Mailbag: 'Discontinue this farce'
By Katie Sanders
Published on Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 3:54 p.m.
Readers did not hold back with reactions to our fact-checks about the federal government shutdown, Gov. Rick Scott’s voter purge, and more pot politics.
Reader feedback is edited for style and length.
Charlie Crist on the voter purge
Charlie Crist criticized his successor (and potential 2014 opponent) Gov. Rick Scott for renewing a controversial effort to purge non-citizens from the voter rolls. The first go-round, Crist said, state officials "put together a list of over 100,000 people that they thought were ineligible to vote. Came out there were less than 10." We rated the statement Mostly False, recognizing that he had a point but his number was too small.
Readers didn’t like it.
"I am astounded at the inept analysis of issues recently provided by Politifact Florida. Please provide accurate and professional analysis or discontinue this farce as you are only confusing people. I could give many examples but will limit to one; today's analysis of Charlie Crist's comments re voter lists. You claim that he is wrong for saying only 10 of 180,000 were found to be incorrect rather than <100 of 180,000!! That is.05 % rather than .005%! I think he made his point. Who’s analyzing these things, first grade students? If you don't understand the issues, please stop commenting on them."
"You make the point that Crist is wrong in saying that only 10 people were ruled ineligible, but the real number was 85. First off, he is wrong purely on the facts, but the context is dead on. ... I feel like most times you try to add context, but for this it didn’t seem that you did. Context is important in any argument, and in reality it could be even more important that the facts itself. Stats can be true, but not tell the story. Crist was wrong with his stats, but it still told the story correctly."
More pot politics
With medical marijuana a potential 2014 ballot issue, we checked a statement by well-known Orlando attorney John Morgan that "nobody is addicted to marijuana." He admitted, and we verified, that his statement is incorrect. We rated the statement False.
"I agree with the article as far as saying the overly broad statement made by John Morgan was false. However, I think the tone of the article leads one to believe that marijuana may be physically addictive which is a falsehood. While I can certainly agree there is possible physiological addiction (as with any substance on the planet) no scientific data shown links any physical addiction, which is a rather large distinction."
From Facebook: "Nobody is CHEMICALLY addicted to it. It’s a psychological addiction. The statement is exactly like saying ‘Nobody is addicted to Xbox.’ "
Libertarians: "We’re No. 3!" Ummmm..
We investigated a claim by the Libertarian Party of Broward County that Libertarians comprise the third-largest organized political party. We rated it False.
From Roger Stone, a Republican-turned-libertarian political operative in Florida: "I think you missed one key point. The Libertarian candidates for president and vice president were on the ballot in 48 states and were only prevented from being on the ballot in 50 states by clearly partisan judicial rulings in two states. What makes a party a 'national party’ is being on the ballot in enough states to win a theoretical 270 electoral votes. The process of ballot access is difficult, expensive, labor intensive and litigious. The Green Party presidential candidate was only on the ballot in 34 states in 2012, for example. Some credit where credit is due."
"You call yourself a ‘Truth-O-Meter’? How about a ‘We-Slant-The-Facts-To-Come-Up-With-Our-Own-Conclusion-Based-on-Our-Personal-Beliefs-O-Meter’? It’s obvious someone went to great lengths to figure out a way to try to indicate the Libertarian Party is not the third largest political party, which it obviously is."
"If the Libertarian Party’s claim that they are the third largest party is false, who IS actually No. 3? I think the data you presented in your analysis clearly shows your conclusion is wrong. There is no other party with a better claim."
We like to hear criticism -- but we also like encouragement.
"I regard the mainstream media as a total failure. PolitiFact is one of the few exceptions".
Researchers: Katie Sanders