A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Now THAT’S an Unemployment Crisis!

Fox News host Chris Wallace caught Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi drastically overstating the employment situation on January 18:
PELOSI: But in terms of what we have to do in the first 100 days, we must address the needs of this country. Five hundred million people will lose their jobs each month until we have an economic package.
WALLACE: No, 500,000.
PELOSI: What did I say, million?
WALLACE: Yes, 500 million. That would really be a recession.

Harry Reid’s Outlaw Ancestor?

Q: Was Harry Reid’s ancestor a horse thief?
A: That’s a hoax. Sen. Reid is only the most recent political figure to be accused of fabricated outlaw ancestry.

American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball

Q: Did Obama snub Medal of Honor recipients at the Inaugural Balls?
A: Obama is the first president since Eisenhower to miss the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes ball. A Legion spokesman says it "does not feel offended or ‘snubbed,’" and Medal of Honor recipients were invited to the Commander in Chief’s ball, which Obama did attend.

Ammunition Accountability Act

Q:Are states going to require serial numbers on bullets and require disposal of existing ammunition?
A:Such a proposal is being pushed by a company that holds a patent on bullet-coding technology. But none of the 31 bills introduced last year ever made it out of committee.

Nancy Pelosi’s Personal Jet

Q: Did Nancy Pelosi order up a 200-seat jet for her personal use?

A: The Democratic House speaker normally flies in a 12-seat Air Force jet, just as her Republican predecessor did. This rumor stems from a request by the House sergeant at arms, not Pelosi, for a jet large enough to reach California without refueling.

Special Favors from Nancy Pelosi?

Q: Did Nancy Pelosi get wage breaks and tax credits for the American Samoan operations of a company in which her husband owns $17 million worth of stock?
A: This widely e-mailed claim is false. Pelosi’s husband doesn’t own that stock, despite what a bogus Wikipedia entry briefly claimed. Furthermore, American Samoa never got the minimum wage exemption it sought.

40% of Americans Pay No Taxes?

Q: Do 40 percent of Americans pay no taxes?
A: About 38 percent of households have zero or negative income tax liability, but they pay other federal taxes.

No Personal Use of Campaign Money

Q: Can the presidential candidates keep their campaign money?
A: No. They can donate any contributions they haven’t spent to charities or political parties, and they can pay leftover campaign bills. The big rule is: no personal use.

2008 FactCheck Awards

For those readers who’ve stuck with us through a lot of in-depth reporting on complex issues, we offer these just-for-fun awards for some of the most entertaining, most egregious, most off-the-wall or just plain grossest ads this election cycle.

Michelle Obama’s Room Service?

Q: Did Michelle Obama spend $450 on room service?
A: No. The claim is a total fabrication, and the sources that publicized it have retracted the story.