Watching the spin

There’s a good chance this thread may end up in GD or the Pit, but I believe there’s a factual answer to be had. So I post it here in the hopes of obtaining such an answer.

Are there any reputable, reliable sources or organizations that analyze nothing but political spin and propaganda? I realize that “unbiased” is too much to ask in the political realm. But I wondered if anyone is tracking what the various propaganda machines are putting out, and the reasons for it.

A lot of times, I can’t tell exactly what the conservative mouthpieces are going for, but you know they’re up to something because they start coming out with the same memes at the same time. For example, I remember that recently Bush and co. were talking about the century-and-a-half old Dred Scott decision. It seemed really obscure to me and I couldn’t figure it out, but someone figured out he was talking code about Roe vs. Wade. Recently I’ve noticed a couple of pro-conservative columns comic strips and columns having a go at Howard Dean again. Why keep piling on Howard Dean when he’s already disgraced himself and lost the nomination? I can’t figure it, but there’s got to be a reason. Of course the liberals also have a highly active spin machine, but for better or worse, it seems like they don’t or can’t maneuver like this. Whatever they’re doing, you can see it coming from a mile away. They’re using the Iraq war to go after Bush. Well, duh.

So my question here is who is keeping up with the emergence and motives behind these mystery memes? Anyone?

You’re asking a few different questions. There are many websites that track lies, exaggerations and distortions. As for the reasoning and strategies behind that stuff, how could anyone reasonably know the answers, and know them in a way that is unquestionably true and supportable on a regular basis? If you believe that there is some form of conspiracy behind public statements, you would have to be in on the conspiracy to report on it.

With that said… for your political leanings, I reccomend,,, and They give a good picture of what the conservative movement is doing. The are very knowledgable and complete. Note that they are not at all unbiased, but then you clearly aren’t either.

(If you want to stay out of the pit and GD, just ask the question without the additional commentary.)

I like PR Watch.

From their “about” page:

They focus, as the above quote suggests, mainly on the actual public relations industry, but the close connection between PR firms and political parties and corporations means that there is naturally a lot of political content to their work.

For the record, i consider myself a leftist, and these guys seem to me to share many of my political positions. Take that for what it’s worth. is a service of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Howard Dean is now head of the DNC.

Ah, thanks for that. I knew it had to be something.

Thanks for the other answers as well.