Everyone is struggling to understand how our political rhetoric became so negative and distorted. But an even greater struggle is determining what is truth and what is distortion within that rhetoric. This is where the Web can really help us. There are three, prominent, bipartisan web sites that separate the truth from the lies:
PolitiFact.com was started in 2007 by the Tampa Bay Times and rates statements with the "Truth-O-Meter". The worst lies get the lowest and most outraged rating of "Pants on Fire"!
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to examining political statements, it scrutinizes internet rumors.
The Fact Checker at the Washington Post is a blog by Glenn Kessler. The degree of falsehood is measured by "Pinocchios" on a scale of one to four. Four Pinocchios is "a whopper"! If a statement is complete truth...it gets the "Geppetto Checkmark". It is a handy graphic alerting us to pay attention.