unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Apr 24, 2007 - Social Science - 208 pages
6 Reviews
Americans are bombarded daily with mixed messages, half-truths, misleading statements, and out-and-out fabrications masquerading as facts. The news media–once the vaunted watchdogs of our republic–are often too timid or distracted to identify these deceptions.

unSpun is the secret decoder ring for the twenty-first-century world of disinformation. Written by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the founders of the acclaimed website FactCheck.org, unSpun reveals the secrets of separating facts from disinformation, such as:

• the warning signs of spin, hype, and bogus news
• common tricks used to deceive us
• how to find trustworthy and objective sources of information

Telling fact from fiction shouldn’t be a difficult task. With this book and a healthy dose of skepticism, anyone can cut through the haze of biased media reportage to be a savvier consumer and a better-informed citizen.

“Read this book and you will not go unarmed into the political wars ahead of us. Jackson and Jamieson equip us to be our own truth squad, and that just might be the salvation of democracy.”
–Bill Moyers

“THE DEFINITIVE B.S. DETECTOR–AN ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE GUIDEBOOK.”
–Mark Shields, syndicated columnist and political analyst, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

unSpun is an essential guide to cutting through the political fog. Just in time for the 2008 campaign, Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson have written a citizen’s guide to avoiding the malarkey of partisan politics.”
–Mara Liasson, NPR national political correspondent

“The Internet may be a wildly effective means of communication and an invaluable source of knowledge, but it has also become a new virtual haven for scammers–financial, political, even personal. Better than anything written before, unSpun shows us how to recognize these scams and protect ourselves from them.”
–Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative, Craigslist.org


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jwcooper3 - LibraryThing

The anecdotes and examples are fascinating but the hidden message of this book is that Americans, by and large, have stopped thinking. We've come to accept anything that comes out of the TV, internet ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dczapka - LibraryThing

If nothing else, this is a fairly entertaining read with lots of case studies and examples of the way in which political rhetoric, polling information, and commercials twist facts and try to ... Read full review

Contents

From Snake Oil to Emu Oil
3
A Bridesmaids Bad Breath Waming Signs of Tickey
25
Tall Coffees and Assault Weapons licksofthe Deception Iade
43
UFO Cults and Us Why We GetS║un
65
Facts Can Save Your Life
83
The Great Crow Fallacy Finding the BestEidence
103
Osama Ollie and Al TehemetSolution
127
Was Clarence Darrow a Creationist? How to Be Sure
153
Conclusion Staying unSpun
179
Acknowledgments
186
Index
189
Copyright

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Page xii - You are entitled to your opinion, But you are not entitled to...

About the author (2007)

Brooks Jackson runs FactCheck.org and was previously an investigative reporter for the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN. He is the author of Honest Graft: Big Money and the American Political Process and Broken Promise: Why the Federal Election Commission Failed. Jackson lives in Washington, D.C.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She has written more than a dozen books, including Dirty Politics: Deception, Distraction, and Democracy and Everything You Think You Know About Politics . . . and Why You're Wrong. Jamieson lives in Philadelphia.

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