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WaPo creates new 'Bottomless Pinocchio' rating inspired by President Trump's 'challenge'

Fact-checkers have had their work cut out for them

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The Washington Post has created a new dishonesty rating which it claims was inspired by President Donald Trump.

It's called "the Bottomless Pinocchio."

The Post's fact-checking team, led by Glenn Kessler, uses the Pinocchio test to rate the veracity of politicians' statements. Previously, the test was based on a scale of one to four, with one Pinocchio meaning there's "some shading of the facts" and four meaning it's a "whopper." Truthful comments are awarded the "Geppetto Checkmark."

"Trump's willingness to constantly repeat false claims has posed a unique challenge to fact-checkers," Kessler wrote in a Monday column. "Most politicians quickly drop a Four-Pinocchio claim, either out of a duty to be accurate or concern that spreading false information could be politically damaging."

"Not Trump," he added.

Kessler said that Trump continues to claim falsehoods as facts long after they've been rated as "four Pinocchios."

"He is not merely making gaffes or misstating things, he is purposely injecting false information into the national conversation," Kessler continued, citing several examples — including Trump's campaign promise to build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it.

After the president was inaugurated, he asked Congress to provide the money to pay for the wall and later declared victory after money was appropriated for border security. The funds were not allocated to build the wall, according to Kessler.

What are the criteria must for a 'Bottomless Pinocchio'?

The "Bottomless Pinocchio" rating would be assigned to a claim that has already received three or four Pinocchios and has been repeated at least 20 times, according to the Post.

"Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware that his or her facts are wrong," Kessler wrote.

Who made the list?

Trump is the only elected official so far with any claims that have been deemed "Bottomless Pinocchio." To date, "14 statements made by the president immediately qualify for the list," according to Kessler.

The Post has created a landing page where it will maintain the list of untrue claims.

One last thing…
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