CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale said Sunday that former President Donald Trump’s absence from the national stage means more time to fact check other people.
Dale spoke with Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” about how the practice of fact-checking was changing since Trump left the White House. (RELATED: ‘It Is Consequence Culture’: Brian Stelter Says Lou Dobbs Was Not A Victim Of ‘Cancel Culture’)
Stelter began by asking Dale and Politifact’s Angie Drobnic Holan whether they felt that fact-checking was “easier” with Trump no longer in office.
“I see a lot of things that have nothing to do with Trump or Biden. Has the end of the Trump Administration freed you up for other fact-checking?” Stelter asked. (RELATED: CNN’s Fact-Checker Says ‘No Equivalence’ Between Trump And Democrats’ Lies)
Holan said that the transition had been interesting, saying, “certainly Trump was a very distinctive president and personality in the news scene, and his endless cascade of words has freed us up to fact check other things.”
Noting that if Trump were still in office he might have spent the week “making the false claim that the election was rigged,” Holan said that might have gotten in the way of some of the fact-checking that was being done with regard to the winter storm and subsequent energy crisis in Texas.
“Here is a viewer question from Kevin in New Haven: ‘Do you have it easier now that Biden is POTUS instead of Trump?'” Stelter asked.
“I wouldn’t say easier because there is still so much nonsense and disinformation in the world. But there is less from the president,” Dale replied, going on to say that Biden wasn’t perfect — “he sometimes exaggerates, he sometimes embellishes” — but because he spent less time speaking and tweeting than Trump did, he had fewer statements to evaluate.
“What we see from Biden is basically more like a smattering of falsehood than the daily avalanche that we got from Trump,” Dale continued, adding that he was still fact-checking others in addition to Biden. “I’m not going on vacation. I’m not going to be unemployed. There is a lot to do.”
“So people saying you’re not — you know, people accusing me of bias suggesting I’m not going to do that,” Dale concluded. “I’m reading his every word intensively. He is the focus. But the fact is, because he talks less, because he lies less, there is time to do other people in addition to him. Not instead of him but in addition to him.”