Just the facts ... please

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

If you have an email account, you undoubtedly know someone who regularly sends you one of these pieces. They all sound believable, but all too often the information is non-factual and attributed to reliable sources who didn’t produce the information.

Another useful site that should be consulted is opensecrets.org, sponsored by The Center for Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org claims to be a nonpartisan guide to money's influence on U.S. elections and public policy. They encourage journalists, activists, students and any other interested citizens to use the free site to shine light on the government and those who wish to use it for their benefit. The Center relies on financial support from a combination of foundation grants, individual contributions and income earned from custom research and licensing data for commercial use. The Center accepts no contributions from businesses, labor unions or trade associations.

Yet another useful site is publicintegrity.org, sponsored by the Center for Public Integrity, which was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis and claims to be one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit news organizations. Its mission is to enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions.

Inaccurate and outright twisting of the truth is at the root of so many decisions people are making today. The media, Internet and social media are full of inaccurate information. It’s no wonder the political machines have become so skilled at spin. If we continue to accept what we’re told without qualifying the information, we’re the ones at fault for the direction this country takes. We’ve been told by both parties and each candidate how important this election is to our future. Both sides believe there have never been such diverse differences between the two sides and it’s up to us to ultimately decide. I urge each of us to do our homework before casting a vote. Given the current state of the country we need to hold these candidates and their parties accountable for their statements and actions. Despite what your heart and personal convictions tell you to believe, we owe it to future generations, if not ourselves, to know where the truth stops and the spin begins.

Many of you may take the position that since both sides employ these tactics, what difference does it really make? Well, my comeback is simple: Until we know the real truth we will never be able to put this country on the right path. If we can’t depend on our elected officials we have no choice but to take matters into our own hands and demand they change their ways. If we don’t do that, we deserve exactly what we’re getting.

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@denpubs.com.

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