Bill Adair, Washington Bureau Chief

Bill Adair

Bill Adair is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times and the editor of PolitiFact. He has worked in Washington since 1997 and is the author of The Mystery of Flight 427: Inside a Crash Investigation (2002, Smithsonian Press). He is the winner of the Everett Dirksen Award for Distinguished Coverage of Congress and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. He lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife and three children.

Phone: (202) 463-0575


Twitter: @AdairPolitiFact

  1. Remembering U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young and his legacy


    WASHINGTON — It's 2006 and U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young is about to set off on a four-hour drive to his hometown of Harmarville, Pa., where he is to be honored at the C.W. Bill Young Lock and Dam on the Allegheny River.

    When the congressman, then 75, asks why I want to go along, I say I want to meet his relatives and see where he grew up.

    "Oh," he says playfully, "you're writing my obituary."...

    U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young spoke at a 2006 ceremony at the lock and dam named for him on the Allegheny River. He remembered his childhood as a happy time. “We didn’t realize we were poor.”
  2. Bill Adair column: Farewell to Bill Young, he made Congress work


    One of the last adults in the U.S. Congress is saying farewell. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, the Pinellas County Republican who rose to be chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has decided not to seek re-election. In a telephone interview Wednesday, Young sounded bittersweet about his decision, saying he wanted to focus on his health and his family. I got choked up while I was interviewing him because I'm sorry to see him step down. At this moment in our political history, we need adults like Young to get Congress functioning again....

  3. U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young to retire, won't seek re-election in 2014


    WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, Florida's longest-serving and most influential member of Congress, whose skill at obtaining federal money has been a boon to the state but also a source of controversy, said Wednesday he will retire when his term ends in 2014.

    In a telephone interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Young, 82, cited his health and a desire to spend more time with family. Young also recalled a conversation years ago with Sen. John Stennis in which he asked the Mississippi Democrat when Young would know it's time to leave. ...

    U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, right, thanks Ray Smith for his sacrifice to his country during a memorial at Bay Pines VA Hospital.  Smith’s son, Sean Smith, recently died in the attack on the Libyan embassy and Young held a press conference to dedicate a framed memorial.
  4. PolitiFact expands to Australia


    The Truth-O-Meter has arrived down under.

    PolitiFact Australia, our first international venture, has launched at 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....

  5. PolitiFact: Claims about guns often miss the target


    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."...

  6. PolitiFact: Donald Rumsfeld says Abraham Lincoln loved wrestling

    State Roundup

    The statement

    Says wrestling was a favorite sport of Abraham Lincoln.

    Donald Rumsfeld, in a Washington Post op-ed piece

    The ruling

    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. ...

  7. PolitiFact's oddest fact-checks of 2012


    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?...

  8. PolitiFact: Biggest falsehoods of the presidential campaign


    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....

  9. PolitiFact's guide to watching the presidential debate


    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.)...

  10. PolitiFact: 5 GOP attack lines you'll probably hear this week


    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....

  11. This bureaucrat may have saved your life


    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." ...

    Tom Haueter arrives on the job at NTSB offices in Washington, D.C., where his work made flying safer. His investigation of the USAir 427 case led to improvements in the 737, the world’s most widely used jetliner.
  12. A roundup of fact-checked Romneyisms


    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....

  13. Introducing PolitiFact Tennessee


    The Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News Sentinel have launched PolitiFact Tennessee, the 10th state partnership for, 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....

  14. The PolitiFact report card on the presidential candidates


    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)....

  15. PolitiFact's 2011 Lie of the Year is Democrats' claim on Medicare


    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." ...

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., center, accompanied by fellow members of the House Budget Committee, unveiled budget reforms this month.