A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

H.R. 1388 Passed ‘Behind Our Backs?’

Q: Was H.R. 1388 passed “behind our backs”?
A: This latest e-rumor is a double-header. It recycles one false claim and alludes to another. We’ve debunked both before.

Counting Mexico’s Guns

There’s no dispute that thousands of handguns, military-style rifles and other firearms are purchased in the U.S. and end up in the hands of Mexican criminals each year. It’s relatively easy to buy such guns legally in Texas and other border states and to smuggle them across. But is …

Our Disinformed Electorate

We saw more aggressive fact-checking by journalists in this election than ever before. Unfortunately, as a post-election Annenberg Public Policy Center poll confirms, millions of voters were bamboozled anyway.

More than half of U.S. adults (52 percent) said the claim that Sen. Barack Obama’s tax plan would raise taxes on most small businesses is truthful, when in fact only a small percentage would see any increase.

More than two in five (42.3 percent) found truth in the claim that Sen.

Sparring in Spanish

Summary
An Obama TV ad tells Spanish-speaking viewers that McCain is "friends" with Rush Limbaugh, and quotes the radio host as calling Mexicans "stupid and unqualified" and telling them to "shut up or get out." The ad is doubly misleading. Limbaugh has until recently disparaged McCain repeatedly to his audience. And Limbaugh says his words are ripped out of context and twisted in the ad. In any case they don't represent McCain's position.
 

Original Mavericks, Old Bunk

A new McCain ad, “Original Mavericks,” repeats the claim that Gov. Sarah Palin “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere” last year.

We’re here to tell you that no matter how many times she and McCain say it, it’s still misleading. We refer you to our story of last week, GOP Convention Spin, Part II, in which we explain: Congress actually knocked out the earmark for the bridge, which was projected to cost $398 million. The state instead received funds that weren’t designated for specific projects.

The Whoppers of 2007

We review some notable political falsehoods and distortions of the year.

The Immigration Showdown

Summary

In recent weeks, Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney have sparred over their immigration records and policies. We find some problems with what both of them have been saying.

Giuliani released a radio ad in which he says of persons applying for citizenship, "we should make certain that they can read English, write English and speak English." Actually, those already are requirements for citizenship.
Giuliani’s ad also said illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in the U.S.

Even Opponents Call Iowa Anti-immigration Ad Factually Accurate

An ad running heavily in Iowa says meatpackers replaced Iowans with thousands of foreign workers and then cut wages “almost in half.” That claim is true, according to academics who studied the Iowa meatpacking industry. But the same academics disagree with the ad’s anti-immigration message and one called it “borderline racist.”