Rachel Maddow attacked “fact-checker” Politifact Tuesday night over a story related to NBA player Jason Collins coming out as a gay man.
The controversy revolves around a statement made by tennis legend Martina Navratilova on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. Navratilova claimed, “In 29 states in this country you can still get fired for not just being gay, but if your employer thinks you are gay.”
Politifact rated the statement as “Half True.” Their reason?
If you frame this statement in the context of blanket protections by states, she’s correct. Still, even in those 29 states, many gay and lesbian employees do have protections, either because they work for the government, because they live in a city that bars such discrimination, or because they work for a company that has pledged not to discriminate based on sexual orientation. On balance, we rate Navratilova’s claim Half True.
Maddow attacked the reasoning behind the “Half True” judgement, and in turn, attacked Politifact itself:
The statement you were fact-checking is true, and until somebody figures out how to sue you in order to retrieve the meaning of the word fact from the dark and airless hole you have stuffed it into, Politifact, then no, it is not okay to just make this stuff up. You are truly terrible. Fact checking has to count for something, and Politifact, you are ruining it for everyone.
The case Maddow makes against Politifact sounds a bit familiar. In fact, it’s the same argument made by Breitbart News Editor John Nolte during the presidential campaign. It’s great that Maddow has joined the conversation about the insidious nature of Politifact, but it’s also telling that it took a pet issue like this to really get her riled up.
Watch the video below: