is doing something very different.

“What’s strange here is not that the Romney campaign has made some false claims in the campaign, right? What is strange here is that when they have gotten things wrong, when they’ve been called out for getting things wrong, they have never tried to fix it. They have not treated it as a concern when they have been caught lying, when they have shown to be making demonstrably false claims.”

However, what Maddow also noticed is a sneaky attempt by the Romney campaign to have the candidate take a position contrary to the one he has already taken, then quietly release a statement walking the comments back. She highlighted the confusion last month over Romney’s comments on Obamacare and a subsequent statement from the campaign taking an entirely different position on it, as well as on other issues including abortion, Iran, and whether or not Obama has raised taxes.

Maddow concluded that Romney is just telling people “what they want to hear” even if it is not his position, and then leaves it to his campaign to quietly walk back what it is he said.

Watch the video below, courtesy of MSNBC:


Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

Fact Check: CNN Report Delves Into False Claims From Obama, Romney Campaigns

This post is by Meenal Vamburkar from Mediaite

Click here to view on the original site: Original Post

Distortions and mistruths are part of the package deal voters get during an election season. While both sides will decry the each other’s inaccurate claims, that won’t keep them from spreading inaccuracies themselves. Leaving voters to sort out the mess. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are no exceptions. Thus was the subject of a CNN report by Jim Acosta.

The segment took a look at a few of many fudged facts disseminated by both campaigns. Take an Obama ad, for example, which criticizes Romney’s Massachusetts record, specifically for the $18 billion in debt he left behind. What the ad fails to mention? That figure was at $16 billion when Romney took office.

Then of course there’s the age-old defense following a political gaffe: the “I was taken out of context” plea. White House Press Secretary took this approach following Obama’s remark about the state of the private sector. Romney echoed the same sentiment after his remark about firefighters and teachers landed him in hot water.

Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Kathleen Hall Jamieson said the problem is that voters see the out-of-context soundbites repeatedly, eventually losing track of the original remarks altogether. Furthermore, sometimes fact-checking is only reported once or twice, while the inaccurate clips live on. Acosta noted that fact-checkers themselves are having a tough time keeping up.

Maybe it’ll create some jobs at the fact-checking organizations, Wolf Blitzer added.

Take a look, via CNN:

Washington Post Fact-Checker Upgrades Mitt Romney Jobs Claim To 3 ‘Pinocchios’

This post is by Tommy Christopher from Mediaite

Click here to view on the original site: Original Post

Last week, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler did a great job of disproving Mitt Romney‘s claim that he created 100,000 jobs through Bain Capital, but made the bewildering judgment that the claim merited but a single “Pinocchio.”

After watching Romney at Saturday’s ABC News debate, Kessler came back with a new ruling: the claim now merits three “Pinocchios,” while the rationale doesn’t appear to have changed.

RELATED: ABC News Debate Ignores Mitt Romney’s Admission That His Bain Jobs Claim Is Bunk

It’s one thing to challenge claims based on their merits, and even to apply some reasonable subjective judgments, but too often, these fact-checking outfits fall down when it comes to delivering their “Pinocchio/Pants On Fire/So Full Of Shit Your Eyes Are Brown” rating. Since that rating is often the only thing people end up seeing (candidates have taken to citing the ratings on the trail and in debates), sticking the landing is important.

RELATED: Politi-f**ked: Why Politifact’s ‘Lie Of The Year’ Is Not Just Wrong, It’s Irresponsible

In this case, Kessler concluded, last week, that Romney’s claim to have created 100,000 jobs was based on a selection of only three businesses that Bain was involved with, and that it “does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved — and are based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain.”

To me, that sounds like “Romney’s claim is pure crap,” which should have merited at least three Pinokes: “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”

Instead, he gave it one: “Some shading of the facts. Selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods.”

So what changed?

According to Kessler, Romney’s performance at Saturday’s debate changed everything. His new conclusion? (emphasis mine)

Romney certainly has a good story to tell about knowing how to manage a business, spotting opportunities and understanding high finance. But if he is to continue to make claims about job creation, the Romney campaign needs to provide a real accounting of how many jobs were gained or lost through Bain Capital investments while the firm managed these companies — and while Romney was chief executive. Any jobs counted after either of those data points simply do not pass the laugh test.

This was as true last week as it is today. As I noted Saturday, Romney simply sharpened the relief on an already obvious subterfuge. Kessler got it right both times, but only scored it right once.

Kessler did make an excellent, familiar-sounding point about the broader issue of Romney trying to claim jobs creation at Bain:

High finance is a difficult subject to convey in a sound bite, so Romney evidently has chosen to focus on job creation.

This is a mistake, because it overstates the purposes of Bain’s investments and has now led Romney into a factually challenging cul-de-sac.Romney never could have raised money from investors if the prospectus seeking $1-million investments from the super wealthy had said it would focus on creating jobs. Instead, it said: “The objective of the fund is to achieve an annual rate of return on invested capital in excess of the returns generated by conventional investments in the public equity market and the private equity market.”

Indeed, the prospectus never mentions “jobs,” “job,” or “employees.”

That sounds a lot like what I wrote on Sunday:

By all accounts, arriving at a net jobs figure for Romney’s tenure at Bain is impossible, and while that unknowable number is somewhat relevant, the real point is that people’s jobs are incidental to Bain’s mission. Indeed, the firm’s modus operandi, buying companies and extracting maximum short-term profit by cutting costs (i.e. layoffs), then selling them before they either collapse or are fixed by the next guy, tends to encourage job losses, not gains.

Now, I’m not one of these people who see partisan bias under every rock. I think the agenda of the fact-checking game is to burnish their own credibility, and in service of that, they seem to err on the side of the counterintuitive. That’s fine when it comes to their commentary, which can be evaluated on its merits, but their ratings can be somewhat arbitrary, and as a result, misleading. They should tighten them up, or get rid of them.