Truth Vigilante Front Page Archive for January 2012
January 25, 2012
Reader Robert M writes in to nominate reporter David Wren of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a "Truth Vigilante."
Robert highlights David's work to track what's happening to the money raised by a one-cent local sales tax that's supposed to be funding tourism advertising but that's being administered by the local Chamber of Commerce - which is fighting attempts at oversight.
"The one-cent sales tax raises millions per year... and it's easy to imagine the kinds of self-dealing that are possible," Robert wrote. "Well, David has repeatedly asked for an accounting of how the tax money is spent, and apparently the official responses to his inquiries have become absolutely absurd."
Check out the story: Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce answers records request
January 16, 2012
Let's give a "Truth Vigilante" shout-out to the Los Angeles Times' George Skelton, for his smack-down of popular talking points against state tax increases in California.
Not only does Skelton brings an arsenal of facts to battle, but he drops a few FCC-friendly expletives along the way, including a "baloney" and a "blarney."
Remember, vigilantes, the "L" word ("lie") is okay to use, too. But we understand if you feel like you need to warm up to it. Just remember, the Truth Vigilante posse's got your back.
January 14, 2012
We're now taking nominations for "Truth Vigilante" shout-outs. If you see a great news report where the writer calls out a source for lying (without waffling about it), send me the link and we'll name the writer a "Truth Vigilante" on the site.
Ideally, we're looking for the type of truth vigilante that Arthur Brisbane wrote about in his NYT piece: a reporter, confronted with a lie from a source, who calls out that source in the story.
Fact-check sidebars are great, as are blog posts calling out someone else's sources. And we'll consider those for Truth Vigilante shout-outs, too. But, ideally, we'd really like to honor reporters who show both the guts and the know-how to take on their own sources who lie to them. So, please, keep your eyes open and send in links when you find them.
Also, thanks to all those who've become fans of Truth Vigilante on Facebook. We now have an easy-to-remember URL shortcut for our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/truthvigilante. Please click and become a fan, if you haven't already.
Two more items:
1) Thanks to Eric Ulken for the font face suggestion for the new flag. He's also suggested "Truth Vigilante" T-shirts, which I think is a great idea. Anyone want to take a crack at designing one? (Free shirts and linkbacks in exchange.) Email if you're interested in either designing a shirt, or simply buying one. If there's enough interest, I'll put in an order. (By the way, I hate the quality of CafePress stuff. If we're gonna do shirts, we're gonna do 'em right.)
2) If anyone would like to help with curating the site by getting a log-in to post to the blog, email me. If I don't already know you in person, please include an introduction that convinces me you're not a spammer or a troll. Thanks.
January 13, 2012
Of course, when I read that NYT column, I had to join the "Truth Vigilante" team, so I went ahead and registered truthvigilante.com.
So, welcome. Some of my online friends might notice that the site looks a lot like my SensibleTalk.com blog. And you'd be correct - I've just changed the name over to Truth Vigilante 'cause, well, it's an awesome name.
I'll be opening up the blog platform in the next few days to anyone who wants to join the Truth Vigilante team and start posting links or essays on the site. Someone writing something stupid? Getting suckered by liars? Call 'em out on Truth Vigilante.
Or maybe, we'll just print up a bunch of T-shirts and leave it at that. Hey, your call.
January 9, 2012
I don't usually disagree with Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate in economics who writes for the New York Times. But this week, he blew it in his column about the unequal playing field facing Americans trying to pursue their dreams. Here, he tried to describe some of the obstacles that make advancement impossible for millions of Americans:
The failure starts early: in America, the holes in the social safety net mean that both low-income mothers and their children are all too likely to suffer from poor nutrition and receive inadequate health care. It continues once children reach school age, where they encounter a system in which the affluent send their kids to good, well-financed public schools or, if they choose, to private schools, while less-advantaged children get a far worse education.
I won't dispute for a moment that poor children in the United States are getting a worse education than kids from affluent families - a quick look at test scores will show that even though test scores for poor children have been rising in the United States over the past decade, they still lag other students' scores, and the gap is growing.
But who's to blame for that? Krugman doesn't explicitly say it, but when Krugman writes that "affluent send their kids to good, well-financed public schools," it's not hard to imagine that the reader will take from that statement an assumption that the poor end up with the "bad" schools.
Here's the trouble with that hypothesis, though: If inadequate schools are the problem that prevent children in poverty from advancing, why are the middle-class children who attend those same schools succeeding?
Follow Robert Niles
Robert Niles is the author of How to Make Money Publishing Community News Online and Stories from a Theme Park Insider. You can connect with Robert via the following services: