The most recent articles on PolitiFact Rhode Island

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.

By C. Eugene Emery Jr. :: Published on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

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.

By C. Eugene Emery Jr. :: Published on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 1:55 p.m.

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:

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 at 12:01 a.m.

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:

By John Hill :: Published on Sunday, March 9th, 2014 at 12:02 a.m.

Our 2013 Top 10 rulings

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.

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Sunday, December 29th, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.

PolitiFact names Obama health-care claim its 2013 Lie of the Year

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."

By Angie Drobnic Holan :: Published on Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 10:48 a.m.

Mailbag: "Are you kidding me?"

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.

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Saturday, November 30th, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.

U.S. Rep. James Langevin says 60 percent of the weapons used in crimes come from 1 percent of U.S. gun dealers

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.

By C. Eugene Emery Jr. :: Published on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.

R.I. Rep. Charlene Lima takes umbrage at Pants on Fire ruling

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.

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Thursday, July 11th, 2013 at 4:28 p.m.

Truth be told, PolitiFact Rhode Island turns 3!

There's a match being lit, but it's not being used to set someone's pants on fire. It's to light three birthday candles. PolitiFact Rhode Island is now three years old. We think it's a cause for celebration and, from what our readers have told us, they have reason to celebrate as well.

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Friday, July 5th, 2013 at 11:05 a.m.

Gun claims examined by PolitiFactRI often misfire

The push for tougher gun control legislation continues in the General Assembly Tuesday, April 9, as state officials hold a news conference at the State House to promote a package of bills covering such issues as background checks, firearms safety, weapons sales and modifying penalties for existing gun laws.

By C. Eugene Emery Jr. :: Published on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.

PolitiFact Rhode Island's Top 10 for 2012

Over the last 12 months, PolitiFact Rhode Island issued 117 Truth-O-Meter rulings, on claims ranging from Obamacare to school prayer to foreign aid. All had some Rhode Island connection, but many of the most-read items -- based on traffic on our PolitiFact Rhode Island website -- focused on issues far beyond the state’s borders. Thanks to the reach of the Internet, many have remained popular long after publication, in part because PolitiFact, with affiliates in 11 states, has become a go-to reference for people seeking to separate fact from fiction. So as a farewell to the year, we thought we’d share with you the PolitiFact Rhode Island Top Ten Most Widely Read rulings for 2012:

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Sunday, December 30th, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

PolitiFact's guide to Thanksgiving dinner

At Thanksgiving dinner, there's probably a good chance you'll end up sitting beside your uncle. You love your uncle, but you could do without all those chain e-mails that he forwards to you, the ones that claim the government is forcing you to get rid of your light bulbs, that "Obamacare" is going to put a tax on home sales and that President Barack Obama fits the biblical description of the Antichrist. (Note to uncles:     We're not really singling you out. Chain e-mails get forwarded by aunts, grandparents and plenty of other relatives.)

By Bill Adair :: Published on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 at 4:36 p.m.

Before you vote, check the Truth-O-Meter

Over the last several months, candidates have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build themselves up and knock their opponents down. There have been attacks and counterattacks, scary TV ads, robo-calls and oversized campaign fliers clogging our mailboxes -- in other words, the fuel that sent our Truth-O-Meter into overdrive. Just in the weeks since the September primary, we issued two dozen rulings on claims made by candidates for federal and statewide offices. Not surprisingly, many were way off base. And -- perhaps surprisingly -- many were true. With the election just two days away, we decided to take a look back at some of our campaign rulings to help voters make up their minds.  Here’s a sampling from key races:

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Sunday, November 4th, 2012 at 9:22 a.m.

Before you vote Tuesday, check the rulings

  The lively and occasionally bizarre primary fight between U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline and business man Anthony Gemma in the 1st Congressional District has generated enough claims and counter-claims to keep our Truth-O-Meter spinning for weeks. But because the primary vote is Tuesday, we have taken a short break on fact-checking until the dust clears and the winners are picked. Meanwhile, as voters make up their minds, we thought we’d reprise some recent rulings in the 1st District race. Here’s a sample:

By Tim Murphy :: Published on Sunday, September 9th, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

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