This week was the first anniversary of my first blog post at Truth Matters. On September 27, 2010, I posted my factcheck of the Kansas Governor’s Debate. I found that both candidates lied about Brownback’s voting record in the Senate. Alas, I didn’t get around to submitting it to my local paper’s editorial page before the election. But then again, I did submit my editorial on Bradley Manning and they never got around to publishing it.
Over the past year I have published 49 posts. One of which was my master links page where I organized my articles by content. I will be releasing a new master link page soon. That leaves the 48 articles I’ve written this year. 17 of those articles were media factchecks. 4 were factchecks of politicians or activists. 2 were factchecks of political debates. A total of 23, just under half, were factchecks.
10 articles were editorials. 7 were media praise. 3 were debate commentaries. 2 were about the viewership of various national news outlets. 2 were on the Kansas budget. 1 was a satirical piece.
Hands down, the article that was found via Google the most was my takedown of The Story of Stuff. Most often the search term is some permutation of, “Story of Stuff lies.” The video leaves many people like myself with a reaction of, “that can’t be true.” I was shown the video in one of my college courses. I was completely taken aback after I saw it. Her ‘purpose of the economy’ line left me absolutely breathless. The discussion that followed had virtually nothing to do with the video. That class was part of a leadership program which maintained a group blog. I tried to get my critique posted there. In order to post it they were going to require me to make a bunch of changes. They said that by saying that the presenter was demagoging the issue I was comparing her to Hitler. Seriously. They also wouldn’t let me mention her name twice. One person in the group didn’t even believe that anyone ever lied about anything in politics. My editor was arguing all of my points with me. I ended up rescinding the piece. The group was not a place for free or intelligent discussion. I quit the group for this and other reasons.
Three of my favorite factchecks were on Martin Luther King, Raymond Davis, and Russia Today.
In March I factchecked a guest on Fox News for manipulating history. She said that Martin Luther King didn’t support public sector unions and merely advocated for equality of opportunity. In reality King supported public sector unions and called for government policies to alleviate poverty and inequality. She also fumbled the basic facts about the 1968 Memphis strike. I particularly enjoyed this factcheck because she fiercely attacked Richard Trumka for perverting history when she was the one who was perverting history.
Also in March I factchecked ABC for falsely saying that Raymond Davis was a diplomat instead of a CIA agent. The continued the lie that the State department asked them to push even after Davis was released and returned to the US after being detained in Pakistan on charges of murder. Davis may have been innocent, but lying about his job fundamentally changed the nature of the story. This is one of the quintessential examples of the US media’s manipulation of stories that are critical of US foreign policy.
I wrote the articles on MLK and Raymond Davis, as well as my satirical piece, on my spring break.
In July I pointed out the hypocrisy of Russia Today opinion host Adam Kokesh for criticizing the creation of a government funded news agency in Southern Sudan on his government funded news program. That level of hypocrisy reminded me of my favorite Daily Show piece where Jon Stewart attacked Fox for demonizing one of the largest shareholders of their parent company without disclosing their conflict of interest.
Two of my favorite research intensive non-factchecks were my articles on income inequality and the Kansas budget.
My editorial on income inequality pointed out 10 reasons we should tax the rich. I pointed out that the current income inequality in America is high compared to historical standards as well as compared to other countries.
My article on the Kansas budget explained the size and role of the categories of spending and government agencies in Kansas.
My articles tend to revolve around national security, the budget, and the media.
After correcting for my own page-views, my blog has received 1,559 views over the past year. You can compare that to other news outlets on my most recent article on ratings. Many of my viewers come from links I post in the comments section of FAIR, Huffington Post, Liberal Viewer’s facebook page, and Media Matters. The vast majority of my viewers are from the US, but I have had viewers from Canada, Singapore, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Russia, France, and New Zealand.
I look forward to another year of factchecking and punditry.
Originally Written October 2, 2011
Originally Written October 2, 2011