CNN’s fact-checker continues strong focus on Republicans, pays Biden little attention

By | September 13, 2022

CNN’s Daniel Dale lists fact-checking the president as first among his duties on his Twitter bio, but it’s not exactly his sole focus.

In fact, it has been more than three months since he’s penned a fact-check of President Biden, according to his online roster of stories. On June 10, he hit Biden for a “false” claim to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel that the U.S. had the fastest-growing economy in the world.

Since then, Dale has posted fact-checks of GOP gubernatorial nominees who have “questioned or denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election,” “false and uncorroborated” claims by former President Trump after the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid, a claim by Georgia Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker about Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and his dog, Republican nominees for state elections chief questioning the 2020 election’s legitimacy, Trump’s “nonsense” about the Mar-a-Lago raid, anti-Biden commentators wrongly claiming Biden affixed a Medal of Honor on backwards, and stolen election claims by Republicans Kari Lake in Arizona and John Gibbs in Michigan.

His last fact-check not targeting Republicans or conservatives came on June 25, when he hit a Democratic group for making false claims about the past of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

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According to a Grabien transcript search, Dale’s recent on-air CNN appearances have also focused heavily on Republicans, including claims by Trump about the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid and GOP Trump allies who continue to say Biden’s election victory was illegitimate.

Dale tweets out Biden’s daily White House schedule each morning, but he hasn’t tweeted about a false claim by Biden since pushing out his June 10 story. Currently, under the “Biden White House” section of CNN’s fact-checking site, none of the four stories concern remarks by Biden, or Democrats for that matter.

Dale didn’t reply to a request for comment and how he chooses what and when to fact-check. 

In the time period he hasn’t published a Biden fact-check, the Washington Post Fact-Checker has hit Biden for claims about creating construction and manufacturing jobs, the muzzle velocity of AR-15s, and inflation, among others. PolitiFact has also looked into several Biden claims during that time, such as one it deemed “Mostly False” about the job impact of the American Rescue Plan. On Sept. 2, FactCheck.org published a piece on Biden’s “campaign-style distortions” on issues like COVID-19, Jan. 6 and health care.

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Dale’s continued focus on the right comes amid a series of major personnel moves at CNN in an apparent effort by management to shift more to the middle. CNN became known for its liberal editorializing and mutual antagonism with Trump under former President Jeff Zucker, but new CEO Chris Licht, operating under newly formed parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, has pushed out left-wing figures like Jeffrey Toobin, Brian Stelter and John Harwood in recent weeks, and indicated more changes are on the way. 

In January, Fox News Digital reported on a six-week gap on Dale’s fact-checks of Biden, noting he had ignored false claims by the president in a landmark voting rights speech in Georgia.

His Twitter bio previously read “fact-checking the president and others” but has since been updated to say “Fact-checking the president, 2022 candidates, soon 2024 candidates, and others.”

Dale was hired by CNN from the Toronto Star in 2019 because of his fact-checking of then-President Trump. His CNN bio currently touts “he was the first journalist to fact-check every false statement from President Donald Trump.”