No sooner had Pat Smith delivered a tearful, heart-wrenching speech at the Republican National Convention accusing Hillary Clinton of responsibility for her son Sean’s death in Benghazi, and lying to her, than Politifact “fact-checked” her claims.
“Smith has said Clinton lied to her about Benghazi, but it’s not completely clear just what Clinton said,” Politifact tweeted.
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) July 19, 2016
Here there was an actual witness to what Clinton said, but somehow Politifact saw fit to raise doubts about that claim.
Politifact linked to an earlier article, which had referred to similar claims by Marco Rubio about what Clinton said. Rubio had merely cited the bereaved families themselves, who had spoken out in media interviews about what they had been told.
The article refers to the story of Clinton blaming the YouTube video as a “talking point,” and says there is no “hard evidence,” making it “impossible to know what really happened between Clinton and these families.”
Politifact added: “No one recorded these brief meetings behind closed doors. Family members and Clinton disagree on what was said. Especially given the emotional setting, memories — both Clinton’s and the families’ — might be fuzzy.”
But Pat Smith wasn’t speaking about what Clinton told every other family. She was speaking about what Clinton told her: “… when I saw Hillary Clinton at Sean’s coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible.”
In the “fact-checking” article, Politico also offers the excuse that Clinton may have been telling Smith what she believed to be the truth: “For the sake of argument, let’s say Clinton had told the families something about the video: Would she have been telling them something she knew to be false? Not necessarily.”
Jake Tapper of CNN — which also “fact-checked” Smith, later in its broadcast — pointed out that Smith’s story about how Hillary Clinton blamed a video for her son’s death had been corroborated by several other bereaved Benghazi parents.
In this case, as in so many others, media “fact-checking” is less about facts and more about defending Democrats.
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, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.