The fact checking organization Politifact on Sunday debunked some untruthful statements made by comedian Bill Maher and BP chairman Lamar McKay on ABC's This Week.
Maher, commenting on America's oil dependence, pointed to Brazil as having "got off oil" over the past 30 years -- which Politifact judged to be false.
Maher had joked on the program that the fact checkers should check into his theory. But it turns out Brazil is still the 7th largest consumer of oil.
McKay, in an interview with host Jake Tapper about the unfolding oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, asserted that BP, which leases the rig that exploded on April 20, did not oppose new federal regulations pertaining to rig safety.
Tapper asked McKay about a letter the company wrote in 2009 in opposition to increased regulation from the federal government.
"The rest of the letter actually recommends improvements and specific recommendations around safety regulations should they choose to change them," McKay said. "So we're not fighting anything about safety."
Politifact said this: "While it's true the letter proposed changes to the regulations, most of BP's suggestions were to minimize or restrict the regulations. So we rated McKay's statement Barely True."
The new fact-checking arrangement with Politifact -- a nonpartisan program of the St. Petersburg Times -- was initiated by ABC's Tapper on the advice of journalism professor Jay Rosen.