A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Seahawks Players Didn’t Burn Flag

Q: Did players for the Seattle Seahawks burn the American flag?

A: No. A widely circulated picture was altered to make it look that way.

Trump Didn’t Change NFL Tax Status

Q: Did President Donald Trump revoke the National Football League’s status as a nonprofit organization?

A: No. The NFL’s league office voluntarily gave up that status in 2015.

Puerto Rican Teamsters Stories are Bogus

Q: Did a Teamsters strike hinder aid efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria?

A: No. Stories claiming so misrepresented an actual quote from an Air Force colonel.

Trump Nixed Gun-Control Rule

Q: Did President Donald Trump repeal a rule that aims to block some people with mental disorders from buying guns?
A: Yes. The Social Security Administration is no longer required to submit the names of certain mentally disabled beneficiaries to a federal agency that conducts gun background checks.

Answering NFL National Anthem Questions

Q: Does the NFL have rules for player conduct during the national anthem? Does the Department of Defense fund patriotic ceremonies at NFL games?

A: The league doesn’t require players to stand during the anthem, and the Defense Department no longer funds various patriotic displays.

False Headline on HIV Blood Donation

Q: Will California allow HIV-positive people to donate blood?

A: No. The Legislature has passed a bill that would reduce the penalties for those, including blood donors, who knowingly expose others to the HIV virus.

Obama Didn’t Pardon Wendell Callahan

Q: Did former President Barack Obama pardon Wendell Callahan, who was later accused of killing three people after his early release?

A:  No. Congress unanimously passed a bill changing drug sentencing laws and Obama signed it. Callahan petitioned for early release under the new law and it was approved by a federal judge.  

Counterprotesters Paid in Charlottesville?

Q: Is a Craigslist ad proof that counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally were “paid to make chaos”?

A: No. The ad called for “actors and photographers” in Charlotte, North Carolina, not Charlottesville, Virginia, where the rally took place.

Charlottesville Stand-Down Order?

Q: Were the police in Charlottesville, Virginia, told to “stand down” to allow the violent clashes that occurred on Aug. 12?
A: The police chief, mayor and city spokeswoman say there is no truth to that claim. Others have criticized what they describe as slow police action.

Was Driver Acting in Self-Defense?

Q: Does a video corroborate a belief by Charlottesville police officers that the driver in the fatal car attack at a white nationalist rally “was not acting maliciously”?

A: No. Police have charged James Alex Fields Jr. with multiple offenses, including second-degree murder and “aggravated malicious wounding.”