A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Have You Looked At Obama’s “Not Exactlys?”

Not exactly.
Actually, we’ve looked at it rather a lot. We just haven’t written about it. Until now.
You surely know the e-mail we’re talking about. It’s one of the more popular chain e-mails that our readers keep sending our way. You know, the one that starts out with

Selma Got Me Born — NOT EXACTLY…

That’s actually the nice version. Some trade “LIAR” for “NOT EXACTLY.” Pretty much all the versions go on to list a whole bunch of other supposedly false Obama claims.

About That Kilkenny E-Mail

So far, we’ve received roughly 43,937,809 (note: number is exaggerated for effect) e-mails asking us whether the chain e-mail from Wasilla’s most famous non-Palin, Anne Kilkenny, is accurate. As we wrote earlier this week, yes, Kilkenny is a real person and she did in fact write the e-mail. We looked at her claims about the fired librarian in our Sliming Palin article, where we concluded that the evidence that Palin fired Wasilla’s librarian for refusing to ban books is,

We’re On TV, Too

No, it’s not a new feature. But if you’re not watching Sarah Palin on ABC tonight, you should check out CBS News. That’s where you’ll find FactCheck.org deputy director Viveca Novak who’ll be bringing you our latest on recent ads from the McCain and Obama campaigns.
Oh, and if you are watching Palin, well, that’s why they invented TiVo.

Palin’s VP Experience

As long as we’re talking about Sarah Palin’s first v.p. interview, it’s worth noting that she may have stretched the facts a bit when Gibson asked whether she had ever met a foreign head of state.

Gibson: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
Palin: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents,

Palin’s Change on Climate Change

Dipping one more time into last night’s Gibson/Palin interview, we found another misleading claim, this time on climate change. When Gibson accused Palin of flip-flopping her stance on the causes of global warming, Palin denied her position had changed on whether humans are partially responsible. But that doesn’t quite jibe with what she’s said in the past:

Gibson: Do you still believe that global warming is not man-made?
Palin: I believe that man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming,

Pesky Proper Nouns

Out on the campaign trail, John McCain has been criticizing Barack Obama for proposing cuts in defense spending. But his criticism relies on a potentially misleading quote. And we found that McCain is dinging Obama for reducing spending on a program that McCain plans to eliminate entirely.
CNN and MSNBC both report that McCain told supporters in Lee’s Summit, Mo., that:

McCain, Sept. 8: …during the primary he told a liberal advocacy group that he’d cut defense spending by tens of billions of dollars.

Obama’s Kenyan Citizenship?

Q: Does Barack Obama have Kenyan citizenship?
A: No. He held both U.S. and Kenyan citizenship as a child, but lost his Kenyan citizenship automatically on his 23rd birthday.

Rezko Reality

Summary
On the defensive over the extent of multiple McCain homes, the GOP candidate strikes back. But his TV spot gives an oversimplified and misleading account of how Obama bought his own $1.6 million house in Chicago.
 

The ad says Chicago power broker Tony Rezko got "political favors" including "$14 million from taxpayers." But there’s no evidence of any connection to the Obama home purchase. The $14 million was to build apartments for low-income seniors.

Distorting the DHL Deal

Summary

Ads from the AFL-CIO and the Obama campaign claim that McCain is partly to blame for the loss of more than 8,000 jobs in Ohio. They paint a false picture.
There's at least some truth in both ads: German-based DHL announced a deal that could result in 8,200 lost jobs in Wilmington, Ohio. And McCain did in fact oppose an amendment that would have kept DHL from buying Wilmington-based Airborne Express. McCain's campaign manager,

Obama’s Celebrity Cred

Summary

McCain's new ad claims that Obama "says he'll raise taxes on electricity." That's false. Obama says no such thing.
McCain relies on a single quote from Obama who once – and only once so far as we can find – suggested taxing "dirty energy," including coal and natural gas. That was in response to a reporter's suggestion that a tax on wind power could fund education. Obama isn't proposing any new tax on electricity or "dirty energy"