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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 6-July 12

This week, everyone liked us! Well, almost everyone.

In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.


Thanks for the facts on the Arizona border story ["Guns Found South of the Border," July 6]. It was sent to me, but the senders had left the Spanish captions on the photographs so that I was able to Google Higueras and find a Spanish-language newspaper article making it clear what the photos related to. And I emailed back to the sender the facts as I found them, then asked, "Where do you get this garbage? And why do you send it to me? You could do the research as well as I, before sending misinformation on."

FactCheck is a treasure.

Ann Lamb
Knoxville, Tenn.

Thank you for being there. My dad is in his early 70s and of a generation that viewed the electronic media as inherently credible. So, when he received an e-mail from a relative informing him that members of Congress do not pay into the Social Security he and my mom depend on, he promptly forwarded the message to his friends and family. As a union organizer and political activist, I immediately recognized it as what has become all too customary right wing disinformation and was able to find a clear and comprehensive examination of the very e-mail on your website to send along to my dad and family members ["Do Members of Congress Pay Social Security?," Dec. 17, 2007].

As an organizer, I am all too familiar with having to help workers distinguish between differences of opinion and outright lies, but seeing the effect on my dad really hit me. As the level of civil discourse in our country continues to erode and be replaced with factually questionable talking points created not to inform but to misinform and even provoke and which can be disseminated with the click of a button, your work is more critical than ever. Keep up the good work and I will be sure to donate what I can to your efforts.

Joseph Montagna
Somerville, Mass.

Thank you for providing such a valuable resource to counter all the radical rumormongers in our country today!

It is a bit disturbing that so many of our electorate believe this onslaught of rumors.

William Smith
High Springs, Fla.


… But No Thanks

I have not spent a lot of time at y’all’s website, but the impression I get is PARTISAN!!!!!! Y’all toe the Democratic party line and criticize Republicans on every page!!! That is what I saw, anyway. Some of the topics I chose to look at were gun control, illegal immigration, abortion (all hot topics, I admit), but y’all seem to agree with all the liberals and to hell with the conservatives. I guess it’s all in the presentation.

E.W. Eberle
Austin, Tex.