Conflict of Interest: PolitiFact and the Clinton Foundation Share Megadonor
I have long pointed out that PolitiFact is objectively biased. Surveys done by the University of Minnesota and George Mason University have shown that the supposedly impartial "fact checking" news organization rates Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims and twice as much, respectively.
This election, rather unsurprisingly, the organization has more or less operated as if it was part of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Just to name a few examples, it has done this through astonishingly incompetent defenses of Clinton's email lies, not adhering to its own standards for what is rated true, and even done fact checks of Donald Trump that are plainly wrong. (And given the way Trump stretches the truth, it's a real feat to inaccurately fact check him.)
Well, now Mark Tapscott at the Daily Caller News Foundation has pointed out something very curious. It turns out that the Clinton Foundation and PolitiFact, which is funded through the Poynter Foundation, share a major donor. And there's a serious conflict of interest as a result:
Aaron Sharockman insisted Politifact had no financial ties whatsoever to the Clinton Foundation after publishing an error-laden critique of The Daily Caller News Foundation's Sept. 19 report on "watered down" HIV/AIDS drugs given to millions of people in Africa by the former president's controversial nonprofit.
"We have never received funding from the Omidyar Network, and we have no connection or relationship to the Clinton Foundation other than covering it," Sharockman, who is Politifact's executive director, told TheDCNF.
The reality is that Politifact shares a mega-donor with the Clinton Foundation. Here's how:
The Omidyar Network was created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. So was the Democracy Fund. Both Omidyar groups fund various projects of the Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times, Politifact's home base.
One of those projects — a partnership between Politifact and another group "to fact-check claims about global health and development" — was funded with $225,000 from the Omidyar Network. Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pamela, gave $1 million to the Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS drug distribution program.
It was that Omidyar-funded Clinton Foundation program that was the prime focus of TheDCNF's report, which was inaccurately attacked by Politifact's Jon Greenberg, a former NPR reporter.
Read the whole thing. To recap, as previously mentioned, PolitiFact has an overwhelming problem with selection bias.