Rightwinger Outraged Cooper's Claim That Ted Cruz Has 'the Spine of a Cantaloupe' Hasn't Been Factchecked
Though former President Donald Trump told more than 30 thousand lies over the course of his term in office and the GOP largely embraced these lies, especially in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and the legitimacy of the 2020 election, a growing number of conservatives have come to mock the age-old journalistic practice of fact-checking.
They also claim that allegedly liberal-leaning journalists are less susceptible to fact-checks than conservatives.
Author and founder of the right-wing Media Research Center, Tim Graham, is one such conservative. On Monday, he shared a January 7 video of CNN's Anderson Cooper discussing Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. In the days prior, Cruz referred to the deadly failed insurrection against the United States Capitol as a "violent terrorist attack." Because condemning an attempted siege of the Capitol is apparently a gaffe for Republicans now, Cruz saw immediate backlash from conservatives for his characterization of the attack, including from far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Cruz later went on Carlson's show to apologize for his "sloppy" and "dumb" wording, but was forced to cower further when Carlson expressed skepticism.
This prompted Anderson Cooper to mock Cruz by saying he had the "spine of a cantaloupe"—clearly an idiom calling Cruz out for being spineless.
Though Cooper's message was clear to the vast majority of people, Graham is livid that fact-checkers didn't feel the need to point out that Cruz's spine—which helps connect his central nervous system from his brain to the rest of his body—is not, in fact, composed of melon.
Graham railed against Cooper's "claim" in a recent tweet.
"Fact checkers" don't check liberal cable newsers. They can't spout all kinds of rhetoric. For example. Anderson Cooper on January 7 said "Ted Cruz has a spine of a canteloupe." That's easily mocked as untrue. But it's perpetually ignored. pic.twitter.com/BIdG708gOA
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) January 24, 2022
The mockery was almost immediate.
thank you mr graham, thanks to you tv viewers are now safe from metaphors https://t.co/vxq262NPxe
— Brian Tashman (@briantashman) January 25, 2022
— Trey Lance stan (@JmeMiller1974) January 25, 2022
Prove to me that Ted Cruz’s spine is not made of cantaloupe. You can’t. https://t.co/gEeroIhFGH
— Dan Kane (@thedankaneshow) January 25, 2022
Now when will these "fact checkers" check out if a shrimp really fried rice 🤔 https://t.co/LStBikYWJh
— 🅱️oonice 💫 (@b00nice) January 25, 2022
It’s me, the guy who thought Ted Cruz’s spine was made of cantaloupe, not sure what to do with this new information. Will be taking some time to reflect https://t.co/DZNDNSuqcz
— Androgynous but clearly jewish M&M (@J_Frieds) January 25, 2022
"News Busters" with that all important scoop. https://t.co/pkwYio2Zlypic.twitter.com/yGkRR0EYlE
— Artist formerly known as Deven Nunez Cow (@EmmReef) January 24, 2022
Some said Cooper's claim was misleading for implying Cruz had a spine in the first place.
Fact checker here.
This is incorrect. A Cantaloupe has more of a spine than Ted Cruz. https://t.co/QMEvwxgyUO
— Buddha Ferret (@MeAndMyFerrets) January 24, 2022
Hon, the entire universe knows Ted Cruz does not, in fact, have a "spine". https://t.co/gcMJmqDrkVpic.twitter.com/kYJ4hGKfcq
— Michele 🌮🍷🎸😷🧂 (@UnimpressedTX) January 25, 2022
You’re right, it’s wrong to imply he has a spine. https://t.co/CUfVDH6mKx
— The Terrier (@JackShawhan) January 25, 2022
Conservatives don't seem insulted that Graham thinks they're unable to realize Cruz's spine isn't made of cantaloupe.