‘Always have a skeptical eye’: Professor talks importance of fact-checking

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The final face-off before election day featured more civil behavior and less interruptions.

In an analysis from USA Today, the candidates spent 0.9% of last night’s debate interrupting either one another or the moderator, in comparison to 29.3% in the first debate.

Despite the good behavior, they weren’t always telling the truth.

“We’re rounding the turn, we’re rounding the corner. It’s going away,” President Donald Trump said in regards to COVID-19.

According to CNN and CBS, the president’s claim that coronavirus was going away was incorrect.

Data from John’s Hopkins University suggests cases are increasing in at least 37 states.

“If we just wore these masks, the president’s own advisors have told him we’d save 100,000 lives,” Former Vice President Joe Biden said.

Biden’s claim was not entirely false, but his attribution was incorrect.

According to ABC, the estimate came from a study from the University of Washington and was later echoed by Tom Frieden, a former head of CDC under President Obama.

Dr. Aaron King, a UNCW Political Science Professor, says it’s understandable that politicians alter facts to better suit their position and it isn’t a new phenomenon. That’s why we must do our own fact-checking.

“I think in all aspects of life, in politics, in watching the news, anything else we should always have a skeptical eye and be willing to do our own research,” King said.

That research should come from reliable sources, King says social media is not a great place for information.

“A friend of mine that had worked in journalism always said that it’s important to follow local news. That could be on paper, that could be places like WWAY,” King said. “Also to follow a national newspaper. Not a website, not a social media page, but follow your Wall Street Journal, your Washington Post, your New York Times. Something like that to get different perspectives.”

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