Fact-Check Follies

By From the December 2008 - January 2009 issue

"In Lebanon," John McCain declared in his second debate with Barack Obama, "I stood up to President Reagan, my hero, and said, if we send Marines in there, how can we possibly beneficially affect this situation? And said we shouldn't. Unfortunately, almost 300 brave young Marines were killed."

The finest minds in American journalism set out to check McCain's claim and discovered it to be true.

The finest minds in American journalism set out to check McCain's claim and discovered it to be false.

Seriously. Here is CNN explaining why McCain's statement was true:

The U.S. Multinational Force operated in Beirut, Lebanon, from August 24, 1982, to March 30, 1984, as part of an international peacekeeping operation in the war-torn country.

McCain was a freshman member of the House of Representatives in September 1983 when it approved legislation "that would invoke the War Powers Act in Lebanon and authorize the deployment of American Marines in the Beirut area for an additional 18 months," the New York Times reported.


The War Against the Normal

By From the November 2008 issue

I HAD THE PRIVILEGE of living most of my life in a small town,” Sarah Palin told the Republican National Convention. “I was just your average hockey mom.” To John McCain’s supporters, his selection of Alaska’s young, reform-minded governor as his running mate felt like a feminine remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. But the media were determined to depict her as something out of Deliverance.

On August 31, two days after Palin joined the ticket, a hometown critic, Anne Kilkenny, sent out what became a widely circulated e-mail that claimed, among other things, that “while Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed.”

Two days later, Time magazine repeated the tale, attributing it to John Stein, the incumbent mayor Palin had defeated in 1996:


Edwards Lied, People… Were Born?

By From the October 2008 issue

Here is the most telling exchange from John Edwards’s interview with ABC’s Bob Woodruff, in which the Democrats’ 2004 vice presidential nominee admitted an extramarital affair: Woodruff: There are reports that there was money paid to try to cover up this affair. Was there?

Edwards: Can I just say everything you’re saying—there are reports, there are allegations— these are all things in the supermarket tabloids, which make the most outrageous allegations every week. So that’s the—start with where the source of this information comes. Edwards went on to deny the allegation that he paid to help cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter (née Lisa Druck): “That’s a lie. An absolute lie. Which is typical in these kind of cases.” He also denied being the father of Hunter’s child: “Not true. Published in a supermarket tabloid, but no, that is absolutely not true.”