A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Trump’s ISIS Conspiracy Theory

Donald Trump said a report on a conservative news site proved he was “right” in suggesting President Obama supported terrorists. It doesn’t.

Clinton’s ‘Secret’ Email Accounts

The Republican National Committee thinks it has the smoking gun that proves Hillary Clinton used “multiple secret email addresses” as secretary of state. It doesn’t.

The Keg Stand Obamacare Ads

Let’s clear this up: The edgy “got insurance?” Obamacare ads that have gone viral on the Web were not created by the Colorado state exchange or any other governmental agency, nor are they taxpayer-funded, as two Republican congressmen have claimed.

Court-Martialed for Sharing Religious Faith?

Q: Has the Pentagon recently declared that sharing one’s faith is punishable by court-martial?

A: No. The Pentagon merely restated its long-held policy that military members can “share their faith (evangelize)” but “not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others … to one’s beliefs (proselytization).”

Let the Distortions Begin

It has been seven whole weeks now since the midterms, and – like you, perhaps – we’ve enjoyed watching football and “Glee” uninterrupted by campaign ads. But that doesn’t mean there’s no campaigning going on. Potential Republican presidential aspirants …

The TSA ‘Strip Search’ That Wasn’t

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah tweeted Nov. 21 that an airport security officer strip-searched a young boy. Chaffetz linked to a YouTube video that showed a shirtless boy being searched at a Utah airport. But the lawmaker jumped to a false conclusion. Both the Transportation Security Administration and the person who videotaped the incident say the boy’s father removed his son’s shirt, not TSA officers.

Chaffetz’s mis-tweet is just one example of the recent outcry against the TSA’s new imaging machines and pat-down techniques.

Shirley Sherrod’s Contextual Nightmare

We’ve posted no shortage of pieces on political attacks that leave context on the cutting room floor to give the public a misleading impression. An opponent’s statements, cherry-picked and shorn of any language that could provide the intended meaning, can be shaped into a slashing ad.
Or they can lose a woman her job. The latest victim of the missing context trick is U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod. Her story shows the harm that can result from taking something out of context —