Idaho newspaper publishes prominent fact-check of senator’s press release

The Visual Side of Journalism

The Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho ran a full-page illustration on its Sunday opinion section front that fact-checked, point-by-point, a press release from Republican Senator Mike Crapo.

This page appeared as a section front on the Sunday, Oct. 9 opinion section.

The newspaper tells readers that it gets dozens of press releases every day; before publishing them, "we also like to check all releases for both spin and accuracy before we publish them." In this release, Crapo's office announced legislation to cap the capital gains and dividend tax rate. The newspaper says the release's description of a "guaranteed" tax from the health care overhaul is a "half truth" because most people will never pay it. Crapo's office uses percentage increase figures that "sound pretty scary," one of which is calculated by assuming the highest tax rates, which don't apply to most people. And the release throws in a reference to farmers and ranchers that seems like a "heavy-handed way to pander to rural Idahoans" who generally aren't subject to the tax. The newspaper concludes that although the release is factual, "the data is also spun harder than it should be," and it calls on politicians to avoid "the most hyperbolic of methods to crunch statistics." || Related: PolitiFact asks its readers: Should ‘Barely True’ rating be changed to ‘Mostly False’?

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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