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Bush LiarFile this under the “insufficiently-developed sense of their own irony” category .. from the intrepid U.S. State Department, a handy guide for identifying misinformation and propaganda, and a clue into their establishment of a so-called “counter-misinformation team” sometime in 2005. Try to contain your laughter. The publication essentially blacklists a number of prominent internet sites as consistent sources of misinformation.

Here’s your Top Ten:

1. Rense Program
2. Roads to Iraq
3. Vialls Investigations
4. Al Jazeera
5. Conspiracy Planet
6. Jihad Unspun
7. International Action Center
8. Free Arab Voice
9. George W. Bush – Terrorist in the White House
10. Islam Memo (in Arabic)

The State Department further suggests the following criteria to tell if a story is true:

  • Does the story fit the pattern of a conspiracy theory?
  • Does the story fit the pattern of an “urban legend?”
  • Does the story contain a shocking revelation about a highly controversial issue?
  • Is the source trustworthy?
  • What does further research tell you?

… offering this advice up to Regular Joes and Reporters alike. Has anyone ever heard of Journalism school? High School Civics classes?

In modern politics, it is a consistent rhetorical moan of the conservative right that they have no voice, that they are revolutionary victims of massive and widespread disinformation campaigns by everyone from other religions to a liberal media bias to educators and philosophers. Some of this may be true, however in recent past it’s been difficult to raise a questioning voice against the Roveian wave of disinformation, litigation, and treachery.

I have a handy tool that I use for identifying misinformation: if it’s coming from the Bush Administration, it’s a lie.