Thursday, September 18, 2008

Busting Urban Myths

One thing that I can routinely count on as Silly Season (also known as a Presidential election year) reaches its crescendo is the half-truths, lies, and damn lies that circulate both in the course of face to face conversation and via the Internet tubes. If I had a nickel for every mass email I have received about Barack (and Michelle) Obama being "radical Muslims" or other such nonsense, I'd have enough money to get through this month pretty comfortably.

So, in the name of a periodic public service to the rest of blogtopia, I would strongly suggest taking Internet rumors with a grain of salt, and do some basic fact-checking prior to continuing their circulation. One good starting point is snopes.com, which has dossiers on Barack Obama, John McCain, and Sarah Palin. I'm somewhat surprised that Joe Biden (D - MNBA) doesn't have a dossier, but maybe he just doesn't inspire the urban legend tellers the way the others do. At this point, as soon as I encounter someone via email or on the blogs spreading an obvious urban myth on a candidate, I merely find the requisite link to the myth and direct that individual to read up before further embarrassing themselves. Personally, I think there is enough objectionable about all of these folks to fill plenty of cyberspace and newsprint without relying on falsehoods. Keep it real and keep it honest.

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