Column: CNN's 'Fact Checker' Is Stuck on Correcting Trump

April 12th, 2023 5:56 AM

It’s amazing that CNN CEO Chris Licht once came to the Capitol to meet with congressional Republicans in an effort to rebuild trust, as if CNN was going to change. It hasn’t.

You can’t just claim anything’s changed. Well, you can if you want to look like you haven’t watched five minutes of CNN. Mediaite’s Michael Luciano just claimed, “Licht has moved the network away from what CNN’s critics regarded as a liberal partisan slant and instead has emphasized straight news programming.”

One of the many ways to prove the ongoing slant is CNN’s chief “Fact Checker,” Daniel Dale. Don Lemon spurred unintentional laughter a while back when he boasted, “if you're a person in power, you better believe your expert fact checker Daniel Dale is watching your words.”

A Nexis search of Dale’s on-air appearances over the last six weeks located fourteen on-air appearances. Thirteen were “fact checking” one person who’s out of power: Donald Trump. The other one targeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on the fentanyl crisis. The president actually in power faced no on-air corrections at CNN.

Most of Dale’s energy was invested in CNN’s favorite story, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Donald Trump. On the night of Trump’s arraignment, CNN host Anderson Cooper rolled out the usual barrel. “In the former President's rambling appearance tonight, he repeated a whole slew of lies.”

Dale agreed on cue: “Anderson, it was a Donald Trump speech, which means it was a barrage of false claims, many of which I'm comfortable calling lies, because they've been debunked repeatedly.”

Everyone knows Trump can keep a fact-checker gainfully employed. But Daniel Dale and CNN are stuck on Trump, while leaving the Democrats untouched. They persist in demonstrating a “liberal partisan slant” instead of “straight news programming.”
Dale has energetically attempted to defend Bragg from Trump by saying crime in New York isn’t historically high right now. Dale also danced the liberal line on how George Soros isn’t Bragg’s “puppet master,” and Soros critics sound anti-Semitic.

The only surprising check was a March 26 appearance on Trump’s inaccuracies about his potential Republican opponent Ron DeSantis. 

On rare occasions, Dale corrects President Biden….but not on television. On March 16, Dale reported on, “President Joe Biden falsely said on Wednesday that his new corporate minimum tax is the reason the federal budget deficit declined in 2021 and 2022. In reality, that tax didn’t even come into effect until the beginning of 2023.”

This trend is not new. Last fall, I looked at about six weeks of Daniel Dale appearances on CNN as Election Day neared. There were seven Dale TV turns, and all seven were “correcting” the Republicans. There is no fairness or balance.

My favorite then was Dale whacking Herschel Walker for claiming Sen. Raphael Warnock lied about having a dog. Dale told Jim Acosta, “as the slightly obsessive owner of a Pomeranian named Breezy, I couldn't resist looking into this. Was it true? Did Warnock lie about a dog? The answer is no.” Warnock appeared in an ad with a dog, but never claimed it was his.

Dale was hired from the Toronto Star, where his railing against Trump on Twitter made him stand out. It’s funny that Licht would fire red-hot Trump haters like Brian Stelter and Chris Cuomo, yet keep Don Lemon and Daniel Dale.

It would not be difficult for CNN to act more like a “straight news network” and dare to upset their viewers by acknowledging that sometimes Democrats mangle facts. Instead, they sound addicted to railing against Trump, day after day.