The Truth-O-Meter has arrived down under.
PolitiFact Australia, our first international venture, has launched at politifact.com.au. It marks a new milestone for PolitiFact and a big step for the global fact-checking movement.
Headed by veteran editor Peter Fray and a talented team of reporters, PolitiFact Australia will fact-check government officials and candidates in Australia's federal election, scheduled for Sept. 14....
The debate over gun control has become a battle of talking points. If you've followed the debate, you've probably heard these lines:
"Forty percent of guns are purchased without a background check."
"There are more people killed with baseball bats and hammers than are killed with guns."
"Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are negotiating with the United Nations about doing a treaty that will ban the use of firearms."...
02/18/13 State Roundup
Says wrestling was a favorite sport of Abraham Lincoln.
Donald Rumsfeld, in a Washington Post op-ed piece
Last week's recommendation by the International Olympic Committee executive board to drop wrestling from the 2020 summer games prompted an outcry from lovers of the sport, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. ...
If you want fact-checks on the weighty, wonky issues of the day, you turn to PolitiFact.
But the Truth-O-Meter also has a sense of humor, so we occasionally do light-hearted or downright odd fact-checks.
Here is a look at some of the more unusual fact-checks we did in 2012.
• • •
Was Bane, the villain in the most recent Batman movie, a sneaky attempt to smear Mitt Romney?...
The 2012 presidential campaign has given the Truth-O-Meter quite a workout. • We've published more than 800 fact-checks on the presidential race about everything from Chinese windmills to Big Bird. We checked claims from more than 20 primary and general election debates, the two party conventions and dozens of TV ads. • With the campaign winding down, we've selected the three biggest falsehoods from the candidates, the parties and the super PACs....
Watching debates is now a two-screen affair.
Many people have their smartphone, tablet or laptop with them so they can look things up as the candidates trade talking points. Make PolitiFact one of your resources.
We'll be live fact-checking all the presidential debates this month and have special coverage planned. Here are tips on how to use PolitiFact as you watch:
• Use our free app, Settle It! PolitiFact's Argument Ender. Available for iPhone and Android, Settle It! has an easy-to-use search feature that allows you to enter names and keywords and find the Truth-O-Meter articles that answer your question. (The iPhone app works great on the iPad.)...
Republicans are known for their discipline at repeating talking points, so many of the lines you'll hear this week in Tampa will be ones they've used before.
Here are some attacks against President Barack Obama you're likely to hear and how PolitiFact has rated them.
1 The stimulus was wasteful and ineffective. Republicans have been firmly against the $833 billion stimulus as a wasteful use of taxpayer dollars. They opposed it, even though roughly one-third was something the GOP usually supports — tax cuts. Republicans are right that the stimulus went to a wide variety of programs, but they've often overreached by saying it funded "traffic lights in China" or for a study of how monkeys react to cocaine. PolitiFact found both those claims to be Mostly False....
Meet Tom Haueter, a bureaucrat who may have saved your life.
Haueter is the director of aviation safety at the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates plane crashes. In the language of the bureaucracy, he is SES, in charge of AS-1.
I often think of Haueter when I hear politicians belittling federal workers. It's a campaign year, so the attacks are coming fast and furiously. In Ohio, a U.S. Senate candidate says his opponent sides "with federal bureaucrats to stop exploration of natural resources." In Congress, Republicans decry a Medicare panel that is run by "15 unelected bureaucrats." ...
Ann Romney took care of the thank yous. She praised the Nevada volunteers, the leaders of the state campaign and offered "a special shout-out to Dema Guinn," the wife for former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn.
The pleasantries out of the way, she introduced her husband Mitt Romney ("the next president of the United States. …"), who rattled off a litany of complaints about the current president....
The Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News Sentinel have launched PolitiFact Tennessee, the 10th state partnership for PolitiFact.com, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times.
The joint effort of the two E.W. Scripps newspapers is led by Zack McMillin in Memphis and includes reporters Steve Ahillen in Knoxville; Richard Locker and Tom Humphrey in Nashville; and Bart Sullivan and Michael Collins in Washington....
In the Republican debates and the avalanche of TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, the presidential candidates have made lots of claims about the credibility of their opponents — and themselves.
PolitiFact has checked hundreds of statements ranging from Mitt Romney's claim that Solyndra had robots that whistled Disney tunes (Half True) to Rep. Michele Bachmann's statement that the HPV vaccine can cause mental retardation (False)....
Republicans muscled a budget through the House of Representatives in April that they said would take an important step toward reducing the federal deficit. Introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the plan kept Medicare intact for people 55 or older, but dramatically changed the program for everyone else by privatizing it and providing government subsidies. Democrats pounced.
• Just four days after the party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) released a Web ad saying that seniors will have to pay $12,500 more for health care "because Republicans voted to end Medicare." ...
For the first time since PolitiFact started naming a Lie of the Year, readers and editors have made different choices for the top falsehood.
PolitiFact editors chose the Democratic line that Republicans voted "to end Medicare" as the 2011 Lie of the Year, while the winner in our reader poll was the Republican claim that "zero jobs" were created by the economic stimulus. (The Medicare claim was No. 3 in the readers' poll.) ...
At Thanksgiving dinner, there's probably a good chance you'll end up sitting beside your uncle.
You love your uncle, but you could do without all those chain emails that he forwards to you, the ones that claim the government is forcing you to get rid of your light bulbs, that "Obamacare" is going to put a tax on home sales and that President Barack Obama fits the biblical description of the Antichrist. (Note to uncles: We're not really singling you out. Chain emails get forwarded by aunts, grandparents and plenty of other relatives.)...
Today, PolitiFact marks its fourth anniversary. • Since PolitiFact launched on Aug. 22, 2007, the Times' fact-checking website has published more than 4,000 Truth-O-Meter items and expanded into nine states. Increasingly, Truth-O-Meter rulings are cited by the news media, commentators and even politicians. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said PolitiFact "makes us a little more cautious about what we repeat." • Here's a look at PolitiFact by the numbers:
Total Truth-O-Meter items (includes national and state sites) 4,032...