I was trying to fact check a statement made by Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News, who yesterday spoke at the Bush Presidential Library. I'll get to that in my next post, for now I am sidetracked.
So I am searching for a Pew Study he quotes when, for some odd reason, I come across a blog on the recent Pentagon shooting by John Patric Bedell. Apparently the tea party gang took offense to a Christian Science Monitor report indicating that Mr. Bedell may have been part of "Right-Wing Extremism."
Well them's apparently fighting words, you know, attaching extremism, murder, and anti-government with right-wing. But they have a point, right-wing is not the sole producer of nut cases - there are lots of them that swing on the left as well.
Unfortunately the argument used by this blogger and all the other blogs that parrot it, has little to do with showing how the report's statement was premature and unfair to those that bat right handed but don't run out to the pitcher's mound to kill the opposing player when they think the pitch was directed at them. No, the argument was:
About the Pentagon shooter; Update: Stop playing games, MSM. John Patrick Bedell was a registered Democrat.
But that's not what this post is about, it's about fact checking which is what I was trying to do when I came across this blog.
You see, when someone makes a claim they should be able to back up where that information comes from. Although I try to be fair, I do not lean right, so if one does, they can/should take me to task for what I post. Now my opinions are mine like them or not, but when I use facts to support them those facts should be correct - or my argument/position loses its punch.
Unfortunately facts are only as correct as the source from which they were obtained. Still, if it is a reliable source we can assume they are true until we find out otherwise. I will always change my opinion if it was based on data that was incorrect, at least that's what I tell myself and I hope I always have the integrity to do so.
My God - I can get wordy. To the point ol' man!
The source for Bedell is a Democrat according to the blog site above is www.Electorates.us which would appear to be a legitimate source for this info, I mean it has the ".us" at the end does it not? But it does not take you to a site where you can look this info up, instead it takes you here. I cannot check this data for accuracy unless I pay what looks like $750.00. (I tried searching without paying but could not acquire this information).
Here is the problem: Google "John Patrick Bedell was a registered Democrat" and you will see page after page of blogs referencing the original blog with the information that cannot be verified.
This is to not say its true or not, its just sad how fast information is passed around with the assumption that it is correct especially when it bolsters one's argument.