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Two Quick Fact Checks from the Convention

So...Marcus Luttrell’s speech wasn’t all that exciting from an On V perspective. (Hence why it took so long to post this.) He didn’t recap his own personal story (which is the main thing we wanted to fact check) or say anything noteworthy. Instead, he delivered a standard convention speech, albeit one filled with conservative talking points. (Though he did endorse Donald Trump, and what can be more disappointing than that?) Nor did the media cover it all that much, with much bigger news--like Melania Trump’s plagiarism charges--taking the spotlight on the first night.

We plan to analyze the whole Republican foreign policy night (“Make America Safe Again”) in greater detail before the election. And we’ll fact check as many claims as we can (repeating “Americans are actually quite safe”, ad nauseum).

Still, Luttrell’s speech wasn’t entirely honest. Most of the coverage centered on the fact that Luttrell went off teleprompter in the middle of his talk. AOL ran the headline, “Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell goes off-script at RNC in stunning tear-jerker speech”. Breitbart had something similar.

Here is Jody Avirgan from FiveThirtyEight describing that moment:

“Halfway through his speech, Marcus Luttrell said that he wasn’t used to teleprompters, and that he was just going to speak from the heart. The crowd here in Quicken Loans Arena ate it up. It was a great moment of showmanship. The catch? Given our vantage point behind the stage, we could see that every subsequent word of his speech was also in the teleprompter. Great theater takes practice, folks.”   

What else to say about that?

Next up, Jake Tapper sent a tweet and mentioned on air that Marcus Luttrell was a part of “Operation Red Wing”, and linked to Luttrell’s website. We took a screenshot the day of the speech. To be clear, this is still the wrong name as the mission was Operation Red Wings, named after the hockey team.

As Neil O’Hanlon said on Twitter, “7 out of 8 letters isn’t bad.”