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This week MS Truth Journal focused its efforts on a single false statement in two major newspapers published last week, with the headline: “100 Bridge Closures a Wake-Up Call.” Although both newspapers got their facts and numbers wrong (even their headline wrong), it sure was a wake up call: a wake-up call for Truth to take center stage in the debate.

Whenever MS Truth Journal exposes materially false or misleading statements in the press, it is for the purpose of telling the Mississippi public the Truth so as to promote rational, civil debate on the real issues. This week’s “Truth Piece” is a great example of how telling the Truth leads to discovery of more Truth. Below are five points to take away this week.

1) By calling out the wrong “100 bridge” articles, MS Truth Journal was able to document there were only 57 bridges closed by counties following federal inspections.

2) Based on MS Truth Journal’s documentation, we discovered that 100% of these 57 bridges were county-owned bridges, not state bridges, and that more than half of them were in just a few specific counties.

3) The reality began to settle in that actually, all of the 215 bridges statewide being claimed as “closed” are county or local bridges, not state bridges.

4) MS Truth Journal subsequently revealed the actual Average Daily Traffic (ADT) counts for each of the 215 bridges, finding that a majority of them are on county roads with less than 100 cars per day. Less than 20 bridges on the list were on county roads with 500 or more cars per day.

5) MS Truth Journal learned and revealed that the largest ADT bridge on the list – the Harrison County Biloxi River bridge with 18,000 cars per day – was already repaired and reopened almost a year ago, in June, 2016. Query, how on earth was it still on the “closed” list?

Based on Truth, we are able to ask questions that lead to civil debate. For example, we may ask: are there any other material bridge closure errors on the official list? We also can begin to think about the larger picture of whether these facts point to a local county and city road/bridge problem, not a state road/bridge problem.

With each Truth Piece, MS Truth Journal will not state opinions, just facts documenting the truth of the issue. Following documentation, MS Truth Journal will pose questions for the reader to ask and seek answers for himself or herself. That’s all for this week, but stay tuned as we tackle future #msfakenews. It’s going to be informative, and it’s going to be good for Mississippi.

/s/ The Editor, MRJI d/b/a MS Truth Journal.
Contact us at: [email protected]

P.S. We will publicly announce MRJI Committee members on April 18, 2017. Happy St. Patrick’s Day and have a blessed weekend!