Fact-checking the fact-checkers

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Stop trying to read their minds, there's nothing there:

Budd said about 9% of Biden’s stimulus plan “is actually going to COVID, meaning 91% of it is not even COVID-related.” In the first part of his statement, Budd accurately describes the proposed spending on efforts to combat the virus itself.

However, he’s wrong to suggest the rest of the bill isn’t related to COVID-19 at all. He may disagree with how much the bill would spend on unemployment insurance and other financial relief efforts. But the bill does aim to address the financial cost of the pandemic. His statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details. We rate it Half True.

Understand, the second clause of that sentence is a conclusion of what is exposed in the previous clause. The word "meaning" proves that was his intent. Yes, people can draw the wrong conclusions from a set of facts, but that's not what happened here. The fact-checkers themselves concluded that Budd meant the following:

The first part of Budd’s quote is accurate. Expert analysis shows a small percentage of the spending is directed at combating the virus through vaccines, protective equipment or resources for health care providers.

Budd said nothing about "combating" the virus, the analysts just assumed that's what he meant. Which may be true, but he did not say that. We need to stop finishing/editing their sentences for them, because that inevitably leads to mistaken assumptions, something we can ill afford these days.

We also need to stop trying to find that happy medium. There should be no such thing as Half True, especially in cases where an elected official's conclusions are inherently false. Because those conclusions are what drives action, not the data that led to the (in this case erroneous) conclusion.

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