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Information only as good as its source

With just a little more than one month remaining before the Nov. 6 general election, it is more important than ever that voters pay attention to the information they’re getting as well as the source that it comes from.

It is impossible to watch television or browse the Internet without being bombarded by political ads. Most citizens have been getting propaganda in the mail nearly each day. Chain letter e-mails spread like wildfire, often containing only half-truths and one-sided presentations of information that is taken out of context.

Of course the political campaigns themselves are doing their part to always put a positive spin out there for their candidate, and not just at the presidential level.

A recent example came last week when U.S. House of Representatives candidates Bill Johnson and Charlie Wilson squared off for a debate in Marietta.

That evening campaign directors for Charlie Wilson sent a mass e-mail to dozens of media members with a breaking news message: Wilson wins first debate. The e-mail goes on to explain why that is the case stating everything as if it was an indisputable fact.

Then, less than 10 minutes later, a separate e-mail was blasted out across the state proclaiming “Johnson wins first debate.”

So, which was it?

That is difficult to determine from this information alone. An individual likely would have had to have been there and even then victory, like beauty, may be in the eyes of the beholder.

The point is, citizens must educate themselves and pay close attention to the information they’re given, where it comes from and who stands to gain from it.

The truth is hidden somewhere in the political spin and propaganda, but voters will have to be smart in seeking it.