The debate WAS fact-checked

Oy. I’ve been reading a lot of fury about last night’s debate, about how it wasn’t instantly fact-checked. Well, it was, if not by CNN.

Even before the debate, I was considering how exactly CNN or any other journalistic group could fact check at the moment. How would it work?

Trump tells a lie and…Jake Tapper and Dana Bash have instant access to the facts to refute the lie? How? They’d have to pause the whole operation in order to do a search, wouldn’t they? And how would they smack the results up on the screen?

Or maybe CNN might have had backstage researchers on keyboards, sending the fact-check to the screen as Trump was spewing. I can’t imagine how that would work, given Trump’s characteristic blanket of lies and weird tangents.

“Trump: Every general in the Army said I was the greatest CoC ever! And they hate Biden, they have no respect for him.”

Where do you get the facts on this absurd claim?

I suppose CNN could have negotiated a broadcast delay; the candidates would tape the debate with a broadcast delay of couple of minutes or so, but geez, this sounds weirdly complicated.

Tapper and Bash are being accused of failing to call Trump on lies. Again, how would they do this? They couldn’t simply stop him and say, “That’s not true,” without having reference to the actual fact — leading again to the difficulties I’ve already mentioned. Unless these critics think they should have all the possible facts on screens right in front of them. Which, considering the way Trump didn’t answer their questions — the ones they’d presumably have the facts for — how would that work? He wants to sail off into claims about golfing awards and they’re supposed to find the facts?

It wouldn’t work.

Yet the facts were checked. At the moment. Instantly. By whom?

By me for one, and you for another.

When you listened, did you not do what I was doing, saying even out loud, “What the fuck are you talking about, you dimwit?” Or “Shit, you made that up and we all know it!”

So the debate was fact-checked, by the people who really matter: us voters.




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