A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

We’re On TV, Too

No, it’s not a new feature. But if you’re not watching Sarah Palin on ABC tonight, you should check out CBS News. That’s where you’ll find FactCheck.org deputy director Viveca Novak who’ll be bringing you our latest on recent ads from the McCain and Obama campaigns.
Oh, and if you are watching Palin, well, that’s why they invented TiVo.

Palin’s VP Experience

As long as we’re talking about Sarah Palin’s first v.p. interview, it’s worth noting that she may have stretched the facts a bit when Gibson asked whether she had ever met a foreign head of state.

Gibson: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
Palin: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents,

Palin’s Change on Climate Change

Dipping one more time into last night’s Gibson/Palin interview, we found another misleading claim, this time on climate change. When Gibson accused Palin of flip-flopping her stance on the causes of global warming, Palin denied her position had changed on whether humans are partially responsible. But that doesn’t quite jibe with what she’s said in the past:

Gibson: Do you still believe that global warming is not man-made?
Palin: I believe that man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming,

Palin’s big energy blooper

We published this article on our home page late Friday:
Energetically Wrong
September 12, 2008
Palin says Alaska supplies 20 percent of U.S. energy. Not true. Not even close.

Fact-Checking…’The View’?

We generally don’t take it upon ourselves to parse ABC’s morning gabfest. But we noticed that when the chat turned to Palin’s record on earmarks McCain got it wrong.
He was correct on one point: Palin vetoed $500 million in spending as governor. She axed over $230 million in state spending in 2007. And the Anchorage Daily News reported that she lopped off another $268 million in spending for 2008.
But then the ladies shot back with this:

Barbara Walters: She also took some earmark spending.

If They Keep Saying It, It Must Be So

Today’s Washington Post has a story about the repetition of deceptive statements in the campaign, leading with McCain’s and Palin’s claim that Palin told Congress “Thanks, but no thanks” for the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s a standard line in their stump speeches, despite the fact that we and a slew of news organizations have explained that it’s extremely misleading, at best. One quote from a GOP strategist: “[T]he bigger truths are that [Palin]’s new,

Don’t mess with us

We were displeased, to say the least, when the McCain campaign released a new TV ad today making it seem as though FactCheck.org was endorsing its claims that Obama is making stuff up about Palin. So we posted this article on our home page:
McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding
September 10, 2008
Those attacks on Palin that we debunked didn’t come from Obama.

Pigs and Pit Bulls

 The McCain camp has put out a Web ad painting Obama as “ready to smear.”

McCain ad, “Lipstick”
[Title: Sarah Palin on: Sarah Palin]
Palin: Do you know they say, the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.
[Title: Barack Obama on: Sarah Palin]
Obama: But you know, you can put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.
[Title: Katie Couric on: This election]
Couric: One of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life.

Pesky Proper Nouns

Out on the campaign trail, John McCain has been criticizing Barack Obama for proposing cuts in defense spending. But his criticism relies on a potentially misleading quote. And we found that McCain is dinging Obama for reducing spending on a program that McCain plans to eliminate entirely.
CNN and MSNBC both report that McCain told supporters in Lee’s Summit, Mo., that:

McCain, Sept. 8: …during the primary he told a liberal advocacy group that he’d cut defense spending by tens of billions of dollars.

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.