A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Whoppers of 2009

Although 2009 was not an election year, it kept us exceptionally busy, and led to millions of visits to our site. In this year-end summary, we offer some of the worst examples of the falsehoods we encountered during the first year of the Obama administration. The list of howlers includes the false claim that the stimulus bill would dictate …

Palin vs. Gore Climate Showdown

On Dec. 9, an op-ed by Sarah Palin on climate change ran in the Washington Post. Al Gore responded to Palin’s piece and made some fresh claims of his own later that day in an interview with MSNBC. We find that both engaged in some distortions and have been rightly called out by experts in the field. …

Extras: Gore, Dogs, Health Insurance and Bunkmail

Our pre-Thanksgiving round-up of bits and pieces of political bunk includes Al Gore, a fancy new dog park and chain e-mails that refuse to die.

Gore’s too hot
Al Gore overstated a key fact about geothermal energy during a recent appearance on "The Tonight Show":

Gore, Nov. 13: Two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, because the interior of the earth is extremely hot — several million degrees.

Creepy Cap-and-Trade Claims are Illusions

It’s that spooky time of year, and legislation pending in Congress to curb carbon emissions is really giving the American Energy Alliance the willies.
What’s haunting us is the group’s misuse of statistics in a new ad attacking Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for his support of the cap-and-trade approach that’s central to the major House and Senate bills.

According to the narrator: "This frightening tax will further hurt our economy, costing millions of American jobs,

Cap-and-trade: “Green Jobs” or Job Killer?

A TV ad sponsored by business groups claims a bill to curb carbon emissions “will cost up to 2.4 million U.S. jobs” if enacted. That directly contradicts claims by President Obama and his allies who say the bill would create jobs – 1.7 million of them according to one TV spot …

McDonnell’s Distorted Attack

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell’s new ad claims that Democrat Creigh Deeds’ policies would bring $7,800 in higher taxes over four years for Virginia households. The ad would be devastating, if it were true.

Fuel for Frustration
Deeds has never proposed a "billion dollar gas tax increase," as the ad claims. It’s true that many transportation experts and legislators in Virginia have said that an additional $1 billion per year is needed to widen highways,

1,120 Days – and Counting – Till Election 2012!

In what could be an early preview of the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney – a once and perhaps future Republican presidential hopeful – has released a new video on his political action committee’s Web site attacking President Barack Obama on climate change legislation.

Romney says that any cap-and-trade proposal "wouldn’t do a thing" because it would simply move "greenhouse gas emitters from America, to other nations like China and India that don’t participate in our program."

TGIF

President Obama’s unexpected Nobel Peace Prize may end up being the story of the week, but it was the third-party groups that occupied most of our attention here at FactCheck.org. Once again, health care dominated the discussion, though we also saw some new ads on taxes and on climate change.
We’ve seen both sides making false claims about Medicare. This week it was the conservative group Americans for Prosperity leading with the alarming claim that "Medicare will be bankrupt in 8 years."

77-Cent Increase Per Gallon of Gas?

Q: Will the House cap-and-trade bill raise the cost of a gallon of gasoline by 77 cents?
A: That extreme estimate comes from the oil and gas industry’s lobby. Nonpartisan government experts project a lower increase, most likely between 12 and 67 cents per gallon in 2020.

Boehner and the Cost of Cap and Trade

On Sept. 20 on NBC’s "Meet the Press," House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio claimed that according to the Department of Treasury, the Democrats’ proposed cap-and-trade system would be costly for American families:

Boehner, Sept. 20: It’s a cap-and-trade system, this big giant tax on the American people that this week, we just find out, the Treasury Department said will cost the average family $1,700 per year.

That’s not true.