A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Tackling Fake Football Stories

Q: Did the NFL fine players who protested during the national anthem? Was a player fired for it? Are some players asking the league to host a month of anti-police activism? Will Fox Sports stop airing NFL games?

A: No. Three of those stories were made-up, and one is a gross misrepresentation.

No Nationwide Sharia Ban

Q: Has a judge banned Sharia law across the United States?

A: No. The judge pictured with a bogus headline proclaiming a nationwide ban was the host of a daytime court TV show.

Natural Born Bunk

Q: Have Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Keith Olbermann introduced a bill that would do away with the requirement that the U.S. president be a natural born citizen?

A: No. Pelosi’s office confirmed that she has not, and Olbermann is not even a member of Congress.

False Headline on HIV Blood Donation

Q: Will California allow HIV-positive people to donate blood?

A: No. The Legislature has passed a bill that would reduce the penalties for those, including blood donors, who knowingly expose others to the HIV virus.

A False Headline About Free Tuition

Q: Is Western Kentucky University offering free tuition to black students because of slavery?

A: No. The school does not plan to adopt a resolution passed by the Student Government Association demanding “full and free access” for black students.

Fake Mike Pence Abortion Quote

Q: Did Vice President Mike Pence say, “Allowing rape victims to have abortions will lead to women trying to get raped”?

A: No. That fabricated quote comes from a made-up story published by a “hybrid news/satire” website.

Clinton Foundation Isn’t Charging FEMA

Q: Is the Clinton Foundation charging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send supplies to victims of Hurricane Harvey?

A:  No. That claim originated on a satirical news site. The Clinton Foundation has not charged FEMA for bottled water or other relief items.

Obama Didn’t Pardon Wendell Callahan

Q: Did former President Barack Obama pardon Wendell Callahan, who was later accused of killing three people after his early release?

A:  No. Congress unanimously passed a bill changing drug sentencing laws and Obama signed it. Callahan petitioned for early release under the new law and it was approved by a federal judge.  

Katie Couric Didn’t Cancel Clinton Interview

Q: Did Katie Couric cancel an interview with Hillary Clinton because Clinton called former President Barack Obama a racial slur?

A: Clinton did no such thing. Those claims were made-up by a satirical website. 

Black Lives Matter Blocked Hurricane Relief?

Q: Did Black Lives Matter protesters block emergency crews from reaching Hurricane Harvey victims?

A: No. That false claim was made in a satirical story featuring a 2016 photo of a protest in Atlanta, Georgia.