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South by Southwest begins occupying Austin this week. We’re getting in the groove with our own theme song: "Gimme The Truth (The PolitiFact Song)."
I need to know just what is meant
By the folks in government
Won't you tell me what to believe
When I hear them telling me:
"I am the best, I am so great"
Show me how they really rate
Cause I need to know who is a hack
Won't you tell me, PolitiFact?
Founding editor Bill Adair told us the song was written for PolitiFact’s launch in 2007 by Chris Ave, an editor at the Tampa Bay Times, and recorded by singer Teresa Shields, her producer-brother Ryan Shields and some talented musicians.
A 2009 remix added backing vocals -- sampled -- from President Barack Obama. Click here to download the song.
As incontrovertible proof that PolitiFact continues to rock, a miniature, musical Twitter meme popped up February 27, 2012: #rocklyricswrittenbypolitifact, started by Slate political writer and MSNBC contributor Dave Weigel. Example (from @PhilNotPhil): "Maybellene, why can't you be mostly true? You started back doin the things you used to mostly do."
Adair, by the way, is scheduled to speak on the SXSW Interactive panel "Storytelling Beyond Words: New Forms of Journalism" at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 11, 2012, at the Sheraton Austin.
Here’s our own little showcase of musical fact-checks:
Email and telephone interviews with Bill Adair, PolitiFact editor, March 2, 2012
South by Southwest Interactive schedule, www.sxsw.com, accessed March 2, 2012