A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Eminently Nonsensical

Every so often, we here at FactCheck.org get a slew of questions about some huge clandestine shadowy government conspiracy. Here’s the problem with those questions: If it’s a clandestine shadowy government conspiracy, it’s a little hard to confirm or deny absolutely. In fact, that’s what the people who generate these rumors count on. They can say anything they like, and when someone refutes it, they can come back with, "Well, that’s what they
want
you to believe."

That Patriotic Bikini Shot

By now you’ve probably seen it – the purported pic of Sarah Palin wearing a red, white and blue bikini and toting a gun. At first glance, we suspected it was fake and someone’s idea of a joke. And guess what? It is.
We tracked down the guy who took the original photo, a shot of his friend holding a pellet or BB gun – not actually a real rifle – and we chatted with the woman who spent about 15 minutes in Adobe Photoshop affixing Palin’s head to this other woman’s body.