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Steve McIntosh Report Blog

Fact-checking politicians

I will never say all politicians are liars, because I know a few who are not … at least, I don’t think they are.
But what does it say about our society that when presidential candidates debate, the networks, newspapers, and web sites start checking the facts of the politicians’ statements … even as their lips are still moving?
And I don’t remember seeing a politician who ever disputes his opponent’s false or twisted comments quickly or effectively.
It’s not only the politicians. There are people in the mass entertainment business who make a nice living spewing half-truths and un-truths. Savvy talk show hosts specialize in broad comments, selecting only the facts that back up their arguments.
It appears that we’ve given up on a well-informed American electorate, settling for a largely misinformed and befuddled one. The question is, can we function as a civilized society without agreement on what is true? It seems we each have our own unique playbook. And we can’t find a “coach” who acknowledges that truth is not only desirable, but essential.
Our thought for today is from H. L. Mencken:
“It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.”

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10/26/2012 12:57AM
Fact-checking politicians
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