A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Elena Kagan and Immigration

In episode 12 of FactCheck Radio, we look at false and misleading claims made on the Sunday talk shows about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Plus, we examine whether immigration — both legal and illegal — hurts American workers.

Congressional Races in Pennsylvania and Arkansas

In episode 11 of FactCheck Radio, we look at false and misleading ads in two congressional races: a special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th district, and the Democratic Senate primary in Arkansas. Both elections are May 18.

NAFTA/CAFTA Blame Game

A union-sponsored ad charges that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s support of "unfair" trade deals "made it impossible for American workers to compete." But several economic studies say trade deals, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, have had a small impact, or even a positive one, on American jobs.

As we said last week, this ad starts with a true claim about union workers at a Cooper Tire plant making wage concessions to ward off a threatened closure.

Sunday Shows and TARP Claims

In episode 10 of FactCheck Radio, we puncture claims from the Sunday shows about immigration and BP’s regulatory receptiveness, and talk about some misleading allegations involving TARP.
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For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Sunday Replay May 3
General Motors’ Debt May 3
Over the Top on TARP April 30
A Big Webby Win for FactCheck May 4

Labor, More So Than Lincoln, Saved Arkansas Jobs

In the Arkansas Democratic Senate primary, an ad from Sen. Blanche Lincoln claims that "she saved 1,700 Cooper Tire employees from losing their jobs to Chinese imports." But a labor union supporting her more liberal opponent countered with an ad in which a Cooper Tire worker says: "We saved our own jobs and we had to take big pay cuts to do it." We find the labor claim to be true, and Lincoln’s to be a bit of an exaggeration.

General Motors’ Debt

Q: Did General Motors repay its TARP loan from the Treasury with other TARP money?
A: Yes. GM repaid the loan portion of the automaker bailout ahead of schedule, with interest. It used TARP money it had already received but hadn’t spent. And taxpayers are still stuck with GM stock that isn’t worth what was paid for it.

Twitter, and the Pennsylvania 12th

In episode 9 of FactCheck Radio, we debunk false tweets from the political parties on Twitter, and we look at dueling ads in a special election to fill a House seat in Pennsylvania.
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For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Mis-Tweets on Twitter  April 28
A False Hit on Critz April 22
Another False Tax Attack (And One That’s Just Deceptive) April 21

Sunday Replay

We found a few claims worthy of comment on the Sunday political talk shows.
On NBC’s "Meet the Press," Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama said that President Obama was being "misleading" when he boasted about General Motors and Chrysler repaying the government:

"Meet the Press" host David Gregory: The president was boasting yesterday that GM and Chrysler have paid off their debts, not completely, but, but, but way ahead of schedule. TARP is now $186 billion back.

More Regulatory Rhetoric

A new attack ad targeting three Democratic senators and one Republican criticizes "hidden taxes on … pensions and retirement accounts" in the financial regulation legislation being considered by Congress, and urges the senators to "vote against this phony financial reform."
The ad gives a false impression. The Senate bill doesn’t contain the tax mentioned in the ad.

The ad is the work of a less-than-transparent group calling itself "Stop Too Big To Fail," which says its $1.6 million ad buy is targeting senators in Nevada,

California Governor’s Race, and More on Health Care

In episode 8 of the FactCheck Radio podcast, we look at a false and misleading ad attacking GOP candidate Meg Whitman in the California gubernatorial race, and we debunk more claims about the health care law.
(Click the play button below to listen to the podcast. Or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.)

 
For more on the stories discussed in this episode see:
California Dreaming  April 15
More Malarkey About Health Care  April 19