The weird and wacky Truth-O-Meters of late

Viral image comparing Pope Francis to Atlanta megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar
Viral image comparing Pope Francis to Atlanta megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar

PolitiFact Georgia is all about chasing down the facts surrounding claims from politicians and leaders, to be sure.

But every so often, Peach State leaders, organizations and officials end up in the news for more strange and fun reasons. We tackle them, too.

Here are some of our recent favorites.

"Pope Francis uses a modest compact car to get around, while Creflo Dollar drives an expensive sports car."

Viral Image on Oct. 1 in Facebook posts

The image that showed up in the our inbox from social media was irresistible.

The top part showed the pope waving from the back seat of the small four-door Fiat 500L. Below it was a photo of a driver purported to be College Park megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar, tooling in a shiny silver roadster with an EU license plate.

The reader wondered, could that actually be the lead pastor of World Changers Church International behind those sunglasses, zipping along somewhere in Europe? We wondered too, and decided to do some digging.

Alas, it wasn’t the College Park pastor at all. The man behind the wheel of the $1 million car is rapper Kanye West, he of Yeezus fame but not, to our knowledge, a man of the cloth.

And even the context --- trying to draw distinction between a supposedly humble servant of God with an apparently audacious one --- ignores that both the pope and Dollar have ready access to lavish luxuries.

We rated this claim Pants on Fire.

Alabama’s Crimson Tide will be the underdog in its game against the Georgia Bulldogs, the first time in 72 consecutive games that Alabama has not been favored by oddsmakers to win.

ESPN in a Sept. 27, 2015 article

ESPN and others are reporting that the Alabama Crimson Tide would likely have rare underdog status in its game against the Georgia Bulldogs in one of the most highly anticipated SEC contests of the year. That's based on the fact that for 72 games in a row Alabama was favored in betting to win. And that wasn't the case this week as bets started being placed for the game  recently at Sanford Stadium.

But since betting goes on down to the wire, there's at least a possibility that the underdog status could change up to game time. That's why they call it gambling.

Given the unknown, we hedged a bit ourselves at this stage of the game.

We rated the statement Mostly True.

(And, for what it’s worth, Alabama won, 38-10.)

Caution: Kissing and cuddling chickens can be hazardous to your health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a July 16 radio interview

Apparently the direction on the shampoo bottle – that one about washing and rinsing, in case you didn’t know – is not the strangest advice for consumers anymore.

As raising backyard chickens has grown in popularity in metro Atlanta and elsewhere, our own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning on NPR about a downside to the popular trend: don’t smooch your flock.

The CDC issued the recent warning against kissing or snuggling backyard chickens after four recent salmonella outbreaks that, as of July 29, had infected 218 people in 41 states. Five of them were in Georgia.

Interviews have been conducted with 140 of the people who became ill, and 117, or 84 percent, reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began, according to the CDC website.

The CDC also has evidence from outbreaks between 2008 and 2014. In that period, they found that, of the people who became infected with salmonella due to baby poultry exposure, 49 percent, or 196 out of 400 people, reported snuggling and holding baby birds. Another 13 percent, or about 53, reported kissing baby birds.

That's cause to sound the alarm.

We rated the CDC warning True.