PolitiFact Tennessee

Editor of PolitiFact Tennessee, a joint venture of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis and the Knoxville News-Sentinel, in conjunction with the Pulitzer-winning PolitiFact.com team and 10 other PolitiFact state franchises. Coordinate coverage from staff of six (including myself), examining fact-based statements that might cause a reader to wonder, “Is that really true?” Write and edit items, for the website and for print. Publish items using Django content management system. Utilize social media to promote items, interact with public.


The statement: “The Republicans have never done anything really to balance the budget.”

  • U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen gets Pants On Fire! ruling for gross exaggeration. But if Cohen is going to use the wayback machine to travel to 1993, he can’t then ignore what happened under the first President Bush and then the Republican Congress of the mid-’90s. Cohen’s strong feelings and unapologetic liberal leadership have helped him win landslide elections and extremely high approval ratings, but in this instance his partisan passion led to a statement not supported by facts.

The statement: Stacey Campfield says AIDS was transmitted to humans because “one guy” had sex with “a monkey” and then started “having sex with men.”

  • “Don’t Say Gay” bill’s Senate champion gets Pants On Fire! ruling for inflammatory claim: The overwhelming scientific research shows Campfield is wrong. Experts believe HIV entered the human population through so-called “bushmeat” hunting, and, furthermore, that the predominant HIV-1 form has never been shown to be transmitted directly from monkeys to humans.

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