Glenn Beck's 'Wonderful Life' tale rated No. 2
After making more than 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings, the editors who rate the items for PolitiFact Ohio looked back over the year and selected the Top 10 for 2010.
Today we offer No. 2: A statement about economically beleaguered Wilmington, Ohio, which radio host Glenn Beck characterized as a real-life Bedford Falls, the fictitious town in the holiday classic, It"s a Wonderful Life.
Beck, also is a Fox News personality, loves to tell a story with dramatic flair. He latched onto the story of Wilmington for this holiday season.
The town of 13,000 people in Southwest Ohio has lost about 8,600 jobs since DHL Express, it largest employer, pulled out in 2008. The job losses the small town has suffered since DHL"s departure have been the subject of presidential campaign stops, celebrity charity events and numerous media reports, including two from CBS"s vaunted 60 Minutes.
Wilmington, Beck said on his Nov. 22 radio show, is ground zero of the recession, and its people – like those in Bedford Falls -- are pulling together to save the town through self reliance and prayer.
What makes the Wilmington really special, he continued, is that Wilmington refuses government assistance, a key tenet of the political philosophy he espouses on his shows.
"It went from the No. 1 most up-and-coming city, and a city everybody wants to live in, to ground zero. And this town hasn"t taken any money from the government. They don"t want any money from the government," he said on the show.
Politifact Ohio asked for Beck"s sources, but our e-mails to his producer went unanswered. So, we looked ourselves.
- No. 10 through No. 5 in PolitiFact Ohio's countdown of the Top 10 for 2010.
- John Boehner's ice-maker claim rated No. 4
- A claim by Rob Portman that helped debunk a myth is rated No. 3
- A quirky statement from Rep. Marcy Kaptur gets our nod for No. 1.