Truth Slippery at US Presidential Debate

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (l) debates President Barack Obama at the University of Denver, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver
    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (l) debates President Barack Obama at the University of Denver, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver
    U.S. President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have accused each other of misrepresenting the facts in their first U.S. presidential debate late Wednesday - and fact-checkers have found errors in both candidates' remarks.

    Romney, the Republican nominee for the presidency, said during the debate that 23 million people are "out of work" in the United States. Experts say 12.5 million people were officially classified as unemployed in August, the most recent month for which statistics are available. An additional eight million people were working only part-time because they couldn't find full-time work or because business conditions were poor. And an additional 2.5 million are "marginally attached" to the job market: meaning they have quit looking for work because they have health problems, transportation issues, or have simply lost hope. Analysts say a more accurate description of the 23 million people Romney describes would be "underemployed and unemployed."

    But Obama, too, took liberties with his jobs numbers, saying five million private sector jobs have been created over the past 30 months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 4.4 million jobs have been created during the Obama administration, but the president did not note that during the early part of his term, the nation lost 4.3 million jobs. BLS statistics say the net gain in jobs since Obama became president is only 125,000.

    Romney criticized Obama's health care reforms, saying as many as 20 million people will lose their health insurance as a result of the new plan. But the Politifact research organization notes that the figure, which is from the Congressional Budget Office, says the Romney campaign picked the most extreme of several estimates and notes that the figure would include a number of people who left their plans voluntarily for better health plans.

    These are just a few of the candidates' assertions that experts have been examining for accuracy.

    But the candidates were not the only ones jumping to conclusions during the debate. A throwaway line by Romney sparked panic among the lovers of Big Bird, a popular character on the children's show "Sesame Street." Romney said to cut costs he would get rid of the federal subsidy for PBS, the network airing "Sesame Street," even though, he said, "I love Big Bird."

    News that Big Bird was in peril spread throughout social networks. PBS released a statement Thursday about the importance of public broadcasting. "Sesame Street's" executive vice president Sherrie Westin spoke to reporters Thursday, assuring fans that the show itself receives very little funding from the government - and thus, Big Bird's future is secure.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora