More than 2,000 years ago, the Greek playwright Aeschylus observed that in war, truth is the first casualty.
In today’s political wars, if truth is not the first casualty, it’s definitely in harm’s way.
In the eight weeks since the September primary, we’ve examined 21 claims from candidates or their supporters.
We rated 11 Mostly False or worse on our Truth-O-Meter’s six-point scale. Nine were True or Mostly True, one was Half True.
But recently, as the campaigns ramped up their attacks with increasingly harsh commercials and mailers, the ratings have definitely trended downward.
Today, PolitiFact Rhode Island has a new look as part of a new design for all the PolitiFact sites.
Our overhaul includes responsive design, so our website works better on tablets and smartphones. When you browse the site on those devices, you’ll see a larger Truth-O-Meter rating along with easy-to-read text of the entire report.
In addition to PolitiFact Rhode Island, the redesign extends to our PunditFact site, as well as our other state PolitiFact sites: Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Over the past few months, PolitiFact Rhode Island has been busy fact-checking the many claims and counterclaims that have been made in the 2014 primary races. Not surprisingly, we found many to be untrue.
We checked statements made by candidates for many different offices, but spent most of our time on the highest profile races -- the Democratic and Republican primaries for governor.
In the end, when the last TV attack ad has aired, the last campaign mailer has arrived in the mailbox, the last robocall has landed in your voicemail, you -- the Rhode Island voter -- will have to decide who the best candidates are.
As you make your choices, you can see all our rulings on our website, PolitiFactRI.com, which is searchable by candidate name, office sought, and subjects, such as "taxes," or "jobs."
Here are summaries of our rulings in the governor’s races.
Four years ago today -- June 25, 2010 -- PolitiFact Rhode Island published its first Truth-O-Meter rulings.
Political discourse in the state hasn't been the same since.
We constantly see politicians and other public figures hesitating when they speak, expressing concern that they will be fact-checked. It has made some -- but not all -- take more care in the facts they present to support their arguments, improving the level of political discourse in the state.
Click on "more" to see how our rulings break down.
Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras have at least two things in common.
They’re all running in the Democratic primary for governor.
And they’ve all faced PolitiFact Rhode Island’s Truth-O-Meter, with varying outcomes.
As the candidates prepare for Tuesday night’s Providence Journal/WPRI-12 debate, we thought we’d take a look at their PolitiFact scorecards.
It's time once again for a peek into the PolitiFact Rhode Island's mailbag to look at some of the reactions we've gotten from readers to recent fact checks.
What piqued the interest of PolitiFact Rhode Island readers last month? According to our website data, they were interested in whether the poorest states are Red states, if today's young adults are fit for military service, and the degree to which cancer-causing chemicals are present in marijuana smoke.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, one of more than two dozen senators who took part in an all-night talkathon this week on the Senate floor to warn about the dangers of climate change, was on familiar territory.
Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, has now made 60 Senate speeches on climate change, returning to the floor each week the Senate is in session.
He comes armed with facts and figures, and staff-produced charts and posters, to back up his warnings of drastic environmental and social consequences if serious actions aren’t taken to address global warming.
Whitehouse and the other senators took turns from late Monday through Tuesday morning to call attention to an issue he says has largely been ignored.
PolitiFact Rhode Island has fact-checked many of Whitehouse’s claims about climate change; overall, he has fared well with the Truth-O-Meter. Here's a sample:
Has Clay Pell, one of the Democrats running for Rhode Island governor, lived a full calendar year in Rhode Island?
Pell, the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, was asked that question twice during a television interview. He never answered with a simple yes or no, leading some to question how strong his ties really are to the Ocean State.
Because Pell’s Rhode Island residency has become an issue in his first-ever run for political office, we took a closer look at his record. Here's what we found:
In the past year, PolitiFact Rhode Island has published nearly 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings on such weighty issues as gun control, same-sex marriage and climate change.
Not surprisingly, all of those topics were represented in our Top 10 rulings of 2013, along with some subjects that were, shall we say, slightly less serious.
We thought we’d look back on our most popular items of the year -- and our most popular item of all time, which involved Congress. And baboons.
PolitiFact National has chosen the most significant falsehood of the year: President Barack Obama's repeated statement, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
It's been a busy few months for PolitiFact Rhode Island, and it's not even an election year.
We’ve checked claims on school test scores, whether the U.S. military prohibits donations to the Tea Party, Obamacare and a host of other topics.
And many of our readers have let us know what they think of our rulings. We thought we’d share some of their comments with you.
During a panel discussion on gun violence at the annual meeting of the Rhode Island Public Health Association, U.S. Rep. James Langevin startled the crowd when he declared that 1 percent of gun dealers nationally are responsible for selling 60 percent of the weapons used in crimes.
His Oct. 21 comment took us aback as well. Only a tiny fraction of gun dealers have provided the weapons for most gun-related crimes in the United States?
We decided to check.
Our Truth-O-Meter rulings sometimes provoke strong reactions, especially when they involve pants aflame. One Rhode Island legislator recently took to the floor of the House of Representatives to respond to a Pants on Fire ruling she received.