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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Jon Stewart accesses PolitiFact on his iPhone to correct Herman Cain on the Daily Show

30

August

8-29-12-stewart-sg-cropped-proto-custom_28.jpgTAMPA -- I missed this when I originally watched the Daily Show's extended interview with Herman Cain broadcast Wednesday, but Jon Stewart wound up using the Tampa Bay Times' own factchecking site PolitiFact to correct the former GOP presidential candidate when he insisted President Obama relaxed work requirements for welfare.

As Cain kept insisting that changes instituted by the administration lessened such mandates for work for those on public assistance, Stewart grabbed a iPhone displaying PolitiFact's ruling on the claim, which the site rated a "pants on fire" -- its worst rating for factual inaccuracies.

"I don't know what that means...but clearly, that would be uncomfortable," quipped Stewart, before joking about a truth tour Cain had promised to start to hold the Obama administration accountable. "Ladies and gentlemen, the truth tour begins tonight!"

Cain later blamed the confusion on semantics, saying a Romney ad's use of the word "gutted" to describe changes was inaccurate. But Stewart persisted, telling Cain his use of the word "lessened" seems inaccurate, as well.

"I am sorry!" Cain eventually said. "So shoot me!"

It was a good example of the value fact-checking websites can bring to public debate. But it was also a disturbing example of how people can believe what they choose, regardless of what any fact checkers tell them.

Elsewhere, I'm still waiting for that homecoming bit where he visits the renowned Mons Venus strip club and other Tampa landmarks, but hometown guy Aasif Mandvi made his debut on the Daily Show's broadcasts from the Straz Center Wednesday.

Clad in a raincoat and lots of attitude, Mandvi delivered a "report" from the Republican National Convention floor while drenched in what he called "mostly spit and beer...these people really don't like the Daily Show." 

Check it out, along with Cain's extended interview below; click to the middle of the last excerpt to see where PolitiFact shows up:  

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[Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:37pm]

    

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