If you type “Boebert PPP” into Twitter’s search engine, you’ll see that hundreds – possibly even thousands – of Twitter accounts, including some with rather large followings, have spread a claim about freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) that she received some $233,305 in PPP money for her Colorado restaurant Shooters Grill.
The claim got amplified big time over the weekend when Boebert told the crowd at the Texas CPAC that “we’re here to tell government, we don’t want your benefits – we don’t want your welfare”:
Boebert: We’re here to tell government we don’t want your benefits. We don’t want your welfare… pic.twitter.com/Gk8WenGrls
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 10, 2021
Richard Ojeda, a failed candidate for House and Senate, was one of the many who chastised Boebert for her supposed hypocrisy. “Lauren Boebert says she doesn’t want your ‘Socialism’ but her business took a $233,305 PPP Loan from our government,” the West Virginia Democrat tweeted Sunday. “This is what happens when you elect someone who doesn’t even hold a high school diploma.”
As it turns out, however, the claim that became so widespread on the Twitter machine that it trended for a good bit of the weekend is false – so false that even the Democrat apologists at CNN stepped in to correct the record. Here’s Daniel Dale, who ventured outside of his comfort zone as a Democrat mouthpiece for a moment to not only point it out in a detailed piece analyzing the claim, but also to connect with some of the large Twitter accounts who pushed the bogus statement to let them know they got it wrong:
Boebert’s Colorado restaurant, Shooters Grill, did not receive PPP money, federal records show. An unrelated Ohio restaurant company with a similar name, Shooters Sports Grill LLC, was the entity that got a $233,305 PPP loan, according to a database run by the news nonprofit ProPublica. After CNN contacted [popular Twitter user] Brian Tyler Cohen to ask about the claim that Boebert’s restaurant got PPP money, he deleted the tweet and acknowledged that the claim was inaccurate.
Boebert spokesman Ben Stout told CNN that the congresswoman has no connection to the Shooters Sports Grill restaurants in Ohio. The people who answered the phone Sunday at two of the Shooters Sports Grill locations in Ohio also said their establishments are not connected to Boebert. And the Ohio company’s website, various official records, and local news articles show no relationship to the congresswoman.
Dale even put out several tweets on the topic that also debunked the viral claim, including this one:
This viral claim, which has been repeated in other tweets, is false: Rep. Lauren Boebert’s restaurant did not take PPP money.
Boebert has a Colorado restaurant called Shooters Grill. This PPP money went to an unrelated Ohio restaurant company called Shooters Sports Grill. pic.twitter.com/LMmFUtXcXM
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 11, 2021
Something remarkable happened after Dale contacted the Twitter users with the larger followings who tweeted out the original claim. Most of them deleted their tweets with some of them posting updates. Then other random Twitter users chimed in to note that while they didn’t like Boebert, the facts were what they were.
Imagine if not only Dale and other left-leaning fact-checkers like the WaPo’s Glenn Kessler and Politifact did this more often instead of constantly running interference for Democrats and finding ways to hammer Republicans when it’s not warranted?
As I’ve noted before, the reputations of “fact-checkers” have been swirling the bottom of the toilet bowl for years now, and it will only get worse under the Biden administration. That said, though I’m not in any way giving Dale a cookie for doing the right thing for a change, I’ll give credit where it’s due in hopes that maybe the positive reinforcement just might convince his ego to do it more often.
(No worries, though. I won’t hold my breath.)