Tuesday, August 10, 2010

True or False

In today's contentious political climate, a reoccurring feature inside the front page of the local newspaper titled Fact Check - Your Report Card on Accountability should be required reading. The following editor's note runs with each article:
PolitiFact.com is a project of the St. Petersburg Times to help you find the truth in American politics. Reporters and editors from the Times fact-check statements by members of Congress, The White House, lobbyists and interest groups, and rate them on their truthfulness.
The article first states the claim such as the one this morning by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, then follows with an in-depth check of the facts, and concludes with a summary that might state the claim is true, false or somewhere in between. Boehner's claim, "This is the first time since the Depression that unemployment has stayed above 9 percent for two consecutive years," was found to be false.

Wouldn't it be helpful if there was a device similar to a battery tester that would instantly give a true or false read-out when a politician or corporate executive makes a statement? Flashing lights and buzzers indicating falsehoods would be helpful. . . and entertaining. I can just imagine the constant light show we would witness.

It is all about spin and it isn't just in politics or the corporate world. I worked at a library that would benefit from some thorough fact checking. Why is everyone so afraid of the truth?

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