A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Doctor’s Orders?

Conservative politicians have claimed that the stimulus bill requires that doctors follow government orders on what medical treatments can and can’t be prescribed. But the bill doesn’t say that. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia says the measure creates “a national health care rationing board.” Not true. What it creates is …

Stimulus Bill Bravado

In recent weeks, in his pitches to Congress and the public on the need to pass the economic stimulus bill, Obama has made several claims about what it would do. (Republicans, too, have made stimulus boasts of their own.) But these pronouncements are not a sure thing. Obama repeatedly said …

Campaign 2010 Begins

Here we go again. The first round of attack ads in the 2010 midterm elections was announced this week by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Its new radio spots accuse 28 Republican House members variously of voting against tax breaks for working people, voting against money for schools, voting against …

Mining the Minnesota Recount

Republican incumbent Norm Coleman headed into the Minnesota U.S. Senate recount leading Democratic challenger Al Franken by more than 200 votes. But on Jan. 5, the state Canvassing Board certified recount results showing Franken received 225 more votes than Coleman in the general election, out of nearly 2.9 million votes …

‘Clean Coal’ Confrontation

On the campaign trail, President Obama embraced the coal industry’s vision of “clean coal” technology. But even before he took office, a coalition of environmental groups (including Al Gore’s) launched ads ridiculing the idea as a myth: “In reality, there’s no such thing as clean coal.” We’re sure to hear …

Sliming Pelosi

Pelosi has taken her place with Obama and Palin as a favorite target of false claims in chain e-mails, judging by the examples our readers send us. Here’s the truth about some of the bunk being thrown at her by anonymous Internet rumormongers. Her husband does not own a …

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 …

Year-end Whoppers


We've often said that the spin never stops in Washington. And the weeks since Nov. 4 offer further evidence of that.
Consider some of the bogus claims we've debunked just since Election Day:

It's not true that unionized auto workers at Detroit's Big Three make more than $70 an hour, as claimed by some opponents of federal aid.
And no, 3 million workers won't be tossed out of work if aid is not forthcoming,

The Case of the Sleeping Justice

Another election, another set of bare-fisted battles for state Supreme Court seats. Think the presidential campaign ads were uncivil and misleading? Well…they were. But so were those put on the air by judicial candidates and their backers, who no longer blink at spending in the millions of dollars. Final tallies aren’t in yet, but in the last week before Nov. 4, $5 million was spent on ads in these races, more than in 2006, according to figures compiled by the Brennan Center for Justice.

Soft on Crime in Georgia?

As Georgians count the days until the Senate run-off election Dec. 2, the ad wars rage on. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and Freedom’s Watch attack Democratic challenger Jim Martin as soft on crime, citing carefully chosen votes from his days as a state representative. But neither group is telling the whole story