Facts Matter: Harry and Meghan not starting new lives in RV

  • In this Jan. 7 file photo, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, leave after visiting Canada House in London after their recent stay in Canada.

    In this Jan. 7 file photo, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, leave after visiting Canada House in London after their recent stay in Canada. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/25/2020 6:14 PM

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, recently said they will step back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II was caught off guard by the couple's decision and immediately scheduled a crisis family meeting to discuss the matter, according to The Associated Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The duke and duchess of Sussex said they will work to become financially independent while splitting their time between England and North America.

But they won't be doing it in an RV, according to Snopes.com.

Following their announcement, a fake photo of the royal pair standing in front of an RV camper began making the rounds on social media, Snopes said.

The doctored image is actually a composite of at least three different photos, including a picture of an RV and a photo of a casually dressed couple manipulated to incorporate Meghan's and Harry's heads.

According to Snopes, some RV dealers have used the photo in advertising on Facebook accompanied by captions such as, "This nice, young couple from England certainly knows where to shop when it comes to buying a camper" and "We have just sold our first seasonal touring pitch of 2020 to a lovely couple who just want to get away from the hustle and bustle."

Pelosi's custom pens didn't cost $2,000 each

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used about 30 pens to sign her name to the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The custom-made black pens, featuring Pelosi's signature and used during the Jan. 15 event, were laid out in two small trays, according to The Associated Press. She used each pen to compose a piece of her signature and then handed them out to House prosecutors and committee chairmen who had taken part in the impeachment proceedings.

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Pelosi was criticized by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham for not appearing somber as she gave the pens away "like prizes" during the proceedings.

"Nancy Pelosi's souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment," Grisham said on Twitter.

But false criticism appeared on Facebook in a post that greatly exaggerated the cost of the pens, according to PolitiFact.com.

"$2,025 per pen paid for by taxpayers," the post said. "Now we know why (Pelosi) delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate ... she was waiting for her gold-plated impeachment pens."

The pens, however, cost less than $15 each, Pelosi's chief of staff Drew Hammill told PolitiFact.

According to a recent Statement of Disbursements of the House, a quarterly report that tracks lawmakers' spending, the speaker's office spent nearly $29,000 on supplies and materials from July 1 to Sept. 30, PolitiFact said. The review doesn't have a separate line item for pens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The $2,025 figure is ridiculous," Brown University political science professor Richard Arenberg told PolitiFact.

The post was flagged by Facebook as part of its effort to combat false news and misinformation, PolitiFact said.

Top 1% still controls majority of wealth

While attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, President Donald Trump said there has been a recent redistribution of wealth.

"For the first time in decades we are no longer simply concentrating wealth in the hands of a few," he said. "We are concentrating and creating the most inclusive economy to ever exist."

That's not the case, according to The Associated Press.

Unchanged from 2017 when Trump took office, the richest 1% of Americans still own 32% of the U.S. wealth and the middle class share remains at 29%, the AP said.

During Trump's tenure, there has been an increase in the percentage of Americans who own their own homes, the AP said.

Biden didn't claim to eat the stick in a corn dog

A recent Twitter post, appearing to be an excerpt from The New York Times editorial board's interview series, seems to include a quote in which Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden claims he eats the wooden sticks in corn dogs.

The quote, attributed to Biden talking about the election, says, "I was eating a corn dog the other day, this is like a corn dog, with some mustard. When you get to the middle, it's hard and tough, and dry (chuckles) but you have to eat that, too. You have to eat that to finish it."

Biden did an interview with the Times but this quote is not from that interview and there is no evidence the former vice president ever said this about corn dogs, according to Snopes.com. The interview didn't include any conversations about corn dogs or sticks.

The user who tweeted the false quote was also responsible for a different hoax last year on Twitter, Snopes said.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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