fact check and spin room

Aw geesh. Okay, I'm not going to be able to concentrate on theology with all the politics going on. How 'bout I just admit I'll be posting more political stuff for a little while (at least until Feb 5).

I watched some of the ABC New Hampshire debate at St. Anselm College Jan 5. We watched the clips off youtube. It was spirited and (mostly) helpful, especially assisted, I think, by the looser format that allowed for longer than soundbite answers, and real interaction. Charles Gibson has significantly more gravitas than the CNN anchors, and even inspired a sincere apology from McCain when he trampled over his alloted time.

Several tips from me when watching debates:

  • Read a fact checking site, like this one from the Washington Post. They're great at examining those numbers which get thrown around, many of which will have less cred than Michael Moore under the influence of truth-serum.
  • Read transcripts, but remember they don't catch the facial expressions and tone.
  • Know that the after-stories about the debate (who "won") are influenced by the "spin rooms" - the off-camera media-arena where campaign spokespeople correct mistakes and try to add things to the record their candidate may not have gotten so well. Check out this great BBC article on Sunday's spin room (ps - notice the name of the journalist - heh).

The video above was only part 1 of 9 for the republican portion. Want to see the fireworks? Some good ones in the last 2.5 minutes of clip 2 of 9.