Even fact checkers are increasingly subjected to fact checking. So rather than risk human error — or bias — skewing fact checking of politicians’ pronouncements, why not use modern technology to separate candidates’ truths from their self-serving fictions?
That was the purported goal of a “lie detector voice analysis” conducted during Wednesday night’s opening debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Denver.
However, the organization that commissioned what it had called a “game changer” issued this release Thursday morning: “The lie detector voice analysis tests of the presidential debate were found to be inconclusive by Voice Analysis Technology. The technology can detect a deception if the person knows they are deceiving, but if they believe what they are saying is true, even if it is not, it is not picked up.”
So what would be worse from a presidential candidate? A lie borne of intentional deceit or appalling ignorance?
Oh well. It’s hard to imagine many folks taking this particular voice test too seriously considering that it was paid for by Americans for Limited Government — hardly a neutral party in this presidential race.
Still, it would be enlightening if some new-fangled device really could conclusively catch politicians in the fibbing act.
ALG president Bill Wilson, before the debate, offered this all-too-common assessment of a widespread, cynical — or is it simply realistic? — perception: “The operating assumption by the general public is that if a politician’s mouth is moving, he or she must be lying.”
Here’s a much more productive maxim:
If a politician’s mouth is moving, discerning voters must do some fact checking — and lie detecting — of their own.