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" was greeted on Wednesday morning with a message from anti-Bush billionaire investor George Soros entitled "Why we must not reelect President Bush."
"President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests, and undermining American values," Soros' message said.
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."
Debating is obviously not the administrations strong suite