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Media Fact-Checkers Twist Themselves In Knots Defending Biden’s Town Hall Disaster
Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22, 2020.

President Joe Biden’s stumbling and sometimes shocking answers during Tuesday night’s town hall event with CNN prompted left-wing media “fact-checkers” to tie themselves in knots to defend him.

As The Daily Wire highlighted, Biden seemingly claimed his administration did not have a vaccine to work with when he came into office: “It’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office, but a vaccinator, how do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?”

“What we did, we got into office and found out the supply, there was no backlog, I mean, there was nothing in the refrigerator, figuratively and literally speaking,” the president said.

Biden telling the American people “we didn’t have” the vaccine when he came into office was not a lie, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler explained, but rather “a typical Biden gaffe.”

“It was a verbal stumble, a typical Biden gaffe, as he had already mentioned 50 million doses being available when he took office,” the politico posted to Twitter. “Ex Trump officials should especially cool the outrage meter, as it just looks silly.”

“Honest question: how do you determine what’s a verbal stumble and what’s not?” one Twitter user pressed.

Kessler noted Biden’s “stutter” to offerer rationale for his generous coverage. “It depends in part on whether he spoke correctly about vaccine availability elsewhere in the interview,” he said. “People screw up on live television. Biden with his stutter especially does so.”

Conservative writer and podcast host Stephen L. Miller highlighted Biden himself saying his missteps are not because of his stutter.

“This is not fact checking,” Miller asserted, captioning a video from Axios, titled, “Joe Biden denies that stuttering is to blame for verbal missteps” (video below). “Glenn Kessler is making excuses for Joe Biden that not even Joe Biden himself makes excuses for.” 

“Look, the mistakes I make are mistakes,” Biden says in the Axios video. “And some people think I still stutter. I don’t think of myself that way.”


The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway noted of Kessler’s “generosity” being turned up to “full blast” — a far cry from the media’s stance relative to former President Donald Trump.

“So the generosity spigot is being turned on full blast now, when it wasn’t even in existence the last four years. Interesting. What could account for the difference, I wonder? It’s a real mystery!” Hemingway mocked.

After considerable backlash, Kessler posted a 6-part thread defending his take on Biden, blasting Trump allies:

Here’s a guide for ex-Trump officials for how to tell whether a politician might be telling a deliberate lie or just had a verbal stumble. They were quick to declare Biden was a deliberate “liar” last night on vaccine development. So here we go … Biden said on CNN: “it’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office, but a vaccinator — how do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?” Yep, that’s wrong. Sounds bad. But did he mean it?… A) Did he say something different elsewhere in the town hall? Yes, just minutes before: “We came into office, there was only 50 million doses that were available.” That’s a clue he knows the vaccine was created when he became president. B) Is it different than what he said before? Yes, 1/26: “We want to give credit to everyone involved in this vaccine effort and the prior administration and the science community and the medical sphere — for getting the program off the ground.  And that credit is absolutely due.” That’s another clue. So the odds are this is a flub, not a deliberate falsehood. He contradicts what he said just moments earlier and what he has said in the past. As fact checkers, we look for patterns and context …. I know it’s fun to snip a clip and act outraged on social media. But what’s more telling is if a politician over and over says the same falsehood, day after day, no matter how often he or she has been fact-checked. No going to mention any names, of course.

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale defended Biden, too, saying he “clearly wasn’t trying to claim the vaccine did not exist at all under Trump” when he said there was no vaccine when he took office.

“Biden had said just prior that there were ‘only’ 50 million vaccine doses when he took office. I’m looking into that claim (and a bunch of other claims Biden made tonight), but he clearly wasn’t trying to claim the vaccine did not exist at all under Trump,” Dale rationalized.

Author Ryan Girdusky simply reacted: “You are such a freaking hack.”

During the same town hall event, Biden stoked outrage on social media when he seemingly referred to the human rights violations against the Uyghur population in China as a “different norm.”

“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home,” Biden said, according to The New York Post. “So the central — well, vastly overstated — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly-controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”

“I point out to him no American president can be sustained as a president, if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States,” the president continued. “And so the idea is that I am not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan — trying to end the one China policy by making it forceful… [Xi] gets it.”

“Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow,” Biden added. 

Kessler did not post anything himself about the troubling comments, but did retweet a post from Washington Post reporter Jacqueline Alemany on the matter that neglected to mention the president’s note of cultural norms:


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Media Fact-Checkers Twist Themselves In Knots Defending Biden’s Town Hall Disaster