Thursday, October 18, 2007

Do Politicians Lie?


clipped from online.wsj.com

In recent weeks, Ron Paul overstated the U.S. death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rudy Giuliani overstated the impact on national crime rates of declining New York rates during his mayoral tenure, Barack Obama overstated the potential impact of an increase in voter turnout among black voters in the South, and John Edwards chose the higher of two government estimates of the number of Americans without bank accounts to emphasize a point.

Those statistical stretches were identified and corrected by a pair of Web sites aiming to keep close tabs on the factual claims of the 2008 candidates. FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, monitored the last presidential race as well. It was joined two weeks ago by PolitiFact, a joint venture of the St. Petersburg Times and the Congressional Quarterly that rates candidates' claims on a so-called Truth-O-Meter, which has six settings ranging from "True" to "Pants on Fire."

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