Instead of doing a monthly Truth Index trendline, I thought for 2012 I’d try a weekly. The weekly tells about as much as the monthly (not much) except it’s a bumpier ride. I also thought I could look at recent political events (such as the “attacks” on contraception and Planned Parenthood) and see if they could be tied in through review of Pants on Fire and False statements. But I couldn’t really find any correlation.
|Click to enlarge: Is each month starting (or ending) about even or is it just me?|
In the monthly review it was rare that the Republicans Truth Index exceeded that of the Democrats, however, and that is certainly not true when one looks at the weekly. The Republicans started off 2012 well ahead of the Democrats, then both reversed course of each other, only to be even by the end of the month. It seems to have happened in February and March as well. It almost looks like when month end approaches, the PolitiFact writers take measure of their Truth Indexes and try to even everyone up …but it can mean anything as this is only three months’ data, and it may not be there the next time.
For some reference on the chart, I thought I’d add the weekly index for the four presidential contenders (Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul). The yellow line on the chart seems to follow the red Republican line except for the second week of March. It should be noted that the bulk of PolitiFact rulings on the four candidates were done in a three week period from February 12 to March 3 (about a third of them in three weeks out of 13) and that they then trailed off during March, with only five done in the last three weeks. So those last few weeks would have seriously distorted Truth Indexes because of the number, truth indexes with little relevancy.
Next up, another way to look at the “source” of PolitiFact rulings.