- Hillary Clinton helped free two Black Panthers accused of torturing and murdering Alex Rackley
- President Bush paid for the funeral of a 6-year-old boy who drowned near his ranch in Crawford, Texas
- Illinois Senator Barack Obama is a radical Muslim
Two things - First, I have received all of these stories via e-mail several times (and many more like them). Second, they are all verifiably false.
These kinds of things get to be particularly ubiquitous during election years. And, if you've ever received these e-mails or anything like them, then you know that the e-mails are normally sent to you and a whole bunch of other people - and you probably notice that your simply the latest group to get this thing forwarded to you. My parents even received one of these in their snail-mail (anonymously, of course).
Friends, here's the thing - when you receive one of these e-mails, the first thing you should do is go to www.snopes.com and check to see what the validity of the claim is. Now, here's the funny part - some of the worst offenders will actually claim in the e-mail that their story has been verified by snopes.com - do not believe them! Check it out for yourself.
Quick Tip: if any variation of the following phrases are used, red flags should be going up:
- this is a story you won't read in the mediaUm, chances are that if you won't read it in the media it's because someone actually did a little fact-checking and found the claims to be lacking in credibility (just a thought).
- this is something ____ doesn't want you to know about
- forward this to everyone you know
If, by chance, the information you have received is completely true, then feel free to forward at will.
If, however, the e-mail is verifiably false or if it contains half-truths mixed in with innuendo and speculation, then I highly recommend hitting the “Reply All” button and explaining to everyone (in a nice way) that the information contained in the e-mail is not entirely accurate.
Here's the frustrating part - at times I have replied to completely false e-mails and I've been told by the person who sent it to me, “it may not be completely true, but it's a good story anyway.” Um, folks, that's called lying - or “bearing false witness” as it's put in Exodus (you know, one of the Big Ten!).
Look, you can be opposed to someone's policies without having to forward lies about their character.
Please, use a little bit of common sense when you see these things.
OK, I'm going to get down from this soap box now - please forward this to all of your friends, you probably won't read this in the media, it contains information they don't want you to know.