As even the New York Times issues warnings about campaign lies, some people are inclined to the “pox on both your houses” stance, disbelieving everything that politicians say. But not all politicians lie, and you may want to find out who’s lying and when. Here are important resources that sort the lies from the truth and even identify some half-truths.
The FactCheck is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Its Web site says it is “a nonpartisan, nonprofit, ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.”
PolitiFact, a partnership between the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly – rules on political statements as being true, mostly true, barely true, barely true, false or pants on fire
Then there is Snopes, which deals in rumors, urban legends, and fact-checking all the time, and includes political claims and nonsense in its list. While Fact Check and PolitiFact focus on statements made by the candidates, Snopes tracks and debunks the most wild-eyed and scurrilous rumors circulated about all of the candidates. Snopes is the go-to Web site when your brother-in-law sends you yet another plea to help find Ashley Flores or a warning about the deadly Klingerman virus.
If you have other reliable sources that sort truth from lies and analyze exaggerations, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll include them in another News You Can Use post.