A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

62%: Conventional Wisdom or “Dubious Research”?

The liberal group Health Care for America Now has come out with another ad attacking the health insurance industry. The ad is running as part of a million dollar ad buy, according to the group. It repeats a claim that is being made repeatedly as the debate over overhauling the health care system heats up.

The ad says "62 percent of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical debt," and the group’s backup points to a study conducted by Harvard researchers,

More Health Care Scare

A new ad from Conservatives for Patients’ Rights says that a public health insurance plan now being proposed in Congress “could crush all your other choices, driving them out of existence, resulting in 119 million off their current insurance coverage.” That’s misleading. The 119 million figure comes from an analysis …

Highlighting Health Care

It has started. A new TV spot is running nationally saying that “fixing health care” is “something that we must do.” It is the first ad in what we expect will be a massive barrage of public relations claims on all sides of the coming debate over President-elect Obama’s …

Reckless Driving

The Obama-Biden campaign has released an ad as part of its “closing argument” to the American people. But we have a few factual objections to raise.

The ad is called “Rearview Mirror” and says that if you “wonder where John McCain would take the economy” just “look behind you,” alluding to the Bush administration. The ad even pictures President Bush’s face in the rearview mirror of a car.
But it touts some misleading claims Obama has dropped along the long campaign trail.

Sleaze Sells

When we ran an article yesterday calling the first TV spot from The National Republican Trust PAC one of the sleaziest false ads we’ve seen, the group had reported spending just under $1 million. But it seems that the attack, which featured Mohammed Atta, may have helped the upstart group strike gold: In an Oct. 29 fundraising e-mail NRT PAC claims to have raised more than $3 million.
The ad flashes an image of the 9/11 terrorist’s Florida driver’s license while falsely charging that Obama has a “plan”

“Tiny’s” Back…

The McCain-Palin campaign announced today that it will release “its latest television ad” called “Tiny.” But it’s not the campaign’s newest ad – not by a long shot. The ad was announced and aired in August when it was also described as the campaign’s “latest television ad.”

In a press release, the campaign claims the ad was released in light of comments reportedly made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy describing Sen. Barack Obama’s position on Iran as “utterly immature”

A Little Ditty ‘Bout Taxes and Trade

The Obama-Biden campaign has released a radio ad in Indiana featuring favorite native son John Mellencamp. In the ad, Mellencamp says, “John McCain will keep giving tax breaks to companies shipping American jobs overseas.”
Mellencamp is referring to an aspect of the tax code that allows companies to skirt paying U.S. corporate taxes on profits they make overseas and leave overseas. But economists have consistently said this tax provision isn’t a major reason jobs are being sent abroad.

Erratic Quotes

The Obama-Biden campaign has a new, unannounced ad that says McCain has been “erratic” in his response to the financial crisis:

The ad includes various critical quotes from editorials in the Washington Post, USA Today and Politico. We looked up the original articles, and all the quotes are in context.
But the ad also cites the August 15 Tax Policy Center report, with text on screen saying “nothing for the middle class.” Within the ad, the words do not appear in quotes,

More Health Care Exaggerations

Planned Parenthood is distributing a mailer in Ohio that criticizes Sen. John McCain’s health care plan. But it uses a bogus figure on what McCain’s plan would do to Ohioans’ taxes.
The mailer says, “I see struggling patients every day. That’s why I was so horrified when I read about John McCain’s proposed health care tax. Maybe he can afford a $2,800 tax, but his plan will really hurt a lot of people.”
Under McCain’s plan,

The Momentary “No”

The third-party group Committee for Truth in Politics has released an ad accusing Sen. Barack Obama of favoring early release for sexual offenders. We like the group’s name — hey, that’s what we’re all about! But we find it pretty misleading in the case of this ad, which includes a gross oversight on a 1999 vote. The end result is absurdly wrong.
Here’s the script of the ad (we couldn’t find a version of the video that would run properly on our site,