The new favorite word of politicians: "misspoke."
Did you say something stupid? Just say "I misspoke" a few times during your next speech, and everything's fine. Just ask Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal, who "misspoke" by saying, multiple times, that he served in Vietnam. (He was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, but was never deployed to the country.)
A lot of times, politicians say whatever they want, only to confront naysayers later with, "That's not what I REALLY meant."
There are several sites that analyze, research and verify politicians' claims almost as fast as you can say "liberal media bias."
Prominent among these is the St. Petersburg Times' Politifact.com, winner of a 2009 Pulitzer Prize. Go to the site, and you'll see a list of quotations next to a Truth-o-Meter, which swings from a truthful green to the dreaded Pants on Fire rating (which John McCain and J.D. Hayworth have attained on multiple occasions).
MeetTheFacts.com focuses just on NBC's Sunday-morning Meet the Press, listing all of the checkable statements made on each show and going through them, one by one, throughout the week. What is helpful about this site is that it lists the time needed to verify each fact. For example, a claim made that Rand Paul was leading Jack Conway in the Kentucky U.S. Senate race by 25 points (according to polls) took 1.5 hours to verify.
FactCheck.org looks at the Sunday talk shows, too, but also produces a podcast and has several examples of the newly coined term that we're sure to hear more of later: mis-tweet.
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
On the political beat, we brought you Proposition 100 results on Election Night; shared the Sierra Club's 2010 report card for the Arizona Legislature (local Democrats got A's; local Republicans flunked); and let you know that the matching-funds provision of Clean Elections would be in effect this year despite a court challenge. (More on all of that in this week's Skinny.) We let you know that Gov. Jan Brewer was rebranding Arizona with the help of a singing frog puppet and partisan shots at Democrats. We also filled you in on lots of polls.
Leo W. Banks brought us an interview with Phil Krentz, the brother of rancher Rob Krentz, who was killed on his Southern Arizona ranch while evidently checking on a migrant border-crosser.
Dispatches on the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico included reaction from Congressman Raúl Grijalva; the depressing news that the spill might be 20 times worse than previously estimated; and the fresh detail that an Alaska manager with the U.S. Interior Department explained new drilling polices while serving a cake decorated with "Drill, Baby, Drill."
We shared several locally focused stories from The New York Times, including a report on the undocumented students arrested during a protest at Sen. John McCain's office, and a look at how Arizona's new immigration law is affecting campaigns elsewhere in the nation.
We also previewed Harold and Maude at Cinema La Placita; Seashell Radio at Preen; and the LOST season finale at the Loft Cinema.
On the Chow beat, we let you know about the 100 different sausages available at the Sausage Shop Meat Market; a new fast-casual joint called Joe Mama's Grill; and the fine hotdogs available at Bubby's Chicago Style.
In the Snapshot section, we brought you photos from UA journalism students Melissa Tan, Charlie De Mar and Ashley James.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"Mr. DiGiovanna: Usually when you pan directors, you come up with your own insults, and whether I disagree, you are original and entertaining. But calling Michael Moore's editing manipulative? That has been used so many times that there are five patents out on it. I think you owe someone money for that one."
—TucsonWeekly.com user Tex Shelters in response to "Conservatives and Cash," James DiGiovanna's review of Casino Jack and the United States of Money (Cinema, May 20).
BEST OF WWW
Everyone loves a good dip in the pool once outdoor temperatures rise to the level of the inside of a car engine. So what better way is there to celebrate the summer than watching the city close 17 out of 27 public pools? This week, Mari Herreras writes about how budget cutbacks have left only 10 city of Tucson pools open. Check out a video on TucsonWeeklyTV.com to find out if a pool in your area made the cut.Click here to see a video of our Summer Movie Preview.