Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Politics Technology

Real-Time Fact Checking With "Truth Teller" 149

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-can't-handle-the-truth dept.
The Washington Post has announced a prototype news application called "Truth Teller", that displays “TRUE" or “FALSE” in real time next to video of politicians as they speak. The Knight Foundation-funded program automatically transcribes speeches and checks the statements against a database of facts. From the article: "For now, the early beta prototype has to be manually hand-fed some facts, and thus only works on topics it has been specifically designed to recognize. Since Congress has yet to pass a budget, and financial discussions are prone to widespread lies and misstatements, Truth Teller is being piloted on the issue of tax policy."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Real-Time Fact Checking With "Truth Teller"

Comments Filter:
  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:03AM (#42748443) Homepage

    So basically they've made a static page with the word "FALSE" on it.

    • Exactly. I've got one for sale now - no need to bother with a Beta. :)
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is WaPo. They'll use this to selectively enforce or dispute statements per their agendas. They're a bit like the MSNBC of the print world.

      Who if you haven't seen, was caught AGAIN this week, editing video to create a damning situation consistent with their political motives.

    • by arbiter1 (1204146) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @05:29AM (#42748879)
      they don't exactly lie, they do speak the truth if you look at numbers they usually quote in a certain way. they just usually leave out the ones that would make them look bad. The truth they speak of is just on the numbers that make them look good. Like the 4 million job's Obama claims to have created. This video explains it all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQLreUCRYXM [youtube.com]
      • by N1AK (864906)
        Although it is certainly true that mis-leading is a bigger issue than lying I think you underestimate how many false statements are made by politicians. Sure this wouldn't solve the whole issue, and there is a massive risk regarding who decides what is true/false and their bias, but it could help bring more honesty into politics (or at least highlight who the most honest politicians are).
      • Political speak is far too nuanced for a computer based approach to detect truthiness. There is too much implied information, context, irony, satire, etc. that it won't accurately reflect.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      I feel this is bad, because people will then be compelled to give more credit to stuff 'TRUE' not realizing that quotes out of context can convey the exact opposite meaning that was intended. In other words, those exact words may have been spoken by the right people, but in the context they were spoken in, they had a different meaning.

      TL;DR. You're right. True will not necessarily mean you're not being lied to. Only FALSE can be displayed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by crazyjj (2598719) *

        This is too true. Politicians are the masters at manipulating "truth" to their own agendas. You can say something completely factually accurate and still subtly *imply* with the statement something completely false. A simple statement like "This President says he wants to fight terrorists, this President Barak Hussein Obama, claims that he's going to fight Muslim terrorists" is 100% factually accurate. But it conveys something much more sinister and 100% false (that the President is somehow sympatheti

    • No. "Not Even False."

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      So basically they've made a static page with the word "FALSE" on it.

      Not to be cynical, but how will we know we can trust the machine? Machines can be manipulated far more easily than humans. A bunch of sheeple relying on a machine for the truth is every politician's wet dream.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not to be cynical, but how will we know we can trust the machine?

        Simple. Record a video of someone claiming it is reliable. If it says "FALSE" it isn't.

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Duh. It's well known that the way to tell if a politician is lying is to look at his lips.

      If they're moving, he's lying.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      129 comments and you said everything that needed to be said on this story in the first post.
  • Fact check (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wow. This will never be abused. Now we are spoon feeding low information voters?

    • by Coisiche (2000870)

      Doesn't that happen anyway?

      It will be interesting to see if the idea develops. Each TV news channel could claim to have their own instance of the software and yet if you were to watch a politician's speech the displayed "truth" results might be very different between a broadcast on, say Fox, and any other channel.

      • Keeping in this veign:
        What if the public exerted a selection pressure towards harmonizing the results between networks? Wouldn't that open up opportunities for abuse as well?

        For instance, the public becomes outraged when, for example, FOX's algo says Obama's lying 84% of the time, while MSNBC says he's lying 22% of the time. If face is going to be saved, then both networks have an incentive to move toward each other's numbers. There'll probably be a point where they'll still differ, but not by enough to

        • The third option when there's a disparity like that is that the audience will complain about it / ignore it / turn it off.

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          Keeping in this veign:
          What if the public exerted a selection pressure towards harmonizing the results between networks?

          It won't make any difference. People choose networks which confirm their own personal bias, not because they want to find out the truth.

        • by fizzer06 (1500649)
          "FOX's algo says Obama's lying 84% of the time, while MSNBC says he's lying 22% of the time. If face is going to be saved, then both networks have an incentive to move toward each other's numbers."

          This isn't logical. One may be 100% correct. It would be a very rare occasion they are both off by the same percent.

    • I'm curious what it will base this on. You can have a given subject that two people will disagree on with regard to what is fact and what isn't, and both could be right depending on your source.

      Take for example the Trayvon/Zimmerman mess. If a politician says Zimmerman was racially motivated, will this fact checker say true or false? Likewise if a politician says Trayvon had criminal intent.

      • There probably should be a "DISPUTED"/"UNDETERMINED" category, too.
        • by digitig (1056110)
          Then everything would come up "disputed". Even the claim that the Earth is round is disputed by flat-Earthers. Heck, even this claim will probably be disputed by somebody.
          • by Coisiche (2000870)

            I think that there must be at least one indisputable fact that all humans could agree on... I just don't know what it is but I'm certain it will never feature in a political debate.

            • by sco08y (615665)

              I think that there must be at least one indisputable fact that all humans could agree on... I just don't know what it is but I'm certain it will never feature in a political debate.

              Exactly. If everyone agrees on it, what's the point of bringing it up in a debate?

            • I once argued with a person who refused to acknowledge that 1+1=2.

              Really. Not making it up. She rejected the existance of mathematics on religious grounds, arguing that god alone can provide true certainty.

              • You should have asked her how many gods there were. "There's one? Sounds like math to me..."
              • by tomknight (190939)
                Remember, 1+1=3 for large values of 1
              • by digitig (1056110)
                Similarly I've seen advocates of scientism reject all mathematics on the grounds that it's not empirical. I assume (hope!) that they were bandwagon-riders, not real scientists.
                • I have no idea what scientism is.

                  The crazy I met believed that the notion of mathematical proof was blasphemous, as it placed mere imperfect human reason on a par with divine perfection. An idea she considered so dangerous, and suggested that the field of mathematics might have been invented or inspired by Satan himself as a way to inflate the ego of man and inspire rebellion against God.

                  And yet that is only the second craziest person I have argued with on the internet. Number one slot has to go to the pers

        • by phlinn (819946)
          I dispute that. IMPOSSIBLE TO CHECK, SPUN, MISLEADING, and UNDETERMINED would be better. Almost everything is disputed by someone.
      • I, for one,... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @07:17AM (#42749347) Journal

        The difference is that the T/Z interaction details are not facts.

        How much money was allocated to the military in the last ten years in budgets?
        How much money was spent by the military in the last ten years?
        What percentage of the revenue of the federal budget is collected as income tax on those making in the top X% of income earners?
        How many people receive social security who also have assets greater than $2,000,000?
        Are there more or fewer naval ships in service today than in 2000?
        Do the bottom 50% of income households pay zero income taxes? zero federal taxes? zero taxes?
        How many days of vacation has the president taken in the past 4 years? Has the president taken more vacation days per year than the previous president?
        How many firearms are purchased in the US in a year?
        How many intruders are shot by firearms owners defending their property or person?
        How many suicides are the result of firearm use? Of poison use? Of jumping off buildings?
        What is the national average price of hamburger?

        All verifiable facts from reliable, independent sources. Based on the ability of Watson to parse, search, and manage data, I think it's also possible to determine if the data is in question.

        As someone who routinely fact checks and is appalled at the gross inaccuracies out there (not just the twisting or cherry picking, but simply wrong) I, for one, welcome our new robotic fact checking overlord(s).

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          Do the bottom 50% of income households pay zero income taxes? zero federal taxes? zero taxes?

          You wouldn't trust a guy who runs around breaking windows and complaining about a crime wave.
          Why would you trust guys who run around cutting income taxes and then complaining that half the country doesn't pay income taxes?

          As someone who routinely fact checks and is appalled at the gross inaccuracies out there (not just the twisting or cherry picking, but simply wrong) I, for one, welcome our new robotic fact checking overlord(s).

          It's not enough to verify the answer to a question.
          You should always be looking at the question itself,
          because within it is great opportunity to shape the answer that is generated.

    • If I am already struggling to understand politicians, then how the hell is a computer gonna do any better? Last time I checked humans were still better at understanding language than computers.

    • You are such an ignorant person that it is not even funny. The problem here is that people like to stretch things. And even the most intelligent, or knowledgable will get biased towards their own opinions without checking facts. For example I often will debate somebody and that other person will make an assertion, "like most people do this." I ask, really you got facts to back this up? Answer no they don't. Thus by putting the fact checker beside the person talking at least we can get back to the facts.

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:06AM (#42748459)

    if(lips_move)
    then
    display("FALSE");

  • by Jesrad (716567) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:10AM (#42748481) Journal

    ... it's a sticker that reads "bullshit", you slap it on the screen permanently.

    Joke aside, who will debunk the dunkers ? Everything we know is false, for vaster and more elaborate definitions of "false" as science progresses.

    • Because facts are facts - and if the fact checker is proven to be wrong, there will be outcry. That's the nice thing about facts - they are facts.

      Politicians (and mathematicians) will argue that 2 + 2 = 5 (for sufficiently large values of 2), but a computer knows that 2.0000 + 2.0000 does not equal 5.0000 and will note that - for the parameters provided that sum is incorrect. The politician will then have to "admit" that they "fudged" 2 a bit, and they really meant 2.3, and then rounded up. And if you don't

      • by sycodon (149926)

        a computer knows that 2.0000 + 2.0000 does not equal 5.0000

        That's because it's not using "Outcome" based Math.

      • Because facts are facts - and if the fact checker is proven to be wrong, there will be outcry.

        Doubtful, if you've been paying attention to the many fact-checker sites around, you'll see they are wrong a lot, and for the most part people don't care.

  • That's not possible (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail.LAPLACEcom minus math_god> on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:11AM (#42748487)

    that displays âoeTRUE" or âoeFALSEâ in real time next to video of politicians as they speak.

    Few statements can be classified as "true" or "false" exactly. There is always some fraction of bullshit, but the fraction varies:

    Politifact has
    True --The statement is accurate and thereâ(TM)s nothing significant missing.
    Mostly True -- The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
    Half True -- The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.
    Mostly False -- The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
    False -- The statement is not accurate.
    Pants on Fire -- The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

    And even this may be too coarse-grained.

    • I like this scale a lot, thanks for that, would mod you up but I've no mod-points for a change.
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Its even worse because a lot of statements that fall into those categories also contain opinion which is neither true or false until after the fact has happened and we can see how accurate it might have been.

      Ive seen people who have expressed opinions supported by mountains of evidence and end up being wrong. I'm sure there have been opinions based on little more then gut feelings that have turned out to be correct.

    • I assume this scale is taking out the elements of actual lies and is more to do with analysing the truth. Truth be told a detector of that would be handy, but it wouldn't be easy to detect a factual piece of information in the context it gets used, yet I would imagine politicians are craftier with that than blatant lies
    • No - it's easy: What would you allow your 8 year old (or 12, or 16 year old) to tell you as true?

      The top two are TRUE and the rest are FALSE. You provide a "human" error band of a few percent on actual facts (the federal government spent 2.5 Trillion Dollars last year would be true, and I'd take anything from 2.4 to 2.7 as an acceptable answer, since 2.67 was requested and 2.49 was approved).

      Why should we allow half or partial truths from our leaders, when we don't accept them from our children?

    • Of course the problem with Politifact (and most, if not all, other "fact checkers") is that they will from time to time call something fact because they disagree with the political position it is being used to support. For example, Politifacts 2012 "lie of the year" was actually true, they just felt that it was used in a way that was misleading. Politifact said that Mitt Romney's statement that Chrysler was going to build Jeeps in China was the lie of the year, yet Chrysler is indeed going to be building Je
      • by vux984 (928602)

        Now one could argue, and Politifact did, that Mitt Romney used that fact in a misleading way, but the fact itself is true.

        He said Chrysler is going to be building Jeeps in China to imply that American jobs would be lost.

        There is no other reasonable or rational way to interpret what he said. That was a bald faced lie, uttered without actually stating anything that was false

        Everyone knows the best lies contain as much truth as possible, and this was easily the lie of the year.

        • Whether that is the correct interpretation of what he was trying to communicate, the fact was true. If you are going to be a fact checker, limit yourself to facts. As soon as you bring interpretation into it, you are no longer talking about facts rather you are talking about opinion. You may feel that your opinion is the only logical one, I may even agree with you, but it does not mean that it is fact. A fact checker should confine themselves to facts.
          • by vux984 (928602)

            As soon as you bring interpretation into it

            You can't communicate without interpretation. And quite bluntly if a fact checker is presented with something with multiple reasonable interpretations then that should be called out as well.

            "The fences didn't kill the Ostriches. The fire did. I don't think we need to worry about whether fences are leading to trapped birds because birds can fly."

            fences didn't kill the Ostriches -- true fact.
            fire killed the ostriches -- true fact
            I don't think we need to worry about w

            • OK, so you want "fact checkers" who call those who disagree with your interpretations of the fact liars. That's fine, just don't expect me to consider them to be credible and non-partisan, since you are asking that they be partisan. To take apart your examples and show how real fact checkers could get the same results without worrying about interpretation:

              "The fences didn't kill the Ostriches. The fire did. I don't think we need to worry about whether fences are leading to trapped birds because birds can fly."

              Fact Checker: It is true that the fences did not kill the ostriches and that the fire did. It is true that SOME birds can fly, however, ostriches can not

              • by vux984 (928602)

                In both of my modifications, the fact checker does not call the original speaker a liar ... they merely add the facts which the original speaker left out

                I'm perfectly fine for them to call them out as the half truths that they are. If the fact checker is compelled to 'add facts' to qualify something as true, then that says something about the original speaker don't you think?

                • Yes, it does. However, when the fact checker says they are "checking the facts" and calls someone a liar because of the way that person interprets the facts, the "fact checker" is no longer a fact checker, especially when it is the "fact checker" interpreting what the person meant when they used the facts in question. Back to my original example, Politifact, as part of "fact-checking" called Mitt Romney's statement that Chrysler was going to build Jeeps in China the "lie of the year", when, in fact,Chrysler
                  • by vux984 (928602)

                    "Why is a company that just received a generous bailout from the U.S. government creating jobs in China rather than in the U.S.?

                    Are you suggesting the Chrysler not building a factory in China to build Jeeps for the Chinese would somehow benefit Americans?

                    Could that money not have been better spent improving production and increasing jobs in the U.S.? If the answer to the second question is 'No", is it really a good use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help a company create jobs in China?"

                    If that's the message t

                    • See, now you are discussing what you believe that Romney should have said/how he should have made his point. That is not the question. The question is, was the statement, "Chrysler will build Jeeps in China" not just a lie, but the lie of the year? Not only was it not a lie, it was a fact. The theory of fact checkers is that they will check the facts that politicians use and point out when those facts are wrong. In this case, Politifact, as part of a "fact check", called that statement a lie?
                      You are failin
                    • by vux984 (928602)

                      This statement by Obama was a bigger lie, "I believe the only way to create an economy built to last is to strengthen the middle class, asking the wealthy to pay a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way,"

                      This is no deception there. Obama was clear. You can agree or disagree with the statement, because it is his opinion.

                      And its a statement of a pretty abstract belief about macro-economic theory; it is almost ridiculous to compare it to a statement about where jeeps are made.

                      The theory of

                    • The "lie" was not that jeeps would be made in china. The lie was that "American jobs were being outsourced and lost because Chrysler would build Jeeps in China."

                      Except of course that nowhere did the ad say "American jobs were being outsourced and lost because Chrysler would build Jeeps in China." That is your opinion of what the ad meant to communicate. Your opinion may be correct, but it is not a statement of fact made in the ad. Therefore it is not the place of a fact checker to call the campaign on it. It would be perfectly acceptable for Politifact to express your opinion in something they called an opinion peice. It is not acceptable for them to take that posi

                    • by vux984 (928602)

                      They fact checked the claim "American jobs were being outsourced and lost because Chrysler would build Jeeps in China."

                      Politifact interpreted what they thought the claim was, and then fact checked it.

                      Statements like "The sky is blue." are simpler to interpret but you still have to interpret that the speaker is making a claim that the sky is blue. All but the very simplest of statements require interpretation.

                      You are plainly mistaken when you argue that politifact wasn't checking facts.

                      Now you can handwave a

                    • And that is why nobody takes fact checkers seriously. Because Politifact only does that to Republicans. If it is a Democrat, all they worry about is whether the explicit fact stated is correct.
                    • by vux984 (928602)

                      I don't see it. Here's one...

                      "We weren't told they wanted more security " for diplomatic facilities in Libya.

                      Biden -- rated mostly false.

                      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/12/joe-biden/biden-says-we-werent-told-Libya-security-requests/ [politifact.com]

                      They ~interpret~ Biden's statement, to determine what he could have meant a number of groups by "we".

                      They acknowledge It could very well be true that he and Obama weren't personally told Libya had

                      And then decide its 'mostly false' because even if by 'w

    • I think this will be limited to the absolute facts like

      votes for/against bills
      verifying quotes
      world data facts
      domestic data (i.e. job numbers/change in numbers)

    • by phlinn (819946)
      Unfortunately, the ratings can't be trusted. Just as an example of this argument: http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/11/05/the-ten-worst-fact-checks-of-the-2012-election/ [forbes.com] Mostly true, half ture, and mostly false should really be true but slightly misleading, misleading, incredibly misleading. Alll the misleading entries are partially the opinion of the author about whether specific inferences are actually justified.
      • Wow, you're not kidding, look at this quote:

        Glenn Kessler, head of Pinocchio distribution at the Washington Post, wrote a fact-check of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in which he claimed Barbour was lying when he claimed that people driving BMWs were getting Medicaid in his state. This isn’t a tale confined to Mississippi – it’s a problem all across the country. But when I supplied Kessler with a half dozen news stories from that very week from all across the country about individuals owning McMansions and flashy cars getting Medicaid, but Kessler refused to reconsider his ruling.

  • by SJ2000 (1128057) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:15AM (#42748523) Homepage
    I think I'd rather IBM's Watson [wikipedia.org], I think it's shown a lot of promise in natural language parsing and I think it would do a better job than anything The Washington Post can come up with.
  • by starworks5 (139327) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:17AM (#42748535) Homepage

    Have you ever heard of the concept of garbage in - garbage out? If you ask the majority of people they think that things like return on investment as 'facts', but yet infinite growth in a finite system is impossible, and all economic activity is premised on energy and thermodynamics.

    When politicians say things like 'high taxes are hurting business' will the system be 'hand fed' the appropriate answer, regardless of mountains of evidence showing otherwise because it discourages 'non-productive consumption', and that the high taxes pay for government infrastucture, welfare, and investment?

      Similarly there have been lots of propaganda referred to as facts in terms of tax policy, by the likes of the 'chicago boys' and people like milton friedman et al, however these people don't believe that economics can be studied empirically, and tax policy as an extension of economic policy.

    I have had my share of problems with my local oregon newspaper distorting facts of even its 'politifact', and generaly attacking the institution of government itself as bad, so that it can meet the expectations of the patrons which keep it in business.

    Is is any suprise that news media that are conservative make way more ad revenue per viewer than liberal, say for example rachel maddow or the daily show vs fox primetime, even when they have better age demographics of viewership for advertisers?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      why would anyone think that the Was.Post would recognize truth ?
      have they published much of it lately ?

  • I had been thinking "wouldn't it be cool if" for a while about something like this, but I would like to see it taken a few steps further. Though it would be rather difficult, wouldn't it be cool if there was a system like this which detected bad/underhanded debating tactics such as straw man [wikipedia.org], Ad hominem [wikipedia.org], cherry picking [wikipedia.org] and so on.

    • "I had been thinking "wouldn't it be cool if" for a while about something like this, but I would like to see it taken a few steps further. Though it would be rather difficult, wouldn't it be cool if there was a system like this which detected bad/underhanded debating tactics such as straw man, Ad hominem, cherry picking and so on."

      (Note to mods: the following strange reply has a couple of layers, so be careful what mod category you use!)

      We're talking about full Strong AI, aren't we? Political speech is one

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I don't think that anyone is telling you that a computer WILL do it today, only that it would be what is useful. Logical fallacy detection would be, bar none, the most useful tool in debate because it would save so much fucking time if a buzzer went off when something someone says is clearly a bunch of shit from a logical standpoint.

  • That'll be great. Often, such as during the primaries while there are still 8 candidates, or when the two candidates are otherwise tied, I eliminate candidates based on relative honesty. I was wishing for a real-time politifact scroller. They all stretch the truth, of course, but some WAY more than others.

    This, or later versions, could really be a boon to voters who aren't really interested in politics, so they often don't know an "obvious" lie when they hear it. For example, in some polls most Obam
  • Fox version!

    I bet it'll be a Bill O'Reilly animation shouting...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The thing about politics is that people do not agree on what the facts are, except in the most obvious, simple cases.
    Also, people agree even less on the applicability of a certain "fact" to a certain problem.
    This will accomplish very little. It may even be counterproductive because it may classify the speech of a true visionary as a lie because the thing is just to dumb.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      By "facts" usually they're referring to what a "fact checker" (which is an actual journalistic role) would look into: simple, unambiguous statements that the newspaper would be embarrased to get wrong. "X was born in Y". "Under A's tenure, statistic B changed by C". Amazingly enough politicians lie prolifically about even those things.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I suspect a mechanical Turk, or perhaps a piece of performance art.

  • by eddy_crim (216272) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @05:03AM (#42748783) Homepage
    Sound like total rubbish to me. Politicians do lie sometimes and they even occasionaly tell the truth but mostly they bend the truth out of all proportion. If they make a statement its not TRUE or FALSE usually the answer would be "WELL... ITS COMPLICATED.. it depends how you look at it" In the UK we have a radio show dedicated to statistics called More or Less http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd [bbc.co.uk] These folks can spend half the show discussing the truth behind a single political statement and then sometimes dont come to a firm conclusion
    • If they make a statement its not TRUE or FALSE usually the answer would be "WELL... ITS COMPLICATED.. it depends how you look at it"

      But the real problem isn't the politicians... because very few people are interested in hearing "well... it's more complicated than that" (let alone actually educating themselves on the issue). They want a simple black-or-white, true-or-false statement (as anyone who was on Facebook and saw the various image memes around election time) - and this software panders to that...

  • by JavaBear (9872)

    if (person.getJobs().containsKey(Jobs.POLITICIAN)) {
            return false;
    }

  • Until they publish the fact database for everyone to see, how can we tell if it's just more editorializing disguised as fact-checking? The example they give on their demo page, "The Recovery Act saved or created millions of jobs and cut taxes for 95 of the American people" is not encouraging. The "saved or created" statistic was widely panned at the time it was first used because these terms were invented by the Administration, they are not standard employment terms that can be verified with empirical dat
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      There also clearly needs to be some fuzziness built in. If you have a politician stating that the annual budget of some agency is $15.6 million and it's actually $16.2 million, that's considerably less wrong than saying that the agency is entirely responsible for adding $1 trillion to the debt.

      Also, Futurama did it first:
      Morbo: Morbo demands an answer to the following question: If you saw delicious candy in the hands of a small child would you seize and consume it?
      Jack Johnson: Unthinkable.
      John Jackson: I w

  • Back in the day, "fact checking" was something a newspaper or such ran against their own product. Readers' Digest was famous for their fact checkers.

    If they want to check a speech in real time, why don't they run it on their own reporting and opinion pages?

    Going around piously checking everyone else's facts is more creating news than anything else.

  • As a wise man once pointed out, you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Rupert Murdoch's news empire has made a fortune for him by following this dictum to the letter. Murdoch has figured out which people he can fool all the time -- angry white males who live in the US. And as another wise man once pointed out, a man will hear what he wants to hear, and disregard the rest. Murdoch isn't worried about his a

  • I think such a system should be a required filter before any journalist can publish an article. This filtering system should also red flag words that imply speculation on the part of the author such as "might," "if," or "maybe." And to take that a step further, television news should also have a system that identifies when file footage has been inserted into a report for dramatic effect.

  • Anyone else getting asked to log into the admin of their wordpress when viewing their about [washingtonpost.com] page?
  • Most Republicans I know, when faced with facts against their leaders, would simply blow it off, saying I'm listening to much to the "leftist media"
    However, on the same token, when I presented Democrats with facts against what their leaders said, they'd tell me to "stop being a sheeple listening to faux news"

    The fact of the matter is is that facts don't matter, people will believe who and whatever is more convenient to them.
  • ... Republicans almost always lie, and Democrats almost always tell the truth.

No one gets sick on Wednesdays.

Working...