Election Edition: 2010 Email Hall of Shame

Tomorrow is election day here in the United States and there is all sorts of misinformation floating around out there in newspapers, blogs, television and emails. With regard to the latter, here is a list of shameful viral emails from Politifact:
  • Under the new health care law, "all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax."
  • Democrats and President Barack Obama "will sneak in a 1 percent tax on all banking transactions."
  • Starting in 2011, "you will be required to pay taxes" on "the value of whatever health insurance you are given by the company."
  • The Democrats' health care bills would provide "free health care for illegal immigrants."
  • "The Senate voted this week to allow illegal aliens access to Social Security benefits."
  • Presidents Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower collectively ordered the deportation of at least 15 million illegal immigrants.
  • Once the U.S. government signs a U.N. treaty on conventional arms, "all U.S. citizens will be subject to those gun laws created by foreign governments."
  • You must list all your guns on your 2010 tax return.
  • The Obama White House is renaming Christmas trees "holiday trees."
  • "The ACLU has filed a suit to have all military cross-shaped headstones removed."
  • Obama said troops "whine about bearing the costs" of going to war.
  • "The Obama Administration wants to have soldiers and officers pledge a loyalty oath directly to the office of the President, and no longer to the Constitution.
  • Obama used $20 million in federal money "to emmigrate (sic) Hamas Refugees to the USA."
  • President Obama is not a citizen: He admitted it, his college transcript proves it, and Justice Antonin Scalia agreed to hear the case.
I encourage you to read the details about these messages at Politifact. There is a lot of misinformation circulating out there and we should always be alert to the hidden agendas contained in the information. Most of these types of viral emails that I get are easily debunked. Sad that many do not have a zeal for the truth about these chain emails - if they did they would send out corrections when their messages are proven false. I think that we should hate these emails in the same way that we hate the mudslinging TV ads.

What do you think? What do you do when you get these sorts of email messages?


  1. When it is blatantly false and malicious, I find info debunking it (usually takes about 2-3 mins), paste it into the e-mail along with a link to the source, and reply.

    I have done this three times with one friend (who is a minister), and to this day have yet to see a retraction or apology. In fact, he continues to forward them. Makes me wonder how he would respond if someone in his congregation was lying about him the same way!

    I've thought of including a statement to the effect, "You have been added to my spam list for spreading lies and gossip. I will take you off that list when you send me an e-mail of repentance." Haven't got that bold yet! :D

  2. No surprise that the bible spends so much time discussing the sins of the tongue--we as a people love gossip. I have yet to sit through a sunday sermon, though, where a pastor spoke out against forwarding these political lies.

    The Rotary Club I belong too often reminds us to consider what they call "the four way test". Of the things we think, say or do:

    1.Is it the TRUTH?
    2.Is it FAIR to all concerned?
    3.Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
    4.Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

    Something I need to remind myself of often, for sure!

  3. I used to respond back with links and gentle words to correct them, but so many simply ignore it and keep sending them, just like Cameron's friend. I have a few friends (and family members) I simpy delete most of their emails without even reading them because they start with "FW"

    Sometimes I feel bad that I can be so skeptical. I always ask someone who spits out a fact that they heard, where they heard it from. I teach my kids to check the source on even what their teachers tell them. I suppose I'll put this nature to good use as a librarian.

  4. Interesting how similar my email forward stories are to you all. Hard to understand why some seem to cling to half-truths and lies.

  5. Fortunately I am not on many political lists, so I don't get this kind of junk. However a few years ago I did ask my aunt to no longer forward crude e-mails about one of our former presidents and his wife. I really was surprised that my elderly aunt, of all people, would send along something so disgusting.

    BTW, Cameron, if I had a friend who continued to e-mail such things against my wishes even after THREE polite requests that he no longer do so, I would seriously reconsider the friendship, minister or no. I admit to having trust issues, but it is my sincere belief that people who have no qualms about spreading falsehoods about others TO me would also spread them ABOUT me, if they thought it would work to their personal advantage. Jesus Himself pointed out that Satan is the father of lies, so for a MINISTER to indulge in such behavior really sets off my inner alarm bells.

  6. I delete them without reading them. I long for the days when political opponents like Everett Dirksen and Stuart Symington stood strongly for what they believed but worked together on many issues for the good of the nation.


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