The 2012 presidential campaigns are beginning to build speed; Congress is arguing jobs and spending; and politicians at all levels are sending media messages to build support for their agendas. In the midst of all the political noise, Americans are tasked with the difficult job of sorting through an onslaught of headlines, political promises, and partisan claims. Unless you are a political expert and have several hours each day to devote to research, you may head into the next election misinformed or unsure of your decision. The fact-checkers of PolitiFact and FactCheck.org work to clear up the confusion that surrounds politics. These two organizations conduct expert political research and publish their findings at no cost to the American public. PolitiFact states that their goal is to help Americans “find the truth in politics.” Similarly, FactCheck.org calls itself a “consumer advocate” for voters and “aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”
PolitiFact takes a light-hearted approach gauging statements by members of Congress, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, and others on a “Truth-O-Meter” – True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False and False. The most extreme falsehoods receive the lowest rating, Pants on Fire.
FactCheck.org is a highly transparent project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. This sites features articles that explore the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.