A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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.

False Claims About Palin

Readers have been filling up our inbox with questions regarding claims being made about McCain’s v.p. pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. We found many charges to be false or misleading. Palin didn’t cut funding for special needs education, for instance. Nor was she ever a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. See our article, “Sliming Palin,” for all the details.

Obama’s Iraqi Accounting Oversight

Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly conducted a sit-down interview with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama that is airing in four installments. (Parts three and four of the interview will air tonight and tomorrow night.)
The first segment was broadcast Thursday, and we noticed an accounting error on Obama’s part. When speaking about how much the U.S. is spending in Iraq, Obama added, “They’ve got $79 billion,” alluding to Iraq’s financial deposits and budget surplus. But that’s false.

Original Mavericks, Old Bunk

A new McCain ad, “Original Mavericks,” repeats the claim that Gov. Sarah Palin “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere” last year.

We’re here to tell you that no matter how many times she and McCain say it, it’s still misleading. We refer you to our story of last week, GOP Convention Spin, Part II, in which we explain: Congress actually knocked out the earmark for the bridge, which was projected to cost $398 million. The state instead received funds that weren’t designated for specific projects.

Health Care Hyperbole

Obviously, Obama and McCain don’t see eye-to-eye on health care, and their plans are markedly different. But we’ve heard Obama misrepresenting some aspects of McCain’s proposal in stump speeches. On Aug. 21 in Chester, Va., he said:

Obama, Aug. 21: John McCain doesn’t have a health care plan other than to eliminate the tax deduction for employers for paying health care premiums. And in return, giving $5,000 tax credits to each individual family. Now, that sounds pretty good,

Welcome to The Wire!

Welcome to The FactCheck Wire. It’s our way of bringing you shorter posts on the latest political bunk. We’ll continue to publish articles, special reports and vidcasts at our Webby Award-winning site, www.FactCheck.org. But now you can also stop by The Wire, Wire.FactCheck.org, for brief reports on who’s recycling old, misleading claims in new, misleading ways or for the latest on discredited chain e-mails that are circulating with new (and equally bogus) references. When the candidates try to distill complicated issues into deceptive sound bites,

GOP YouTube Debate Flubs

The CNN/YouTube debate among Republicans lacked any talking snowmen, but we did note a few false and misleading statements by the candidates.

Huckabee’s Fiscal Record

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been hit with criticism over his record on taxes as governor of Arkansas. In recent interviews on Fox News, Huckabee responded to some of these questions, but we found him to be misleading and incorrect on several points:

‘Outrageous’ Exaggerations

Republican presidential candidate John McCain cites three absurd-sounding examples of pork-barrel spending in a recent ad. But he appears to have chosen these three because they’re easy to mock, not because he had significant involvement in removing them from the budget.