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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.

    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.

    Presidents Creating the Presidency

    Presidents Creating the Presidency
    Deeds Done in Words
    Arguing that “the presidency” is not defined by the Constitution—which doesn’t use the term—but by what presidents say and how they say it,Deeds Done in Wordshas been the definitive book on presidential rhetoric for more than a decade. InPresidents Creating the Presidency, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson expand and recast their classic work for the YouTube era, revealing how our media-saturated age has transformed the ever-evolving rhetorical strategies that presidents use to increase and sustain the executive branch’s powers.             Identifying the primary genres of presidential oratory, Campbell and Jamieson add new analyses of signing statements and national eulogies to their explorations of inaugural addresses, veto messages, and war rhetoric, among other types. They explain that in some of these genres, such as farewell addresses intended to leave an individual legacy, the president acts alone; in others, such as State of the Union speeches that urge a legislative agenda, the executive solicits reaction from the other branches. Updating their coverage through the current administration, the authors contend that many of these rhetorical acts extend over time: George W. Bush’s post-September 11 statements, for example, culminated in a speech at the National Cathedral and became a touchstone for his subsequent address to Congress.             For two centuries, presidential discourse has both succeeded brilliantly and failed miserably at satisfying the demands of audience, occasion, and institution—and in the process, it has increased and depleted political capital by enhancing presidential authority or ceding it to the other branches. Illuminating the reasons behind each outcome, Campbell and Jamieson draw an authoritative picture of how presidents have used rhetoric to shape the presidency—and how they continue to re-create it.

    Presidential Debates

    Presidential Debates
    The Challenge of Creating an Informed Electorate
    How important are presidential debates today? To answer this question, the authors place modern debates in their cultural and historical context, tracing their origins and development in the American political tradition, from the eighteenth century to the present, and concluding with somethoughtful suggestions for improving their current effectiveness.

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