A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Wrong Numbers on a Tin Roof

During his last press conference with White House reporters yesterday, President Bush defended his administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, saying, “don’t tell me the federal response was slow when there was 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed.” He even repeated the statistic three times.
The performance of the Coast Guard in response to the natural disaster has been commended by many, but that statistic is a bit inflated, according to the Guard’s own records.

Highlighting Health Care

It has started. A new TV spot is running nationally saying that “fixing health care” is “something that we must do.” It is the first ad in what we expect will be a massive barrage of public relations claims on all sides of the coming debate over President-elect Obama’s …

2008 Voter Turnout

Q: Is it true that 36 percent to 37 percent of eligible voters failed to vote in the recent presidential election?
A:Actually, the number is slightly higher than that: 38.4 percent of eligible voters didn’t cast a ballot for president in 2008. Even more — 39.9 percent — didn’t vote in 2006.

Unreported Stats

Q: What’s the deal with Prof. Joseph Olson’s “unreported stats” from the 2008 election?
A: This chain e-mail is a hoax. The “statistics” are grossly incorrect, and Prof. Olson says he didn’t write it.

Automakers and Charity

Q: Is it true that the Big Three American automakers made charitable contributions after 9/11, while foreign companies, by and large, did nothing?
A: Actually, foreign car companies gave lots of money, too, despite what an old chain e-mail claims.