Monday, May 17, 2004


The Center for American Progress recently announced a "Claims vs. Fact Database" which purports to "chart conservatives' dishonesty and compare it with the truth." I sent them the following e-mail note:
Dear Center for American Progress,

I am a subscriber to your e-mail Progress Report and have enjoyed and
benefited from reading it.

I am, however, a little troubled by your latest venture: the "claims vs. fact database." I welcome the effort to collect and publish various
claims made by conservative politicians. Getting this type of
information out in the open is one of the obvious advantages to the
internet, the advent of blogging etc. However, I wonder why you have
chosen to focus only on the claims of "conservatives" rather than
politicians and pundits in general. Surely you do not sincerely believe
that conservatives have the corner on the market in obfuscation,
mendacity, and duplicitousness. Most objective observers would have to
conclude that these characteristics transcend political party or

In my opinion, a far more useful service would be one that collects and
collates the false or misleading claims made by ALL politicians and
punidts. This would allow people who attempt to be non-partisan (like
me) to make better informed judgments about both sides. Failure to do so leads one to question the good faith of the whole enterprise.

Just my two cents

Three weeks later, I received the following reply:
Dear Kirk:

Thank you for contacting the Center for American Progress. We
appreciate your comments regarding our Claim vs. Fact database. (You
can access the database here:

The Claim vs. Fact database is designed to compare conservative rhetoric with reality. We welcome constructive criticism and contributions to this ongoing project. If you would like to add something to the database, please send the claim and fact along with supporting documentation.

Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. We look forward to
hearing from you again.


Your friends at the Center for American Progress

Let's see: it took them three weeks to send me a form letter that didn't even begin to address the main point of my letter. Color me impressed!

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