Unspun – Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson does a good job of demonstrating how information is spun to achieve objectives beyond the facts.

But a few of the subjects repeated require more than mere interpretation of facts. The Iraqi war is more complicated than the mere possible errors of the existence of WMDs (yes I said possible, I belive this information is still incomplete). These errors and the readiness of many of us to believe them is a legitimate source of inquiry and concern. But there were other factors involved in that decision.

The clarification of the facts about the estate tax or as the spinners love to call it, The Death Tax, misses the point. Yes, only a very small percentage of the public actually loose their business or property to estate tax but the amount of resources such as expensive life insurance and estate planning used to avoid crippling estate taxes belies a cost far in excess of the actual property lost to estate taxes.

It is not enough to study the facts, you must expand the question and examine the facts beneath the facts. The answers you get are only as good as the questions you ask.

35 years ago in college statistics we had to read a wonderful, still in print volume called How to Lie with Statistics. unSpun is a good companion piece, but it lacks some essential depth on some of the more complicated issues.