CNN and NBC both attempted to “fact check” claims made during the second presidential debate about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, particularly Donald Trump’s claims that she tried to “acid wash” 33,000 emails on her secret private server. And both networks did their best to cover up for Clinton — laughably so.
CNN strained to defend Clinton by fact-checking Trump’s “acid wash” statement — and by fact-checking Clinton’s response.
CNN’s Tom Foreman acknowledged the main facts Trump had presented — that Clinton’s team deleted her emails after they were under subpoena. That ought to have led to a “true” rating. But Foreman added that the FBI had not decided to charge Clinton with a crime because there was not enough evidence of “collusion.” Therefore, he said, Trump’s claim was false.
Foreman continued by examining a statement by Clinton that “there is no evidence that anyone can point to, at all … that any classified materials ended up in the wrong hands.”
Yet Congress heard sworn testimony, several times, that people with no security clearance at all — from Clinton’s lawyers, to the technicians who managed her server, to Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper — had access to her emails, including those with classified information.
That should have been enough to rate the statement “false.” But CNN rated it “true.”
NBC News actually fact-checked Trump’s statement as if he had actually suggested that she used chemical acid to delete the emails on her server. It rated the claim false because “Clinton’s team used an app called BleachBit; she did not use a corrosive chemical.”
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 10, 2016
Apparently the use of metaphor in political speech is unfamiliar at NBC News.
And NBC News’ fact-checker may also need to repeat high-school chemistry: bleach is a base, not an acid.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.