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Education Government Politics

Getting Accurate Political Information? 272

Posted by Cliff
from the finding-the-info-to-make-an-informed-vote dept.
XMorbius asks: "With the elections coming up in a few months, I (along with other Slashdot readers, I hope) want to get more informed about the candidates. But, where does one turn to get accurate (or as accurate as possible) information about them, while at the same time not having to review long logs and records of various hearings over the last decade or so? This seems like a nice compilation of information, but something tells me that it may not be very accurate. I've seen factcheck.org but I feel like there is more knowledge out there to be acquired. What does the Slashdot community recommend?"
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Getting Accurate Political Information?

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  • by Teancom (13486) <david@gnuconsul[ ]g.com ['tin' in gap]> on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:28PM (#10170494) Homepage
    you can get it delivered right into your living room [comedycentral.com].
    • Re:It turns out... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jc42 (318812)
      Yeah, Comedy Central is the best source of US political news now. And it's funny, yet. But there are two serious problems with it:

      1. They only really deal with major national candidates, mostly the presidential candidates. It takes some major news for them to pay attention to state or local candidates. Understandable, because they mostly have only half an hour four evenings a week (though they upped it to an hour last week, due to the huge humor potential of the RNC).

      2. Their web site sucks. Too bad;
      • It's funny you mention that, as I have been surfing their webpage all day today (in fact, I had it up in another tab when I went to slashdot and saw this story). My system for surfing their site is to use konqueror 3.3, go to the page where the video should be embedded, use View->View Mode->Embedded Text Editor, search for "wmv", copy and paste that line into wget in konsole, grep for mms in the resulting file and then copy&paste that into mplayer. Works like a champ! Who says *nix isn't user f
  • opensecrets.org (Score:5, Informative)

    by stefanlasiewski (63134) * <slashdot@stef a n c o . com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:34PM (#10170529) Homepage Journal
    opensecrets.org [opensecrets.org] has a great amount of information on campaign contributions. Since we're nearing the end of the 2004 Presidential Elections [opensecrets.org], it's a great time to take a look at the top contributors to Bush [opensecrets.org] and Kerry [opensecrets.org]. (Note, the site doesn't list Bush's acceptange of $75 million in federal funds yet).
    • Re:opensecrets.org (Score:3, Informative)

      by Malfourmed (633699)
      http://www.cfr.org/ [cfr.org] The Council on Foreign Relations tries to present non-partisan information on matters global.
    • Bah, campaign contrib info is useless, they're all crooks :)

      A good, fast way to get one's bearings with the candidates is at OnTheIssues [ontheissues.org] (go to Quizzes->Presidential 2004).

      It's a fairly comprehensive general quiz on your preferences on common political issues, and it matches you with (and allows you to compare) the answers of the candidates (yep, even Peroutka).

      The biggest bonus are the excellent explanations and background information for each question -just click on the link and there's a rundown on
      • That was fun, and confirmed what I had been thinking all along.

        It showed that I mostly agree with Bush regarding economic issues, but have absolutely nothing in common with him on personal issues. The complete opposite was true for Kerry, where I agreed with him personally, but not really at all with him economically.

        Great site, I'll be passing it along.

  • Disinfopedia (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hackie_Chan (678203) on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:40PM (#10170568)
    Disinfopedia [disinfopedia.org]

    They're pretty good, or as I have heard. They link their stuff to sources so you can check it out yourself. Some people say they have a liberal bias since they released a book called "Banana Republicans" which is not flattering to the party in question.

    I have to admit though, it's difficult to find good non-biased political info on the net. Maybe the best thing would be to just read both sides instead and in that way make up your mind. It's tougher than just getting from one source, but I think it's the only good way right now...
    • No, we call them biased because they describe themselves as " collaborative project to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests."

      We call them biased because they call themselves biased.
      • Well 'corporations, governments and special interests' can describe nearly any organization. Why does producing a directory of them make them biased? If I work for a 'special interest' trying to influence public opinion am I liberal or conservative? Republican or Democrat?
        You assume they are liberal because of 'corporations' in that statement, but there is little to support your view.
        • Are you trying to make with the funny? The people behind Disinfopedia have never made any secret of their political agenda. Compare their articles on George W. Bush and John Kerry and tell me again how they're not biased.
          • No, not having seen the site, I was trying to see how, based on the part of their site you quoted, they were obviously biased. That quote didn't indicate it as far as I could tell.
  • by Murdock037 (469526) <tristranthorn.hotmail@com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:40PM (#10170569)
    I don't think you're going to find any single source that's never been accused of bias. There's just too many viewpoints out there-- and any source that tries to go straight down the middle of the road, like CNN [cnn.com], tends to be pretty dry.

    So, my solution: Read a lot. I mean, a lot, and, by exposure to many viewpoints, you'll be better off when it comes time to form your own opinions.

    If you're asking about specifics, I try to take in the New York Times [nytimes.com], the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com], the Drudge Report [drudgereport.com], Slate [msn.com], Salon [salon.com], Al-Jazeera [aljazeera.net], the International Herald-Tribune [iht.com], and the Guardian [theguardian.co.uk]. Of course, all of the above have their strengths and weaknesses.

    If you don't want to spend the time on all of those, though, I recommend Slate. It leans slightly left, but has good analysis from both sides of the aisle.

    Read, read, read. Don't assume you're getting the whole story from a single source.
    • CNN? Straight down the middle? Don't make me laugh. CNN is well biased towards whatever the ruling party is in the States. Not as bad as, say, Fox, but still. Even BBC World is biased in the same direction (despite all that fuss about the BBC being opposed to Tony Blair. They did put out a few good unbiased documentaries which made things look bad for the Iraq "coalition" but they generally report things squarely from the side of the western world).

      I don't know of any english-speaking channel which isn't
      • Even BBC World is biased [towards whatever the ruling party is in the States]

        The BBC is by it's nature biased towards the centre of gravity of the UK parliament. They have to be seen to be not to far from whoever might be in charge next time their charter comes up for renewal.

        At the moment that point is centre-right -- Labour is noticably right of centre, and the Tories are waaaaay off to the right (to the extent they can make any coherent point at all given their total meltdown), but still look unlikel

    • I have a related question (although I'm afraid I'm too late to get noticed in the shuffle of posts). Is there any place to download political speeches? I believe the sites of both conventions (and often candidates themselves) offer *streaming* versions of speeches, but I'd really like to be able to download and have some of the DNC and RNC speeches. I've Googled, bitTorrented, and Kazaaed, but with no luck.

      Thanks!
      -Trillian
  • It's not easy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dubious9 (580994) on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:43PM (#10170586) Journal
    to compile your own. The Washington spin artists make it hard to see through all the smoke and evalute canidates on what matters to you. No canidate will serious tell you their strengths *and* weaknesses, so you have to become your own source.

    Go to the closest headquarters for each canidate. There will be at least one in all but the smallest communities. Ask them what they think their strengths and weakness are and be prepared to hear a lot of bull shit. Ask them why you should vote for them and not for the other guy. Then take that information to the other guy's headquarters and ask the same stuff. Take a good look at what they say about themselves and their opponent, and this will give you a nice base to start at.

    Then read the major newspapers and watch the Sunday morning political lineup. Be careful to note the leanings of each, i.e. Nytimes == Liberal, Wall Street Journal == conservative. Radio political talk has a right leaning, and Tv political talk often is leftist.

    After doing this for a couple weeks you'll have enough to start on if you want to do some serious reseach at the library. The most important things to remember are there is no unbaised source, gets information from as many sources as possible, and make you own descision (ie beware of groupthink). If you put some descent effort into you'll have more then enough to decide who to vote for.
  • Wikipedia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by noselasd (594905) on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:44PM (#10170595)
    wikipedia [wikipedia.org] as usual ?
    Kerry [wikipedia.org]
    Bush [wikipedia.org]

    --
    www.jmeeting.com - meet friends.
  • ACLU (Score:2, Informative)

    by lskziq (778173)
    For some information, check out the ACLU's scorecard: http://scorecard.aclu.org/scoremain.html/ [aclu.org]
    • Re:ACLU (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pauldy (100083)
      Haven't you figured out the ACLUs leadership is seriously flawed yet? Just look at how they present voting information. Instead of reporting the facts and letting you decide for yourself if you agree with the vote or not they have a nice little tally to the right of the vote. The key reads "voted for us/voted against us". This is hardly a civil rights organization they are a power hungry pac in search of as many sheep to lead as possible.
  • Accuracy? (Score:2, Informative)

    by schnits0r (633893)
    Well, duh, I get all my political informatino from fark.com, doesn't everyone?
  • Accurately Biased (Score:5, Interesting)

    by js7a (579872) <james&bovik,org> on Monday September 06, 2004 @03:02PM (#10170728) Homepage Journal
    I have found the following political web sites to be the most accurate:

    The Washington Monthly [washingtonmonthly.com]

    The Daily Kos [dailykos.com]

    The Columbia Journalism Review Campaign Desk [campaigndesk.org]

    The Center for American Progress [americanprogress.org]

    Talking Points Memo by Josh Marshall [talkingpointsmemo.com]

    Tom Toles political cartoons [yahoo.com]

    Ben Sargent cartoons [yahoo.com]

    Pat Oliphant cartoons [yahoo.com]

    Jamie Zawinski's freinds [livejournal.com]

    Ed Fitzgerald's blog [blogspot.com]

    more to follow-up...

    • If everything you read is on one side of the spectrum, you're not thinking, you're parroting.
      • I also read Tacitus, Redstate, Instapundit, mainstream political reporting and local editorials, but I don't think those are as accurate as the sites I mentioned.

        Plus, CJR Campaign Desk, Pat Oliphant, and Ben Sargent are all pretty centrist if you ask me.

        Who do you consider to be the most centrist political cartoonist?

      • Good luck finding an intelligent news source that currently supports Bush's domestic policies. Conservative (not to be confused with Republican) commentators like Andrew Sullivan [andrewsullivan.com] now reluctantly support Kerry. Zell Miller's bizarre keynote address [cnn.com] at the Republican convention certainly [msn.com] didn't [andrewsullivan.com] help [tnr.com] matters.
        • by crmartin (98227) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:55PM (#10171564)
          If you think that The National Review is "unintelligent" but Andrew Sullivan, Slate, or The New Republic are more "intelligent" or more inherently reliable, then you're not getting it. You're a parrot.

          If you think Rich Lowry, George Will, or Jonah Goldberg are more "intelligent" than Andrew Sullivan or TNR, then you're still not getting it. You're still a parrot.

          If you read Daily Kos or Free Republic and think either one is particularly accurate, you're not getting it.

          When you stop thinking that people on one side are fools and the other side is the only one that has morality or truth on its side, then you'll be getting it.
    • These two sites are focused more on accuracy than politics, but they ususally end up dealing with political topics:

      Institute for Public Accuracy [accuracy.org]

      Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [fair.org]

      I knew I was forgetting those from my bookmarks -- I get their regular emails and recommend anyone with an interest in this topic sign up on their lists.

    • Not to criticize js7a--he gave you fair warning--but his list leans to the left. I don't know if I have the definitive right-leaning counterexample, but here's a list of guys who are biased right but seem to be fair in their analysis...
      mainstream media:
      Best of the Web Today [opinionjournal.com]
      Andrew Sullivan [andrewsullivan.com]
      The Corner [nationalreview.com]
      blogs:
      Instapundit [instapundit.com]
      oxblog [blogspot.com]
      JustOneMinute [typepad.com]
      Daniel Drezner [danieldrezner.com]
      Captains Quarters [captainsquartersblog.com]
      cartoons:
      Cox and Forkum [coxandforkum.com]
      Day by Day [daybydaycartoon.com]

      All are blogs and/or openly opinionated. They are generally right wing. This is in no w
  • I couldn't give you any two of those, let alone three.
  • Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] makes it their #1 policy to maintain a neutral point of view. Failure to do so in an article may form the grounds for a dispute, and it may be changed: on multiple occasions revisions of these articles have been so challenged. Have at these URLS, and from there a plethora of resources you shall find linked, for both the incumbent [wikipedia.org] and the contender [wikipedia.org].
  • Check foreign media (Score:5, Informative)

    by wimbor (302967) on Monday September 06, 2004 @03:11PM (#10170790)
    Please.. also read other media than the American. Every country's media is probably biased in one way or another, but a good mix can give you more details so that you can decide yourself what is more likely to be the truth...

    In my recent vacation in the US I was stunned that nobody saw a world-famous picture with US troops guarding the ministry of oil. It was printed in a lot of world press newspapers. A quick search on google couldn't turn up the image, but there is a reference here [ccmep.org]. No idea what this source is (I did a very quick search). Apparantly US media is biased or censured, so make sure you check all possible sources of information... It is hard to convince Europeans that the Iraqi war is not about oil when a picture like that is in the paper...

    I loved NYC & New England, and I'm not an anti-American guy...just want the facts straight :-)

    • by bmetzler (12546) *
      In my recent vacation in the US I was stunned that nobody saw a world-famous picture with US troops guarding the ministry of oil.

      Meanwhile, employees of a major Baghdad power plant were also bewildered by the presence of several explosive devices planted around the Jameela facility, which supplies one third of the capital's electricity.

      You don't think that it would be important to protect the power plant that provides 1/3 of Baghdad's power? Or the Ministry of Oil building? Should they just let the in

      • I agree with you that they indeed should have prevented the looting of Iraq. That would have indeed helped the situation... I'm not offended by the US guarding the ministry of Oil... I only find it strange that they do guard the Oil Ministry, but not the other ones... That does put a perspective on things, I would presume...

        I'm not saying we should try to abuse the media to get our point across... I was only trying to explain why other countries are sceptical about the war, given this evidence... As I
    • In the UK, the BBC [bbc.co.uk] is independent of the government and is supposed to maintain an independent stance of e.g. political parties by law (with certain exceptions where British interests are concerned).

      Of the nespapers, the centre-left Guardian [guardian.co.uk] is pretty good -- they print regular corrections, and are owned by a trust so they can print what they want.

      Of the papers on the Right, the best (in terms of accuracy, not politics) of a bad bunch is probably the Torygraph [telegraph.co.uk].
    • Just a FYI, but the fact that troops guarded the ministry of oil was well publisized to anyone who at least reads the paper or watches the news with any regularity in the U.S.

      It was often repeated pre-invasion that U.S. troops would go in an secure the oil fields and infastructure to 1) protect them against being blown up Hussein and 2) get them up and running quickly because it's Iraq's only real way of making money.

      This continued during the original invasion.

      I agree on your point of reading foreign med
  • by MrFurious (54610) on Monday September 06, 2004 @03:22PM (#10170862) Homepage
    http://www.vote-smart.org/ [vote-smart.org]

    They have biographical information, issue positions provided by the candidates (where available), campaign finance information (links over to Open Secrets), interest group ratings, voting records, speeches and statements in an organized format.
  • In politics there are no facts. It's all doublespeak and haziness.

    Politics is about looking at the candidates, figuring out what makes each candidate a scumbag, and then deciding which scumbag is more likely to not screw things up.
  • local candidates (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slothman32 (629113) <<pjackso5> <at> <rochester.rr.com>> on Monday September 06, 2004 @03:45PM (#10171021) Homepage Journal
    There is much talk and sites about national people like Bush and Kerry but little info is known about local ones. Where should I look to find out the issues of my local mayor or state rep? Yes it depends on the locale but or there any sites that can at least help?
  • http://www.motherjones.com/ [motherjones.com]

    ...is a good addition to the list. As with any source, use it as a counterpoint. It's a lot like the Consumer Reports of American politics in that you'd never call it two-sided, which makes it an advocate as much as a media source. But, they see themselves as antithetical to big media, not neccesarily just a view from the left.

  • Don't trust one source. Read right and left publications. Follow up -- the web and Google are your friend. Remember that it's not "information" if it doesn't have a surprise in it -- if you agree with everything you read, you're not learning anything.

    Remember what the Buddha said:
    "Believe nothing.
    No matter where you read it,
    Or who said it,
    Even if I have said it,
    Unless it agrees with your own reason
    And your own common sense."

  • by mbourgon (186257) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:19PM (#10171776) Homepage
    www.freerepublic.com [freerepublic.com]

    This'll probably get modded down, but consider that there are more than 2 points of view. Now, you may feel that the left is being underrepresented and all the media is pro-Bush - but the Free Republic people feel otherwise, and will show you the other side. Even if you don't like it, it's interesting to see what kind of stories are out there.
    • Freerepublic isn't a rightwing site, it is a Bush echo chamber. They ban people from the site at the drop of the hat, just try posting a comment that Bush is a big spending liberal and your account will get banned (I base the fact that bush is a big spending liberal on his record, not what he says).

      Hell, my wife was banned from freerepublic because she asked why food and energy wasn't including in the inflation report and I have received death threats for saying porn should not be banned. I mean they whe
      • You can have very much the same experience at Kos or Democratic Underground.

        In fact, that's probably another rule: if you hear of a number of people being banned for thoughtcrime, er, incorrect opinions, be suspicious.
        • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:40PM (#10172831) Journal
          Wrong. DU states what they are upfront and bans those it doesn't agree with. Freerepublic lies about what they are, I have no problem with what they do they just should not lie about it. Plus, the one they support doesn't even share their beliefs, he says he does but his actions show otherwise.

          Posted on 03/22/2004 6:22:17 PM PST by Jim Robinson

          I posted the following statement to our front page in response to the criticism I'm receiving lately as to not being fair and balanced and perceived mistreatment of trolls and assorted malcontents. Got news for all, I'm NOT fair and balanced. I'm biased toward God, country, family, liberty and freedom and against liberalism, socialism, anarchism, wackoism, global balonyism and any other form of tyranny. Hope this helps.

          Statement by the founder of Free Republic:

          In our continuing fight for freedom, for America and our constitution and against totalitarianism, socialism, tyranny, terrorism, etc., Free Republic stands firmly on the side of right, i.e., the conservative side. Believing that the best defense is a strong offense, we (myself and those whom I'm trying to attract to FR) support the strategy of taking the fight to the enemy as opposed to allowing the enemy the luxury of conducting their attacks on us at home on their terms and on their schedule.

          Therefore, we wholeheartedly support the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes on known terrorist states and organizations that are believed to present a clear threat to our freedom or national security. We support our military, our troops and our Commander-in-Chief and we oppose turning control of our government back over to the liberals and socialists who favor appeasement, weakness, and subserviency. We do not believe in surrendering to the terrorists as France, Germany, Russia and Spain have done and as Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton and the Democrats, et al, are proposing.

          As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-God, pro-life, pro-family, pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights, pro-gun, pro-limited government, pro-private property rights, pro-limited taxes, pro-capitalism, pro-national defense, pro-freedom, and-pro America. We oppose all forms of liberalism, socialism, fascism, pacifism, totalitarianism, anarchism, government enforced atheism, abortionism, feminism, homosexualism, racism, wacko environmentalism, judicial activism, etc. We also oppose the United Nations or any other world government body that may attempt to impose its will or rule over our sovereign nation and sovereign people. We believe in defending our borders, our constitution and our national sovereignty.

          Free Republic is private property. It is not a government project, nor is it funded by government or taxpayer money. We are not a publicly owned entity nor are we an IRS tax-free non-profit organization. We pay all applicable taxes on our income. We are not connected to or funded by any political party, news agency, or any other entity. We sell no merchandise, product or service, and we offer no subscriptions or paid memberships. We accept no paid advertising or promotions. We are funded solely by donations (non tax deductible gifts) from our readers and participants.

          We aggressively defend our God-given and first amendment guaranteed rights to free speech, free press, free religion, and freedom of association, as well as our constitutional right to control the use and content of our own personal private property. Despite the wailing of the liberal trolls and other doom & gloom naysayers, we feel no compelling need to allow them a platform to promote their repugnant and obnoxious propaganda from our forum. Free Republic is not a liberal debating society. We are conservative activists dedicated to defending our rights, defending our constitution, defending our republic and defending our traditional American way of life.

          Our God-given liberty and freedoms are not negotiable.

          May God bless and protect our men and women in uniform fighting for our freedom and may God continue to bless America.
          • And if you had a point, it would be what?

            That DU is more likely to help you get good information because they say they'll ban people for ideological reasons, while Free Republic says they'll ban you because it's their damn site and they'll ban whom they please?

            You're not getting it either.
            • No that FR lies about who and what they are so that makes information from their site less than trustworthy.

              DU doesn't lie about who they are, the come out and say it. This also makes them less than trustworthy.

              Let us just say that I have gotten more death threats from FR than I have from /. or any other site on the net.

              For fun check out what they say the pay for bandwidth and compare it to market norms.

              • okay, which of these are you proposing as an argument for either one? Openly untrustworthy? Untrustworthy but not open about it? Fewer death threats?

                (Fewer death threats? I never get death threats. Are you sure you're not being a little over-intense, maybe?)

                In any case, the point is that neither one is likely to be very helpful in becoming well inormed.
    • Oh my god. I hope you're joking about that one. That site is full of hatred towards anyone who's not white and middle class. I met up with some of them at a protest, and they tore into my wife with racial abuse, tried to censor my sign with an American flag (I didn't waste my time pointing out the irony), and was elbowed in the face by a middle-aged freeper.

      If you seriously want to learn what the right is thinking, don't go there. All they know is hatred. We know the stories that are out there, we don


  • If you read books about the issues, you may come to the conclusion that by far the biggest underlying issue in the present political campaign is U.S. government violence. You probably won't know this unless you read books.

    The present system of violence in the U.S. and Britain started in the 1940s. In the 1940s, it was decided that the U.S. government could act in secret in foreign countries to preserve the profits of U.S. and British companies. It was decided that the U.S. government could not only act in secret, it could break the laws of the foreign country. It was decided the the U.S. government could even arrange the murder of the leaders of foreign countries. Agencies like the CIA were created for secret accomplishment of largely secret foreign policy.

    Only an estimated 2% read non-fiction books not connected with work. The system of violence works partly by keeping U.S. citizens ignorant. It is not necessary that all citizens be ignorant, just a large percentage of the voters. Actually, there is plenty of information freely available in books, but only an estimated 2% of American citizens read non-fiction books not connected with their work. It is easy to understand why. United States citizens are the hardest-working in the world, with the exception of the Japanese. Many U.S. citizens have only two weeks of vacation every year, and they need that to rest. They simply don't have time to read books.

    However, the only way to understand something as complicated as politics is to read books extensively. The issues are too complicated to express in a few words.

    By far the biggest issue in the present political campaign is this fundamental one, about which former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces and former Republican U.S. President [whitehouse.gov] General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in a famous speech [yale.edu]. He said that we should beware of the "military-industrial complex". Here are quotes:

    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    "We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

    The problem he warned us about has been a major influence on both the politics and quality of life of the United States. The U.S. government has engaged in 24 wars [hevanet.com] since World War II. The system of violence works by creating fear so rich [hevanet.com] people [hevanet.com] can profit.

    Very few U.S. citizens know the full history of the war against Iraq. This short article is a summary: History surrounding the U.S. war with Iraq: Four short stories [futurepower.org].

    The events leading up to the present "war on terror" and the two wars against Iraq began in the 1950s, when hidden elements of the U.S. government overthrew a democratically elected president of Iran [gwu.edu] (Mossadegh) because he wanted to reduce the profits of U.S. and British oil companies doing business in Iran.

    The U.S. government supported a very weak man, the Shah of Iran, who became very violent toward his own citizens. Eventually, people in Iran overthrew the Shah. The U.S. government's actions de-stabilized the country and encouraged the violence that came after. The U.S. government supported Iraq against Iran, supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein at a very high profit for the rich owners of U.S. weapons companies. To give a present example, the Bu
  • Anti-Spin (Score:5, Informative)

    by sevensharpnine (231974) on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:23PM (#10172710)
    Spinsanity [spinsanity.com] is a good site that takes some pretty hard swipes at each side.
  • by sien (35268) on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:25PM (#10172726) Homepage
    I subscribe to both factcheck and spinsanity's email lists. Spinsanity [spinsanity.org] puts out fewer emails but they are of slightly higher quality. But both are excellent.

  • Wouldn't you be better off researching the *parties* ? After all, aren't they the ones who are actually creating the policy ?

    (Disclaimer: IANAAmerican. Your political processes might be different and thus the above advice completely wrong).

  • The goddamn motherfucking BBC [bbc.co.uk]. All other media bows down to its impartiality and general wonderfulness.
  • by rlp (11898) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:18PM (#10173406)
    Usually the LOUDER an organization proclaims its objectivity - the more biased it is. Most old media (large city papers, network TV, PBS) tilt left. CNN, MSNBC tilt left, Fox tilts right. Talk radio - right, NPR left.

    My two cents is to look for news sources that are up front about their biases. Then fact check them your self. Personally I like a weekly called "The Economist". Their reporting on science and technology is usually pretty accurate - which is fairly rare in the mainstream media. On political matters they tilt towards the (British) conservatives. Their coverage of world news and of U.S. news is excellent.
    • Great points in parent, and I agree with the Economist suggestion.

      Also, you can just do what I do: watch CNN, watch Fox, listen to NPR, listen to Hannity/Rush/Boortz, read/watch Michael Moore/Al Franken/etc.

      Average all of the above and make your own decisions.
  • If you live in Ohio or California try this site:
    http://smartvoter.org [smartvoter.org]

    It can be a little bland since it takes no stance but it has always been a great starting source for me and shows me what will be on my ballot.
  • The Note! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Thatmushroom (447396) <Thatmushroom@mi[ ... u ['lle' in gap]> on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @01:00AM (#10174618) Homepage
    If you're looking for a great aggregate of news sites put into context, I highly recommend The Note [go.com]. While the ABC News site itself has a leftward bias, The Note stands out for being pretty impartial, and extremely thorough. Now that college is back in session, I don't have time to visit it as often, because it's a long read, especially if you follow all of the links.

    For a good analysis of things, I prefer the Christian Science Monitor [csmonitor.com]. The bias vacillates, simply because of the variety of guest columnists.
  • Wikipedia (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mrthoughtful (466814)
    Wikipedia cannot be said to be completely accurate, but you will get a very good overview, based upon a mixture of expertise and community thoughts.
    Extreme views tend to be put to one side in an effort to strip away spin and leave the facts.
    Political history, and other details are available as links. The two articles change very often, now that the campaign is underway.
    George Bush Presidential Campaign [wikipedia.org]
    John Kerry Presidential Campaign [wikipedia.org]
    Also it is worth checking out the article discussions, for opposi

  • The verbal rhetoric is pretty much worthless

    "I'm for good things, against bad things whereas my opponent - can you believe it! - is for bad things and against good things."

    Look at the record of their past actions, be it Senate voting records or executive orders.

    For each of the actions, read the arguments made both for and against the position.

    Then you can decide whether you generally agree or disagree with each of the candidates.

  • All media is biased, one way or another. The only differences are in direction and how honest the media outlets are about their biases.

    This said, the best thing to do is try and research the same subject from multiple sources with as diverse a set of biases as possible. The truth will be somewhere in the middle of the biases you find.
  • National Review [nationalreview.com] is ideal if you're looking for a right-wing source to balance the usual suspects. You'll be a LOT less confused about the right-wing American viewpoint if you read it. Between that, my local newspaper (here in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor), and Yahoo! News [yahoo.com] (or Google News [google.com]) I get fairly comprehensive coverage of the entire political spectrum without spending an insane amount of time.

    Note that NR has, in addition to the free daily online-only articles, a Digital Edition of their dead
  • Blackboxvoting.org [blackboxvoting.org] is the best source for any election-machine info (such as which party's contributors run Diebold).
    Greg Palast [gregpalast.com] is an American living in England who writes news for the London Sunday Observer.

    I also check out, Indymedia [indymedia.org], CNN [cnn.com], The BBC [bbc.co.uk], and Google News [google.com].

    The fact is that Every source you turn to is biased. I'm of the opinion that there is no such thing as unbiased journalism becuase journalists are people with finite amounts of time on their hands and finite column-inches to fill. They hav
  • Public Media (Score:2, Insightful)

    Your best bet for a single source of non-biased news is NPR and PBS. A recent study by the non-partisan PIPA [pipa.org] found that NPR/PBS listeners/viewers had the best understanding of the situation in Iraq. By contrast, the more people watched Fox, the less they understood.

    Of the mainstream news stations, Fox, and the Murdock and Scaif newspapers, are the only ones that have biases that interfere with their coverage. These stations and papers lean hard right and make a ton of money. As a result, media compani

  • I only listen to Rush Limbaugh, he knows everything and told me that he'd do the thinking for me, why should I go anywhere else?

    --A Proud Dittohead

    (Note to mods: I am SO kidding.)
  • by mr_burns (13129)

    First I want to second OpenSecrets.org and VoteSmart. Good sites specific to cadidate/election data.

    Really though, the best way to get accurate info I've found is diff articles from different sources covering the same story. All propaganda is based on facts. What you have to do is compare/contrast the different sources to distill where they are the same and where they are different. Then look at the different bits to see if it's speculation, editorial or non-sequitors. Finally, for the bits that ar

  • by Refrag (145266)

    The Bush-Bin Laden connection.
    Again, total misunderstanding on the facts. Bin Laden has over 50 siblings, and the Bin Laden family has massive power in the Gulf. There are reportedly thousands of family members all over the globe. First of all, it must be understood that simple meetings with the Bin Laden family doesn't mean you're connected to Osama. This family has rejected Bin Laden and even disowned him.

    Additionally, all major oil companies have some sort of deals or talks. It's the business. No mone

  • by copponex (13876) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @12:29PM (#10178914) Homepage
    12) Bush lied by saying Iraq was involved in 9-11.

    This is simply not true. No where did he or any senior officials claim this.

    Yet, to initiate the war in Iraq...

    March 18, 2003
    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
    Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:
    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
    (2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

    Sincerely, GEORGE W. BUSH


    Why would he mention September 11th? I think he believed they would find documents to prop up what the entire administration believed and implied every day before the invasion: Saddam Hussein tactically or monetarily supported the terrorists of September 11th.

    In fact, they focused so much on the thin ties between Al Queda and Hussein, Cheney waffled and lied about it.


    Dec. 9, 2001. Cheney on NBC
    Cheney: "Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that -- it's been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don't know at this point, but that's clearly an avenue that we want to pursue."

    June 17, 2004 - Cheney on CNBC
    Borger: "Well, let's go to Mohamed Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, 'pretty well confirmed.'
    Cheney: "No, I never said that."
    Borger: "Okay."
    Cheney: "Never said that."

    Borger: "I think that is . . . "
    Cheney: "Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9th of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down."

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