In Search of Truth

There is a battle going on in news rooms across the world; a battle whose outcome we may never know:  The ongoing media struggle between truth and entertainment, or, what we should hear versus what we like to hear.  In today’s media landscape, truth is a rare and valuable gem.  Hyperbole and lies, however, are all too commonplace.

A recent Huffington Post article examines the accuracy of political attack ads in the current election cycle, and investigates the amount of truthful information we’re exposed to from various media.  As it turns out, many of the political attack ads from Republican hopeful Super PACs are churning out a multitude of lies about other Republican presidential hopefuls and the president himself, some of which include:
–Mitt Romney’s Super PAC claims that Newt Gingrich supports China’s one-child policy

–Santorum’s Super PAC claims that Mitt Romney left Massachusetts with over $1 billion in debt

–The American Future fund (alliances unknown) claims that dozens of former Wall Street executives are serving under Obama (there are some, but only half as many as the list claims)

But how are the average news consumers, with 40+ hour a week jobs and kids and spouses, supposed to differentiate between what is true and what is false?  The answer: They can’t.  A recent survey indicates that 78% of people get their news primarily from television coverage.  While the popularity of the internet as a news medium is growing, it is still only the 3rd most popular medium.

I suggest anyone reading this blog to check out Politifact and FactCheck, two of my favorite websites.  They verify the accuracy of claims made by various individuals or groups, without any alliance to a particular party.  It is imperative to seek the truth in all forms, and in todays media climate and relative ease of access to the internet, there is no excuse not to.

 

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

–Henry David Thoreau, “Walden”

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