The most popular fact checks of March


(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Our monthly round-up of the most popular columns is a bit late this month, as The Fact Checker has been churning out so many fact checks and Truth Teller videos that we never found a moment to post it. For the first time in months, columns about Obamacare did not dominate the list. There was also a tie for fifth place.

Programming note: The Fact Checker is going on Spring Break and so the column will return next week.

Click on the headline if you want to read the full column.

1: A story too good to check: Paul Ryan and the tale of the brown paper bag

This column was not only the most popular of March, but it ranks as one of the most widely read Fact Checkers ever. It even attracted attention in Kuwait. We examined a tale that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told at the Conservative Political Action Conference about a boy who supposedly did not want a government-provided school lunch but “wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids.” The story quickly collapsed under scrutiny and earned Four Pinocchios.


 

 

2: Ted Cruz’s ‘biggest lie in politics:’ Is it actually the truth?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) repeatedly tells audiences that it is the “biggest lie in politics” that Republicans are “the party of the rich.” In his speeches, Cruz  never really explains why he believes this is the “biggest lie.” So we looked at the available data on voting patterns, voter perceptions, and income growth — and found his assertion wanting. Without more evidence, Cruz simply can’t make a sweeping statement that saying Republicans are the party of the rich is “the biggest lie” when decades of economic data show the poor do better under Democrats, that the rich tend to vote Republican, and that most Americans believe Republican policies favor the rich. Needless to say, readers divided sharply on the merits of this fact check.


 

 

3: Julie Boonstra’s claim her Obamacare plan is ‘unaffordable’ gets downgraded to Three Pinocchios

Our original column on an Americans for Prosperity ad featuring a Michigan cancer victim, Julie Boonstra, was one of the most read columns in February. But then new information came to light about her medical plan under the Affordable Care Act, indicating that rather than the plan being “unaffordable,” as the ad asserted, she actually had a savings of more than $1,200 a year. So we switched the rating from Two to Three Pinocchios.


 

 

4: Fact Checking Vladimir Putin’s speech on Crimea

The Russian president earned Four Pinocchios for a series of iffy statements he made in a lengthy speech accepting the Ukrainian province of Crimea as part of Russia. For instance, he said a rushed and unbalanced referendum that violated the Ukrainian constitution was held “ in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms.” This column also featured a Truth Teller video.


 

 

5: Flashback: Obama’s debate zinger on Romney’s ’1980s’ foreign policy

In the wake of the Russian seizure of Crimea, we took a trip down memory lane and looked back at a celebrated 2012 exchange between President Obama and his GOP rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, during the third presidential debate. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” Obama jabbed at Romney. This also featured a Truth Teller video.

 

5: Presidential deceptions — and their consequences

Here, we presented our list of the biggest presidential deceptions in the past 55 years, from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama. Every president ended up on the list except Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter — and Richard Nixon received a double mention. A Truth Teller video accompanied this column, which showed not only the deceptions but the mea culpas that came after the truth emerged.

 

 

(About our rating scale)

Send us facts to check by filling out this form

Follow The Fact Checker on Twitter and friend us on Facebook

Glenn Kessler has reported on domestic and foreign policy for more than three decades. He would like your help in keeping an eye on public figures. Send him statements to fact check by emailing him, tweeting at him, or sending him a message on Facebook.
SECTION: {section=politics, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=politics, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments
Next Story
Glenn Kessler | April 11