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Fact checkers and the checking checkers who check them

I've been traveling out to Redmond and back these past couple of days so this is a bit of a catch-up post for me.

"A new data-mining service launched Monday traces millions of Wikipedia entries to their corporate sources, and for the first time puts comprehensive data behind longstanding suspicions of manipulation, which until now have surfaced only piecemeal in investigations of specific allegations." I like this line from the article: "Employees at the CIA's net address, for example, have been busy -- but with little that would indicate their place of apparent employment, or a particular bias." Of course that's because they're sharing secret coded messages through Wikipedia entries - or at least that's what's happening in my fantasy reading of that line.

So far the sorting of all the info that data-mining service has produced is in the early stages, so we can probably look forward to a series of "gotcha" headlines in the future from this operation. Tonight's spotlight seems to be on Fox News. There are a number of links floating around that point out bold and shameless edits made from a Fox News IP, but this link seems to have the greatest number.

I know some of the examples involve MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, but I don't point this out as a matter of cable news partisanship.  The Web loves "gotcha" stories. The Left loves to pull back the curtain on Rupert Murdoch. The combination has made for an actual Web storm.

Vote on the most shameful wikipedia spin job.

Speaking of gotchas, Senator Obama has the hive buzzing with this quote about Afghanistan: "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there." Actually, what appears to be more offensive to some is that the AP has issued a fact check article defending the point. I clicked this fact checking of the fact checking. Also this fact checking which came before the AP's fact checking. And also this item on Obama displaying the unusual trait of not backing down when his statements are criticized.

"If you accept a pretty reasonable assumption of Dr. Bostrom's, it is almost a mathematical certainty that we are living in someone else's computer simulation."

Yesterday's Rove reaction was too much for me to catch up on this quickly.  Check out the lead on yesterday's Memeorandum. You don't often see blog buzz like that.  Most fun to me were the "why he's really leaving" posts like this one. I don't doubt there's sufficient mainstream coverage of the whole thing that you don't really need supplemental blog analysis anyway.

Introducing good bloggers and companies to hire them - If you're a blogger who doesn't see any appeal in the traffic building tricks we read about so often with regard to making money from your blog (via ads) then you may feel more encouraged by what this guy's talking about.  Really it's like blogging as a writing audition.  He's informally putting writers (bloggers) in touch with companies who need content (remember the other day when we were squinting to see a trend?) or online representation of some kind. Includes a bit on what kind of money we're talking about.

I had to laugh at this description of Chris Matthews having a "Joe Namath moment." If I can find the video I'll add the link of him interviewing all of those "Obama girls" but suffice it to say, while I like Chris Matthews, he needs some coaching on dealing with the pretty ladies on the air.

The back of the toothbrush channels the water like a drinking fountain. Duh. How is this not standard?

"Why Are the New York Times and So Much of the MSM Neglecting a Vital Part of the Utah Mine Collapse Story?" Even ignoring whether the safety record of Bob Murray's mines is a vital part of the story (and it's hard to imagine why it wouldn't be) it defies understanding how a story can stay so prominent in the news for a week with no actual developments and yet all the media sitting around waiting for the next spoon feeding from Murray aren't exploring any other angles.  Nevermind the possible scandal, I'm just talking about keeping the story interesting.

For all of its recent accolades for opening its platform, Facebook has been suffering criticism for being an old fashioned "walled garden" (remember this was basically Kottke's point about it being the new AOL). It looks like there's some new permeability to that wall.

Built With: Find out what a site is built with. My first thought was that this would be handy for if you ever wonder what kind of blogware someone is using but it gives a lot more information than that.

"This is a brochure from the Kelsey-Hayes company advertising their easy to assemble fallout shelters for the home." This is probably missing the point, but there is some appeal in having a secret underground fort on the property.

"In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission." I would love to see what that permission would look like - or for that matter, how the ban would be enforced.

Probably not surprisingly, the story of the girl overdosing on espresso made the Seattle news while I was out there. Most unexpected symptom: "By noon she was feeling unwell and crying and laughing uncontrollably in front of bewildered customers."

The Story of the Falling Boat Photos - Strangely, I had a hard time finding the original photos this article is about. Anyone got a link?

We may have seen pieces like this before, but it's really soured me on those tear-jerker free new house shows to realize how the winners get slammed with taxes and upkeep bills they have no hope of affording.

It's been a while since we had a "cancer cured" headline of the day: Canadian team discovers gene that turns cancers off

"Scientists have concluded that the freshwater baiji dolphin, only found in China is now 'likely to be extinct' after an extensive 6 week study of the dolphin's habitat when they failed to spot any in the Yangtze river." It seems odd that we (humans) just kind of watched this animal go extinct. It's probably foolish to think that we can grab a couple of everything in some kind of special zoo, but it seems inadequate to just say, "See ya."

Here's the video of that new father being tasered while holding his baby in the hospital (and trying to leave.) It doesn't really tell the whole story but I can see how the security guy might have let his imagination get the best of him in thinking he'd pull a sudden sneak zap while the other guy caught the baby. Which isn't an excuse of course. Not tasering people holding babies is one of those rules that shouldn't even have to be written down.