The Lamest, DUMBEST 'Fact Checks' of the Third GOP Presidential Debate

November 9th, 2023 8:10 AM

FEBRUARY 16, 2024 UPDATE: On Feb. 15 the New York Post reported the following: “Special counsel David Weiss on Thursday charged the FBI informant who alleged President Biden and first son Hunter Biden were involved in a $10 million bribery scheme with providing false information to the bureau. Alexander Smirnov, 43, was indicted by a California grand jury on two felony counts of making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record for statements he made to the FBI referenced in a June 2020 FD-1023 form that House Republicans have used as evidence in Joe Biden’s impeachment inquiry.”


One of the concepts that put Republicans on edge during live events is the leftist media promising "fact checking in real time." It always carries the potential to be even worse than their "fact checking" that isn't rushed. Here are some of the lamest, dumbest fact checks from the third presidential debate in Miami.

Most came from the NBC News live blog, and the very lamest one was heavily mocked on Twitter.

1. They somehow called it "half true" when Gov. Ron DeSantis said he took action to get 700 Americans out of Gaza. Can anyone imagine them fact-checking Biden like this -- "well, the flights were organized by a nonprofit, so you're bending the truth."

This is a bit mysterious, since NBC reporter Dasha Burns did a Today story when it happened, giving him credit.

2. Sen. Tim Scott drew most of the lame fact checks "in real time." Early onl Scott said "I believe that we have sleeper terrorist cells in America. Thousands of people have come from Yemen, Iran, Syria and Iraq." Speculation is not allowed! Not when it suggests Biden has no control over the border! In real time, I noted Peter Klein ruled "This is likely false." They edited it later to: 

This is not supported by evidence. While Scott said he “believes” there are sleeper cells, he did not cite any evidence, and there is scant proof of any such sleeper cells.

3. Sen. Tim Scott said gas prices are “40% higher right now than they were just a little over two years ago.” Brian Cheung pounced: "This is false. A gallon of regular gas costs about $3.40 per gallon on average this week, compared with $3.41 per gallon in November 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration."

He said "just a little over two years ago." Nitpickers. If he'd said "three years ago," they would have said part of that was under Trump. 

4. Abortion didn't come up until the last half-hour, but when Republicans rail against third-trimester abortions, pro-abort reporters get pouty. Jane Timm took exception to Scott saying he would ban abortions from occurring “up until the day of birth” and "certainly wouldn't allow" the infanticide he said a Democratic governor had talked about. "Scott's claims are misleading. The vast majority of abortions occur in the first trimester. In 2020, just 0.9 percent of abortions occurred after 21 weeks of gestation." They just can't let pro-lifers talk about 3rd-trimester abortions. "Rare" isn't a rebuttal.

Then, Timm added the claim that then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam "made controversial remarks about giving families choices on resuscitating dying infants. Trump made a similar false claim during his 2019 State of the Union, and NBC News debunked it then." That needs a fact check. Northam wasn't discussing resuscitating! We was discussing a very late "right to choose."

5. After the debate, CNN turned to their Canadian-import fact-checker Daniel Dale, who rushed to defend the Biden family influence-peddling business. Vivek Ramaswamy claimed "And Joe Biden sold off our foreign policy. Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, got a $5 million bribe from Ukraine. That's why we're sending $200 billion back to that same country."

It's hyperbole to say we're in Ukraine primarily because the Bidens peddled influence there. Dale argued "Ramaswamy suggesting here that Republican members of the House and Senate, like Mitch McConnell, is approving aid to Ukraine because of Hunter Biden? It transparently makes no sense."

Dale explained that a man claiming he gave Joe and Hunter Biden a $5 billion bribe hasn't been proven, and Hunter's business partner Devon Archer hadn't heard of it. But Hunter Biden was certainly enriched by the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. As usual, CNN's "fact checking" sounds like saying the Republicans "got nothing" on the Bidens...after CNN parroted every collusion conspiracy theory it heard about the Trumps.