A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Health Care Summit Squabbles

We tuned in to watch the president’s health care summit at Blair House today — all six-plus hours of it. And we weren’t surprised to hear some factual missteps in the discussion: Sen. Lamar Alexander said premiums will go up for “millions” under the Senate bill and president’s plan, while President Barack Obama said families …

Obama at Columbia University

Q: Is it true that nobody remembers Obama attending Columbia University?
A: At least one of his classmates remembers him well, and the university proudly claims Obama.

A Texas-size Whopper

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, at a nationally televised meeting of House Republicans in Baltimore, accused President Obama to his face of running up deficits a dozen times greater than the GOP’s. The president said, "That’s factually just not true, and you know it’s not true," and he invited "any independent fact-checker out there" to assess which man got the facts right.
OK, we will.
We have to score this one for Obama. Hensarling told a Texas-size whopper —

Lawmaker Loopholes?

Q: Is Congress exempt from “many” laws including one against sexual harassment?
A: No. The latest e-mail rant against Congress — proposing a “28th Amendment” to the Constitution — is full of false and outdated claims.

Obama’s State of the Union Address

President Obama peppered his State of the Union address to Congress and the nation with facts, which were mostly right but sometimes cherry-picked, strained or otherwise misleading. He said “there are about 2 million Americans working right now” because of last year’s stimulus bill. But his own economic advisers say …

No Trial for Obama

Q: Is federal judge David O. Carter starting a trial on Jan. 26 to determine whether Obama is qualified to be president?
A: No. This is yet another bogus claim circulated by persons who cling to a belief that Obama was not born in the U.S.A. The judge threw the case out of court back in October.

Clueless ‘Columbo’

Q: What’s up with “Columbo” and his questions for Obama?
A: The interrogator in a chain e-mail gets his facts fouled up and makes false accusations.

A ‘Trifecta’ of Nonsense

The latest anti-Obama rant to show up in e-mail inboxes accuses President Obama of an “unholy” and “anti-American” series of omissions, which it claims no other president has committed. But the fact is, Obama was just doing the same thing that Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had done in similar circumstances.
It’s a brief e-mail that first showed up in our inbox Jan. 5:
Subject: Obama Trifecta
President Obama just completed the UNHOLY and ANTI-AMERICAN TRIFECTA:
1st president in 110 years to miss the annual Army-Navy Football Game.

Retribution Fabrication

Q: Did Congress raise its own pay for 2010 while voting to deny an increase for Social Security recipients?
A: No. A chain e-mail calling for "retribution" in the fall elections makes false claims and uses fabricated figures.

U.S. Chamber: More Lawsuit Malarkey

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running a false ad claiming that "52 percent of all lawsuits" target small businesses. The claim is contradicted by the very study the Chamber cites as its source, and it’s not even close to the truth. The study shows the true figure is somewhere between 5 percent and 8 percent.

A spokesman for the Chamber, Mark Szymanski, told us the ad began airing "nationally" in late December and will continue to air until the end of January.