PolitiFact readers tell us what they think
By Jim Tharpe
Published on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 6:00 a.m.
We wanted to share some of those missives as we prepare to give the AJC Truth-O-Meter a rest until Jan.3. Don't worry. The AJC truth squad returns just in time to get ready for the state Legislature and a new governor.
We'll introduce a new feature in early January to keep track of Gov.-elect Nathan Deal's campaign promises. And we'll be paying close attention to what your lawmakers -- and other power brokers -- in the state House of Representatives and Senate are saying.
In the meantime, here's what some of you had to say about our efforts since we first cranked up the Truth-O-Meter back in early June:
Jeff Coghill from Atlanta wrote:
I just wanted to thank the AJC for running the Truth-O-Meter pieces during the last few months. I hope it will continue.
Of course it does raise the pesky question of whether, as a qualification for office, politicians are required to have surgery to remove their sense of shame and decency. But that's unlikely. Too many of them clearly didn't have any to begin with.
Gerson Paull from Atlanta had this observation:
The "Truth-O-Meter" is an outstanding addition to the AJC, but the editorial staff made a poor choice in making the polar opposite of "Truth" be "Pants On Fire." This is an insult to those who speak the truth.
There is a word in the English language for the opposite of "truth"; it is "lie."
By not using the antonym "lie" but rather choosing a childish euphemism, you allow liars to go without the shame they rightfully deserve.
Margaret Thomson of Marietta took issue with our recent ruling on sate Democratic Party Chairwoman Jane Kidd:
I read your column with interest, but today's was just plain stupid. We all KNOW there's no legal requirement to refund campaign contributions. But if I give you money on the grounds that you are a Democrat, and one day after the election you change parties, I think you have committed MORAL fraud. You knew you were going to become a Republican but took Democratic money anyway. Yes, it's legal, but you knowingly cheated me, and I would sure want my money back!
Jane Kidd said donors DESERVE a refund, and that's absolutely TRUE.
Connie B. Jones told us how she uses the Truth-O-Meter:
I hope you and the AJC know how very important your information on our political opponents and leaders really is. Anyone interested in voting can now read for themselves the facts and fiction our political people are giving us and decide if they are being truthful or not.
Thank you for this wonderful tool. I read it faithfully, and along with going to the different forums, I can read what was said earlier and come to my voting decision. I am sure that with this new [feature] politicians will think again before lying about something they did or did not do or said in order to get our votes.
You really make a difference, and Georgia is better for it.
David McIntosh of Sandy Springs took issue with our ruling on the government's ability to set prices for GM vehicles:
I think your Truth Meter is low on battery power and constantly leaning left. You failed to mention the large stake the unions have in GM management. I don't think on a day-to-day basis GM calls for daily pricing recommendations. But with the government-approved board and its coziness to the unions, they are defiantly in the driver's seat. Pardon the pun. Congressmen and even the regime leader [Barack] Obama have made comments on the way things should go.
This is every leftist's dream come true. As usual, the left-leaning AJC sees it differently. Change your batteries, stop drinking the Kool-Aid.
Sue Shealy of Loganville applauded our look at President Obama's claim that Republicans are trying to privatize Social Security:
Three cheers to Truth-O-Meter, (AJC 9-6-10), for pointing out the less than half-truth about Obama's statement that Republicans are pushing the privatizing of Social Security. All too often people take for fact what a politician of their leaning states as fact, rather than checking it out for themselves.
Keep it up, Truth-O-Meter, and let the real facts fall where they may on whomever they may.
James H. Rust of Atlanta disagreed with our finding about a vote by Georgia's two U.S. senators:
I highly applaud AJC's PolitiFact Georgia for demanding truth in political commentary. However, I think they made an error on rating Bobbing In Petroleum's claim Sens. Chambliss and Isakson voted for legislation to "gut clean-air protections and increase oil dependence" as a half truth. The legislation under contention is Sen. [Lisa] Murkowski's attempt to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
As the AJC stated, other government agencies can mandate fuel economy standards. Nature produces about 850 billions tons of carbon dioxide annually, the United States about 6 billion tons from burning fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is essential for life and not a pollutant. Bobbing In Petroleum's statement should have been rated FALSE.
Bob Keesee weighed in on our look at how much money sporting events really bring to the Atlanta area:
Your article on revenue estimates for athletic activity in the Dec. 6 AJC was right on.
We hear these kinds of estimates quite often when new taxpayer-funded facilities are desired by proponents.
After the Auburn-South Carolina game we heard on many TV channels that the game brought $30 million to the Atlanta area and provided a lot of money to restaurants, hotels, taxis, etc. Seventy thousand people attend a game and it generates $30 million in the area?
All right, let's carry this one step further and have these "experts" come up with some numbers on two events that will soon occur. How much money will be leaving Georgia when Georgia Tech and Georgia play insignificant bowl games in Shreveport and Memphis? If we read Shreveport and Memphis newspapers, will they be telling their readers about all the wonderful revenue pouring into their towns that is stimulating their economies?
Again, a good article. Keep it up.
Letters to PolitiFact Georgia
Researchers: Jim Tharpe
We want to hear your suggestions and comments. Email the Georgia Truth-O-Meter with feedback and with claims you'd like to see checked. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.