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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

The Barton Apology, Stretched Too Far

In a new ad, the Democratic National Committee inaccurately accuses "the Republican Party" of endorsing Rep. Joe Barton’s notorious public apology to the CEO of BP.
The ad goes too far when it tries to grease all Republicans with the same oily mess the Texas Republican made for himself at the June 17 hearing on the Gulf oil spill. Some Republicans have voiced similar positions. But other leading GOP lawmakers have made clear that Barton and the others don’t speak for the party.

NM Governor’s Race: Denish Distorts DA’s Record

In the New Mexico governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, a Democrat, distorts Republican Susana Martinez’s 10-year record as district attorney.

An ad claims that her conviction rate in murder cases is "the worst in New Mexico," and the Denish campaign says that rate is 60 percent. But the Denish camp simply used the wrong statistics and came up with invalid figures. In fact, figures from an official state agency show Martinez won nearly 96 percent of her murder cases.

Sunday Replay

The Father’s Day political talk shows contained a stretch here, an exaggeration there, misimpressions left everywhere. Here’s what we found.
All Studies Don’t Agree
On CNN’s "State of the Union," Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent, bragged about the supposed benefits of the climate-change bill he has introduced with Democratic Sen. John Kerry:

Lieberman: And, look, our comprehensive bill, according to all of the independent studies will create half a million new jobs a year,

Reid Attacks Angle on Social Security

Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s reelection campaign on June 11 released an ad attacking GOP nominee Sharron Angle for wanting to “get rid of Medicare and Social Security” — a charge she called “nonsense” in a June 14 interview with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. It’s true that Angle has proposed phasing out Social Security and Medicare.
The Reid campaign, however, cannot support its claim that her plan to replace government-run Social Security with privately managed investments “cuts benefits for everyone coming into the system.”

Obama’s GOP Critics: Carbon Copies

In his oil spill speech, President Barack Obama praised "a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill." A chorus of Republican critics denounced the same thing as a "job-killing energy tax." Both sides know that battles are won or lost on how an issue is framed. And the truth is more complicated than either side admits.
House Republican Leader John Boehner issued his statement even before the speech was given:

Boehner: President Obama should not exploit this crisis to impose a job-killing national energy tax on struggling families and small businesses.

Fact-Checking Obama’s Oil Speech

In his June 15 speech to the nation on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama overstated some things, including how quickly he assembled a government team to work with BP. Here are some statements that we found to be less than accurate.
Administration Response
In explaining the administration’s response to the oil spill, Obama said "just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge —

Five Words

Five Words

One nice thing about winning a Webby Award is that you needn’t bother making a long list of everyone you should thank from the podium – nor do you have to suffer through anyone else’s odes to early mentors or monologues about climate change.

Space Ad: Wrong on Pay, Misleading on Taxes

Democratic Rep. Zack Space of Ohio has kicked off his TV campaign with an ad that falsely accuses Republican challenger Bob Gibbs of voting to raise his legislative pay and misleads voters about Gibbs’ record on taxes.

Since June 8, Space has been running a TV ad called "Check Your Wallet," which claims “Gibbs voted himself a pay raise.” The charge, however, is false. The last pay raise bill, H.B. 712, was passed in 2000 —

Sunday Replay

Once again, the Sunday talk shows produced more than a few misstatements. Among the topics of misinformation: The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, border security, the popularity of the Republican Party, and U.N. sanctions against Iran. Here’s what we found.
Oil Industry Official or Bureaucrat?
Carly Fiorina, the Republican nominee for Senate in California, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, disagreed over the background of the former head of the Minerals Management Service.

DCCC Misstates ‘Doughnut Hole’ Effects

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee claimed on its website that 8 million seniors pay "full" drug costs when their prescription totals hit the gap in Medicare Part D known as the "doughut hole." But that’s not true; it’s double the actual number. 
The DCCC said: 

DCCC, June 10: Each year about 8 million seniors fall into a gap in Medicare coverage, known as the Medicare donut hole and are forced to pay their drug costs in full out-of pocket.