Fact-checkers take on guns, fake news sites and House Speaker Ryan

U.S. gun violence, a few fake news sites and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.

They all took a recent ride on the AJC Truth-O-Meter, courtesy of PolitiFact and PolitiFact Georgia.

Want to see how they fared? Abbreviated versions of our fact checks are below.

Want to comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own? Just go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/politifact.georgia). You can also follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/politifactga).

Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com/georgia/.

NewsExaminer.net on Friday, December 23rd, 2016 in a website:

“Secret Service Agent Says Obama Is Muslim & Gay In New Tell-All Book”

The absurd nature of the allegations should be a tip-off that the story is fake, although many of the commenters do not seem to understand the content is fabricated.

In the make-believe interview, Horner tells Downey that Obama constantly berated Christians, forced the pretend agent to listen to Diana Ross and had staff harass a Facebook page about a masturbating dolphin.

This is a fake story that has been circulating for more than a year without any indication that it is bogus.

We rate it Pants On Fire!

Jackie Speier on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 in a tweet:

“Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, more than seven children PER DAY have died from gun violence.”

California Congresswoman Jackie Speier recently claimed: “Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, more than seven children PER DAY have died from gun violence.”

Speier’s claim is backed up by the CDC’s fatal injury report data, which shows an average of 7.15 young people per day, aged 0 to 19, died in connection with firearms between 2013 and 2015.

It’s important to note these include all types of gun deaths: accidents, homicides and suicides. All gun deaths are violent, but Speier’s statement could be interpreted as only including homicides or accidents.

Finally, Speier’s claim might also lead some to think she’s talking about young school aged children, given that she invokes an elementary school shooting. The data show teenagers and young adults make up the vast majority of deaths due to guns in America, while elementary aged children account for a small fraction.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the source Speier relied on, offers a more complete look at this statistic on its website. It notes that children “and teens” are included in the seven deaths per day.

Speier’s statement is on the right track. But it could have used some clarifications.

We rate it Mostly True.

Paul Ryan on Thursday, November 10th, 2016 in an interview

“Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke.”

Financially, Medicare isn’t entirely in the clear, given that actuaries project that a key reserve fund will run out of money in 2028.

But the Medicare trustees themselves, along with a host of experts, say the Affordable Care Act’s changes to Medicare — including holding the line on spending and raising taxes — actually puts Medicare in better shape than before the law was adopted. That’s a long way from making Medicare go broke.

We rate Ryan’s statement Pants on Fire.

USA Snich on Sunday, December 11th, 2016 in a web post:

“Putin Interference Could Give Courts Legal Right to Make Hillary President.”

This urgent headline is based on a novel legal theory that a constitutional scholar casts doubt upon, and that its own creator acknowledges is extremely unlikely to win the support of the jusicial system.

Meanwhile, the text of the USA Snich article doesn’t even address the substance of the legal argument outlined in the headline, and in so doing, it leaves out any sense that the author offered his own series of caveats about the legal theory’s applicability.

We rate the USA Snich headline False.

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