Facts Matter: Sen. McCain didn't make crude attack on president

A producer of junk news was responsible for the false image, first posted on the Facebook page "America Loves Donald Trump," according to Some users took the meme seriously, adding sincere comments as the post was shared.

The Republican senator and the president had clashed on issues since Trump took office.

McCain did leave some parting words in a statement that was read by his former campaign manager Rick Davis on Monday. The statement never mentioned Trump.

McCain refers to himself as "the luckiest person on earth" in the farewell statement, according to the late senator's website. He said America is weakened "when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down."

"Americans never quit," McCain said in the statement. "We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history."

'Drowning' migrants misrepresented

Video screen shots shared on social media in several countries appear to show a news crew staging a scene of drowning migrants off a beach on the Greek island of Crete.

However, the images and video are not a TV station fabricating a story, but rather the filming of a documentary about the 1922 exodus of Greeks from Asia Minor, according to The video received more than 1.2 million views on YouTube before it was removed.

The minute-long footage depicts veiled women in the water while, in Czech, a man claims they are staging the scene, Poynter said.

The story was debunked by a fact checker who, writing on the German website, matched the scene with Google Maps and confirmed the actual activity with members of the documentary crew, Poynter said.

A former International Fact-Checking Network fellow told Poynter partisan groups use the images out of context hoping journalists and politicians "overreact about refugee problems."

Trump's polling claims don't add up

The president last week tweeted an exaggeration of his recent poll numbers, claiming 52 percent of all Americans approved of his job performance, according to The Associated Press.

The news organization said it couldn't find a recent poll that put Trump's job approval rating that high. The latest AP-NORC poll, taken in August, has the number at 38 percent.

A president's approval numbers can fluctuate throughout the term, AP said. George W. Bush's approval rating was in the high 80s following 9/11 and dropped into the high 20s before he left office. Trump, however, has been consistently between the high 30s and low 40s during his tenure.

Trump's recent tweet also claimed his approval rating among Republicans was at 90 percent. The AP-NORC poll found 76 percent of responders who identify with the GOP approved of the president's job performance, but that number has been as high as 90 percent, AP said.

Gatorade says this widely shared image was altered and its drink bottles are not designed with a space to hold the cap.

Gatorade bottle not made to hold cap

An image making the rounds on social media last month shows a conveniently placed cap holder in the indentation on the bottom of a bottle of Gatorade.

Who knew?

Apparently not the designers of the bottle, according to

Gatorade sells sports drinks worldwide, bottled in various shapes and sizes, and there might be some versions that would offer a holding spot for the lid, Snopes said. But there is no evidence the bottle's designers intentionally added the feature.

Patents filed for the design of the container make no mention of an intended cap holder in the indentation on the bottom, according to Snopes. And the beverage company never released marketing materials touting the feature.

A company spokesman told Snopes the photo, showing a cap nestled inside the bottom of a bottle, "has been altered … there is currently no handy cap holder under a Gatorade bottle."

Winnie the Pooh and the mental disorders

Winnie the Pooh once again is making the rounds on social media.

Earlier this year his gender was questioned on social media with some users maintaining the bear was a girl.

Last month, a satirical theory from 2000 was resurrected, claiming the characters from the beloved children's books each represent a mental disorder.

Winnie the Pooh: impulsivity

Tiger: ADHD

Piglet: anxiety

Kanga: social anxiety

Roo: autism

Eeyore: depression

Rabbit: OCD

Owl: dyslexia

The theory is a fanciful latter-day interpretation of the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood and not the intent of author A.A. Milne, according to

The study was first published by the Canadian Medical Association 70 years after Winnie the Pooh books made an appearance, Snopes said. It was reported that lead researcher Sarah Shea's intention was to "remind people that anyone can have disorders."

Snopes points out the study's humorous intent is clear, based on the conclusion that Pooh suffers from "Shaken Bear Syndrome," a result of repeatedly being dragged up and down the stairs by Christopher Robin.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

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