A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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.

MoveOn.org: Starved for Facts

Would you believe that one in six Americans is "going hungry"?
You shouldn’t, because it’s not true.
Nevertheless, the liberal group MoveOn.org claimed something close to that in an end-of-the-year appeal for donations to Feeding America, the national anti-hunger charity. MoveOn’s message said: "This winter, a record 49 million Americans are going hungry because of the economy." (To read the whole fundraising appeal, click the link below.)

[EET ]Dear MoveOn member,
"I’m sure we’re going to run out of food today,

Obama’s Economic Speech

We’re always alert for signs that the president (any president) is overselling his programs. Here’s what we heard in President Obama’s speech on Tuesday announcing new efforts to create jobs: He highlighted a Congressional Budget Office estimate that “up to” 1.6 million jobs …

Truth on the Cutting Room Floor

A widely viewed video seems to show President Obama stating that he is a Muslim. It is false, and the product of dishonest editing. Although it is titled “Obama Admits He Is A Muslim,” the president in fact has admitted no such thing. The video edits and twists his actual words, sometimes turning what were denials into …

Federal Pay Raise

Q: Did Obama grant federal workers a pay raise for next year when Social Security recipients are getting no increase?

A: The president acted to hold down the federal pay raise to 2 percent next year.

Lou Dobbs’ ‘Amnesty’ Claims

Q: Did CNN’s Lou Dobbs denounce an immigration bill “going through Congress right now”?
A: The three-and-a-half-minute video being circulated in chain e-mails is from 2007. Dobbs was criticizing a bipartisan Senate bill, which was supported by Bush and McCain, and which died soon after.

‘Holiday Tree’ Hooey

Q: Are the Obamas doing away with the White House “Christmas” tree and banning ornaments with religious themes?
A: The traditional Christmas tree will remain, and an e-mail claim about ornaments is unsubstantiated.

Malpractice: Savings Reconsidered

In 2004 we accused President Bush of using “dubious statistics” to support his claim that limiting malpractice awards to injured patients could save the economy between $60 billion and $108 billion per year. Ever since, we’ve said most independent research indicated little if any savings from limiting malpractice liability, and just a few weeks ago …