TV News Record: Fox on CNN, getting Gorsuch right + fact-checks

We changed our name! Our weekly updates from the TV News Archive are now titled TV News Record, to reflect our goal of providing many ways for viewers to put the news in context, whether through fact checks from our national fact-checking partners, visualizations of patterns of news coverage, or other ways of using TV news metadata to deepen analysis of the news.

This week we present fact-checks by fact-checking groups of claims about gang arrests, fraudulent votes, the Russia investigations, and Medicaid. But first, some observations about cable news coverage of news this week and realized hopes for the newest Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch by the religious right.

Fox devotes most air time to CNN story retraction 

In a stark reminder of how which cable channel you watch affects what news you see, Dave Weigel of The Washington Post noted this week that while health care was big news on Capitol Hill Tuesday evening, Fox cable stations were busy reporting on the fallout over a retracted story by CNN related to Russia investigations: “The network’s prime-time shows, ratings kings of cable news, ignored the health-care story,” he wrote. Meanwhile, “The CNN story, sparked by a retracted report on Russia and Trump and inflamed by the sting video, sprawled across multiple segments.”

Weigel’s analysis is borne out by plugging key search terms into the Television Explorer, a tool built by data scientist Kalev Leetaru fueled by TV News Archive data. Search for the term “retraction” near “story” over the 72-hour period ending on June 30, and Fox news dominates.

A search for “retraction” near “story” over 72 hour period ending at 10:20 am ET, June 30, 2017.

The converse is also true: a similar search for “health care” near “Senate” yielded the following results, with CNN  devoting the most attention to the story, and more than four times as much as Fox News did.

“Health care” near “Senate,” 72 hour period ending 10:20 am ET, June 30 2017.

Such searches are easily done on Television Explorer. With the explosion of coverage over the past 24 hours about President Donald Trump’s tweets about MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, we’re keeping on eye on this search of “Trump” near “tweet.” Questions? Contact tvnews@archive.org.

Getting Gorsuch right

In the lead up to the Senate’s confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, many commentators noted that his appeal to conservatives was enhanced by his stance on religious issues. With the conclusion of the Court’s term on Monday, Gorsuch’s champions were vindicated with his decisions in such matters as Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, in which Gorsuch sided with the majority affirming that a church was eligible for public funding to build a playground. Here is CNN reporter Ariane de Vogue back in April 2017 explaining why the case matters:

And now on to this week’s highlighted TV news fact-checks.

Claim: MS-13 gang members are being deported by the thousands (hundreds)

At a rally speech in Iowa on June 21, President Trump said of MS-13, “They don’t like to shoot people. They like to cut people. They do things that nobody can believe. These are true animals. We are moving them out of the country by the thousands, by the thousands. We’re getting them out, MS-13.”

Michelle Ye Hee Lee reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker that while the Trump administration has increased enforcement against gang activity, deportations “are in the hundreds, not the thousands, under Trump.”  The reporters at FactCheck.org concurred, and quoted Danielle Bennett, a spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who said the agency “does not track gang removals by specific gang.”

Claim: People hired for independent Russia investigations are all Hillary supporters (mostly false)

In a recent TV interview, President Trump said “I can say that the people that have been hired (for the independent Russia investigation) are all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton.”

For PolitiFact, Manuela Tobias reported “Three of the eight available Mueller hires made campaign contributions to Clinton, which undermines Trump’s statement that all are Clinton supporters. Furthermore, none of them have worked for Clinton directly. Two represented either the Clinton Foundation or an aide, never her, and working for WilmerHale, which has also represented key members of Trump’s White House.”

You’re grandfathered in if you became a Medicaid recipient under Obamacare (mostly false)

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday about the proposed GOP health care legislation, “If you became a Medicaid recipient through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in.”

Joshua Gillin reported for PolitiFact, “The ‘grandfathered expansion enrollees’ would have to maintain near-continuous coverage, with no breaks of more than a month, in order to get the higher rate.” He continued, “Continuous coverage can be hard for Medicaid recipients to maintain. Medicaid patients have to continuously provide proof of income, and if a patient goes over the income limit, they lose coverage. This is a concept known as churning.”

Claim: 5.7 million undocumented immigrants might have voted in 2008 (wrong)

On a recent morning show, Fox co-host Ainsley Earhardt said of the 2008 election, “5.7 million – that’s how many illegal immigrants might have voted.”

According to Amy Sherman at PolitiFact, “Trump has made repeated claims about massive voter fraud and election rigging, which we’ve debunked again and again and again and again and again and again and again (and we debunked a claim by his spokesman Sean Spicer).” She goes on to explain that the figure used by Earhardt “is based on an extrapolation of a controversial study that relied on a very small number of responses. Researchers involved in the underlying survey of voters have cautioned against using their data to reach conclusions about noncitizen voters.”

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Join us for Ted Nelson’s birthday: OCTOTHORP — 80 AND STILL S#ARP

You’re invited to a birthday celebration for Ted Nelson on July 11th at 6 p.m. at Internet Archive headquarters,
featuring Lauren Sarno.

TED NELSON
Internet Archive Fellow
author of the highly-influential book “Computer Lib”
first to imagine world-wide hypertext
coiner of many words and an inspiration to many people.

THE PROGRAM
Ted and Lauren will give a presentation,
including Songs and Poem by Ted Nelson:
song, “Machiavelli”
poem, “Homing” (originally published in The Oxford Magazine, 2008)
song, “Today Is Yesterday’s Tomorrow”

FOLLOWED BY a Q&A session, moderated by Jason Scott and Mark Graham.

FOLLOWED BY refreshments and schmoozing.
Drink Ted’s Kool-Aid! (Lemon-lime, his favorite as a boy, now sugar free.)

In order to say hello to everybody, Ted will be rationed and steered.

Ted’s statue at the Internet Archive has been scanned for 3D printing—the data to make your own Desktop Ted is now at https://archive.org/details/3DScanOfTedNelsonSculpture 

Copies of “Computer Lib” will be available for autographing
at $100 a piece, cash or check only
(bounced checks will be amusingly publicized).

When: Tuesday, July 11th, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Internet Archive Headquarters
300 Funston Ave
SF, CA 94118

Get Free Tickets Here

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Film Screening: Normal Is Over on July 17 at 7 p.m.

…”An unusual, visually rich portrait of some of the world’s brightest and most innovative ideas.”- Daily Maverick S.A.

You’re invited to a screening of Normal Is Over The Movie, an award-winning documentary that looks for SOLUTIONS to climate change, species extinction, resource depletion, and the widening gap between rich and poor.

The screening will start at 7 p.m.  and will be introduced by Brewster Kahle, founder of Internet Archive, followed by a Q & A session, with Renée Scheltema, filmmaker, investigative journalist, and two other panelists to be announced.

Watch the Trailer: https://vimeo.com/168486528

Get Tickets Here

Your $10 ticket donations will support the artist, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

When: Monday, July 17, 2017
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and screening starts at 7 p.m.
Where: Internet Archive Headquarters
300 Funston Ave. San Francisco, CA 94118

If you like Normal Is Over, you can ‘captain’ theatrical and community screenings all over the US, & fundraise for your non-profit organization via Cinema-On-Demand.

Posted in Announcements, Event | 2 Comments

Knight Prototype Fund winners use TV News Archive to fight misinformation

We are delighted to report that two of  20 winners recently announced Knight Prototype Fund’s $1 million challenge to combat misinformation will directly draw on the TV News Archive.

One of these is the Bad Idea Factory’s “Glorious ContextuBot.” Let’s say you come across a tweet that is brandishing a TV news clip to bolster a strong statement on a controversial issue – but you have no idea where or when or whether that clip was aired, by whom, and whether or not it’s legitimate.

The ContextuBot will take the Duplitron 5000, an audio fingerprinting tool developed to track political ads for the Political TV Ad Archive, and build upon it to help users find any relevant TV news coverage of that video snippet. If the video was aired, users will be able to see what came before and after the report.

The team, led by the Dan Schultz, senior creative technologist of the TV News Archive, will bring in veteran media innovators Mark Boas and Laurian Gridnoc of Hyperaudio and Trint. Together they will not only build the ContextuBot, but will also work to improve the speed and accuracy of the Duplitron.

From sticky notes to Glorious Contextubot: on right, Dan Schultz, TV News Archive senior creative technologist, plots prototype plans

Second, Joostware‘s “Who Said What” project will use deep learning algorithms to annotate TV news clips to identify speakers and what they are talking about. Developing this capability will help fact checkers sort through and identify claims by public officials, pundits, and others that bear examination.

We are delighted to work with Joostware as part of our ongoing goal to collaborate with researchers, companies, and others who are exploring how to use Artificial Intelligence tools to draw on the Internet Archive’s collections to enhance journalism and research.

The Knight Prototype Fund will award $50,000 apiece to each of the 20 winners, who are now charged with developing their ideas over the next nine months. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, and the Rita Allen Foundation all support the effort. Winners attended a human-centered design training workshop last week in Phoenix, Arizona, as part of the support offered by the foundations.

 

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TV news fact-checked: health care & more + this press briefing will not be televised

by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman

This week the Senate released its version of health care, so to mark the occasion we offer a trio of recent health care fact checks from The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker. Other fact-checking highlights include: a claim that Saudia Arabia has been spending money on Trump hotels (true, says PolitiFact) and Ivanka Trump asserts American workers have a skill gap (also true, reports Politifact).

But before we present these fact-checks, we pause for a moment to present this commentary from CNN’s Jim Acosta on the White House’s refusal to allow cameras in a growing number of press briefings: “That wouldn’t be tolerated in city council meetings, or at a governor’s press conference,” he noted. “And here we have the representative of the president of the United States saying no you can’t cover it that way….it’s like we’re not even covering a White House anymore…it’s like we’re just covering bad reality television, is what it feels like now.”

Claim: 1.8 million jobs will be lost as a result of the AHCA (two Pinocchios)

Earlier this month, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., said, “Americans will lose their health coverage because of his proposal. And it is a job loser. Estimated to be 1.8 million jobs lost. Donald Trump is a job loser.”

Glenn Kessler reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “We often warn readers to be wary of job claims made by politicians based on think-tank studies. This is a case in point. Pelosi was careful to say ‘estimated,’ but two groups of researchers, using apparently the same economic model, came up with different estimates of jobs losses under the AHCA by 2022 – 1.8 million and 413,000.”

Claim: the reconciliation process will be used for the AHCA (upside down Pinocchio or flip-flop)

At a recent press briefing, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., described the upcoming legislative process for the American Health Care Act, “Unfortunately, it will have to be a Republicans-only exercise. But we’re working hard to get there.”

Kessler responded that “McConnell’s position has changed, even though he will not acknowledge it. He was against the reconciliation process for health care in 2010; he has embraced it now. He was against secrecy and closed-door dealmaking before; he now oversees the most secretive health-care bill process ever. And he was against voting on a bill that was broadly unpopular — and now he is pushing for a bill even more unpopular than the ACA in 2010.”

Claim: insurers are leaving the health care exchanges because of Obamacare (three Pinocchios)

President Donald Trump talked with Republican senators about health care, saying among other claims, “Insurers are fleeing the market. Last week it was announced that one of the largest insurers is pulling out of Ohio — the great state of Ohio.”

 Kessler wrote that Trump “ignores that many say they are exiting the business because of uncertainty created by the Trump administration, in particular whether it will continue to pay ‘cost-sharing reductions’ to insurance companies. These payments help reduce co-pays and deductibles for low-income patients on the exchanges. Without those subsidies, insurance companies have to foot more of the bill.” 

Claim: Saudi Arabia is spending big on Trump Hotels (mostly true)

The attorney general for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, said at a recent press conference that “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose government has important business and policy before the president of the United States, has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Trump International Hotel.”

Smitha Rajan reported for PolitiFact, “The Foreign Agent Registration Act report mentions at least one filing which clearly shows that the Saudi government spent $270,000 at the Trump International Hotel for lodging and boarding expenses between October 2016 and March 2017. It’s not clear whether the entire expenses were paid before or after Trump became president. Our research showed it was some of  both.”

Claim: there are 6 million job openings but workers don’t have the skills needed (true)

During a recent interview on Fox & Friends, Ivanka Trump, assistant to the president and daughter of the president, said “There are 6 million available American jobs, so we’re constantly hearing from CEO’s that they have job openings, but they don’t have workers with the skill set they need to fill those jobs.”

For PolitiFact, Louis Jacobson rated her claim “true,” reporting “The number she cites is correct, and she’s right to say that the skills gap plays a role. Economists warn against overestimating the role played by the skills gap in all 6 million job openings, both because other factors play a role (such as the image gap) and because the skills barriers posed are often more modest than having to earn an academic degree or to obtain specialized training.”

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Connect with Internet Archive at ALA 2017—Chicago

Come meet Internet Archive Founder, Brewster Kahle and Director of Partnerships, Wendy Hanamura at ALA Annual 2017 in Chicago.

Saturday, June 24

10:30-11:30 a.m.  Making your library a digital library by 2020

  • Where:  McCormick Place W194b
  • Who:     Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian and Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships

Description:  Come hear the Internet Archive team discuss OpenLibraries—a project that will enable every US library to become a more digital library. Working with library partners and organizations serving the print disabled, the Internet Archive proposes bringing 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the century of books missing from our digital shelves. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies to their patrons. This will enable thousands of libraries to unlock their analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

Semifinalist in MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change:  This Internet Archive project has been selected as one of the eight semifinalists in the 100&Change MacArthur Foundation Challenge which will provide $100 million over five years to an organization trying to solve one of the world’s toughest problems.  In our case: providing free access to the best knowledge available. Brewster and Wendy will describe the current state of project planning and listen to your feedback to ensure this project has transformative impact on the communities you serve.

Monday, June 26

1:30-2:15  Conversation Starter:  The Library of 2020 – Building A Collaborative Digital Collection of 4 Million Books

  • Where:  McCormick Place W183a
  • Who:     Wendy Hanamura, Dir. of Partnerships & Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian

Description:  Even in this digital age, millions of books are not accessible to online learners and the print disabled. We in the library community haven’t been able to keep up with this digital demand, stymied by costs, eBook restrictions, and missing infrastructure. By making millions of books digitally available, we can unlock them for communities with severely limited or no access to those books. Because of distance, cost, time-constraints, or disability, people in many communities are too often unable to access physical books. Digital content is instantly available to people at a distance, at all hours, and with widely ranging physical abilities. Together with library and accessibility partners, the Internet Archive proposes bringing 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these eBooks, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies. As 1 of 8 semifinalists for MacArthur’s 100&Change award, we seek your feedback. The goal: bringing libraries and learners 4 million eBooks, enabling the free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

NOTE:  To be live streamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/internetnetarchive/

All times are in Central Daylight Time. For full schedule, visit https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Annual/.  

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TV news fact-checked: Donald and Ivanka Trump

By Katie Dahl

Our fact-checking partners spent time on the Trumps this week, covering Ivanka Trump’s claim about women in STEM occupations and the President’s claims about James Comey and Michael Flynn, record-setting nominations delays, how long it actually took to build the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge, and his involvement in a new coal mine opening.

Claim: Trump said “let this go” referencing the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn (contradicted by Trump)

In his written testimony submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 7, former FBI director James Comey wrote that President Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

In a PolitiFact article reporting on conflicting claims between Comey and the White House, Lauren Carroll wrote that when asked about this allegation in a May 18 press conference, the President said, “No. No. Next question.”

Claim: Trump nominees faced ‘record-setting long’ delays (true)

In a comment at a cabinet meeting on June 12, President Trump said, “This is our first Cabinet meeting with the entire Cabinet present. The confirmation process has been record-setting long — and I mean record-setting long — with some of the finest people in our country being delayed and delayed and delayed.”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler reported that Trump “faced unusually sustained opposition for a new president, including cloture votes demanded for 14 of his choices,” and gave the President their “Geppetto Checkmark” for correct statements.

Claim: women make up 47% of workforce and just 23% of STEM occupations (mostly true)

In an interview this week, Ivanka Trump said, “Women… represent 47 percent of the overall work force, we only make up 23 percent of STEM-related [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] occupations.”

That is “not far off the mark,” according to PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson. He went on to report, “Trump was correct about the percentage of the overall workforce that is female,” and “The report [2016 National Science Board and the National Science Foundation] found that in 2013, women represented 29 percent of individuals in science and engineering occupations. That’s higher than Trump’s 23 percent, although it supports her broader point — that women are underrepresented in STEM fields.”

Claim: Americans ‘built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years and the Hoover Dam in five’ (misleading)

In his weekly address on June 9, President Trump said, “we are the nation that built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years and the Hoover Dam in five. Now, it takes as much as a decade just to plan a major permit or a major infrastructure or anything even remotely major in our country, and that’s ridiculous and it’s going to change.”

Michelle Ye Hee Lee gave Trump “three Pinocchios” for this claim. She reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, “Trump describes the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam as projects that were constructed over four or five years, unbound by the years of permitting and regulatory restrictions that current-day projects face. But Trump only focuses on the literal construction of the projects, and overlooks the many years of bureaucratic negotiating and regulating that took place leading up to the construction.”

Claim: Trump is putting miners back to work with the opening of a new coal mine (hard to believe)

In a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 7, President Trump said, “Next week we’re opening a big coal mine. You know about that. One in Pennsylvania. It’s actually a new mine. That hadn’t happened in a long time, folks. But we’re putting the people and we’re putting the miners back to work.”

“Trump did not name the Pennsylvania mine,” reported Robert Farley for FactCheck.org, “and the White House did not respond to us. But these kinds of events are rare enough that it is clear he is referring to the June 8 grand opening of the Corsa Coal Company’s Acosta Deep Mine more than 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

What did Trump’s presidency have to do with its opening? Nothing. Development of the Acosta mine began in September, two months before the presidential election.”

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AMA about OpenLibraries–our proposal for MacArthur’s 100&Change

Live Chat on YouTube Live, Thursday, June 15 from 10-11:30 a.m. PT

with

Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian
Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships
John Gonzalez, Director of Engineering

What would it mean if you had easy online access to 4 million modern books–the equivalent of a great public or university library?  What would that mean for the print disabled and those unable to reach their public libraries? How would that change innovation and scholarship? In an era of misinformation, how can we tie information to the published works of humankind?

Those are some of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves at the Internet Archive as we hone our plans for Open Libraries–our proposal to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition to tackle one of the world’s toughest problems. We are now one of eight semifinalists vying for $100 million grant to carry out our goal: democratizing access to knowledge by providing free, long-term access to a digital library of 4 million modern books. We call our project Open Libraries because we want to help every library in the nation to provide its members with digital access to its rich collections.

The Internet Archive, working with library and accessibility partners, has a plan to bring 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the 20th century books missing from our digital shelves. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies to their patrons. Working with our accessibility partners, we will also make this collection available to the print disabled around the world.  And our team of curators will help make sure we create an inclusive, diverse collection of 20th century texts.

We now have the technology and legal frameworks to transform our library system by 2023 to provide more democratic access to knowledge–for library patrons, scholars, students and the print disabled.

We want to hear what you think.  Help us hone our plans, test our hypotheses, and dream big!

Ask us a question or post an idea in the comments below. We will answer them during our YouTube Live.  Or tweet us using #OpenLibrariesAMA.

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TV news fact-checked: Trump, Pruitt, Gore, and Handel

By Katie Dahl

In this week’s roundup of fact-checked TV news, the term “travel ban” gets a final word from the president, new coal mining jobs numbers are questioned, Gore and Pruitt give competing claims about Paris Agreement target requirements, Trump supporters are polled for their approval of the Paris Agreement, two elements of the Iran Deal are clarified, and one of Trump’s arguments for privatizing the FAA gets a context check.

Claim: executive order is a “travel ban” (the president says it is)

In a tweet on June 5, President Donald Trump wrote: “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!”

According to Miriam Valverde at PolitiFact, this statement ran counter to what “his spokesman, administration officials, lawyers, courts and others call it.” Among many examples collected by Valverde are three instances (1, 2, 3) of Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly calling it a “travel pause” and twice saying the executive order “is not a travel ban.” The most recent interview was May 28. PolitiFact’s conclusion: “It’s a travel ban.”

Claim: we’ve added 50,000 coal mining jobs since last quarter, 7,000 since May (misleading spin)

In three TV interviews (1, 2, 3) with major networks on Sunday, June 4, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt made this claim: “We’ve had over 50,000 jobs since last quarter, coal jobs, mining jobs, created in this country. We had almost 7,000 mining and coal jobs created in the month of May alone.”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, gave Pruitt a “four Pinocchio” rating for this claim, writing “the biggest problem with Pruitt’s statistic is that most of the gain in ‘mining’ jobs has nothing to do with coal. Most of the new jobs were in a subcategory called ‘support activities for mining,’ which accounted for more than 40,000 of the new jobs since October and more than 30,000 of the jobs since January.” For FactCheck.org, Eugene Kiely reported the same information and further that “BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] could not tell us how many of those jobs were related to coal mining, as opposed to gas, oil, metal ores and nonmetallic minerals. We do know, however, that most of those jobs support the gas and oil industries.”

Claim: US could change emissions targets under Paris Agreement without pulling out of it (Gore was right)

In dueling Sunday political talk show interviews, former Vice President Al Gore said of the Paris Agreement, “the requirements were voluntary. He [Trump] could have changed the requirements,” while EPA Administrator Pruitt, on another show, said “No, no, no. No, not under the agreement. Not under the agreement… You’re wrong” to Jake Tapper of CNN’s statement: “You can change those targets.” Pruitt went on to claim that the targets “can only be ratcheted up.”

For their SciCheck project, FactCheck.org’s Vanessa Schipani reported, “The Paris Agreement is voluntary. Countries aren’t penalized for failing to adhere to their proposed emissions cuts. So President Donald Trump could have ignored or changed the U.S. pledged emissions targets without withdrawing from the agreement.”

Claim: most Trump supporters wanted the US to stay in the Paris Agreement (mostly false)

In another interview on Sunday, Gore said, “A majority of President Trump’s supporters and voters wanted to stay in” the Paris Agreement.

For PolitiFact, John Kruzel reported that on “Gore’s central point, the poll [Yale-George Mason poll] found that among Trump voters, 47 percent wanted to participate in the Paris Agreement, compared to 28 percent who supported opting out, with a quarter expressing no opinion.

So, 47 percent support among Trump voters amounts to a plurality — not a majority, as Gore said.”

Claim: US flew $2 billion to Iran and Obama administration said it was used for terrorism (half true)

In a debate between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel leading up to a special election for Georgia’s sixth congressional district later this month — the election resulted from Tom Price being tapped by the Trump administration to lead the Department of Health and Human Services — Handel made this claim. “Nearly $2 billion in cash was flown over to Iran, money that the Obama administration has admitted is being used for terrorists and to support further activities there.”

According to Jon Greenberg of PolitiFact, “The Iran deal focused on reducing Iran’s stockpiles of nuclear-grade material, but a key provision unlocked Iranian assets that had been frozen for decades. How much money was there is a matter of debate.” He went on to report that John Kerry, then Secretary of State in the Obama administration, appeared on TV and said “‘I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,’ Kerry said. ‘To some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.'”

Claim: the Obama administration spent over $7 billion on the aviation system and failed (two Pinocchios)

In comments announcing a plan to privatize part of the federal air traffic control apparatus, President Trump said “the previous administration spent over $7 billion trying to upgrade the system and totally failed. Honestly, they didn’t know what the hell they were doing.”

Michelle Ye Hee Lee reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker that “Trump characterizes this program as an Obama-era error, but the planning for the massive overhaul began in 2000. Congress authorized the FAA to tackle these changes in 2003, and the Department of Transportation launched the NextGen program in January 2004… There have been delays and changes in the project, but high-priority projects have made progress.” She gave this claim “two Pinocchios.”

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Help Us Defend Net Neutrality!

Please stand with the Internet Archive and over 50 allies in the effort to protect free speech by adding your name in support of net neutrality and writing to your Congressperson today. We have only 40 days left to stop a current FCC proposal that could upend the government’s prior commitment to net neutrality and seriously threaten free speech online. If you represent an organization, please consider participating in the movement on July 12 to inform the public on how to take action.

The end of net neutrality could be devastating to the Internet community at large in a multitude of ways. For example, relatively small organizations like the Archive don’t have the resources to negotiate special deals with ISPs, let alone pay new tolls in order to reach users who rely on our service to broadcast their voice. Many like us could be relegated to an Internet “slow lane” while bigger sites and closer partners of ISPs enjoy faster speeds.

We have fought against threats to a free and open Internet before and won. On September 10, 2014, we came together as hundreds of organizations and over 4 million people to support net neutrality and speak out against SOPA. In 2015, the FCC heard our voices and issued a landmark ruling called the “Open Internet Order” that declared the Internet a neutral public utility which couldn’t be censored or manipulated by corporate interests.

Fast forward to 2017. Only 18 months after the FCC reached a decision to protect our free speech, they have switched stances and are doing everything in their power to pass Docket 17-108, which would reverse the 2015 decision we worked so hard to achieve. The effort is led by a commissioner who was formerly a lawyer for one of the ISPs that has lobbied hardest against net neutrality and stands to directly benefit from this policy reversal. At our expense.

We need your help. Protect digital free speech and universal access to all knowledge. Please make your voice heard: send comments to the FCC, contact your Congressperson, and connect your organization with the July 12 campaign, and share these links with your friends.

 

 

Posted in Announcements, News | 6 Comments