Posts tagged ‘fact checking’

October 27, 2008

I got one of those e-mails

by thoughtfulconservative

Well, I get lots of them actually. This one was a little different because it made claims about Snopes.com, a site I go to often, especially for, well, e-mails like I got today.

Part of the e-mail can be seen at the Urban Legends page on About.com, where I used to go for information, until their interface got slow and laden with pop-ups. Their verdict is that the e-mail is false as is the verdict of TruthorFiction.com, which is referred to in the e-mail.

Here’s what my e-mail contained that the ones on the sites didn’t:

Here’s what I have found:

Snopes was created in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson, a California couple who met on the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup. The Mikkelsons also founded the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society, and were credited as the owners of the site until 2005.  Barbara now works on the site full time, while David, a programmer, works on the site part time.

I too was somewhat suspect of their leftward bent given their take (or lack thereof) on several Obama stories.  An example is their take on the Obama/Ayers connection as opposed to truthorfiction.com’s take on the same subject.  Snopes tends to minimize the connection categorizing the rumor as a “Partial Truth” while http://www.truthorfiction.com does not downplay the connection at all, calling it a “Truth”, and in fact references a CNN (big surprise) expose of the two, as well as a Wall Street Journal article about their connection.  Snopes not only does not reference either source cited above, but instead lists a quote from an Obama spokesman as it’s main source (obviously spin), leaving one to believe they are mere acquaintances. [NOTE: “truthorfiction.com had a link to the site in both instances above and the bold is mine.]

Read the difference for yourself.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/ayers.asp

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/o/obama-ayers.htm

Here’s another comparison of Snopes vs. Truthorfiction’s treatment of the email that has gone out regarding “Obama’s 50 lies”.  Notice that Snopes often adds editorial comments favoring Obama on unproven statements, or even on proven ones where they say he is “taken out of context”.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/50lies.asp

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/o/obama-lies.htm

First of all, there is no discernable left leaning trend at Snopes. At least, not that I could see. There are differences between the two sites, but not that much. The Obama-Ayers article at Snopes is essentially the same as at any fact checking site. TruthandFiction differ, largely because of a CNN story.

About the “Lies” e-mail, both say that there is truth and fiction in the circulating e-mail.

Second there is no connection between the owners of Snopes and Obama, or any left leaning entity. There may be one, but there is no physical link that I found.

I think both sites (as well as About.com) are pretty good. Use them all to get a complete picture.

October 19, 2008

Waukesha Carnival

by thoughtfulconservative

Welcome to this week’s edition, the thirty-eighth dating back to September 16 of last year. This is where I share the links of noteworthy posts of the preceding week. Feel free to share other posts in the comments.

Let’s see what we have locally.

OK, this has nothing to do with the free mug I got at Drinking Right, but those of you who have met or read JJ Gravelle at The Daily Scoff, just knew that he would deal with the New Berlin-Pewaukee urination bruhaha in a tasteful and sensitive way.

Continuing in the sports vein, Dan at Skeptics Anonymous thinks last season was a pretty good one for the Brewers.

Scott Berg at his blog 359 Degrees talks about the Brookfield city Finance Committee meeting.

Josh at Blog Waukesha wonders Is there competition to Kramer? as he blogs on the race for the 97th district of the Wisconsin Assembly.

If you don’t go to Spring City Chronicle for Huckleberry Dumbell’s daily news summaries or his Sunday Scans, you should at least go for his ghost blogging and poetry which he combines here. And it’s annotated!

James Wigderson blogs at Wigderson Library & Pub about his weekly column in the Waukesha Freeman (always worth the 50 cents) where he blogs about free speech.

silent E speaks about a great piece by Michelle Malkin he read concerning Joe the plumber.

Cindy Kilkenny at Fairly Conservative fact checks the factcheckers in her post Why you should never trust CNN.

Alex at Hobo Springs is relieved McCain is finally saying he’s not George Bush.

And Kyle Prast maintains at Practically Speaking that the presidential election is not over yet.

MommaBlogger shares a recipe for Apple Grilled Cheese at Homemaker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

State Sen. Mary Lazich (aide Kevin Fischer?) compares abortion to light bulbs in this post, Pro-choice, but not about light bulbs at Conservatively Speaking.

Similarly, at Common Sense Waukesha, Dean Culver posts his thoughts on Liberal Hypocrites.

Finally, to post only on gloom is just not right. Dad29 cures that with some bank humor.

That concludes this week’s edition. You can always submit your favorite post of the week using this submission form. Or you can e-mail it directly to me at thoughtfulconsevative [at] yahoo [dot] com. Or put it in the comments of this post.

Past and future editions can be found on our here for your perusal.

October 9, 2008

Who’s fact checking the fact checkers?

by thoughtfulconservative

I lifted the following and posted it in the comments at Fairly Conservative, but I just had to post it here also.

During Tuesday’s debate, John McCain repeated an assertion he had made before:

In Lebanon, I stood up to President Reagan, my hero, and said, if we send Marines in there, how can we possibly beneficially affect this situation? And said we shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, almost 300 brave young Marines were killed.

The finest minds in American journalism set out to check McCain’s claim and discovered it to be true.

The finest minds in American journalism set out to check McCain’s claim and discovered it to be false.

Heh. So if the fact checkers can’t agree, what recourse do we have?

September 27, 2008

FactChecking Debate No. 1

by thoughtfulconservative

The good and the bad from the first debate at FactCheck.org.

McCain and Obama contradicted each other repeatedly during their first debate, and each volunteered some factual misstatements as well.

More at the link.

This campaign (like the last few) seems to be summed up in this cartoon:

The Left, the Right and the Truth

February 14, 2008

Fact checking Obama and Clinton ads

by thoughtfulconservative

If you haven’t seen them yet here in Wisconsin, you most likely soon will. FactCheck.org takes a look at them.

# Obama is being misleading when he says his proposal would “cover everyone.” It would make coverage available to all, but experts we consulted estimate that 15 million to 26 million wouldn’t take it up unless required to do so.

# Clinton stretches things a bit, too. Even her plan – which, unlike Obama’s, includes a mandate for individuals to get insurance – would leave out a million people or perhaps more, depending on how severe the penalties would be for those who don’t comply. She won’t say how her mandate would be enforced, but has said that she was open to the possibility of garnishing wages.

# Experts also are skeptical of both candidates’ claims that their plans will reduce the cost of insurance for the typical family by $2,000 or more. ” I know zero credible evidence to support that conclusion,” says M.I.T’s Jonathan Gruber.

December 13, 2007

Political Fact checking sites

by thoughtfulconservative

Always a tricky process because it depends on your view of the facts, but here are some you may find handy (and will be found in my sidebar):

PoliFact – a new site by the St. Petersburg, FL Times and CQ Politics. Includes articles, the Truth-o-meter, attack file, candidates, our rulings issues and link to the two sponsoring sites.

FactCheck – the Annenberg Fact Check has been around for awhile. It has a feed and an e-mail update available.

techPresident – This site goes to the technical side of fact checking. For example, one recent article looks at exposing Clinton sock puppets.

The Washington Post FactChecker –  This is actually a blog (probably some of the rest could be considered blogs also) among the WaPo’s other blogs.

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