A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Whoppers of 2013

It’s that time of year again when we look back — perhaps not so fondly — on the most noteworthy nonsense from the past 12 months.

Rangel’s Assault Weapons Whopper

Rep. Charlie Rangel falsely claimed there are “millions of kids dying, being shot down by assault weapons.” In fact, fewer than 100,000 persons younger than 20 years old died of gun violence, including suicide, over a 30-year period through 2010, government data show. About two-thirds of those deaths — or nearly 65,000 — were homicides.
That’s for all guns, not just assault weapons. We don’t know how many of them were killed by assault weapons, but federally funded studies have shown that such weapons are used in a small percentage of crimes.

RNC: The Dems’ Ethical Embarrassments

A new ad buy from the Republican National Committee departs from the subject of health care, focusing instead on another theme the GOP wants to emphasize as the midterm elections approach: the Democrats’ recent ethics travails.

The ad, pointedly called "Pelosi’s Failure," begins with a clip of Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California promising "the most open and most ethical Congress in history." Pelosi said that on the Tuesday night in November 2006 when Democrats gained control of the House and she was poised to become speaker.