The Week in Fact-Checking: If we’ve told you once, we’ve told you 10 times

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The American Press Institute presents a roundup from the world of fact-checking, debunking and truth-telling — just in case you haven’t been paying as much attention as we do.

Quote of the week
“If you are in the business of finding out what’s true — whether that business is social science, military intelligence, journalism, the hard sciences or something else — there is an elusive quality you find among the best in the field. It might be called the Cold Eye. It’s not a term you will find in textbooks. It’s a matter of character as much as professional skill.” — From API executive director Tom Rosenstiel’s appreciation of pollster Andy Kohut, who died this week. Read more.

Fact-checking tips
If we’ve told you once, we’ve told you 10 times: Be wary when someone tries to compare statistics over decades. When presidential candidate Ben Carson says there are “10 times more people on welfare” since the 1960s, it sounds so simple. But The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker”  hands out two Pinocchios while explaining why the statement is deceptive. Read it.

Fact-checking the 2016 electionsFactCheck
Jake Tapper and CNN’s “State of the Union” have joined fact-checking forces with FactCheck.org to create weekly videos that examine the accuracy of candidates’ statements. First up: Donald Trump’s comments on citizenship and birthright. Watch it. Read more.

The fact-checking gold mine 
“Q&A” is a popular Australian television show which “puts punters, pollies and pundits together in the studio to thrash out the hot issues,” as the show’s promo says. But with the “hot issues” comes hot air. When the dialogue includes this:

NAOMI KLEIN: No, it’s not.

TOM SWITZER: Yes, it is.

it helps when fact-checkers step in. The Conversation fact-checks this week’s show on U.S. carbon emissions.  Watch it. Read it.

Fact-checking around the world4722459772_4c58525d7b_m
An editor with the new Mexican fact-checking site El Sabueso (“The Bloodhound”) doesn’t hold back when explaining why Mexico needs some accountability journalism. “We can’t stay in this passive state of receiving information, figures, and supposed achievements of the government and simply transcribing them like a large portion of journalists do,” Daniel Moreno says. El Sabueso gathered 60 journalists, researchers and other professionals for its first big task. Read about it.

Try this fact check at home
Can an apology be fact-checked? Can you prove, for instance, that your significant other is really sorry for keeping Kit Kats hidden under the mattress? And not sharing them with you? The Daily Dot found a way to fact-check Hillary Clinton’s apology for using personal e-mail as a public official. Read it. 

What? Something is fake on the Internet?194971242_1a6e7125cb_z
For 20 years, people have counted on the Snopes website to assure them that a father and son were not sickened by a hotel room coffee pot that had been used by a previous guest to cook meth. Or that Sarah Palin did not demand that “Native Americans should go back to their native homeland of Nativia.” So imagine the disillusionment when the Snopes CEO was arrested on fraud and corruption charges. Oh, except that didn’t happen either. Read it.

Fact-checking Hollywood
New fall shows and movies have been released and the fact-checking has been unleashed. In case you were wondering: (1) the new movie about the Appalachian Trail was not shot on the Appalachian Trail; (2) the NFL says it didn’t tell moviemakers to tone down the stuff about concussions in a movie about concussions;  (3) the man behind the Travel Channel’s “Dead Files” realizes that anyone offering him “facts” for the paranormal TV series could be “some kind of nut.”

Some fact-checking fun9623687216_80ba9511f0_z
What do journalists find when they’re cleaning out their desks? Facts. (And you were going to say  “year-old birthday-cake icing on a paper plate.” Which also would be correct.)  Take a trip with a Bangor Daily News writer as he unearths his desk’s ancient treasures and the facts they reveal. Read it.

Find a fantastic fact check? Send it to us (yes, even if it’s your own) and we’ll mention it in the Week in Fact-Checking Newsletter.

All photos: Flickr Creative Commons.
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