False Statements, Red Herrings, Cherry-picking, and Strawman Arguments by FactCheck.org and Others
By Theodore de Macedo Soares
FactCheck.org claimed: No ‘Huge Red Flag That Fraud Occurred’ in Mass. Primary
Their headline should be “FactCheck.org Finds No Errors by TDMS|RESEARCH.” Aside theirs (and others) absurd assertion that the exit polls’ best and final estimate, of who is going to win and by how much—used by the major networks to call election results before votes are counted—should not be used by tdmsresearch.com until they have been altered to match the final computer vote counts, they find no errors. No errors are cited in any of the articles published on tdmsresearch.com’s website.
FactCheck.org attacked the citation, in a third party’s tweet, of a statistic mentioned only in passing in articles published by tdmsresearch.com. Instead of limiting their criticism to this tweet, FactCheck.org went on to unload both barrels on tdmsresearch.com: ”the analysis done by TDMS Research [is] ‘misleading at best and corrosive at worst,’” “misleading calculation of misleading numbers,” and “needlessly inflammatory,” are examples of their journalism.
Any objective observer can see that using a third party’s tweet to attack tdmsresearch.com is the classic “strawman” stunt—a discredit to FactCheck.org.
This scathing attack completely sidesteps the central and “huge red flag” statistics that are emphasized in all the articles:
That the discrepancies between the exit poll’s projections and the actual computerized vote counts were large and beyond the margin of error in state-after-state, election-after-election in the 2016 Democratic Party primaries and now reappear worse in the 2020 primaries. That these discrepancies systematically go mainly in one direction: against candidate Sanders. Meanwhile in the 2016 Republican Party primaries, the computer counts matched the exit polls within their margin of error and as expected, with accurate exit polls and unbiased computer counts, the discrepancies were just as likely to favor candidate Trump as not.
The main point, of course is that if the United States wishes to instill trust in its elections, it must join all other major and technologically advanced democracies with this same concern and count its ballots by hand in full view of the public. This point is emphasized in a highlighted box in every article on the 2020 primaries. This purpose is also clearly stated in the “About” section of this website.
Any objective observer can see that this vituperative attack on a side issue is nothing but the use of the classic “red herring” stunt to avoid the real issues presented—a discredit to FactCheck.org.
FactCheck.org’s journalism did not include the explanation given them: that the statistic is used for the practical purpose of showing how many more votes, according to the exit polls, the candidate would have gained or lost. In Massachusetts, for example the article states Biden’s “vote totals represented a 16.2% increase of his projected exit poll share…he gained approximately 65,200 more votes than projected by the exit poll.” The converse, of course, is true for Sanders. This statistic is used for a simple and straightforward extrapolation that brings practical meaning to otherwise dry numbers and percentages.
Any objective observer can see that omitting this plain and factual explanation is the classic “cherry-picking” stunt—a discredit to FactCheck.org.
Motivated by FactCheck.org’s reprehensible journalism this page, devoted to debunking misinformation, was created. Their article was also addressed in answer to two comments: Here, and here. FactCheck.org was asked to review and respond to the objections to their article raised here. Their response will be published.
A similar defamatory article posted at Reddit.com (often cited in the comments section below posted articles) was taken down within hours of our reply.