High Five: New interest in old fact checks
The power of social media is borne out in our High Five for September 2016.
That is to say, new attention to older fact checks, primarily via Twitter, is reflected in the results for our fact checks that got the most page-views during the month.
Also dominant, unsurprisingly: The presidential race.
Here’s a rundown of the most-clicked.
1. Top 0.1% would be big winner under Donald Trump's tax plan, Wisconsin Hillary Clinton supporter says
Our rating: True.
A report from a respected nonpartisan research group calculated that the 0.1 percent -- those making more than $3.7 million per year -- would receive 18 percent of the tax cuts under the proposal, as it stood at the time, from the Republican presidential nominee.
The bottom 60 percent of taxpayers, meanwhile, would enjoy only 16.4 percent of the cuts. Another tax group found similar figures.
2. NRA founded to fight KKK, black leader says
Given that Trump’s tax proposals have continued to get a lot of attention, it made sense that a fact check from several months ago would get renewed interest. In other cases, it’s unclear why an older item gets new clicks.
In this fact check, from June 2013, the claim was that the National Rifle Association was "founded by religious leaders who wanted to protect freed slaves from the Ku Klux Klan."
The claim was made by Harry Alford, president and chief executive officer of the D.C.-based National Black Chamber of Commerce. It got posted on the website of the Milwaukee County Republican Party.
Our rating: Pants on Fire.
The NRA itself says it was formed by Union Civil War veterans to improve soldiers’ marksmanship. And we found no evidence that religious leaders founded the NRA to protect freed slaves from the KKK.
3. Hillary Clinton took money from the kings of four countries, GOP chief Reince Priebus says
The Republican National Committee chairman, who is from Wisconsin, attacked Clinton in April 2015 by saying she took "money from kings of Saudi Arabia and Morocco and Oman and Yemen."
Our rating: Half True.
The monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Oman contributed to the Clinton Foundation, but Yemen, which does not have a king, has not.
And although Priebus’ claim was made during a discussion of the foundation as well as contributions to political candidates, his phrasing could have left the impression that Clinton herself, rather than the foundation, received the money.
4. Donald Trump's racial comments about Hispanic judge in Trump University case
This was an In Context item.
We run In Context items only occasionally, but often they are among our most popular. With this feature, we flesh out sound bites that attract widespread attention.
In this June 2016 item, we reported on Trump’s saying that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel may be biased against him because of Curiel’s Mexican heritage.
5. No evidence to back claim that top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has ties to Muslim Brotherhood.
Our rating: False.
As in, the claim that was made was false.
The attack was made a few weeks earlier by U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., who was being interviewed as a Trump surrogate. Duffy made the claim in the context of stories in the presidential campaign that get relatively little media coverage. But he cited no evidence to back his statement, and we couldn’t find any, either.