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Introducing Saucon Shenanigans’ Fact Checker

The staff at Saucon Shenanigans has been getting a bit cranky lately because of the quantity of misinformation, disinformation and flat-out bald-faced lies that they’ve had to deal with from the various political figures in the Saucon Valley area.  It takes a lot of time and energy to point them out, research them and then correct them over and over and over again.  So to ease their load, Saucon Shenanigans is taking a page from the Washington Post and creating a fact checker to make it easy for readers to quickly identify those statements that are, shall we say, less than factual.

If you’re not familiar with WaPo’s Fact Checker, it started in 2007 as part of the presidential campaign and became a permanent feature in 2011.  They use a Pinocchio icon to identify the level of falsity in a statement, anywhere from one Pinocchio to 4 Pinocchios.  That was until our previous president required them to create a more expansive rating, one that they call Bottomless Pinocchios.  You can imagine what that is.  Hopefully we won’t need something like that in our Saucon Shenanigans Fact Checker.

For our purposes, we’ll be using the Banananose icon on a scale of 1 to 4 with a tip of the hat for inspiration to the Muppet character Banananose Maldonado.  Looking at the agenda for the Township Council meeting on Monday, we thought this was an appropriate time to introduce the Fact Checker since there are any number of agenda items that will undoubtedly require some significant fact checking – everything from an attempt to take another run at rezoning for the dump expansion, to rezoning for a cellphone tower, to two other rezoning considerations and the suddenly imperative desire for a referendum on limiting council member terms on the November ballot.  All items ripe for misinformation and gaslighting.

So, herewith an explanation of the Saucon Shenanigans Fact Checker rating system:

One Banananose

Distortion or omission of relevant information or context. Not an outright lie, more a selective choice of facts to deliberately mislead the listener.  Little or no response to questions.

Two Banananoses

Excessive distortion or omission of relevant information or context.  May not be technically untrue but includes manipulation of language as to make it unintelligible to the average citizen.  Excessive use of jargon designed to obfuscate actual meaning. Refusal to define meaning or context.

Three Banananoses

Significantly false information, factual errors, deliberate lies and twisted context.  Incorrect use of technical or legal terms to confuse listeners. Inaccurate reporting of comments by citizens or experts or twisting of their statements.  Pretense of not hearing comments or questions.

Four Banananoses

You have got to be kidding me!

I had thought to go back and include some examples of how prior statements would have been rated on this scale but frankly, it’s just too tiresome to have to revisit what passes for governance in this township.  I’m quite sure that there will be plenty of ratable moments on Monday and into the future.

I hope you find this helpful. See you at Monday’s meeting at Se-Wy-Co, not Town Hall.

Next Council Meeting: Monday, June 26, 2023, 6:30 PM Se-Wy-Co Fire Company

Days to General Election: 137

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