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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of May 3-9

This week, readers sent us congratulations on our 2011 Webby Award and a comment on politicians’ distortion of facts.

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.

Our Webby Award

Congratulations on your Webby Award ["We Won a Webby," May 3]. You definitely deserve it, and I’m most appreciative of your dedicated work. I often go to you when I hear or read doubtful information from the media. I also refer many of my friends to you when they try to tell me something that is dubious, and you have proven false. I wish that our politicians would go to your site before spouting out accusations, etc., and before sending letters to their constituents. They would be much more credible. I will soon be sending you a donation as I want you to be able to continue your great service for many years. You are much needed!

Glenda Price
Reno, Nev.

I was glad to vote for FactCheck. It’s the site that I have mentioned in letters to the editor urging people to seek the truth. While some of your findings conflict with my own partisanship, that makes me trust FactCheck even more to present the facts regardless of where the cards fall. Best wishes for your continued success,

Linda Turner
Henderson, Nev.

Congrats! You deserve all the praise possible for the good work you do in keeping us balanced and correct in the news that we are bombarded with hourly. Keep up the good work and balanced reporting review.

Bill Bearden
Locust Grove, Va.


Politicians’ Deceptions

Over the past couple of years of receiving e-mails from FactCheck.org and checking information, I have drawn two conclusions. First, FactCheck.org is criticized by the left and the right on occasion for being biased. However, I am comforted by the fact that the political extremes do not particularly like the light of day, and, by and large, the analysis of FactCheck.org has been accurate, particularly since they cite their sources of information, making verification relatively easy. 

Second, and more disturbing, misrepresentation of facts, distortion of truth and outright false statements are commonplace in today’s political arena by both parties. I can understand that politicians can have the facts wrong on occasion, but it appears to be so consistently distorted that one wonders whether this is a reflection of society or has politics influenced society over the years in ways that make this acceptable. Clearly, many voters either lack critical thinking or choose to believe whatever their party or favorite politician tells them, no matter how much that information is in conflict with facts, and it is that noncritical acceptance that poses the greatest danger to a democracy.

Lee Henderson
Ithaca, N.Y.