A friend said to me over the summer' "The great irony of political journalism is that journalists are supposed to tell the truth, and its impossible to get that from a politician." I laughed at his joke, although secretly I was bemoaning the truth in that statement.

Politicians don't often tell the truth, and when they do its spun in such a way that its not actually wholly true. The most tragic part of this situation is that journalists often let them get away with this. Not enough fact checking has been in newspapers, and because of this politicians are often let off the hook with the insane claims that they make.

Fortunately the fact-checking website PolitiFact is doing a very good job of holding the feet of our leaders to the metaphorical fire.

Started in 2007 by Tampa Bay Times Washington Bureau chief Bill Adair, Politifact evaluates statements made by political officials and organizations as to their level of factual accuracy, and assigns them a rating on the "Truth-o-meter." This process catches politicians stretching the truth, or flat-out lying, on a daily basis.
Politifact's Truth-O-Meter explains the fallacy in this statement by the President.
What I love about PolitiFact is that they don't just point out that a statement is incorrect, they explain why it is wrong. When a lot of news shows call out their ideological opponents they don't often take this step.

Unfortunately websites such as PolitiFact don't have enough national influence to make politicians wary. At best, they just keep those who read the site informed. Journalists need to start taking a stand in the newspapers as well as online.

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