Patterico's Pontifications


Should Chris Wallace Fact Check Trump and Biden Tomorrow?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

This seems mostly right, but I have concerns:

The presidential debates for the 2020 election kick off Tuesday in Cleveland, and many Americans are uncertain about what to expect. One thing is for sure: Fox News Sunday anchor and moderator Chris Wallace will not be tasked with fact-checking the candidates in real-time.

“We don’t expect Chris or our other moderators to be fact checkers,” Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., co-chair, The Commission on Presidential Debates, told CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. “The minute the TV is off there will be plenty of fact checkers.”

. . . .

If one of the candidates says something incorrect onstage Tuesday, it is the other candidate’s job to raise concern and essentially fact check live, Fahrenkopf said.

Tough decision. You don’t want to pull a Candy Crowley and fact check a candidate incorrectly. But making this announcement makes it seem like Trump’s brand of blatant firehose streams of lies will get a pass. Why have Chris Wallace there in that case?

There are things these guys say over and over that have been proved false. If Wallace knows he is on firm ground, he should correct them. But as the Crowley example showed, he would need to be on top of his game and not just accept something everybody says but that might not be true.

We’ll see. I still think Flynn’s hearing tomorrow makes news. But the tax returns have to be question number one. “To whom do you owe $400 million, Mr. Trump, and should the American people be concerned about any conflicts of interest arising from those debts?”

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