Two of Six ITP Watch Political Endorsement Names Misspelled On Site

A reader has been posting a links to ITP Watch in the comments of The WMEAC Blog and Facebook page, several of them challenging WMEAC to take a closer look at what they have to say.   I’ve been less engaged on this issue than my colleagues/co-authors and admittedly haven’t yet taken a look at the site, so I figured I’d correct that  now that we’re on the other side of our Earth Week event marathon.

So I glanced at the ITP Watch home page and then clicked to the endorsements page.  As a journalist, I learned that the best way to judge the legitimacy of a source was by who could vouch for them…I immediately notice that some of the names are misspelled: State Senator Alan Meekhof  and Kent County Commissioner Harold Voorhees.   There are only six names on the list.  (Note: I’m assuming that these are going to get fixed as soon as someone from ITP Watch reads this post.  See screenshot above for comparison).

Lord knows typos happen, especially on the web.  I’m sure you’ll easily find a few on our web site, maybe even this post.  But if you’re going to mess up something, it shouldn’t be the names of your most important benefactors.

Without looking at anything else on the site, these errors tell me that:

  1. ITP Watch plays fast and loose with important details.
  2. No one affiliated with these politicians (or for that matter ITP Watch) has cared enough about the campaign’s endorsements to look at the page since it was published.
Misspelling the names of a few VIPs doesn’t necessarily discredit the ITP Watch research, but it does make it harder to trust its math.  (My colleagues have been spending a lot of time with the data on the site, which has also been released as white papers and videos, and I would expect to see some posts on that in the next few days.)
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