FactcheckingPollyanna is on holiday until next Friday.
I won’t debate policy here. The brain is remarkably powerful, but it is also quixotic. We tend to be more forgiving of people we agree with then of those we don’t (see Linda Skitka’s work). Readers have suggested that I hold fire if I agree with the thrust of what Polly is saying; sloppiness is OK if she is right. I disagree, and so avoid saying whether or not I agree with her conclusions. For that reason, I also steer clear of explicitly partisan, left- vs. right-wing positions here.
Why Polly? It has to be someone – despite kind suggestions I can’t factcheck the entire UK media in detail, and just randomly picking a “fact” from a different paper everyday would suggest that the entire system was rotten and invite despair. Something can be done about an individual who doesn’t get their facts right, however. In Polly’s case, editing.
But why Polly? She is widely read, influential and interesting to read. She also has a reputation for thorough, factual research. I think it is undeserved.