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Topic: Non-partisan fact checking

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  1. #1

    Non-partisan fact checking

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    Here's a great website that may help cut through the craap.

    http://www.factcheck.org

    It follows the principle of objectivity in reporting (in which the truth is paramount), as compared to neutrality in reporting (for every comment from one who believes that the Earth is round, include a comment from one who believes the Earth is flat.)

    Here is their statement:

    We are 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.

    The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels.

    The APPC accepts NO funding from business corporations, labor unions, political parties, lobbying organizations or individuals. It is funded primarily by an endowment from the Annenberg Foundation.


    -Jon Fairhurst

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Here's a great website that may help cut through the craap.

    http://www.factcheck.org
    Thanks, Jon.

    Here's another pretty good site:

    http://www.spinsanity.org

    The only downside to this site is that a lot of the references go to philly.com which requires registration.

    (If you're like me though, you have a special email address just for this purpose )
    - Layne

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Thumbs down

    It would be great if this site was what it claims, but alas, the first article I read claimed that criticism of Bush, that said that "Bush had opened up corporate headquaters in the white house", was way off base. The article claims that the Bush administration was actively pursuing the prosecution of corporate criminals. This is completely false. Ashcroft is personally aquainted with Kenneth Lay and has not gone after him or any other top executive that has ties to Bush. And there are many. Bush has figuratively opened up corporate headquaters in the white House. All of his policies have a corporate profit first theme. This is true for taxes, the environment and energy. So, I believe that this site is biased.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Phoenix
    It would be great if this site was what it claims, but alas, the first article I read claimed that criticism of Bush, that said that "Bush had opened up corporate headquaters in the white house", was way off base. The article claims that the Bush administration was actively pursuing the prosecution of corporate criminals. This is completely false. Ashcroft is personally aquainted with Kenneth Lay and has not gone after him or any other top executive that has ties to Bush. And there are many. Bush has figuratively opened up corporate headquaters in the white House. All of his policies have a corporate profit first theme. This is true for taxes, the environment and energy. So, I believe that this site is biased.
    I think the article made some fair claims, but was off-base in some areas.

    The way this group seems to work is to analyze the specifics. The risk is that they will miss patterns and make biased value judgements.

    The other bias I see is that they want to find fault with the ads. Note the following paragraph. Bush did support tax breaks that were passed and benefitted Enron. The fact that a bigger tax break was proposed by Bill Thomas and failed does not invalidate the claim in the ad.

    As for the claim that Bush supported "giving Enron huge new tax breaks," it's true that Bush supported repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax in 2002 as part of an economic stimulus package, and that Enron led a group of corporations pushing for repeal. But the really big breaks for Enron were not proposed by Bush; they were added by Republican House Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas, who proposed letting corporations redeem AMT credits built up over many years. That would have given $254 million to Enron, and also would have aided several other large corporations. But the whole bill died when the Senate refused to consider it.

    I found the statement about the guy from Harvard "poo pooing" the crony contracts for Haliburton to be unfair. His opinion does not prove that Haliburton didn't get a sweetheart deal. I think the ad would have been more accurate if it had said that the Bush Administration had awarded the contract, rather than Bush himself. The fact stands that Haliburton did win some no-bid contracts.

    One of their studies showed that 75% of Bush's ads attacked Kerry by name, while only 27% of Kerry's attacked Bush. And they've criticized many Bush ad statements for being factually untrue.

    I think their bias is to find fault in the ads.

    I can live with that.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Phoenix
    It would be great if this site was what it claims, but alas, the first article I read claimed that criticism of Bush, that said that "Bush had opened up corporate headquaters in the white house", was way off base. The article claims that the Bush administration was actively pursuing the prosecution of corporate criminals. This is completely false. Ashcroft is personally aquainted with Kenneth Lay and has not gone after him or any other top executive that has ties to Bush. And there are many. Bush has figuratively opened up corporate headquaters in the white House. All of his policies have a corporate profit first theme. This is true for taxes, the environment and energy. So, I believe that this site is biased.
    The executives of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco International, Worldcom, Adelphia Communications Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston, HealthSouth Corporation and others that have been convicted or indicted by the Bush Justice Dept might disagree with you.

    I like the site....it seems to expose BOTH parties for their disingenious campaign ads and comments and includes references to back up their analysis.

  7. #7
    Ok, I agree that the site has something to offer. However, Ashcroft's prosecution of corporate criminals is just a game to appease the public.

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