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unSpun

Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation

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Paperback published by Random House Trade Paperbacks (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Americans are bombarded daily with mixed messages, half-truths, misleading statements, and out-and-out fabrications masquerading as facts. The news media–once the vaunted watchdogs of our republic–are often too timid or distracted to identify these deceptions.

unSpun is the secret decoder ring for the twenty-first-century world of disinformation. Written by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the founders of the acclaimed website FactCheck.org, unSpun reveals the secrets of separating facts from disinformation, such as:

• the warning signs of spin, hype, and bogus news
• common tricks used to deceive us
• how to find trustworthy and objective sources of information

Telling fact from fiction shouldn’t be a difficult task. With this book and a healthy dose of skepticism, anyone can cut through the haze of biased media reportage to be a savvier consumer and a better-informed citizen.

“Read this book and you will not go unarmed into the political wars ahead of us. Jackson and Jamieson equip us to be our own truth squad, and that just might be the salvation of democracy.”
–Bill Moyers

“THE DEFINITIVE B.S. DETECTOR–AN ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE GUIDEBOOK.”
–Mark Shields, syndicated columnist and political analyst, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

unSpun is an essential guide to cutting through the political fog. Just in time for the 2008 campaign, Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson have written a citizen’s guide to avoiding the malarkey of partisan politics.”
–Mara Liasson, NPR national political correspondent

“The Internet may be a wildly effective means of communication and an invaluable source of knowledge, but it has also become a new virtual haven for scammers–financial, political, even personal. Better than anything written before, unSpun shows us how to recognize these scams and protect ourselves from them.”
–Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative, Craigslist.org
Show less
Americans are bombarded daily with mixed messages, half-truths, misleading statements, and out-and-out fabrications masquerading as facts. The news media–once the vaunted watchdogs of our republic–are often too timid or distracted to identify these deceptions.

unSpun is the secret decoder ring for the twenty-first-century world of disinformation. Written by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the founders of the acclaimed website FactCheck.org, unSpun reveals the secrets of separating facts from disinformation, such as:

• the warning signs of spin, hype, and bogus news
• common tricks used to deceive us
• how to find trustworthy and objective sources of information

Telling fact from fiction shouldn’t be a difficult task. With this book and a healthy dose of skepticism, anyone can cut through the haze of biased media reportage to be a savvier consumer and a better-informed citizen.

“Read this book and you will not go unarmed into the political wars ahead of us. Jackson and Jamieson equip us to be our own truth squad, and that just might be the salvation of democracy.”
–Bill Moyers

“THE DEFINITIVE B.S. DETECTOR–AN ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE GUIDEBOOK.”
–Mark Shields, syndicated columnist and political analyst, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

unSpun is an essential guide to cutting through the political fog. Just in time for the 2008 campaign, Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson have written a citizen’s guide to avoiding the malarkey of partisan politics.”
–Mara Liasson, NPR national political correspondent

“The Internet may be a wildly effective means of communication and an invaluable source of knowledge, but it has also become a new virtual haven for scammers–financial, political, even personal. Better than anything written before, unSpun shows us how to recognize these scams and protect ourselves from them.”
–Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative, Craigslist.org
Product Details
Paperback (208 pages)
Published: April 24, 2007
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9781400065660
Other books byKathleen Hall Jamieson
  • The Obama Victory

    The Obama Victory
    How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008...
    Barack Obama's stunning victory in the 2008 presidential election will go down as one of the more pivotal in American history. Given America's legacy of racism, how could a relatively untested first-term senator with an African father defeat some of the giants of American politics? InThe Obama Victory, Kate Kenski, Bruce Hardy, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson draw upon the best voter data available, The National Annenberg Election Survey, as well as interviews with key advisors to each campaign, to illuminate how media, money, and messages shaped the 2008 election. They explain how both sides worked the media to reinforce or combat images of McCain as too old and Obama as not ready; how Obama used a very effective rough-and-tumble radio and cable campaign that was largely unnoticed by the mainstream media; how the Vice Presidential nominees impacted the campaign; how McCain's age and Obama's race affected the final vote, and much more. Briskly written and filled with surprising insights,The Obama Victorygoes beyond opinion to offer the most authoritative account available of precisely how and why Obama won the presidency.

    Reforming the Presidential Nomination Process

    Reforming the Presidential Nomination Process
    The 2008 U.S. presidential campaign has provided a lifetime's worth of surprises. Once again, however, the nomination process highlighted the importance of organization,political prowess, timing, and money. And once again, it raised many hackles. The Democratic contest in particular generated many complaints —for example, it started too early, it was too long, and Super Tuesday was overloaded. This timely book synthesizes new analysis by premier political scientists into a cohesive look at the presidential nomination process —the ways in which it is broken and how it might be fixed. The contributors to Reforming the Presidential Nomination Processaddress different facets of the selection process, starting with a brief history of how we got to this point. They analyze the importance —and perceived unfairness —of the earliest primaries and discuss what led to record turnouts in 2008. What roles do media coverage and public endorsements play? William Mayer explains the "superdelegate" phenomenon and the controversy surrounding it; James Gibson and Melanie Springer evaluate public perceptions of the current process as well as possible reforms. Larry Sabato (A More Perfect Constitution) calls for a new nomination system, installed via constitutionalamendment, while Tom Mann of Brookings opines on calls for reform that arose in 2008 and Daniel Lowenstein examines the process by which reforms may be adopted —or blocked.

    The Press Effect

    The Press Effect
    Politicians, Journalists, and the Stories That...
    Was the 2000 presidential campaign merely a contest between Pinocchio and Dumbo? And did Dumbo miraculously turn into Abraham Lincoln after the events of September 11? In fact, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman argue inThe Press Effect, these stereotypes, while containing some elements of the truth, represent the failure of the press and the citizenry to engage the most important part of our political process in a critical fashion. Jamieson and Waldman analyze both press coverage and public opinion, using the Annenberg 2000 survey, which interviewed more than 100,000 people, to examine one of the most interesting periods of modern presidential history, from the summer of 2000 through the aftermath of September 11th. How does the press fail us during presidential elections? Jamieson and Waldman show that when political campaigns side-step or refuse to engage the facts of the opposing side, the press often fails to step into the void with the information citizens require to make sense of the political give-and-take. They look at the stories through which we understand political events-examining a number of fabrications that deceived the public about consequential governmental activities-and explore the ways in which political leaders and reporters select the language through which we talk and think about politics, and the relationship between the rhetoric of campaigns and the reality of governance. The Press Effectis, ultimately, a wide-ranging critique of the press's role in mediating between politicians and the citizens they are supposed to serve.

    Electing the President 2008

    Electing the President 2008
    The Insiders' View
    Just weeks after the November 2008 election, the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Kathleen Hall Jamieson and FactCheck.org's Brooks Jackson gathered top strategists and consultants for postelection analysis. Nicolle Wallace, Ambassador Mark Wallace, Jon Carson, Steve Schmidt, Bill McInturff, and Chris Mottola from the McCain-Palin camp met with David Plouffe, David Axelrod, Joel Benenson, Jim Margolis, and Anita Dunn, their counterparts from the Obama-Biden camp to share their insights into one of the most unusual presidential elections in American history. Representatives of the Democratic and Republican National Committees and the major independent expenditure groups did the same. In the resulting book,Electing the President, 2008, the consultants who managed the 2008 presidential campaign retrace the decisions that shaped the historic presidential election. LikeElecting the President, 2000andElecting the President, 2004, this work permits readers to eavesdrop on the first cross-campaign discussion that occurred in the nation after Election Day. These political experts assess the importance of new factors ranging from campaign spending to the performance of the press corps, from the effect of the Internet on news cycles to the influence of Tina Fey. Democratic and Republican insiders explain the strategies behind the debates and advertising, reveal what their internal polls showed, and share what they did well and poorly in their efforts to elect the forty-fourth president of the United States. In addition to insider commentary,Electing the President, 2008presents political communications and strategy researchers with an election timeline and polling data from the National Annenberg Election Survey. This book offers a ringside seat to what may prove to be the most pivotal political contest for a long time to come. An included DVD features selected video of the proceedings.

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