watching the detectives

Update to an earlier post; title cribbed from Verities, who has (have?) been on Fact Check’s case about the latter’s Bush AWOL coverage (with an update here). I’ve sent the FactCheck editor a note, so we’ll see whether they take notice of an upstart blogger (that’s you, Verities, in case you’re reading this!).
While I’m at it, here are two more potential occupants of the no spin zone:
Media For Democracy 2004 calls itself “a non-partisan citizens’ initiative to monitor mainstream news coverage of the 2004 elections and advocate standards of reporting that are more democratic and issues-oriented”. It’s email-only; what’s so special about these “alerts” that they can’t publish them to the web? There’s not much on the about page; if this is “a grassroots citizens initiative” (they keep saying it, so it must be true), why will no one put their name to it? The executive director of mediachannel.org (who are also pretty evasive about who they are) doesn’t count.
Project Vote Smart, on the other hand, looks good. A 501(c)(3) non-profit that doesn’t accept donations from “lobbyists, governmental organizations, corporations, businesses or special interests” and is funded “exclusively through private donations by over 45,000 members, and grants from private philanthropic foundations, including the Carnegie, Ford, Pew and Revson Foundations”, they do not “lobby for, support or oppose any candidate, position or issue”.

Project Vote Smart, a citizen’s organization, has developed a Voter’s Self-Defense system to provide you with the necessary tools to self-govern effectively: abundant, accurate, unbiased and relevant information. As a national library of factual information, Project Vote Smart covers your candidates and elected officials in five basic categories: biographical information, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances and interest group ratings.

There’s that “citizen’s organization” again, but this group means it. The site has an enormous amount of information available; I’ll be making use of the introduction to US government in particular.