Sunday, October 12, 2008

To Some, Skewering Both Sides Is Liberal Bias

A few days ago, I happened upon a blog commenter on the topic of Sarah Palin and Tina Fey, only the commenter talked about the Obama and Ayers guilt-by-association:

Obama/Ayers: Let's not overlook ANNENBERG! They served on the Annenberg board together, overseeing the expenditure of millions of dollars. The records are still "unavailable". Meantime, whenever Obama is criticized he refers to his "fight the smears" website, which cites as its only source of facts, the FACTCHECK.ORG website... which is run by Annenberg!

Umm, what does that say about credibility?
For one thing, Annenberg was founded by Walter Annenberg, who was once an ambassador during the Nixon Administration. The Annenberg board isn't a two-man job, as there are other connections: Obama/Someone Else and Someone Else/Ayers. Would that "Someone Else" be palling around with terrorists (Ayers) and Presidential nominees (Obama), too?

Furthermore, FactCheck.org skewers both major candidates whenever they aren't exactly factual (the Obama camp for exaggerating the current Iraqi surplus and McCain's erroneous assertion of Obama tax increases for everyone). If the Annenberg Foundation was in the tank for Obama, why would it have criticisms of his inaccurate campaign assertions?

FactCheck.org might not be a perfect fact-checking source, but at least it looks fair on paper. Unfortunately, it seems that many partisan hacks - and I skewer socially conservative partisan hacks for this example - immediately cry out bias whenever they're side is critiqued, even if the other side is also critiqued whenever appropriate. It's like an easy punchline, but social conservatives tend to discount bipartisan critiques. I guess their standard of fair and balanced is, you guessed it, FOX News.

Another good fact-checker is Snopes, but they're more of a general urban legends debunker. Also, the pop-up ads on that site are a bit annoying, and they sometimes create their own urban legends to keep the readers on their toes - to not completely trust the fact-checkers.

The moral of the story is to your own research and use multiple sources. However, it says something else when someone accuses a bipartisan fact-checking site (that literally has news items that criticizes both major candidates) of having hard bias for one candidate.

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