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Cutting Through The Clutter In Politics

7:24 PM, Nov 8, 2011   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. - After witnessing the story slowly unravel about presidential candidate Herman Cain's allegations of sexual harassment, rumors about our local candidates, and even a false restaurant tax proposal, you know there's information out there about candidates that's just not true.

Today we have information about candidates and politicians coming at us from all directions. Whether it's TV news, a newspaper, the internet or our cell phones -- you can read or watch contradicting stories all day long.

Information overload isn't going away, but you can cut through the clutter. First, consider the source.Just because it's on a blog doesn't mean it's true. Look at news sources that have a long tradition of reporting facts.

However, remember to question everything. Even trusted names and brands can get the facts wrong.
Check to see if other news sources have similar stories.

Finally, decide what's important to you. Is a spotless personal life more important-- or as important --as a successful political career?

Today's politicians know what they're getting into. They will be scrutinized. Everything in their past is fair game. Because of all this, we, as a society, are affecting who decides to run for office in the first place.

"It can have a chilling effect on politics. A lot of good people will not go into politics for those very reasons." A&T Professor Derick Smith said. "A lot of these broadcasts are about the personalities of the individuals who are actually sitting behind the desk more than they are about news."

Elon University Professor Richard Landesberg said, "The magnification in the digital age is very difficult to overcome. It's a moving target. Where are those rumors? How do we get to those rumors? They move so fast, you can't even pick them out...I think we're turning people off from public service and we have to take a real step back and decide where our values are and what's important to us as a society."

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