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Polar Bears and Extreme Weather

SciCheck writer Dave Levitan of FactCheck.org was interviewed by Ira Flatow for a segment on Science Friday about the 10th International Conference on Climate Change.

What is SciCheck?

On WHYY’s The Pulse, Maiken Scott interviews FactCheck.org writer Dave Levitan about the new SciCheck feature, which focuses exclusively on false and misleading claims about science.
Scott and Levitan discussed the kind of issues that are on SciCheck’s radar, and how Levitan goes about checking politicians’ statements about science.
WHYY radio is a public radio station based in Philadelphia. The Pulse covers health and science issues.
SciCheck is made possible by a grant from the Stanton Foundation.

The State of the Union

WCBS radio’s Wayne Cabot interviews FactCheck.org Deputy Managing Editor Rob Farley about President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address.
Farley discussed these statements made by the president in his annual speech to Congress:

“[O]ver the past five years, our businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs.”
The United States is “the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave.”
The U.S. is the “only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee … paid maternity leave to our workers.”
“[M]ore than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking to bring jobs back from China.”

For our full article on this topic see “FactChecking Obama’s State of the Union.”

FactChecking the Virginia Governor’s Race

FactCheck.org Managing Editor Lori Robertson discusses the (mostly accurate) TV ads in the race for governor of Virginia on Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C.

For more, see our archive files for candidates Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli.

Obama’s Premium Promise

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson fact-checks President Obama’s claim that all of the currently uninsured would be able to get insurance on the exchanges “at a significantly cheaper rate” than what they can get now on the individual market, without federal subsidies. Even Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has acknowledged younger Americans would likely pay more.
For more on Obama’s statement, see our Aug. 13 post, “Obama Overpromises on Premiums.”

Who’s Exempt?

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson explains who would be exempt from the requirement to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The so-called individual mandate kicks in next year, with monetary penalties for those who don’t comply. But some will be exempt from the mandate.
For more on this topic, see our June 28, 2012, Ask FactCheck, “How Much Is the Obamacare ‘Tax’?“

Seniors and the Chained CPI

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson explains the “chained” Consumer Price Index proposal in President Obama’s budget. Critics of the change in Social Security cost-of-living calculations say seniors’ medical costs cause their cost of living to rise more quickly than that of other consumers. But economists haven’t found solid evidence of that.
For more, see our Dec. 11, 2012, article, “Chained Explained.”

Seniors and Video Games

Managing Editor Lori Robertson tells Connecticut Public Broadcasting about House Republicans’ misleading Twitter claims that the Obama administration is spending $1.2 million “paying people to play video games.” The money in question went to university research on how video games can stimulate the cognitive abilities of seniors.
For more on this issue, see our Feb. 22 story, “Paying People to Play Video Games.“

Obama’s and Rubio’s Health Care Claims

Managing Editor Lori Robertson tells Connecticut Public Broadcasting about President Barack Obama’s and Sen. Marco Rubio’s health care claims in the State of the Union address and Republican response. Obama said the Affordable Care Act “is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.” Experts say it has helped, but the slower growth began before the law was passed and is due to the down economy, as well. Rubio said that “now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with,”

Cherry-Picking Assault Weapons Ban Studies

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson talks about how both sides of the gun-control debate are selectively quoting from studies on the effectiveness of the 1994 assault weapons ban. The head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, claimed the studies found the ban “had no impact on lowering crime,” while Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the ban did reduce crime. Both are wrong. The studies could not conclude that the ban was responsible for a national drop in gun violence,