It's U.S. election time, which means there is enough rhetoric, inflammatory speech, and incendiary advertising to make a voter want to scream. Luckily, there are a few fact-checking websites out there that are ready and armed to debunk lies and expose the truth. Here's a small sampling:
DEBATE FACT CHECKING: Watch the Presidential Debates live with Marketplace. Tune in to our Election channel during the debate for live video streaming, analysis, and fact-checking from Kai Ryssdal and the Marketplace election reporting team. Plus, watch the replay:
- Third Presidential Debate: Foriegn Policy (10/22/12)
- Second Presidential Debate: Town Hall (10/16/12)
- First Vice Presidential Debate (10/11/12)
- First Presidential Debate: The Economy (10/3/12)
A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, the nonpartisan, nonprofit FactCheck.org monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. The site's goal is to "apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."
A project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partners that intends to "help you find the truth in politics." The website says it fact checks members of Congress, state legislators, legislators, governors, mayors, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress, and anyone who speaks up in American politics. The site says, "We research their statements and then rate the accuracy on our Truth-O-Meter –- True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False and False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get our lowest rating, Pants on Fire." Each year, it also declares one political statement the dubious honors of "Lie of the Year." In 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
The Fact Checker
A blog from the Washington Post, The Fact Checker -- as its name would imply -- fact checks statements by politicians and political advocacy groups. It regularly doles out Pinocchios based upon politicans' statements.
It's not exactly a fact-checking website, but this website from the Center for Responsive Politics does keep track of the money in politics. The site describes itself as "the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy."
Not strictly limited to politics, Snopes is a website that attempts to debunk and validate urban legends, Internet rumors and other stories of uncertain origin. It is an independent entity owned by its operators, Barbara and David Mikkelson, who say they receive no funding in any form.
Ever receive one of those dubious emails asking you to send money to someone in a foreign country? This website may help you thwart off potential danger. Dubbed your "email reality check," TruthOrFiction.com helps bust eRumors. Its website says, "Get the truth about rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, hoaxes, scams, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails."
While Fact Check, PolitiFact and The Fact Checker are among the most well-known, bipartisan examples of fact-checking websites out there, they compete against a number of more partisan sites that sit on both sides of the political spectrum. Two of the most well-known are NewsBusters.org (for conservatives) and Media Matters (for liberals).