In the last few months, especially as Trump seemed to utter little but voter fraud lies, CNN’s tireless fact-checker Daniel Dale became something of a celebrity himself. He appeared on air after rallies to plow through a mere Greatest Hits of the president’s distortions and outright fibs. He wrote epic and exhaustive (and exhausting) pieces, dismantling his speeches, untruth by untruth. He also sometimes went after others in Trump’s circle. But Dale has been on the job the entire last four years, and on the last night of Trump’s presidency, he was given a huge online send-off for his heroic work.
It was hard, but I’ve picked the 15 most notable lies of Donald Trump’s staggeringly dishonest presidency: https://t.co/vzYC1Cajoe
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 16, 2021
Dale — who previously announced he’d have time to fact-check other people, including incoming president Joe Biden, who tend to bend the truth quite a lot less than the Donald — penned an essay for his home news network about the last four years of his life on the job. In fact, it was longer than four years; he started doing it in September of 2016:
I had to email the Boy Scouts to find out if the President had invented a nonexistent phone call from the head of the organization. (He had.)
I had to email a Babe Ruth museum to find out if the President had made a bunch of false claims about the baseball legend while awarding him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. (He had.)
I had to email some of Michigan’s most prominent organizations to find out if the President had actually received a state “Man of the Year” award he kept claiming he once got. (Nope.)
I fact checked every public word Donald Trump said or tweeted for just under four years. The job was unrelenting. The job was unrelentingly weird.
And on it went, Dale revealing that the gig “took over much of my own life.”
He walked readers through a day in his life:
I would roll over in bed, turn off my alarm, and open Twitter to see what lies the President of the United States might have told while I was sleeping. And then, because Trump lied about a staggering variety of topics, I would try to rapidly educate myself on stuff I had known nothing about — trade with China, or Obama-era veterans’ health care legislation, or hurricane forecasting.
The lying sometimes continued until I had gone to sleep. Every time I felt like I had caught up, Trump would lie about something new — while still keeping many of the old lies in regular rotation. When I started tweeting fact checks of Trump’s rally claims moments after he made them, admirers viewed this as a kind of magic trick. In truth, it was pretty easy. The President kept saying the same false stuff over and over.
Sounds exhausting! After Dale tweeted the article out on Twitter, a lot of people imagined how happy he must be to be done with an epic job well done.
Daniel Dale at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/shNqDNZ7x7
— Noah Love (@noahlove) January 19, 2021
Daniel Dale after tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/2MBRSsYRYm
— Derek J. Smith (@UncannyDerek) January 19, 2021
Daniel Dale at 12pm tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/0RCrMxMBxq
— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) January 19, 2021
Others thanked Canada, where Dale is from.
— Brittlestar (@brittlestar) January 19, 2021
If they’d done literally nothing else for us, Canada would still be a true friend to the US just for giving us Daniel Dale. ❤️🇨🇦
— Not That Todd (@adifferenttodd) January 19, 2021
This was Canada's gift to the U.S. – Daniel Dale https://t.co/O3I1ypMvrZ
— سميرة (@S_ammerz) January 19, 2021
— Brittlestar (@brittlestar) January 19, 2021
Some joked about where he could go next.
— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) January 19, 2021
And many simply thanked him for his service.
This Canadian journalist, frustrated that the President's dishonesty was being largely ignored, set out to make sure we had the facts. I am very grateful for Daniel Dale's dedication to protecting the truth.
— Amelia (@capalboa) January 19, 2021
Daniel Dale fact-checked for our sins. He should be sainted. https://t.co/q4z5R6DcFx
— Man With a Dog In the City 💛🐝👠🔥🇺🇸✊🏼 (@meerkatrodeo) January 19, 2021
"Telling people what is true and what is false is a core responsibility of every news reporter and every outlet. Pointing out a lie is objective reporting, not bias."
– Daniel Dale
— Arthur Atkinson 🇨🇦 🏳️🌈 (@ArthurAtkinson0) January 19, 2021
Daniel Dale, man. He's just a treasure. https://t.co/l1B7W9yp18
— Ian Mosby (@Ian_Mosby) January 19, 2021
Everyone, give Daniel Dale a round of applause https://t.co/Zh9pmaxrP3
— Allyssa Graul 🚽 (@allyssag) January 19, 2021
What a phenomenal job Daniel Dale did!!!! https://t.co/yWPLcFpqbA
— Dan Ralph (@danralphcp) January 19, 2021
Thanks Daniel Dale, especially for being on the job when no one else was. Don't know a single other reporter who bothered fact checking Trump's endless lies from the start.
— Mike Morris (@1MikeMorris) January 16, 2021
You can enjoy one of his fact-checking marathons below. In the meantime, nice work, Mr. Dale.