Introducing, Mostly False
By W. Gardner Selby
Published on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 at 7:00 a.m.
Starting today, PolitiFact’s Barely True rating for significantly flawed statements by political figures is history.
In its place, we’re introducing Mostly False, meaning that a claim contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
The False rating remains unchanged, as does, for ridiculous statements, Pants on Fire. Half True, Mostly True and True also are unchanged.
We agreed with readers who disliked the Barely True rating. One reader wrote: "When I was a kid, if my mom had caught me telling a ‘Barely True’ statement to her, she would have judged it ‘False’ and I would have been in big trouble. Small elements of truth should not be given credit over the general deception presented. Please change that."
Another reader said: "Saying that something is Barely True means that it is true. Many falsehoods contain elements of truth."
Footnote: Previous Barely True ratings by PolitiFact Texas now show up as Mostly False.
Researchers: W. Gardner Selby
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