What Ever Happened to Daniel Dale? CNN Fact-Checker Has Disappeared From Air Post-Trump


CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale was one of the busiest people in the cable news business for several years, but he has almost completely disappeared from the network’s programming over the past month or so. What happened?

Dale became a veritable household name among cable news viewers during Trump’s presidency after his work for the Toronto Star, tallying and debunking false or misleading statements by Trump, landed him a national gig with CNN.

Since joining CNN in June of 2019, Dale has appeared or been mentioned on the network more than once every other day on average, according to the Internet Archive.

That exposure dropped sharply after November 4, and according to the TV Eyes media monitoring database, since President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, Dale has only appeared on the network once. And that appearance, last Friday, was to fact-check Donald Trump’s lawyers.

Dale is still doing presidential fact-checks, but they have thus far been relegated to CNN’s website. As John Avlon pointed out earlier this month, there’s just something different about the exercise these days.

Noting the growth in fact-checking during the Trump presidency, Avlon said “In the opening days of the Biden presidency, fact checkers have been adjusting to a new normal. Take this headline from CNN Daniel Dale. He went through Biden’s big economic speech and found seven claims worth fact checking. The accuracy was usually a question of calculations or characterizations. Debatable details but far from willful lies.”

Indeed, Dale did perform a fact-check of Biden’s CNN town hall this week, and the result was 4 claims that were statistically inaccurate to varying degrees, and a pair of others that required additional context.

For example, Dale dinged Biden for misquoting Trump’s Proud Boys “Stand back and stand by” line, while noting that Biden stipulated his retelling may not have been exact:

Biden said, “You may remember in one of my debates with the former President, I asked him to condemn the Proud Boys. He wouldn’t do it. He said, ‘Stand by. Stand ready.’ Or whatever the phrasing exactly was.”

Facts First: Biden, who conceded that he might not be correctly reciting Trump’s debate quote, was indeed off at least slightly. After debate moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he was willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and Biden interjected to mention the Proud Boys in particular, Trump said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” So Biden got Trump’s “stand by” right, but he replaced Trump’s “stand back” with a “stand ready” — arguably a significant distinction.

We won’t call the claim flat false because Biden made clear he was uncertain.

After a presidency that featured an average of 21 false or misleading claims per day over 4 years, according to The Washington Post, Dale seems to have his work cut out for him if he wants to remain a cable news fixture for the next four years.

Watch the clip above via CNN.

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