A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Space Ad: Wrong on Pay, Misleading on Taxes

Democratic Rep. Zack Space of Ohio has kicked off his TV campaign with an ad that falsely accuses Republican challenger Bob Gibbs of voting to raise his legislative pay and misleads voters about Gibbs’ record on taxes.

Since June 8, Space has been running a TV ad called "Check Your Wallet," which claims “Gibbs voted himself a pay raise.” The charge, however, is false. The last pay raise bill, H.B. 712, was passed in 2000 —

Sunday Replay

Once again, the Sunday talk shows produced more than a few misstatements. Among the topics of misinformation: The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, border security, the popularity of the Republican Party, and U.N. sanctions against Iran. Here’s what we found.
Oil Industry Official or Bureaucrat?
Carly Fiorina, the Republican nominee for Senate in California, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, disagreed over the background of the former head of the Minerals Management Service.

DCCC Misstates ‘Doughnut Hole’ Effects

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee claimed on its website that 8 million seniors pay "full" drug costs when their prescription totals hit the gap in Medicare Part D known as the "doughut hole." But that’s not true; it’s double the actual number. 
The DCCC said: 

DCCC, June 10: Each year about 8 million seniors fall into a gap in Medicare coverage, known as the Medicare donut hole and are forced to pay their drug costs in full out-of pocket.

Oil Spill, Carly Fiorina and Chris Dodd

In episode 15 of FactCheck Radio, we look at misleading statements about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a phony quote attributed to Sen. Chris Dodd, and Carly Fiorina’s charge that Barbara Boxer cares more about the weather than terrorism. And we answer the all-important question: Was that Barack Obama in a 1993 rap video?
(Click the play button below to listen to the podcast. Or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.)

For more on the stories discussed in this episode,

Picture This: McCain’s ‘Lobbyist’ Ad Misleading

It would be understandable if Arizona voters watching Sen. John McCain’s new ad came away thinking J.D. Hayworth is one of those chauffeur-driven, jet-setting Washington lobbyists. Understandable, but wrong. 

The ad started to air June 8 in advance of the Aug. 24 GOP Senate primary. We can’t quibble with the words spoken by the narrator, who states that Hayworth was a "registered lobbyist" and "was paid thousands by a Florida corporation to lobby the very committee he used to serve on."

McConnell and Part D Premiums

This week, while President Barack Obama was touting the $250 rebate checks the government would begin sending to seniors to cover some prescription drug costs, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was warning that many more seniors would be paying higher premiums.
It’s true, as McConnell says, that many seniors will see higher premiums for Part D (that’s the prescription drug coverage) as a result of the increased benefits in the program. How much higher? Monthly premiums vary widely,

Whatz Up, Whatz Up With the ‘Whoomp’ Video?

We don’t usually hit up gossip site Gawker for our fact-checking. We’re an academic group, and we’re serious and stuff! But we can’t ignore the site’s set-up and take-down of one of the weirder Internet rumors we’ve ever seen.
As most of the Internet knows by now, Gawker both popularized and debunked the claim that President Barack Obama appeared in a 1993 music video for one-hit wonder Tag Team’s infectious "Whoomp (There It Is)." Here’s how it went down:
Whoomp: A tipster sent Gawker the 1993 video,

Boyd’s Ad on Florida Jobs Stretches Truth

Democratic Rep. Allen Boyd of Florida is running a TV ad falsely accusing his primary opponent of having "killed jobs," while exaggerating his own record for creating jobs.

The ad, titled “Job Killer,” has been airing since May 20 in Boyd’s North Florida district.
Job Killer?
Rep. Boyd’s ad goes too far when it charges that his rival, state Sen. Al Lawson, “killed” transportation and hospital jobs when he voted for the fiscal year 2011 state budget.

Halter Questioned On Misleading TV Ad

In an MSNBC interview today — the day of the June 8 Democratic primary runoff in Arkansas — Lt. Gov. Bill Halter was questioned about a TV ad that we here at FactCheck.org said made misleading claims about Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s position on Social Security cuts.
MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, who interviewed Halter, called the ad "the biggest controversy right now." Mitchell showed a clip of "Pauline," which features an elderly woman claiming that Lincoln has threatened to cut Medicare and Social Security if re-elected.

Satire Alert: Dodd’s ‘Quote’ on Mortgages

Q: Did Sen. Dodd of Connecticut really say that requiring homebuyers to make a 5 percent down payment "would restrict home ownership to only those who can afford it"?
A: No. This quote was made up by satirist John Semmens, who regularly writes a blog called Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News.