FactCheck.org

You know what’s great about America? We can have something like FactCheck.org as a check to illiterates, rumormongers, and outright liars—whether these spewers be elected officials or emailing trolls. If you are not aware of FactCheck.org, you should check them out. They are a group out of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and they are really good at filtering political slime.

On the same note, what’s bad about America is that we need FactCheck.org. I understand that there will always be those troglodytes who find some semblance of joy in spreading falsehoods, but with our leaders? Of course, I understand that in a debate you may misstate information, but in plan and published advertisements—it is unfortunate to see the blatant disregarding for truth.

For example, FactCheck.org reports that

An Obama-Biden radio ad hammers McCain for being opposed to stem cell research. Not true.

[…]

By saying that “John McCain has stood in the way – he’s opposed stem cell research,” the Obama ad seriously misstates the view that McCain has held on this issue since 2001, when he began backing embryonic stem cell research, a position that was out of step with that of many of his fellow Republicans.

And some time before this, we read that

The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama’s tax plans.

The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn’t proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain.

It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs, funded by what he calls a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

When we cut through the clutter, it is easier to chose who more closely aligns with whatever policies we more closely position ourselves, but it is this purposefully and deceitfully presented clutter that is most alarming. Giving credit where it is due, our CAO discussed with me yesterday that it is interesting that organizations like ours are held to such a high standard of what we can and cannot say, but those who ultimately have the greatest responsibility don’t even cause alarm when they misrepresent the truth.

They love truth when she shines on them and hate her when she rebukes them. For because they are not willing to be deceived and wish to deceive they love her when she reveals herself and hate her when she reveals them.

The Confessions, Augustine, Saint Bishop of Hippo Augustine, James J O’Donnell, published 1876, p 261

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