A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

May 21, 2009

Nearly 41 percent of U.S. teenagers aged 16 to 17 report having tried marijuana at least once, and 6 percent say they have tried cocaine.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Pelosi’s Tortured Denials

Speaker Pelosi said in February that she was “never” told that the CIA was using waterboarding in interrogations. Then in May she changed her story to say she was told, but still claimed it was not quite as early as the CIA said. On that point she’s contradicted, however, both …

The Bad Apples Theory

CBS’ "Face the Nation" on May 17 featured the divergent views of Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Republican Rep. Peter King of New York. Host Harry Smith asked about President Obama’s decision to block the court-ordered release of photos allegedly showing harsh treatment of detainees during interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That led King to say that top government officials didn’t know about the abuse of prisoners, while Romero said the "highest levels"

May 20, 2009

As one of the world’s largest office buildings, The Pentagon has three times the floor space of the Empire State Building in New York.
Source: The Pentagon

Soldiers’ Private Guns

Q: Is the Army demanding information about soldiers' privately owned firearms?
A: This is another false Internet rumor. A memo from one commander of a small unit in Kentucky was an isolated mistake that was quickly corrected; it wasn't Army policy.

May 19, 2009

Despite 17.5 miles of corridors it takes only seven minutes to walk between any two points in the Pentagon.
Source: The Pentagon

Moran’s Miscues in Virginia

Brian Moran is so far the least visible of the trio of candidates competing in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary, set for June 9. He’s the only one who hasn’t run a TV spot yet. But on May 17, he went up with his third radio ad, aiming to show a lot of daylight between Terry McAuliffe, the front runner, and President Obama. McAuliffe, on his Web site, calls the ad a "False Attack."
"The truth is,"

Not So Swift

A new fundraising plea from the Democratic National Committee highlights the link between a new conservative group’s health care ads and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — but it goes too far in its claim of a connection.
An e-mail message from David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, says:

Plouffe, DNC pitch: We knew healthcare reform would face fierce opposition — and it’s begun. As we speak, the same people behind the notorious "swiftboat" ads of 2004 are already pumping millions of dollars into deceptive television ads.

May 18, 2009

In 2007, nearly four in ten (39.7 percent) of all births were to unmarried women, more than double the proportion in 1980 (18.4 percent).
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Michelle Obama’s Salary

Q: Did Michelle Obama make $317,000 a year while working part-time at the University of Chicago Medical Center?
A: This allegation in a chain e-mail is wrong: Obama’s reported income was $103,633 in 2007, the year she reduced her work schedule to part time.