Still criticizing Vote Vets ad, FactCheck.org's Jackson falsely claimed, "There has never been a vote on body armour"
Research ››› ››› JOSH KALVEN
An October 30 BBC News online article reported that FactCheck.org director Brooks Jackson was "particularly irritated" by a recent television advertisement criticizing Sen. George F. Allen (R-VA). The ad in question -- produced by the newly formed group Vote Vets -- asserts that Allen voted against a Democratic amendment that would have increased U.S. National Guard funding for modern body armor. "There has never been a vote on body armour," Jackson told the BBC, echoing a September 20 FactCheck analysis of the ad he co-wrote with FactCheck researcher Justin Bank, in which they deemed the Vote Vets ad "false." The BBC further quoted Jackson stating that the April 2003 amendment -- sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) -- "did not include a word about body armour, and not a word was said about body armour during the debate."
But as Media Matters for America noted in response to FactCheck's September 20 analysis, Jackson's assertion that "[t]here has never been a vote on body armour" is false. Allen opposed an October 2003 amendment offered by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), which would have provided additional funding explicitly for body armor. Moreover, Landrieu repeatedly stated on the House floor that the bill would ensure that National Guard soldiers had "helmets" and other "force protection" equipment intended to "minimize causalities." And in a March 26, 2003, press release, Landrieu further explained that the bill "targets shortfalls identified by the National Guard and Reserve in their Unfunded Requirement lists," including the "shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests."
From the October 30 BBC News article:
Mr Jackson says he was particularly irritated by a commercial created by VoteVets.org which is being run against several Republican senators, including George Allen of Virginia.
It shows a soldier firing at two dummies, one wearing a "Vietnam-era" vest and another wearing "modern body armour".
Bullets penetrate the old vest but not the new one, and then the soldier accuses Sen Allen of voting against giving troops the armour they need.
The problem, Mr Jackson says: "There has never been a vote on body armour."
Fine print at the end of the commercial cites a Senate vote, but Mr Jackson said the amendment in question "did not include a word about body armour, and not a word was said about body armour during the debate".
VoteVets has defended the accuracy of the commercial.