CNN fact checker Daniel Dale slammed for taking the ‘conservatives pounced’ approach to false ivermectin story

Dale penned a piece, “Fact-checking the misinformation about Oklahoma hospitals and ivermectin,” which admitted the viral story was a “poor piece of journalism.” But the liberal reporter managed to blame conservatives, too. 

“The story, which was first published by a local news outlet, baselessly suggested that overdoses among people taking ivermectin to fight Covid-19 were a primary factor in filling up hospitals in the state. There was no evidence for this,” Dale wrote. “Also based on insufficient evidence, some conservatives soon baselessly jumped to the conclusion that the doctor was a liar who had made the whole thing up. That, too, was not the truth.”

CNN fact checker Daniel Dale was slammed for taking the "conservatives pounded" approach after multiple mainstream outlets were fooled by a false story.

CNN fact checker Daniel Dale was slammed for taking the “conservatives pounded” approach after multiple mainstream outlets were fooled by a false story. (CNN screengrab)


The debacle, which was originally reported at Oklahoma’s KFOR-TV news, quoted testimony from Dr. Jason McElyea claiming that hospitals in a rural part of Oklahoma were being overrun with patients overdosing on the drug, causing gunshot victims to have to wait to be treated.

While Dale was irked that conservatives “baselessly jumped to the conclusion that the doctor was a liar who had made the whole thing up,” it turned out that people who suspected something was fishy with the doctor were correct. The story was later deemed false after the Northeastern Hospital System denied any patients were treated for overdoses from the drug and that McElyea hadn’t actually worked at one of the hospitals in question for two months.

Dale then provided what he called a “step-by-step breakdown” of what went wrong. He knocked the local news outlets for failing to provide context but slipped in jabs at conservatives throughout the piece. The CNN fact checker criticized “conservative tweeters” who jumped to conclusions that the bogus story was in fact, bogus. 

“After McElyea began receiving criticism, one hospital he has worked with, Northeastern Health System Sequoyah, issued a statement saying he hadn’t worked there in more than two months, that the hospital hadn’t seen any patients with complications from taking ivermectin and that it “has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care,” Dale wrote. “In some corners of the right, this statement was taken as definitive evidence that the doctor was a liar.”


Dale continued: “But again, it was not clear McElyea had actually said anything untrue, let alone that he had deliberately lied. Also, these critics ignored the fact that the doctor’s online information showed that he was affiliated with more than one hospital.”

National Review critic at large Kyle Smith roasted Dale, who also made his case in a series of tweets, as “very obviously a rank partisan” for attempting to “rescue” fellow liberals. 

“Dale rode to the rescue of the left,” Smith wrote. “Dale mildly criticized the outlets who advanced this false story but suggested that those who pointed out that the story was unsupported by any evidence should do a little soul-searching because our gotchas lacked the full and proper context.

Smith wrote that Dale “applies nearly all of his energies to attacking the right” and he “just couldn’t bear to admit that critics of this story on Twitter and elsewhere were perfectly correct to mock and debunk it.” 

The National Review critic felt journalists botched an important report but the CNN fact checker appeared to think the “real story” is the pouncing of conservatives. 

“Dale is so bold as to say that there is a lesson here that applies equally to both sides,” Smith continued. “Does Daniel Dale not accept that the burden of proof is on journalists who make shocking claims?”

The CNN fact checker was mocked on social media:

Dale has been far less of a presence on CNN’s airwaves during the Biden presidency after he provided the left-wing network with constant analysis of former President Donald Trump’s claims. 

In March, Dale even praised Biden as being “generally factual,” even going so far as to offer a defense for various inaccuracies spoken by the president. That prompted Fourth Watch media critic and former CNN producer Steve Krakauer to mock the fact-checker’s defense of Biden, tweeting, “Honestly Daniel Dale is a parody of himself now. Just totally embarrassing.”

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report. 

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