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The Week in Fact-Checking: Next time, choose the bloody buffalo

FCP logoThe 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
“Oscar voters are 94% white, 76% men, with an average age of 63. The last time I was around a bunch of 63-year-old white men was never.” — Eugene Lee Yang, BuzzFeed video producer, on last year’s Oscar nominations. Might as well read Wired’s fact check again.

We know that fact-checking and accountability journalism has increased by more than 300 percent in recent years. But what gets journalists interested in doing this type of reporting? To promote an informed democracy? Not exactly. Read what three university professors found during their research for the American Press Institute.

Fact check of the week 
The governor of New Mexico opposes a law that allows people without proof of their immigration status to get a driver’s license in the state. For one thing, she said, the practice enables human traffickers. In a “Wait, what?” moment, the Santa Fe New Mexican fact-checks her statement. Read it.

Fact-checking fail
The Portland Press Herald’s editorial board apologized this week for a lack of fact-checking before they published a local commentary piece. It turned out to be Koch Industries’ propaganda in disguise. Read it, weep, don’t get fooled again.

Fact-checking tip4769199272_a15665526b_z
When your job is to write about retirement policy, it’s probably understandable that you do things like collect “favorite misleading statistics.” For Andrew Biggs, it’s the one about the number of Americans who haven’t saved anything for retirement. Heard that one recently? Stop and read his brief, clarifying fact-check before you repeat it.

The fact-checking gold mine
Everyone’s talking about Iowa and its endless ethanol debate, and hardly anyone —the media or the candidates — is getting the facts right. Possibly because it is“wonky,” says the Washington Post Fact Checker, “but really not as complicated as it may seem.”  Read it.

Fast fact-checking 
Fact-checkers from PolitiFact are racing around Iowa this week, and you probably know why. Read it.

Fact-checking: Not just for politics
A cobbler making shoes in a 17th century style at a re-enactmentJust because you bought your shoes at Florsheim’s doesn’t mean they were made by cobblers out back in Florsheim’s garage. PolitiFact explains the basic concepts of modern production, in reference to a presidential candidate’s claim about his “American” boots. Read it.

Fact-checking Hollywood
In the new film “The Revenant,” should Leonardo DiCaprio have slept inside the bloody carcass of (a) a horse, (b) a buffalo or (c) seriously, just froze to death if those were his only two choices. A survivalist fact-checks the life-and-death tactics in the film. Read it.


Follow our workshop at the University of Oregon this weekend on Twitter: #truthpol16

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