A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Keeping Quiet?

Summary
A new McCain-Palin ad says that "McCain and his congressional allies led" on the financial crisis while Obama was "mum." That's simply not true:

Obama has in fact made several statements about the crisis on Wall Street in recent days, delivering his most specific remarks on how government regulations should be changed on Sept. 22, a day before this ad was released.
McCain gave his most detailed speech on a response to the crisis on Sept.

Health Care and Handguns

What do these two things have in common? Not much, except that we published two stories on the topics Monday evening at FactCheck.org.
First, we looked at an Obama-Biden ad that took McCain’s words on his health care plan and banking regulation out of context:
Out of Context on Health Care
September 22, 2008
Then, we debunked various claims the NRA has been making in fliers and TV ads about Obama’s stance on gun control:
NRA Targets Obama
September 22,

Chicago Cronies

Have you seen that McCain-Palin ad linking Obama to scary, corrupt Chicago powerbrokers? Well, it’s pretty misleading. Outright false in its implication in fact. See our article on FactCheck.org for more on where the ad goes wrong:
Guilt and Associations
September 22, 2008 

Out of Context on Health Care

Summary
An Obama-Biden ad falsely claims McCain says he wants to "do the same to our health care" that "Wall Street deregulation" has done to the banking industry.
The ad relies on a single phrase from a journal article under McCain's byline, in which he said he would reduce regulation of health insurance "as we have done over the last decade in banking." But the full context reveals that McCain was referring narrowly to his proposal to allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines.

Scaring Seniors

Summary
A new Obama ad characterizes the "Bush-McCain privatization plan" as "cutting Social Security Benefits in half." This is a falsehood sure to frighten seniors who rely on their Social Security checks. In truth, McCain does not propose to cut those checks at all.
The ad refers to a Bush proposal from 2005 to hold down the growth of benefits for future retirees. Compared to the buying power of benefits paid to today’s retirees,

Still Off Base on Sex Ed

Several readers have written to us objecting to our story “Off Base on Sex Ed,” which said a McCain ad on sex education was “simply false.” These readers cite a story in the conservative National Review by Byron York headlined, “On Sex-Ed Ad, McCain Is Right.”
York is certainly entitled to his interpretation of the ad. We have read his article, which doesn’t mention FactCheck.org or our story, and we still find an ad that says Obama’s “one accomplishment”

Can’t be Fired

We noticed John McCain saying today that he would fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission if he were president. But, fortunately for the SEC chairman, the president can’t fire him.

McCain (Sept. 18, Cedar Rapids, Iowa): The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president. And in my view has betrayed the public trust. If I were president today, I would fire him.

ABC News points out that “while the president nominates and the Senate confirms the SEC chair,

That’s ‘Former Lobbyist’ to you

The Obama campaign has been pushing a connection between John McCain and lobbyists — as in saying that McCain has them working on his campaign. This ad, for instance, claims that “John McCain’s chief adviser lobbies for oil companies” and his “campaign manager lobbies for corporations outsourcing American jobs.” But neither of those campaign staffers are currently lobbyists – a McCain campaign conflict-of-interest policy doesn’t allow it.

The ad refers to campaign manager Rick Davis, who formerly lobbied for telecommunications companies and Airborne Express.

Distorting Quotes and Voting Records

We neglected to inform Wire readers yesterday that we published two new articles on FactCheck.org. (So much content to keep track of!) We looked at a new McCain-Palin ad that distorts quotes from the Obama campaign to make it sound as though Obama and Biden have made sexist remarks and belittled Palin. The actual quotes didn’t do that. Read the full article for the details.
We also published a piece on an Obama ad that makes misleading claims about John McCain’s education proposals and distorts his voting record in the Senate.

That Patriotic Bikini Shot

By now you’ve probably seen it – the purported pic of Sarah Palin wearing a red, white and blue bikini and toting a gun. At first glance, we suspected it was fake and someone’s idea of a joke. And guess what? It is.
We tracked down the guy who took the original photo, a shot of his friend holding a pellet or BB gun – not actually a real rifle – and we chatted with the woman who spent about 15 minutes in Adobe Photoshop affixing Palin’s head to this other woman’s body.