When fact-checking a candidate in real-time, debate moderators and panelists ought to make sure they know the facts. Otherwise, they’ll end up like New Hampshire reporter James Pindell, who had to apologize to Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown after challenging him during a debate on a fact that Brown actually had right. (RELATED: Shaheen Jeered For Interrupting Scott Brown)
During the debate, Brown and Pindell had the following exchange:
BROWN: Geography plays a role. Along the southern border we have more jobs, and more opportunity, infrastructure and other opportunities up north that are difficult. But one of the biggest opportunities is tourism. One of the biggest opportunities are our ski areas and trails for snowmobiles. I support those efforts…
PINDELL: We’re talking about Sullivan County and I think you were talking about the North Country? So what do you see as going well in Sullivan county or not?
BROWN: I’m talking about any place past Concord, actually, and the challenges of our state. So I’m referring to the challenges, including the high corporate tax rate, Obamacare coming in after the election; we also have the challenges of high electric costs. If you go to any business in any county in our state those are the very real challenges.
PINDELL: Sullivan County is west of Concord. It’s not north of Concord, Sen. Brown. So what do you see as going well or what’s not going well there.
BROWN: With respect, I’ve answered the question. The challenge is the same in every county in our state.
So who was right? Both men: Sullivan County is northwest of Concord. After the debate, Pindell apologized to Brown. “On this point, Scott Brown was right, I was wrong, so I apologize to Scott Brown and both campaigns.”
For some reason, that apology didn’t stop liberal outlet Talking Points Memo from running the story with the headline “Reporter Schools Scott Brown On New Hampshire Geography In Debate,” or New Hampshire Democrats from posting the video with the title “Scott Brown Clueless on Sullivan County“.