Something Humor Can Do for You, Even (Especially) When Uncovering Deceptive Info

by Adriana Dakin on February 27, 2012

in Tips For You

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During the primary debate and election season, it’s great to have a new friend over at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center … FlackCheck.org just launched last month with a bang. It’s the video companion to FactCheck.org, which many people already know and trust.

The team there, headed by the well known political expert Kathleen Hall Jamieson (watch her recent interview with Bill Moyers), is creating a prolific array of videos. They would not be so prolific, though, if the need weren’t great. They’re fact checking candidates and super PAC ads, pointing out false and misleading statements that are getting aired on TV stations. As you can guess, there are many instances to flag as deceptive content.

A favorite among viewers are the series of spoof ads pretending to attack Abe Lincoln in 1864, begging the question: If Abe were running in today’s media environment, would he be elected? Probably not …

As Taylor Batten wrote in the Charlotte Observer about FlackCheck’s Lincoln attack ads:

“In today’s image-driven, media-saturated environment, some of America’s best presidents would hardly stand a chance. The gangly, homely, mumbling Lincoln would have had a hard time. The wheelchair-bound Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have little hope. Thomas Jefferson’s fathering of children with slave Sally Hemings would have been leaked to Fox News and he’d be done. A less notable president, William Howard Taft, probably wouldn’t get elected today because of his obesity.”

Humor is a fantastic way to open doors on a serious topic and get people thinking about the current situation. Bet you can think of numerous times when a good laugh helped you understand.

Keep abreast of FlackCheck on Twitter and on Facebook throughout this election season! I find that the videos help make the debates more palatable to me — after every debate, I know there will be an array of FlackCheck videos spotlighting misleading “facts” by candidates of any party.

And go ahead — follow their lead! Use humor in promoting your mission and see what happens.

Please let your friends know about FlackCheck as a cool resource this entire election season. Do share this post 🙂

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