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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactChecking ‘The Pledge’

The Republican “Pledge to America,” released Sept. 23, contains some dubious factual claims. It declares that “the only parts of the economy expanding are government and our national debt.” Not true. . . .

Reid, Angle Trade Familiar Charges

In Nevada’s Senate race, Republican Sharron Angle and Democrat Harry Reid began airing new commercials Aug. 26. Angle’s attack ad pictures Reid in a "love triangle" with President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and repeats some familiar but misleading claims.
Like Angle’s, Reid’s ad covers familiar ground. All of its claims are rooted in true statements or proposals. But Reid goes too far in one case. Angle did not say that "Medicare and Social Security violate the Ten Commandments."

Sunday Replay

On this week’s political talk shows, we found false and questionable statements about Rand Paul, unemployment and then-Sen. Obama’s impact on immigration legislation.
Paul Didn’t Go That Far

On CBS’ "Face the Nation," Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine twisted the words of Rand Paul, the Republican nominee for Senate in Kentucky. Kaine claimed that Paul, a tea party member, "says the Civil Rights Act shouldn’t have been passed." That’s not true.
Paul did kick up a controversy when he told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that while he personally did not agree with discriminatory practices,

Sunday Replay

This week’s Replay starts off with a dust-up about Fox News’ handling of – what else? – the Shirley Sherrod story. We also found misleading statements about unemployment and New Jersey’s budget.
 Dean: Fox ‘Absolutely Racist’
On "Fox News Sunday," former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean accused Fox News Channel of an "absolutely racist" action by playing the now-famous edited clip of Shirley Sherrod’s remarks. Host Chris Wallace indignantly countered by saying Fox News didn’t play the clip until after officials in the Obama administration forced Sherrod to quit her job.

Anti-Reid Ad Distorts Truth on Stimulus, Unemployment

American Crossroads — a political committee headed by former Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan — once again attacks Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada in an ad released July 15. The new ad, titled "Really? Harry Reprise," falsely claims that Nevada received less stimulus money than all but one state.
It also misrepresents the state’s first-in-the-nation unemployment rate, making it seem worse than it is.

On stimulus funding, the ad says: "Recent data show Nevada ranks 50th in the money received from Harry’s stimulus bill."

Sunday Replay

Immigration and the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico crowded out most other subjects on the May 2 Sunday talk shows, and we found trampled facts in both areas.
 Immigration Face-Off on ‘Face the Nation’
Arizona’s tough new immigration law sparked a heated exchange between Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth on CBS’ "Face the Nation." Hayworth, who is hoping to defeat Sen. John McCain in Arizona’s GOP Senate primary,

Optimistic Job Stats

Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, talked jobs with NBC "Meet the Press" host David Gregory on Sunday. The interview came a few days after the release of encouraging numbers — employment rose by 162,000 in March, the biggest one-month increase in three years. A few of Romer’s optimistic comments, though, could use some context.
Even though the number of Americans with jobs went up, the unemployment rate — 9.7 percent —

Extras: Allentown, Palin, E-mails

This round-up of political tidbits includes an ad pegged to the president’s visit to Allentown, Sarah Palin on Obama’s birth certificate and more chain e-mails.
Working Where in Allentown?
When President Barack Obama traveled to Allentown, Pa., Friday morning to discuss job creation, the Republican National Committee welcomed him with a radio spot questioning the effectiveness of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Unfortunately, by Friday the ad was a day late and a few hundred thousand jobs short.

Virginia Unemployment Clarification

In our article "Virginia Myths and More," we wrote that some of the federal stimulus money available to Virginia came with a requirement to change the state’s unemployment eligibility rules to give "benefits to part-time workers for the first time." However, an alert reader who works at the Virginia Employment Commission told us that the state has always extended unemployment benefits to part-time workers. We checked in with the VEC, and our article could use some clarification.

Fantasy Jobs?

At President Obama’s April 29 news conference, he claimed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has "already saved or created over 150,000 jobs." Wait a minute. Isn’t the number of jobs actually plummeting?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy lost more than 1.3 million jobs in the two months after he took office, and it has probably lost at least another half-million in April. The day after Obama spoke, the Department of Labor announced that another 631,000 workers (seasonally adjusted) had filed new claims for unemployment insurance the previous week.