The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Obama’s “Reality Check”

Sometimes people respond to posts, and I wonder if they’ve bothered to read the post they’re responding to. Case in point, this comment on the previous post about the Obama administration’s response to the ridiculous misinformation spreading about health care reform.

So from your article, you agree that Obama’s effort to spy on citizens is bad, as Bush’s effort was.

Why don’t you call Obama out for his actions ?

Aren’t they both in the wrong

Where to begin?

I did not say the Obama White House was spying on Americans or asking Americans to spy on each other, because it’s not.

The Obama administration is not sending the police to anyone’s door, or the FBI, or the secret service for that matter. The Obama administration has asked supporters to pass on the misinformation they’re hearing about health care reform, so that administration can respond with the fact.

The White House has set up a website specifically to respond to misinformation.

Facing an onslaught of opposition to health reform, the White House on Monday opened a “Reality Check” website with a viral tool aimed at online combat on everything from “rationing” to euthanasia.

The site incorporates lessons learned from the Obama campaign’s “Learn the Truth About Barack Obama” site, which covered everything from the birth certificate to William Ayers to “a recent e-mail smear falsely claims Michelle ordered room service, but she never even stayed at the hotel.”

Aides to President Barack Obama say the key is to respond to viral rumors with an aggressive, equally viral response.

“We’re offering the site and tools to empower individuals across the country to take this content into their own hands and share it among their networks,” a senior administration official said. “That’s the sort of bottom-up process that got us to the White House, and it’s what’s going to deliver meaningful change to the health insurance system.”

For example, if I’m at a town hall meeting and people are saying “Obama’s health care reform agenda will force us all to become vegetarians and eat tofu” (which is actually less outlandish than some of the things people are actually claiming), I send the White House a message that people are saying health care reform will force everyone to become vegetarians and eat tofu.

There’s nothing there about giving anyone the name, number, address, etc., of anyone else. They’re not asking me to report who said it. They’re asking me to let them know what I’m hearing about health care reform. Then the White House posts a response to debunk the myths and misinformation.

There’s no “spying” in that. No reporting names or addresses or phone numbers.

It’s just the White House employing a kind of “crowdsourcing,” the same way it did with “Fight the Smears” during the campaign.

Frankly, anyone who thinks that the above bears any resemblance to the Bush administration’s domestic spying program isn’t likely change their minds because that’s what they want to believe.

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