I was just asked a very important question about separating fact from spin in politics: "Who has the time to track down the truth and where would it be found anyway?"
One of the reasons I decided to create a truly nonpartisan Voter Savvy free webcast is because many citizens feels this way. The good news is that it is untrue! In fact, it is finally rather easy to rapidly track down whether something you hear in politics is spin, fact or a combination.
Before I share with you how to do that, let me first point out that the reason most people feel the way the person asking me this question does is because most of us eat a steady diet of what I now call "political junk food."
Think about it: people who eat junk food don’t necessarily spend less time eating than people who eat healthy food. The time required to eat is the time required to eat.
Similarly, listening to candidate stump speeches, and to the talking heads and other pundits whose mission is to spin us to death, is "political junk food." Want to start eating "political health food" instead? Spend at least some of the time you spend on political junk food visiting truly nonpartisan websites whose purpose is to separate fact from spin for the public and the media. is the equivalent of healthy eating.
Just as it is our responsibility as individuals to take charge of our own health and nutrition, it is our responsibility as citizens to feed ourselves useful political information. We can either fulfill our responsibilities as voters or we can become socially obese from gorging on the political junk food most people choose to feed themselves.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that any citizen who takes the political process at all seriously, but consumes a steady diet of political junk food, isn’t lacking the time needed to separate fact from spin. He or she has not discovered the resources that are available for doing this or s/he is abdicating his/her responsibilities as a citizen because being the political equivalent of a lazy couch potato is more appealing.
For the sake of our society’s wellbeing, it is time for us all to understand that one of the measures of being a true patriot is taking the time to separate fact from spin for ourselves by using the resources that are now available to us to do this.
To get you started, here are three of the premier nonpartisan political fact checking websites: