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If Your Pants are on Fire, You’d Better be Named Santa

Topic: CJP | By CJP | November 27, 2007

fire.jpg ‘Twill soon be the season for egg nog, yule logs and, sadly, big fat lies. Not the little white lie you tell when you get snow tires from your boyfriend and pretend you’re happy; not the lie you tell yourself when you believe that too-short minidress is acceptable because the attire for the office holiday party is “festive.” We’re talking about the big, dark, down & dirty lies that campaigns tell about their opponents when they realize they need to change a few minds if they’re going to win this thing.

Say hello to the love child of the the holiday season and the 2008 accelerated primary calendar. With the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd, and Ginromous Tuesday not too far behind, Janes, I have to warn you, this is when campaigns roll out their dooozies for

commercials, fliers and even recorded calls to your home.

But not to worry, help is on the way. As you may have seen on CJP’s “Extra Credit” page, there are several places you can go to separate fact from fiction. Here are some of the best:

  • The Truth-O-Meter from the St. Petersburg Times and CQ gives clear and often painful evaluations of candidates’ statements in debates, ads or speeches. Today, Giuliani gets a “Barely True” for his description of the Big Apple’s turn around; Mitt Romney gets a “True” on his claims that crime in his state went down while he was governor; and John Edwards gets the dreaded “Pants on Fire,” for saying he’d take Congress’ health care away if they didn’t pass his universal health plan.
  • The Washington Post’s Political Fact Checker gives one to four Pinocchios for false statements, plus the rarely seen “Geppetto” for something that’s entirely truthful and accurate. Today Giuliani and Romney both get Pinocchios.
  • Fact-Check.org is a detail-laden site that looks at larger issues, such a Mike Huckabee’s entire fiscal record or Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama on Social Security.

Janes, we didn’t just fall of the turnip truck. And even if candidates want to pretend like we did, we now have all the tools at our disposal to be just as savvy when consume information as we are when we drive past the Texaco to get cheaper gas across the street. If it’s worth 2 cents a gallon to know what’s what, isn’t it worth a little time too?


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