The article:

On 'This Week,' Bill Maher calls for a fact-checker

By Angie Drobnic Holan
Published on Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 at 5:53 p.m.

A major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico prompted talk of offshore drilling and energy policy on ABC News' This Week.

As we fact-check some of the statements we heard on Sunday, we'll update this page.

To start out, we couldn't resist fact-checking a claim from liberal commentator Bill Maher, who sparred with conservative George Will on Brazil's energy sustainability.

"Can we have judges factcheck this on Brazil?" Maher asked.

Maher said, "I could certainly criticize oil companies and I could criticize America in general for not attacking this problem in the '70s. Brazil got off oil in the last 30 years; we certainly could have."

We checked into whether Brazil "got off oil in the last 30 years." We found Brazil still consumes a great deal of oil, ranking No. 7 for countries that consume the most oil in 2008. We rated Maher's statement False.

We're looked at the comments of Lamar McKay, the chairman and president of BP America, the oil company that operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Host Jake Tapper asked him about a letter the company wrote in 2009 in opposition to increased regulation from the federal government.

"The rest of the letter actually recommends improvements and specific recommendations around safety regulations should they choose to change them," McKay said. "So we're not fighting anything about safety."

While it's true the letter proposed changes to the regulations, most of BP's suggestions were to minimize or restrict the regulations. So we rated McKay's statement Barely True.

We'll be updating this story on Monday with additional fact-checks.

About this article:


See individual items for complete sources.

Researchers: Angie Drobnic Holan

How to contact us:

We want to hear your suggestions and comments.

For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.

For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.

Browse The Truth-O-MeterTM: