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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of June 21-27

This week, readers sent us compliments about FactCheck.org and comments on a chain e-mail making claims about President Obama.

In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

About Obama's 'Bumbles'

Thank you for such a magnificent effort to clear up the false, misleading, and partly true "facts" from the "bumble" e-mail ["Obama's 'Bumbles,' " June 17]. You must have a very fine-tuned database that makes this kind of research possible, and I want to express my appreciation to everyone who has worked on making FactCheck.org a respected and dependable resource! I promise to make a contribution so FC can continue its important service to America and all who believe in truth! There are fewer and fewer "facts" we can trust, but I know I can count on you and your staff to report the unvarnished truth no matter what side it comes down on.

Vicki Bauer
Athens, Ga.

Under the claim regarding Obama's "czars," you state the following:

False. Obama did not create "the positions of 32 Czars who report directly to him." We reported in September 2009 that 15 out of the 32 "czars" listed by conservative talk show host Glenn Beck were actually positions created by previous administrations. Furthermore, only eight of the so-called czars we counted in the Obama administration were new positions directly appointed by the president and not subject to Senate confirmation. Besides, no one in the administration has the official title of "czar." That is shorthand used by members of the media when describing employees of the administration who sometimes have cumbersome titles. For example, the director of White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy is sometimes referred to as just the "energy czar."

The classification of "False" is inaccurate given your apparent structure of rating the claims. A more appropriate classification might be "exaggerated" or "partially true," since it is a fact (as you show above) that at least 8 of the 17 (a majority of the 32 total) positions that Obama created DO report directly to him without Senate confirmation. Your classification is erroneous and misleading.

Jeff Nanson
Dallas, Texas


Praise for FactCheck.org

Whenever I receive a chain e-mail with a slant, FactCheck.org provides me documented proof that would take me hours (if not days) to research.

I am amazed at how many people send me "you gotta pass this on" information that is absolutely absurd. Now, when I refer them to your site … They get very quiet … Wonder why?

In Real estate, it's … location, location, location.
In FactCheck, it's … verify, verify, verify.

All I can say is … Thank you. Thank you,Thank you!

Herb Plaster
Axton, Va.

The best antidote to all the hateful misinformation being promulgated via the Internet is facts. FactCheck is a major source of truth for me, and I am very appreciative. I am making a donation to FactCheck.org.

Robert Cash
Los Angeles, Calif.