PolitiFact "Pants on Fire" for Tenn. Senator

Feb 7, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- WMOT recently told you about PolitiFact arriving in Tennessee. The political fact checking website is a joint effort between the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News Sentinel.

This past weekend, PolitiFact reviewed comments made in late January by Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield of Knoxville on a radio program heard on SiriusXM radio.

PolitiFact Tennessee Editor Zack McMillin writes that the recorded exchange between Campfield and the show's host about gay people and the origins of HIV went viral soon after.

The Politifact transcript of the exchange has Campfield saying, “Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community,” and then adds that AIDS resulted from a man having sex with a monkey.

PolitiFact Tennessee checked those claims with several researchers who've published on the subject. McMillin writes that the scientific consensus is that AIDS originated in Africa from bush hunters eating the meat of AIDS-infected apes, not monkeys.

PolitiFact judged Campfield’s comments as largely untrue and awarded the Senator its lowest truth rating, which it famously calls "pants on fire."

Information at: http://www.politifact.com/tennessee