Monday, February 21, 2011

Check Political Statements For Yourself

When you hear the thirty second political sound byte, designed to create a certain mindset on an issue, take the time to find out if the "quickie" is true or false or somewhere in between. A source that I find reliable is's truth-o-meter. is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning, non-partisan project of the St. Petersberg Times newspaper. Its Truth-O-MeterTM carefully evaluates the statements of political figures, pundits, and organizations and finds them to be TRUE, MOSTLY TRUE, HALF TRUE, BARELY TRUE, FALSE, or PANTS ON FIRE. PANTS ON FIRE = The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

For example, I just wrote a blog post about Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin's remarks against Michelle Obama's breast feeding initiative. wrote their assessment of the truth or lack of truth of Bachman's and Palin's comments.  First, they explain what was said, where it was said and to whom it was said.  Then, they explore the statement and provide additional data on the issue.  Finally, they take a stand, using the truth-o-meter, as to how true or false the statement is.

Here's the decision on Backman statement:

It’s a catchy sound bite, but like a lot of sound bites, it’s not so accurate. The government will not buy you a breast pump. Rather, it will now allow you to treat money you spend on the pumps as a deductible medical expense.

Bachmann's statement suggests a large government program to purchase and provide the devices when in fact the government is actually treating them as tax-deductible, like countless other things. We rate her statement False.
It's interesting to note that former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin’s Facebook allegation that the Democrats’ health-care overhaul would include “death panels” to decide whether seniors and disabled people were worthy of care was named “Lie of the Year” by fact-checkers at

Of course, you'll find truths and falsehoods on both the right and the left, but what's important is knowing the facts. you'll be able to separate the big time liars from those who occassionally stretch the truth. Then, you can judge accordingly.

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