PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked a Georgia politician’s implication that Delta Air Lines gave discounts to Planned Parenthood and two comments by President Trump: on whether someone with training and a gun could have prevented deaths in a 2016 Florida mass shooting, and on the recent Oscars ceremony TV ratings. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com.

Says Delta offers a discount to Planned Parenthood.

— Georgia Sen. Michael Williams on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 in a CNN interview

PolitiFact Georgia found no evidence to support Williams’ reference to a Delta discount for Planned Parenthood. Williams’ campaign did not provide evidence to prove it, and Planned Parenthood told us there are no perks, discounts or deals that come with being a Planned Parenthood supporter or member, whether with Delta or any other company.

Delta did not respond to our query.

Williams’ spin that Delta has ties to the Susan. G. Komen Foundation, which supports Planned Parenthood, is also wrong.

Williams said in a printed statement, “A quick Google search reveals Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from Delta partner Susan G. Komen … Has Delta cut their ties with the Susan G. Komen Foundation like they did the NRA?”

Andrea Rader, spokeswoman for the breast cancer research organization Susan G. Komen, told PolitiFact Georgia, “Komen does not and has not had a partnership with Delta at either the state or national level.”

Our ruling

We found no evidence that supports Williams’ claim. Planned Parenthood said its donors and members do not receive any corporate perks from Delta, and Williams failed to show that one exists. Williams’ campaign said that a Planned Parenthood supporter is a Delta partner, but that’s also not true.

We rate Williams’ claim False.

“You take Pulse nightclub. If you had one person in that room that could carry a gun and knew how to use it, it wouldn’t have happened, or certainly to the extent that it did.”

— President Donald Trump on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 in in a meeting

Turns out Trump is wrong on how that attack unfolded. An armed police officer was working at Pulse and exchanged fire with the gunman who killed 49 people and wounded dozens more on June 12, 2016.

Soon after the first shots rang out, officer Adam Gruler, a 15-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department, exchanged gunfire with the attacker, 29-year-old Omar Mateen.

This isn’t the first time Trump has made this erroneous claim. Our friends at Factcheck.org flagged a similar statement after candidate Trump at a June 15, 2016 campaign rally — days after the Orlando shooting — bemoaned that there were “no guns on the other side.”

Our ruling

An armed, off-duty police officer in uniform was at the club during the shooting, and exchanged gunfire with the shooter, who managed to kill 49 people.

We rate this False.

The 2018 Academy Awards show was the “lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY.”

— Donald Trump on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 in a tweet

Was President Trump right that 2018 marked a low point for the Oscars? Since the beginning of Nielsen TV audience ratings in 1974, yes.

The 2018 show attracted 26.5 million viewers, down almost 20 percent from the 2017 show. (Both were hosted by ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.) This is not a one-year downward blip, either. Oscars viewership in 2018 fell by 39 percent from its level just four years earlier.

The previous low of 31.8 million viewers came in 2008, when Jon Stewart hosted not long after a lengthy writers’ strike ended.

The all-time high for viewership came in 1998, when Billy Crystal hosted the ceremony and 55 million viewers watched. In 1998, the blockbuster “Titanic” won 11 Oscars, including Best Picture.

Our ruling

Trump said the 2018 Academy Awards show was the “lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY.” He’s right, at least going back to 1974, when Nielsen started reporting ratings. We rate Trump’s statement True.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.