A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Did Palin Sell a Jet on eBay?

Q: Did Sarah Palin sell the Alaska governor's jet on eBay?
A: The jet was placed on eBay for sale, but it wasn't purchased from the site. The plane was eventually sold through an aircraft broker to businessman Larry Reynolds for less than the asking price and the original cost.

School Funding Misleads

Summary
A new Obama-Biden ad includes misleading claims about McCain and education spending:

It says McCain "voted to cut education funding" and lists five votes. But one was a vote for increased education funding, although for fewer dollars than what Democrats may have wanted. And three others were votes against additional funding, not votes for funding cuts.
The ad says that "McCain’s economic plan gives $200 billion more to special interests while taking money away from public schools."

Belittling Palin?

Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new TV ad that distorts quotes from the Obama campaign. It takes words out of context to make it sound as though the Democratic ticket is belittling Palin:

The ad says "they said she was doing ‘what she was told.’ " But the Obama adviser who’s being quoted didn’t accuse Palin of meekly following orders. What he actually said is that she made a false claim about Obama’s legislative record and added,

McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding

Summary
A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama’s attacks on Palin "completely false" and "misleading." That’s what we said, but it wasn’t about Obama.
Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.
The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to "dig into her record and background."

Off Base on Sex Ed

Summary
A McCain-Palin campaign ad claims Obama’s "one accomplishment" in the area of education was "legislation to teach comprehensive sex education’ to kindergarteners." But the claim is simply false, and it dates back to Alan Keyes’ failed race against Obama for an open Senate seat in 2004.
Obama, contrary to the ad’s insinuation, does not support explicit sex education for kindergarteners. And the bill, which would have allowed only "age appropriate" material and a no-questions-asked opt-out policy for parents,

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,

Don’t mess with us

We were displeased, to say the least, when the McCain campaign released a new TV ad today making it seem as though FactCheck.org was endorsing its claims that Obama is making stuff up about Palin. So we posted this article on our home page:
McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding
September 10, 2008
Those attacks on Palin that we debunked didn’t come from Obama.

Pigs and Pit Bulls

 The McCain camp has put out a Web ad painting Obama as “ready to smear.”

McCain ad, “Lipstick”
[Title: Sarah Palin on: Sarah Palin]
Palin: Do you know they say, the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.
[Title: Barack Obama on: Sarah Palin]
Obama: But you know, you can put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.
[Title: Katie Couric on: This election]
Couric: One of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life.

Pesky Proper Nouns

Out on the campaign trail, John McCain has been criticizing Barack Obama for proposing cuts in defense spending. But his criticism relies on a potentially misleading quote. And we found that McCain is dinging Obama for reducing spending on a program that McCain plans to eliminate entirely.
CNN and MSNBC both report that McCain told supporters in Lee’s Summit, Mo., that:

McCain, Sept. 8: …during the primary he told a liberal advocacy group that he’d cut defense spending by tens of billions of dollars.

That Patriotic Bikini Shot

By now you’ve probably seen it – the purported pic of Sarah Palin wearing a red, white and blue bikini and toting a gun. At first glance, we suspected it was fake and someone’s idea of a joke. And guess what? It is.
We tracked down the guy who took the original photo, a shot of his friend holding a pellet or BB gun – not actually a real rifle – and we chatted with the woman who spent about 15 minutes in Adobe Photoshop affixing Palin’s head to this other woman’s body.