Thursday, May 7th, 2015

The most recent articles on PolitiFact Rhode Island

500 Truth-O-Meter rulings -- and counting

PolitiFact Rhode Island marks a milestone today -- our 500th Truth-O-Meter ruling. When The Providence Journal began our partnership with PolitiFact.com in June 2010, few in Rhode Island had heard of the organization, and few other news organizations had formal fact-checking operations. More than four years later, PolitiFact has become a verb in the Ocean State, as in "I’d better be careful what I say or they might ‘PolitiFact’ me. More:

John Legend got his facts right in Academy Award speech

Singer John Legend rocked the Academy Award show Sunday night with his stirring song "Glory," which won the award for Best Original Song.   In his acceptance speech, Legend talked about continuing racial discrimination in the United States, which he called "the most incarcerated country in the world," saying there are more black men "under correctional control than were under slavery in 1850."   PolitiFact Rhode Island examined a similar claim in December, from Diego Arene-Morley, president of Brown University Students for Sensible Drug Policy.   "There are more African-American men in prison, jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850," Arene-Morley said.   PolitiFact Rhode Island ruled Arene-Morley's claim True.   Read the facts behind John Legend's statement here.

PolitiFact R.I. launches Gina-Meter

During her long campaign for governor, Gina Raimondo talked at length about Rhode Island’s problems and what she’d do about them if elected. She made promises on issues ranging from jobs, education and transportation to gun control,  business regulations and aid for veterans. Will she keep them? To help voters keep score, PolitiFact Rhode Island has launched the Gina-Meter to track Raimondo’s progress.

The PolitiFact Rhode Island Top 10 fact-checks of 2014

From beach fees to marijuana, from pensions to slavery, PolitiFact Rhode Island covered a lot of ground in 2014, a year that was also marked by hard-fought political campaigns that generated many dubious claims. Overall, we issued 90 rulings that hit every stop on our Truth-O-Meter, from True to Pants on Fire. As the year ends, we thought we’d take a moment to review our most widely-read PolitiFact items of 2014. Here they are, in descending order, as determined by page views on our PolitiFact Rhode Island website:

PolitiFact names its 2014 Lie of the Year

The emergence of Ebola in the United States sparked a political and media frenzy, but many of the claims made were far from accurate. Collectively, they are PolitiFact's sixth annual Lie of the Year.

Before you vote, check our candidate ratings

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. More

Previewing the Providence mayoral debate

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Welcome to a new look for Politifact

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. More:  

From True to Pants on Fire: Our guide to Tuesday's primary election

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.

No lie! PolitiFact R.I. turns 4

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.

From True to Pants on Fire: A pre-debate candidate scorecard

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.

March mailbag: Physically fit adults and carcinogens in marijuana

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.

Red State debate top PolitiFact Rhode Island item in March

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.

Fact-checking U.S. Sen. Whitehouse's claims on climate change

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:

Clay Pell's full-time residency in R.I. tough to measure

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: