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Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Cheney's intentions seem a bit baffling here. I figured the site was some RNC front. But then I guess the details don't really matter in any event. To cite a website address was enough to convince some people in the audience that Cheney hasn't favored Halliburton while in office.

Cheney Blunder Lauded Anti-Bush Web Site

By Joanne Kenen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney probably did not intend to direct millions of television viewers to a Web site calling for President Bush's defeat but that's what a slip of the domain achieved.

Anyone who heeded Cheney's advice and clicked on "factcheck.com" on Wednesday morning was redirected to the site of anti-Bush billionaire investor George Soros that had a banner message saying "Why we must not reelect President Bush."

The GeorgeSoros.com site later put up a notice saying that it does not own factcheck.com and was not responsible for directing readers from that site to the Soros message. "We are as surprised as anyone by this turn of events," it said.

A lawyer for the factcheck.com site was not available for comment.

Defending his record as Halliburton's chief executive, Cheney said in the Tuesday night debate that Democratic vice-presidential challenger John Edwards was trying to use Halliburton as a smokescreen. Any voter who wanted the facts, Cheney said, should check out factcheck.com -- which led to the Soros site.

The Web site Cheney had in mind, factcheck.org, was not amused when the vice president proved that he was not master of the factcheckers' domain.

Factcheck.org, run by the Annenberg Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said on its site on Wednesday that Cheney not only got the domain name confused, he had mischaracterized its fact-finding.

"Cheney ... wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton," the site said on Wednesday.

"In fact we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office from Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right."


The White House Web site annotated the debate transcript, parenthetically noting that Cheney meant factcheck.org, not factcheck.com. It linked the transcript to factcheck.org.
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