Pulitzer Prize Winning Politifact Now Fact Checking the Mechanics of a High Five


“A headline on a North Dakota political blog wrongly said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., high-fived Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., following a controversial abortion vote,” the Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact website writes today.

The blog in question is this one, and the post in question is this one headlined “Heitkamp High-Fives Schumer After Voting Against 20-Week Abortion Ban.”

My post referenced this clip from CSPAN which shows, as Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s vote against legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks is announced to the Senate Chamber, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Heitkamp awkwardly high-fiving one another.

According to the Pulitzer Prize winners at Politifact, it wasn’t really a high five.

“Typical high fives involve slapping of two hands in celebration,” they write. “This was a very gradual meeting of awkwardly waving hands.”

Here’s the video again. It was definitely awkward. It looked like a high five to me – the sort awkward old white people do – but whatever. It was definitely a celebration of some sort:

My headline stated that Heitkamp and Schumer high fived on the Senate floor after the former voted against the abortion ban. The only way that headline is false is if you argue that it wasn’t a high five. Which is kind of a dumb, petty argument.

The Politifact article also quotes staff from both Heitkamp and Schumer’s office as saying they weren’t discussing the abortion vote during the exchange. We’ll have to take their word for it. I have no idea what they were talking about.

Whatever they were talking about, celebrating like that in the middle of a vote on an issue as serious as abortion is crass. Though, again, the awkward old white person high five happened right as Heitkamp’s no vote was announced.

But hey, at least Heitkamp has a talking point to muddy the waters now. Which seems to be Politifact’s job. Muddying the waters on behalf of Democratic politicians.