Not True! the Biggest ‘Pinocchios’ of 2015
The Washington Post
December 14, 2015
It’s time for our annual round-up of outlandish claims of the year.
The 2016 presidential campaign has dominated our coverage of false claims. In particular, businessman Donald Trump-who has soared to the top of the GOP field-kept us busy. In the space of just six months, he earned 11 Four-Pinocchio ratings for the most outlandish comments, far more than any other candidate.
Most politicians drop a claim after it has been fact-checked as false. But Trump is unusual in that he always insists he is right, no matter how little evidence he has for his claim. Frankly, it’s really not interesting to fact check The Donald, as his assertions are so easily debunked. Still, he scores a hat trick on this list.
We also devoted a number of columns this year to exploring the dubious statistics about sex trafficking of children in the United States. It’s a terrible crime, but we are giving a special award for statistical mendacity to the many politicians and organizations who have recited dubious facts about it. To their credit, some have pledged to do better.
In compiling this list, which has no particular order, we primarily focused on claims that had earned Four Pinocchios during the year. We also tried to focus on issues of broad interest. To keep it simple, we have shortened the quotes in the headlines. To read the full column, click on the link embedded in the quote.