Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Breitbart makes a faulty "fact check" about Biden

You won't believe it, but this fact check from Breitbart is faulty.  Here's the claim they're supposedly fact-checking, from the NBC town hall with Joe Biden:

CLAIM: For the umpteenth time, Joe Biden claimed that President Donald Trump called neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, “very fine people.” 

Except Joe Biden didn't make that claim.  Biden simply quoted Donald Trump's line about how there were "very fine people" on both sides in Charlottesville and said it was a dog whistle. Breitbart is upset because Joe Biden called Trump's line a dog whistle, and they don't have a good way to counter that.  So Breitbart made something up, and then fact-checked what they made up.      

I know Donald Trump didn't specifically say during his press conference that Neo-Nazis were "fine people."  I know he said White Supremacists should be condemned.  But he definitely said there were "very fine people" on both sides.  That's a quote.  From there, interpretations begin to split.  Is it possible to be on the same side as Neo-Nazis, and march alongside White Supremacists, and also be a fine person?  Were there Average Joes who attended the Unite The Right rally out of curiosity, got swept up in the march, and didn't realize until later that the people shouting "Jews will not replace us!" were bad hombres?  That's the argument the "fine people" truthers are making, and I don't think most people are buying the argument, which is why Joe Biden keeps bringing up the quote. 

Biden didn't say that Trump called Neo-Nazis or White Supremacists "fine people."  His wording was more careful, as you can see in this transcript: 

Again, I give you my word, after my son passed, I wasn’t going to run again. But when I saw those people coming out of the woods, literally, the fields, carrying torches in Charlottesville screeching at — if you close your eyes, remember what you saw. Their veins bulging, preaching antisemitic hate. The same exact language used in Germany in the thirties, accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. And when a woman was innocently killed, what was the question asked of the president? “What do you think?” He said there were “very fine people on both sides.” No president has ever said anything remotely like that. There’s this constant dog whistle.

I don't detect any lies in what he said.

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