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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 05:42 PM ET, 09/06/2012

Fox’s Cavuto laments lame Clinton fact-checking

Fifth in a series of endless, tireless, exhaustive, hairsplitting, obsessive, resounding and never-before-attempted posts on the fact-checking industry.

Just moments ago, Neil Cavuto of Fox News ranted about how the media had failed to properly fact-check the 48-minute-very-long speech of former President Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. Speakers at last week’s Republican National Convention got a thorough scrubbing by the refs, Cavuto noted.

Then Cavuto lamented: That same scrubbing didn’t apply to last night’s headliner (see video above):

When [Bill Clinton] asked about fact-checking Republicans, very few in the media started fact-checking him....From the mainstream media, very little criticism of Bill Clinton at all last night....No one spot-checks him.

He went on to say that the media didn’t apply the same “zeal” to Clinton as it did to vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

To fact-check Cavuto’s claim about fact-checking Clinton, in fact, yes, plenty of organizations took a look at his remarks. It’s just that they didn’t come up with anything too damning. To seal that case, look at how the Associated Press embarrassed itself trying to do just what Cavuto was urging.

And perhaps Cavuto should address his issue to his colleagues. Or, more specifically, Molly Henneberg, the Fox reporter who earlier today did a Fox fact-checking segment on the Clinton speech (see video below). Henneberg zeroed in on remarks by the former president about partisan blame for debt:

Don’t you ever forget when you hear them talking about this that Republican economic policies quadrupled the national debt before I took office, in the 12 years before I took office — (applause) — and doubled the debt in the eight years after I left, because it defied arithmetic.

So how does Henneberg rate that statement? “Mostly true,” though she does rap Clinton a touch for omitting mention of debt accumulation under Obama.

A note to Fox’s Henneberg: This soft, sweet and loving fact-checking treatment of former President Clinton falls far short of Cavuto’s expectations!

More from this series:

First: Can you remind me again what this fact-check debate is about?

Second: Is Fox really fact-checking the first lady’s claim that her husband is open-minded?

Third: CNN says fact-checking squares with its exclusive spot in cable-news sphere.

Fourth: Clinton bedevils fact-checkers.

By  |  05:42 PM ET, 09/06/2012

 
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