Saturday, October 25th, 2014

There's more to television than just debates

Former President Bill Clinton discussed the costs of renewable energy versus nuclear power during a visit to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
Former President Bill Clinton discussed the costs of renewable energy versus nuclear power during a visit to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Fact-checking the Nov. 9 Republican presidential debate in Michigan kept us busy -- but not too busy to watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The show often has politicians as guests, and this week they included former president Bill Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Clinton caught our attention when he said that solar and wind power are "both cheaper than nuclear right now." When we compared that with information from the U.S. Department of Energy, we found that he was right about land-based wind power but wrong about solar power, so we gave him a Half True.

Pelosi, meanwhile, was contrasting the standing of Congress from the years she was speaker of the then Democrat-controlled House with now, when Republicans are in control. "The last time I was here in April of 2009 ... the Democrats were in control, and the congressional (approval) rating was 40 percent. Do you remember that?" she asked Stewart.

The rating never reached that high in April 2009. Polls taken that month averaged just under 32 percent. But polls taken during the months of March, April and May, 2009 did hit that benchmark twice. So, we rated her claim Half True.