I’m ashamed to say it, but I was almost taken in by a previously debunked article, merely because it appeared on a reputable website. The “article” alleges surrounds alleged fraud by Bill Clinton regarding Los Angeles area fundraising efforts in 2000 for Hillary’s then Senate race. The website is Talking Points Memo, which, for all intents in purposes, remains reputable – however, the site allows for user created content, including blogs, that aren’t necessarily vetted.
Fortunately, I was saved from repeating the information as fact after seeing a link to an entry on FactCheck.org debunking much of what the blog entry proposed. FactCheck will often focus on Presidential debates and speeches, fact checking assorted claims made, and laying out the evidence for whether what was said by candidates and officials as being factual, misrepresentations, exaggerations, or flat out false.
Bookmark it: FactCheck.org
The other site is Snopes.com, the urban legend clearing house.
Snopes finds itself frequently cited on assorted chain emails, wherein the emails asserts that Snopes backs up all the claims on said email… although, in almost every case, one click to Snopes will reveal the exact opposite is true. A couple years ago, Snopes shot numerous holes in an email that, sadly, continues to make the rounds claiming “ten facts about illegal immigrants.” More recently, Snopes has been mentioned on emails claiming, quite falsely, Barack Obama’s stance on the National Anthem.
My rule of thumb: if you hear about outrageous claims on an email and not the mainstream press, there’s a good chance its not true, no matter how many sources it claims to have. Search Snopes and FactCheck to see if either have debunked or confirmed said rumors, and if not, do some more digging until you can find a more reliable – and non-blog source – to back up controversial claims.