By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Monday was International Fact Checking Day, a recognition of a movement that includes news media outlets, websites, and non-profits that’s been building for more than a decade. And the premise it celebrates has never been more relevant – that in an era when lies and nonsense circle the globe before facts and truth can get dressed for work, it’s more important than ever to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

And there are no party lines when it comes to fudging the truth.

President Trump may be the undisputed king of falsehoods – the website Politifact rates his statements mostly or totally false a combined 69 percent of the time.

But President Obama was caught being untruthful by Politifact 26 percent of the time, not a record to be proud of.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway took a lot of guff for her nonsense about “alternative facts,” but I think she was onto something. For whatever reasons – hyper-partisanship, years of media-bashing, or just sincere confusion over what and whom to believe – I am finding more and more people who have given up caring about what the real truth is, and simply wallow in the alternative facts they prefer.

And my question to them is – once you give up caring about the truth, aren’t you simply turning the world over to its biggest liars?

Share your opinion with me via email at keller@wbztv.com, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Comments (3)
  1. Did that realization come about, Jon, when you discovered that you were wallowing in the alternative facts that you prefer?

    Your columns over the years have show that when you are being analytical in matters politic that you can be both objective in your observations and measured in you assessment.

    However, over the past year or so, you have become in your political analyses much like you are in your road-rage articles about drivers…Quick to condemn and viperous in your approach.

    The difference between the two, and the two are different, is that in the road-rage essays, you have some truth on your side…in the political ones you have a great deal of hackery and hypocrisy creeping in.

    The truth is that Trump has turned out to be far more of a believer in the Constitution than you on the left could ever imagine. He has insisted that important measures to our society be addressed by legislation, not executive fiat, and that law be created by Congress not by faceless bureaucrats with an agenda.

    The truth is that Trump has proven, without question, that “deep state” exists, shown most prominently by the corruption at the top of the FBI with is top personnel engaged in what appears to be nothing more than a political hit against a legitimate candidate for office and a duly elected President.

    The truth is that Trump has proven more willing to address the flash points of geopolitical conflict and has shown an more effective strategy in dealing with the miscreants of the world. Unlike Bush and Obama, he has shown North Korea that there are consequences to their actions, and he is systematically narrowing down the choices that Russia is able to make in pressing their views of world hegemony.

    The truth is, Jon, that you and the Fourth Estate are hewing to your own set of alternative facts and the viewing and reading public is becoming increasingly aware of of the errors that you have been making.

    Isn’t it time for you and your colleagues to go back to objective reporting rather than the biased narratives that you are peddling today?

    I, for one, have no objection to your opinions. Indeed I welcome them as part of the debate as debate is how we all learn what our options really are.

    I do, however, object to the burying of material fact or the flat-out ignoring of it for the convenience of your narrative.

    You have shown that you are better than that, and I urge you to return to the objective and measured approach that defined your early career.

    1. Yep, Theodore. Jon’s definitely wallowing for the pc home team on this one. Being math trained I could easily skew the statistics into President Trump’s favor.

      There’s a simple poll WBZ could set up to see the truth more accurately. Ask people within the 128 belt if Thomas Jefferson was racist and Jefferson’s politics and beliefs something they disagree with. Odds are, that done correctly, that poll would reveal Mr. Trump gets better ratings than Jefferson, especially among young liberal voters.

      (People within the 128 belt aren’t exactly famous for having strong pro-America beliefs. LOL)

  2. Okay Jon Keller and WBZ here’s how to do a scientifically and mathematically valid, innovative poll if you really care at all about presenting the actual truth.

    Pose two versions of the same questions within two areas of the State. The Boston area within a 20 mile radius of the city. As compared to the area south and west of Worcester, the lower west quadrant.

    For truly accurate modern polling the questions must be short with the total interview time well under five minutes. Three to five questions tops with all questions asked in the same exact order. In this case the same 4 questions asked about Thomas Jefferson OR President Trump within two geographic regions. Nobody polled gets asked about both Presidents. So you’ll get the two Boston centered Jefferson versus Trump polls. And the corresponding two Jefferson versus Trump polls in the lower west quadrant of Massachusetts.

    The Group A poll questions:
    1. Was President Thomas Jefferson racist?
    2. Did President Jefferson reflect your personal values?
    3. Was President Jefferson generally dishonest?
    4. Given those answers would you describe Thomas Jefferson as mentally fit to be President?

    The Group B poll questions:
    1. Is President Donald Trump racist?
    2. Does President Trump reflect your personal values?
    3. Is President Trump generally dishonest?
    4. Given those answers would you describe Donald Trump as mentally fit to be President?

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