By ROBERT PURSELL
A new website called FactCheck.org is now allowing voters to investigate claims made by presidential candidates for the upcoming election. The website, which was started by an organization of concerned voters, looks into the “facts” stated in campaigns by politicians and checks how factually correct they are.
The website, which describes itself as a, “nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters,” is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. It is funded almost entirely through educational grants and personal donations and prides itself on neither seeking nor accepting funds from corporations, unions, partisan organizations, or advocacy groups.
The website features innovative tools such as a section titled “the wire,” where users can view recent speeches by politicians and review how factually strong they are. Another interesting tool called “Ask Factcheck,” allows users to directly e-mail the editors questions they may have.
A recent question asked by a user of whether or not the Democratic National Committee was really hosting a Muslim prayer service instead of a Christian prayer was debunked by the editors. All of these tools help FactCheck.org accomplish its mission statement of applying the best of both journalistic and scholarly practices to increase public knowledge and understanding of politics.
So next time you find yourself watching a politician who claims to have never voted to raise taxes, log onto FactCheck.org, and see how honest he or she is being.