An attempt to stamp out spin

When you see things called “spin rooms” at presidential debates, you can probably figure that everything said therein is “spin,” and probably worthless, even if the TV news people put it on the air anyway.

It’s the spin you may not “see” that is more insidious — words or phrases that have their roots in a point of view.

So Todd Herman, a former conservative talk show host, and John Atcheson, a liberal entrepreneur, started SpinSpotter with the intent that people would use it on their browsers to highlight spin and bias that creeps into online news articles.

They’re currently testing a Firefox 3.0 add-on — Spinoculars — that is the first step in the project.

This week, I’m subbing for Jon Gordon on American Public Media’s Future Tense, and I talked to Herman about whether the idea has legs. Here’s the extended version.

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