A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Health Care and Census

President Obama signed the health care bill into law this week — but we’re still fact-checking claims about it. In this episode, we look at two ads from groups that were pushing for passage of the legislation. Plus, we discuss various false claims about the 2010 Census.
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For more on the stories discussed in this episode see:
"All Those in Favor …"

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 …

‘Holiday Tree’ Hooey

Q: Are the Obamas doing away with the White House “Christmas” tree and banning ornaments with religious themes?
A: The traditional Christmas tree will remain, and an e-mail claim about ornaments is unsubstantiated.

Third term for Obama?

Q: Is there a move to make Obama eligible for more than two terms as president?
A: A bill that proposes repealing the 22nd Amendment has been introduced, but so far it has very little support.

Automakers and Charity

Q: Is it true that the Big Three American automakers made charitable contributions after 9/11, while foreign companies, by and large, did nothing?
A: Actually, foreign car companies gave lots of money, too, despite what an old chain e-mail claims.

Muting the Mommy Melodrama

The Internet is abuzz with the rumor that Palin’s youngest child, Trig, is not actually her son but her grandson, born to her teenage daughter Bristol and adopted by Palin to cover up the scandal. Aside from a DNA test, it’s unlikely we’ll convince the hard-core conspiracy theorists and skeptics that this rumor is totally false (it could be argued that not even a DNA test would suffice for some). But this photo, which has been making its way around the Web,

Distorting Our Findings, Part II

On Sept. 10, we objected when the McCain-Palin campaign released an ad implying that we’d criticized Obama for “completely false” and “misleading” claims about Sarah Palin. We did use those words, but we used them to criticize anonymous Internet rumormongers, not Obama.
Now that same claim from the McCain-Palin camp is being recycled into fundraising letters. Here’s the passage from an e-mail from McCain-Palin Victory 2008, a joint project of the Republican National Committee and the Michigan,

Have You Looked At Obama’s “Not Exactlys?”

Not exactly.
Actually, we’ve looked at it rather a lot. We just haven’t written about it. Until now.
You surely know the e-mail we’re talking about. It’s one of the more popular chain e-mails that our readers keep sending our way. You know, the one that starts out with

Selma Got Me Born — NOT EXACTLY…

That’s actually the nice version. Some trade “LIAR” for “NOT EXACTLY.” Pretty much all the versions go on to list a whole bunch of other supposedly false Obama claims.