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August 23, 2010 9:15 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 22, 2010

Congress is still on recess as the summer comes to a close, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) isn't taking a vacation from spreading misinformation.  On Sunday's Meet the Press, Sen. McConnell unleashed a torrent of false claims.  After blaming President Obama for the uproar over the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, McConnell turned his attention to the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of this year.  McConnell argued that the public opposes higher taxes for the wealthy, that higher tax rates for the top two income brackets would affect 50 percent of small businesses, and that the Bush tax cuts are not to blame for soaring deficits; all of those claims are patently false.  Later in the program, New York gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio (R) smeared Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf as "not peace-loving," implying that he sympathizes with terrorists.

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August 16, 2010 10:00 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 15, 2010

As expected, several Republicans used their appearances on the Sunday shows as an opportunity to demagogue over the controversy involving a proposed Islamic community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan, two blocks from Ground Zero.  Sen. John Cornyn falsely claimed that the project would be built on the site of Ground Zero, Rep. Peter King attacked the motives of the man heading the project and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, oblivious to the growing anti-Muslim sentiment within the conservative movement, claimed that the backlash against the project had to do with the sensitivities over Ground Zero and claimed that Americans would support such efforts if it were built elsewhere.

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August 09, 2010 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 8, 2010

On Sunday's Meet the Press, Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Mike Pence (R-IN) dodged repeated questions about the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts. Both indirectly suggested that government doesn't need to pay for tax cuts. There is a clear consensus among economists across the political spectrum that tax cuts don't pay for themselves, and that letting tax cuts swell deficits is, in a Bush adviser's words, "just future taxes." Rep. Boehner also suggested Social Security is unsustainable, and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) agreed on Fox News Sunday. In fact, Social Security is solvent through 2037, and the shortfall thereafter is fairly small. Elsewhere, Tony Perkins told Face the Nation viewers that the Prop. 8 decision ignored the impact of no-fault divorce laws on marriage, when in fact the ruling specifically addressed the subject.

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August 02, 2010 10:41 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 1, 2010

On this week's edition of Fox News Sunday, former Gov. Sarah Palin read a sheet of talking points accusing President Obama of plotting a $3.8 trillion tax hike. Of course, none of Palin's critique was accurate — Republicans wrote the Bush tax cuts with an expiration date, and Palin's fearmongering bears no resemblance to the actual White House proposal for extending pieces of the Bush cuts. Later in the show, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recited misleading GOP boilerplate about government takeovers and small businesses, and House Minority Leader John Boehner claimed the Democrats' response to the economic crisis has been ineffective, despite much evidence to the contrary. Elsewhere, Sen. Jon Kyl misled Face the Nation viewers about the impact of illegal immigrants on state budgets.

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July 26, 2010 10:16 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 25, 2010

On Fox News Sunday, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich defended his year-old "Latina woman racist" attack against Justice Sonia Sotomayor by insisting that a white man would have been pilloried had he made similar remarks. Read in their full context, Sotomayor's remarks do not assert any inherent superiority of judgment for Hispanics — or any other race for that matter. It's worth remembering that Sotomayor was praising the way greater diversity of experience leads to more fully-informed decisions. Later, Gingrich misled viewers to believe that Democrats can extend the Bush tax cuts without changing the law (Republicans wrote the bill to sunset after 2010). Elsewhere, Civil Rights Commissioner Abigail Thomas claimed that polling shows Tea Partiers are reflective of America at large. In fact, polling shows that's just not true.

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July 19, 2010 10:18 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 18, 2010

The political shows were busy on Sunday, with Indiana Republican Mike Pence misleading Fox News Sunday viewers about the Recovery Act and Sen. Cornyn misrepresenting the origins of the federal deficit on Meet the Press. Sen. McConnell told State of the Union viewers a flagrant lie about the Obama administration's response to the Gulf oil spill, and exaggerated the number of small businesses that benefit from the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Elsewhere, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions described the Tea Party as "one-third Democrat, one-third Republican" on Meet the Press despite clear evidence that Tea Party activists are overwhelmingly Republican. On Face the Nation, the task of defending Arizona's immigration law fell this week to former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who offered no new evidence to support his conviction that SB 1070 will not lead to ethnic profiling.

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July 12, 2010 9:56 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 11, 2010

The Sunday shows were quiet yesterday save for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who offered a weak and inaccurate defense of Arizona's notorious new immigration law. The Arizona Republican insisted to CNN's Candy Crowley that Arizona's immigration enforcement law does not allow racial profiling and mirrors federal law. The truth is that SB 1070 hinges on a police officer's "reasonable suspicion" that someone is in the country illegally, and supporters of the law have argued that dress and grooming can identify "illegals." Most damning of all, emails show the law's coauthor was eager to give Arizona cops the authority to demand papers from people who violate city ordinances by having "cars on blocks in the yard." And Franks' claim that Arizona's law does not go beyond existing law was shown to be false long ago.

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July 06, 2010 9:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 4, 2010

The Sunday political talk shows were mostly quiet on Independence Day, with one glaring exception. South Carolina Republican and Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint offered an incendiary response to President Obama's speech on immigration reform. On Fox News Sunday, DeMint told guest host Major Garrett that Obama is lying to the American people, and really wants to give no-strings amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in an insidious plot to grow Democratic voter and union membership rolls. DeMint also suggested that Obama has refused to secure the border. In fact, the president has increased funding for real border enforcement, stopped throwing money into the failed electronic fence program, and charted a course to real, fair and sensible reform for our broken immigration system.

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June 28, 2010 9:44 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows — June 27, 2010

On Sunday's political talk shows, Republicans were hard at work managing expectations for this week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the Elena Kagan nomination. Senators Cornyn (TX), Graham (SC) and McCain (AZ) each pushed the false notion that Kagan banned military recruiters from Harvard Law School while she was Dean there. A number of Kagan's former students have defended her against such charges, and the fact is recruiters had access to the Harvard campus and Harvard Law students throughout Kagan's tenure. Elsewhere, Sen. Graham raised the red herring of Kagan's praise for an Israeli judge as a reason to oppose her nomination, and Sen. Cornyn reiterated the tired Republican lie that clean energy legislation will kill jobs.

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June 01, 2010 9:36 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 30, 2010

On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Darrell Issa repeated his claim that the Obama administration committed a crime when it offered Rep. Joe Sestak a job. Either Rep. Issa isn't paying attention to the expert consensus that there was nothing criminal about the Sestak affair, or he's determined to keep this story alive because the GOP is using it to criticize the president in an election year. On Meet the Press, Arizona's J.D. Hayworth decried any effort at comprehensive immigration reform as "amnesty."

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May 24, 2010 10:21 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 23, 2010

On Sunday, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul's position on civil rights legislation dominated the political shows despite Paul's decision to bail on Meet the Press. Sarah Palin pushed the false notion that Paul was tricked by journalists, and Sen. John Cornyn downplayed the whole affair as a "stumble." But in reality Paul has consistently stated a sincere, controversial position. Elsewhere, Palin and Michael Steele leveled false attacks at the Obama administration's response to the oil spill in the gulf. The GOP leaders each charged that the government response has been slow. The fact is that the administration was involved from the morning after the explosion.

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May 17, 2010 10:07 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 16, 2010

On Sunday's political talk shows, Republicans echoed the fierce, false criticisms of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan that we heard throughout last week.  Newt Gingrich claimed that Kagan is "anti-military." Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) parroted Gingrich's lie that the military's prohibition on homosexuals began under President Clinton. And Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed that Kagan wants the government to ban books. Meanwhile, Gingrich advanced false narratives about health care reform and President Obama's attitude toward free enterprise, and Sen. McConnell attacked the Recovery Act.

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May 10, 2010 10:11 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 9, 2010

The Mother's Day editions of the Sunday political talk shows spent a great deal of time breaking down last week's failed terrorist bombing in Times Square. In an appearance on ABC's This Week, Rudy Giuliani attacked the Obama administration for its commitment to the rule of law and informing terror suspects of their Miranda rights. In the process, Giuliani warped the facts of recent investigations -- and numerous statements he has made in the past about terrorists, courts and the rule of law contradict his criticisms.

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May 03, 2010 10:00 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 2, 2010

The debate over Arizona's immigration enforcement statute dominated Sunday's political talk shows. On Face the Nation, Arizona Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth insisted that the Arizona law does not enable racial profiling, even though after modifications the bill will result in profiling.  And on Meet the Press, Rep. Mike Pence implied that the successful American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is responsible for growing unemployment to nearly 10% nationwide.

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April 26, 2010 10:17 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 25, 2010

Guests on Sunday's political shows spent most of their time trying to forecast the future of immigration reform, Wall Street reform and the Supreme Court. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just couldn't help himself, though. On Fox News Sunday, the Kentucky senator repeated the falsehood that the Wall Street reform bill contains a "bailout fund."

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April 19, 2010 10:52 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 18, 2010

On Sunday's political talk shows, the economy was front and center -- along with plenty of false and misleading statements. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain claimed that taxes have gone up in the past year. On Face the Nation, Sen. Scott Brown claimed that no one has talked about job creation since he was sworn in -- right after he talked up the jobs bill he voted for way back in February. And Sen. Mitch McConnell used an appearance on State of the Union to reassert falsely that the financial reform bill will bail out Wall Street. Sen. Marsha Blackburn echoed that falsehood on Meet the Press.

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April 12, 2010 11:49 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 11, 2010

Sunday's political talk shows focused squarely on the newest opening on the Supreme Court, but guests also discussed the Nuclear Posture Review and its impact on foreign policy. Sen. Lamar Alexander appeared on Fox News Sunday to continue the Republican misrepresentation of President Obama's criteria for Supreme Court nominees, ignoring the fact that "empathy" has been seen in the past as a qualification for the high court by Republicans and Democrats alike. Later, Sen. Alexander claimed that last week's Nuclear Posture Review "takes away the ambiguity about our use of nuclear power" and implied it will prevent America from using nuclear weapons against Iran and North Korea. Neither statement is true. Finally, Rep. Michele Bachmann used her appearance on Fox News Sunday to repeat her misleading claim that the health care reform package passed last month is a "government takeover" of the medical and student loan industries.

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April 05, 2010 10:04 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday was a light day for political talk shows, but Republican misinformation still found a home on Fox News Sunday. Sen. Jon Kyl continued the Republican effort to misrepresent public opinion of health care reform and repeated the false claim that the stimulus failed to create jobs.  Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy wrongly claimed that Democrats haven't focused on job creation.

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March 29, 2010 9:56 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 28, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Michele Bachmann used their respective appearances on Face the Nation not only to continue spreading misinformation about health care reform but to also distance themselves from recent violence from the Tea Party movement.

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March 22, 2010 10:58 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 21, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Reps. John Boehner and Paul Ryan, Sen. John Cornyn, and RNC Chairman Michael Steele repeated worn out obstructionist talking points. Despite the GOP's slanderous attempts to derail health care reform, the bill will stop insurance company abuses, cut the deficit, create jobs, and provide millions of Americans with affordable health care coverage.

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March 15, 2010 10:28 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 14, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Republican members of Congress repeated worn out obstructionist talking points about health care reform.  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spread lies about the use of reconciliation and falsely equated it to the Republicans' attempt to change Senate rules in 2005.  Flying in the face of the facts, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) falsely claimed the plan would cut Medicare benefits, raise premiums, and increase the deficit.

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March 08, 2010 9:17 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 7, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Republican members of Congress used their time in the spotlight to blandly reiterate the weak GOP talking points on a variety of issues.  Senators McConnell and Hatch, however, went even further and made outrageously false claims about Democratic health care reform legislation.

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March 01, 2010 9:18 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows - February 28, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Republican Senators Jon Kyl (AZ), John McCain (AZ), and Lamar Alexander (TN) along with Representatives Paul Ryan (WI), Marsha Blackburn (TN), and Eric Cantor (VA) repeated countless false talking points about Democratic health care reform proposals.

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February 22, 2010 8:49 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 21, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Republican elected officials used their camera time to continue issuing the standard GOP talking points. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) made numerous false claims about Democratic health care reform and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) wrongly asserted "the stimulus bill has failed."

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February 15, 2010 10:06 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows - February 14, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Sen. Lindsey Graham and fmr. Vice President Dick Cheney continued the barrage of rightwing falsehoods assaulting the Obama administration's national security policies.  Liz Cheney and Rep. Aaron Schock, respectively, relied on debunked conservative talking points to slander clean energy legislation and the Recovery Act.

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February 08, 2010 10:31 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows - February 7, 2010

After a blizzard descended on the nation's capital this weekend, the Sunday political talk shows were mostly uneventful. However, the snowstorm didn't stop former Gov. Sarah Palin and Republican strategist Ed Gillespie from filling the airwaves with flurries of misinformation regarding Afghanistan, energy, and the national debt.

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February 01, 2010 10:07 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows - January 31, 2010

On Sunday, January 31, 2010, it was abundantly clear what the Republicans' talking points were.  On Sunday show after Sunday show, the Republican guests repeated falsehoods about Democrats' actions to tackle the recession.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD), were the worst offenders, repeatedly spreading falsehoods about the economy, jobs, the deficit, and health care.

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January 25, 2010 9:01 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 24, 2010

After the game-changing Massachusetts special election and Supreme Court decision, much of the focus on this week's Sunday political talk shows was on strategic decisions for the coming year.  Regarding the future of health care reform, Senators Cornyn, McCain, and McConnell attempted to convince viewers that the Republican Party has wanted to work with the Democratic majority on health care reform - when, in fact, the GOP has actively and openly fought the process every step of the way.

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