A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

If They Keep Saying It, It Must Be So


Today’s Washington Post has a story about the repetition of deceptive statements in the campaign, leading with McCain’s and Palin’s claim that Palin told Congress “Thanks, but no thanks” for the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s a standard line in their stump speeches, despite the fact that we and a slew of news organizations have explained that it’s extremely misleading, at best. One quote from a GOP strategist: “[T]he bigger truths are that [Palin]’s new, she’s popular in Alaska and she is an insurgent. As long as those are out there, these little facts don’t really matter.” Hmmm. (Full disclosure: The article credits FactCheck.org with puncturing a couple of claims about Palin, but that’s not why we recommend it. Also, for more on why repetition works, see our Special Report, “Cognitive Science and FactCheck.org, or Why We (Still) Do What We Do.”)