Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Fact-checking 'the best campaign ad ever'

The ad in the campaign for Alabama agriculture commissioner has been called one of the best ads of the year.

It's the "it" political ad so far this season. If you haven't yet seen the ad from tough-talking, cowboy-hat-wearing, rifle-toting Dale Peterson, who is running in the Republican primary to be Alabama's agriculture commissioner, you really should check it out. Immediately. To date, the ad has been viewed more 1.2 million times on YouTube.

We've published two fact-checking reports about the ad.

We looked at Peterson's claim that he was "a Marine during Vietnam." We found that Peterson served during the 1960s but never actually went to Vietnam, so we rated his claim Barely True. Read our full report for a more detailed explanation of Peterson's military record.

We also checked his statement that his opponent, Dorman Grace, bragged on his Facebook page about receiving illegal campaign contributions. It turns out that no court or commission has ruled the contributions illegal, and it's not a clear-cut case. Our complete report explains why we rated Peterson's statement Half True.