– The political mud slinging has already begun.

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The term “muckraking” is attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt, and was originally used in a positive sense describing writers publishing truthful exposes of corruption. However, after World War I, its connotation was changed to denote a journalist producing adversarial articles, not necessarily laced with truth. Although the term is seldom used anymore, make no mistake, “muckraking” is very much alive in the 21st century.

Back in January, I wrote an article titled, “Welcoming a New Congress,” which described the switch in the Senate from Democratic leadership to Republican. In it, I observed the Republicans “will be placed under intense scrutiny by the main street media who will criticize the slightest hangnail.” I was spot on with this comment. As the growing field of GOP candidates for president continue to grow, the media is putting their every word and action under a microscope. Interestingly, they are being assisted by some new research groups on the web with political agendas.

On the Democrat side, four web sites have been specifically designed to sniff out Republican indiscretions, “American Bridge,” “Forward Progressives,” “Factivists,” and “American Democracy Legal Fund,” all of which were specifically designed to provide as much ammunition as possible to smear GOP candidates. They aggressively research, check facts, and write about every foible a Republican candidate might possess.

I had trouble finding the Republican equivalent of these four sites, but there is one. At first, I thought it might be a conservative think tank or Tea Party related organization, but this was not the case (and it certainly wasn’t Fox News). Instead, I found “America Rising,” which essentially has the same mission as its Democrat counterparts, namely to expose “the truth about Democrats through video tracking, research, and communications. By cataloging every Democrat utterance we have the data to ensure they are held accountable for their words and actions.”

Established in 2013, “America Rising” is one of the few Republican-related initiatives who decided to fight fire with fire. These five political sites are actively referenced by American journalists intent on digging up dirt on the candidates. Now, the public can review these sites and draw their own conclusions. I forewarn you though, not everything is as truthful as it might seem, and there is a lot of venom spewed.

These well organized and technology based web sites have taken muckraking to new heights. In addition to their research and writing, these groups are known to infiltrate political meetings, fund raisers, and press conferences normally reserved for the media. Again, their intent is to seize on any gaffe a politician may make, large or small, thereby providing the ammunition to attack them. A politician can no longer sneeze without somebody from the opposition taking note and scrutinizing why it occurred. Consequently, I believe it is safe to say we will witness some rather brutal character assassinations as we go into the 2016 presidential election.

Again I ask, why would anyone want to be a politician and suffer through all this? As my father liked to say, “The last guy that was perfect, they hung on a cross.” Imagine what they can now do to today’s politicians.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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