Our goal at PolitiFact is to use the Truth-O-Meter to show the relative accuracy of a political claim. In this case, we rated it Mostly True because we felt that while the number was short of a majority, it was still a plurality. 40 percent of Americans consider themselves conservative, 35 percent moderate and 21 percent liberal. It wasn’t quite a majority, but was close.PolitiFact chief Bill Adair • Responding to some aggressive criticism from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, over PolititFact’s rating of Marco Rubio’s claim that “a majority of Americans are conservatives.” The polling used by PolitiFact to score the claim proved that, in fact, only 40% of Americans self-identify as conservative — not a majority. However, they rated his claim “mostly true,” the stated justification being “conservatives are the largest ideological group, but they don’t cross the 50 percent threshold.” PolitiFact has been the subject of some derision lately, with the spotlight turned on them after their controversial 2011 “Lie Of The Year” selection, about which Bill Adair authored a rather prickly, underwhelming defense. Earlier this week, they got some criticism over debunking a claim from an episode of “Glee.” Frankly, PolitiFact’s ratings have always brought with them a measure of subjectivity, as you might find with any media arbiter; it’s their own lofty title that makes this an issue. Majorities aren’t pluralities. For a fact-checker, that’s just a dictionary search away. source (via • follow)
If in fact Lulz Security is responsible for doing this, it should be noted that this is also notable for being really humorless for them. They’re generally known, even as they take on very powerful targets, for being kind of sarcastic and snarky in the way that they announce these things publicly … there’s none of that going on here.Rachel Maddow • Offering her take on the massive data dump that LulzSec reportedly just got away with. This is why we’re surprised too. Arizona law enforcement officials claim that a hack did take place, but no info on what, specifically, the hackers took. We just want to float an idea by you guys, a theory … what if these hacks that the group did prior to this one acted as a trojan horse? What if it was simply a mechanism for the group to draw tons of attention to themselves, so they’d be able to pull off a release of something really serious like this, and everyone would pay attention? You know, Wikileaks without the newspapers working as catalysts? This is the kind of hack you wouldn’t be able to sell if you were just getting started — it’s too multidimensional in its conceit. It’s almost like the group used all these other, attention-grabbing hacks because they knew they had something big. Just a thought.
There’s going to be plenty of time to score political points on this. Osama bin Laden is going to be dead forever. Osama bin Laden is never coming back.Rachel Maddow • Discussing attempts in the news media to tilt the facts of the Osama bin Laden raid to suit certain political themes, in her appearance on The Daily Show last night. Maddow is spot on in this analysis, for a very good reason — it’s demonstrably obvious that news agencies since bin Laden’s death don’t have a conclusive, clear view of exactly what went down. This is borne out by the wild conflicts and discrepancies in reporting various details of the operation since word broke on Sunday. Maddow, to her credit, has done two episodes of her show post-bin Laden, and both were earnestly refreshing in acknowledging that waiting for verifiable fact is more useful than rushing to make the story sound cooler, or fit into a political narrative. source (via • follow)
In that interview, I wasn’t asked about Anderson Cooper, I didn’t say anything about him, he literally was never discussed during the interview at all — even implicitly.Rachel Maddow • Clarifying the comments we posted about earlier to emphasize that it wasn’t about Anderson Cooper, despite what it seemed from the phrasing. (Good.) In her blog post, Maddow lays out the three ethical rules she stands by, the key one being this: “Gay people — generally speaking — have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.” She notes, however, if you’re using your status as a gay person to harm others, you should “reasonably expect” others in the community to out you. We’re glad for the clarification, and want to make clear that we love Anderson just the way he is, no matter what he does when he’s not covering the news. source (via • follow)
I’m sure other people in the business have considered reasons why they’re doing what they’re doing, but I do think that if you’re gay you have a responsibility to come out.Rachel Maddow • Talking about closeted people working in the TV news business, in a profile and interview with British newspaper The Guardian. The paper asked Maddow whether she felt frustration towards an “equally well-known news presenter who is widely assumed to be gay but has never come out,” which prompted the above response. (Are they referring to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, a common is-he-or-isn’t-he target of celebrity gossip sites?) While the right to not divulge one’s sexual identity is (we would argue) an absolute one, Maddow’s argument is a classic advocate’s stance — that the importance (solidarity, mainstream appeal, and inspiration) of an uber-successful media professional coming out of the closet ought to trump that person’s reluctance to admit it. What do you all think? (EDIT: Maddow clarified her comments; she didn’t mean Anderson Cooper.) source (via • follow)
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passiveperfect asks: If you could choose any political member, currently, to run for President of USA, who would it be and why?
» We say: While Obama’s doing alright right now, and we think he’s certainly worthy of a second term, we think it’d be interesting to see what a guy like Michael Bloomberg does in such a position (we’ve said this before). But if we had to go strictly with a pie-in-the-sky choice, we’d love to see Rachel Maddow run someday. While she’s busy playing pundit right now, she totally has the right temperament for public office. And when’s Cory Booker going to decide that he’s bigger than Newark and take his mad political skillz to a national stage?