Spinsanity: Countering rhetoric with reason
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About Spinsanity

Spinsanity was founded in April 2001 by Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer, and Brendan Nyhan, three recent college graduates who were distressed at the growing dominance of spin in American politics and determined to do something about it. The trio started Spinsanity as a nonpartisan watchdog dedicated to unspinning misleading claims from politicians, pundits and the press.

The website grew slowly at first, but soon picked up readers through word of mouth, links on weblogs, and citations in the mainstream press. Over time, the editors' criticism of commentators such as Ann Coulter and Michael Moore, analysis of dishonest statements by politicians of all partisan stripes, and debunking of myths spread by the media began to draw attention from a large and influential audience, including journalists who came to use Spinsanity as a resource.

Today, Spinsanity is one of the Internet's most popular and widely cited independent political websites. The editors' work has been cited in scores of national and international media outlets, including CNN, Fox News Channel, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and they have appeared on numerous radio and television shows including "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "Hannity & Colmes." In 2002, they were featured columnists on Salon.com. Currently, they write a weekly column every Thursday on the commentary page of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ben, Bryan and Brendan's first book, All the President's Spin: George W. Bush, the Media and the Truth, was recently published by Touchstone Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. It has already reached #14 on the New York Times extended bestseller list for nonfiction trade paperbacks (Sept. 5 edition).

About the editors

[Full disclosure: While we were each politically active in Democratic and progressive politics in the past and disclose those affiliations below, Spinsanity is a non-partisan endeavor dedicated to debunking spin from both sides of the aisle.]

Ben Fritz is a reporter for the entertainment trade paper Variety. He also edits the satirical website Dateline Hollywood and was recently named one of the nation's top thirty business journalists under thirty. Originally from New York, Ben graduated from Swarthmore College and served for a year in the AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps. He lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at ben@spinsanity.org.

Bryan Keefer is assistant managing editor of Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk, which monitors the media's coverage of politics. He has worked at the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union. Bryan graduated from Stanford University, and lives in New York City. He maintains a personal blog at bryankeefer.com, and can be reached at bryan@spinsanity.org.

Brendan Nyhan is a graduate student in the department of political science at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. From 2001 to 2003, he managed new projects and later marketing and fundraising for Benetech, a Silicon Valley technology nonprofit. Brendan grew up in Mountain View, California, and attended Swarthmore College. In 2000, he served as the Deputy Communications Director for the Bernstein for US Senate campaign in Nevada. In 2003, he received an Award of Distinction in the Paul Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on News Coverage competition. Brendan maintains a personal blog at www.brendan-nyhan.com and can be reached at brendan@spinsanity.org.

Spinsanity in the news
Our articles have been cited widely in the national media - the list includes CNN, Fox News, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Post media critic Howard Kurtz, The American Prospect, Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, The New Republic, Washington Monthly and The Nation. In addition, we have been profiled by The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washingtonian magazine, C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," Philadelphia City Paper and Las Vegas Weekly. And in May 2003, Nyhan received an Award of Distinction for two Spinsanity columns in the Paul Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on News Coverage competition from the Center on Media and Public Affairs.

Mission statement
Why we do what we do.

Background article
Although American political debate was far from perfect in the past, the rise of public relations, a tactical shift toward influencing public opinion and the development of a pundit class have contributed to the rise of the new kind of rhetorical demagoguery we see today.

Letters to the editor for publication - letters@spinsanity.org
Private comments and questions - feedback@spinsanity.org
General information/technical problems - contact@spinsanity.org

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This website is copyright (c) 2001-2004 by Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer and Brendan Nyhan. Please send letters to the editor for publication to letters@spinsanity.org and private questions or comments to feedback@spinsanity.org.