A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

There He Goes Again

Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama’s tax plans.

The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn’t proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain.

It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs,

Freddie, Fannie and Barack

Update, Sept. 19: Portions of this post were based on incomplete data. We have struck through the incorrect sections. Please see here for our corrected account. We apologize for the inconvenience.
In a Sept. 16 stump speech in Vienna, Ohio, Republican presidential nominee John McCain went after Barack Obama, his Democratic counterpart, charging that Obama can’t possibly hope to change Washington. After all, McCain said, Obama is a big part of the problem.

Joe Biden Lives!

No, we haven’t forgotten that the Democrats have a VP candidate, too. While he hasn’t been making much news lately, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden has been busy out on the stump. We’ve caught him stretching the truth a bit.
You can read all about Biden’s adventures in misquoting in our new article, “Stretching with Biden.”
Why are you still here? Go read it already.

We’re on TV Again

Thursday night to-do list:

Eat dinner.
Put the dishes in the dishwasher.
Get the kids to bed.
Tune in to CNN to watch FactCheck.org’s Viveca Novak bring Larry King (and you!) up to speed on all the latest ads from the McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden campaigns.

Still Off Base on Sex Ed

Several readers have written to us objecting to our story “Off Base on Sex Ed,” which said a McCain ad on sex education was “simply false.” These readers cite a story in the conservative National Review by Byron York headlined, “On Sex-Ed Ad, McCain Is Right.”
York is certainly entitled to his interpretation of the ad. We have read his article, which doesn’t mention FactCheck.org or our story, and we still find an ad that says Obama’s “one accomplishment”

Don’t Call It a Comeback

We been here for years.
Since 2003, to be precise. But in 2008, we have a lot more company than we used to. And Editor & Publisher, a journal that covers the newspaper industry (a meta-newspaper?) has taken notice.
In a special report published yesterday, E&P discusses a trend that we’re happy to see (and that we rather modestly like to think that we may have had at least a small role in creating): “How Fact-Checking Took Center Stage in 2008 Campaign.”

Can’t be Fired

We noticed John McCain saying today that he would fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission if he were president. But, fortunately for the SEC chairman, the president can’t fire him.

McCain (Sept. 18, Cedar Rapids, Iowa): The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president. And in my view has betrayed the public trust. If I were president today, I would fire him.

ABC News points out that “while the president nominates and the Senate confirms the SEC chair,

More on Palin’s False Energy Claim

There’s more on Sarah Palin’s claim, made in her ABC News interview, that Alaska produces 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply. As we noted in our original article, official statistics from the federal government show that Alaska produces only 3.5 percent of the total energy produced in the U.S., and 2.4 percent of the energy consumed.
McCain-Palin campaign officials said she meant to say that Alaska accounts for 20 percent of the nation’s oil and gas production,

McCain’s War Injuries and Computers

Q: Is McCain unable to use a computer because of war injuries?
A: He can type. But using a keyboard for long periods is uncomfortable for him. He says he’s been an “illiterate” on a computer. But he says now he’s learning to use the Internet.

Muting the Mommy Melodrama

The Internet is abuzz with the rumor that Palin’s youngest child, Trig, is not actually her son but her grandson, born to her teenage daughter Bristol and adopted by Palin to cover up the scandal. Aside from a DNA test, it’s unlikely we’ll convince the hard-core conspiracy theorists and skeptics that this rumor is totally false (it could be argued that not even a DNA test would suffice for some). But this photo, which has been making its way around the Web,