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Pants On Fire!

from Politifact.com

from Politifact.com

Where should you turn to check the veracity of political statements?

One good source I trust is PolitiFacta Pulitzer Prize-winning, fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, as is PunditFact, a site devoted to fact-checking pundits.

PolitiFact checks claims by elected officials, candidates, leaders of political parties and political activists. We examine officials at all levels of government, from county commissioners to U.S. senators, from city council members to the president.

They also check claims by groups involved in the discourse — political parties, advocacy groups and political action committees — and examine claims in widely circulated chain emails.

PolitiFact staffers research statements and rate their accuracy on the Truth-O-Meter, from True to False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get the lowest rating, Pants on Fire. The meter has six ratings, in decreasing level of truthfulness:

  1. TRUE – The statement is accurate and there’s nothing significant missing.
  2. MOSTLY TRUE – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
  3. HALF TRUE – The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.
  4. MOSTLY FALSE – The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
  5. FALSE – The statement is not accurate.
  6. PANTS ON FIRE – The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

Chain emails are intentionally misleading with 83% having a False or Pants on Fire rating.

Political promises made during a campaign, whether by Republicans or Democrats, are often not kept, so don’t believe the rhetoric or the ability of any candidate to be able to follow through.

There is even a California Edition in cooperation with Capital Public Radio.

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