Sean Eldridge Plays Loose with the Facts

Sean Eldridge poses for photo with husband and poke button pioneer (AP)

As the self-appointed Free Beacon fact checker, I wanted to highlight a recent statement by Sean Eldridge, a congressional candidate hoping to use the fortune of his husband, the Facebook poke-button visionary and dead-tree publishing magnate Chris Hughes, to purchase a seat in Congress.

Eldridge recently ducked a reporter from THE POLITICO who was working on a profile of his effort to buy New York’s 19th District’s seat in Congress. When asked about the kerfuffle by a New York blogger, Eldridge reportedly snarked, "We’re not really concerned with a D.C.-based blog." (Emphasis mine.)

As a fact checker—a checker of facts, a factual checker of statements, if you will—I was stunned to see that Eldridge had managed to make two separate factual errors in the space of three short words! Let’s break them down one at a time.

Second things first: Eldridge describes THE POLITICO as a "blog." This is, at best, misleading. At worst it’s a vicious slander designed to lower THE POLITICO to the level of relatively obscure online rags like the Washington Free Beacon. THE POLITICO is, in fact, published in print several times a week. Yes, that content is supplemented by material on the web—just as the New Yorker and the Atlantic and the New Republic and many other august journals of American letters supplement their magazines with web content.

Additionally, Eldridge describes THE POLITICO as "D.C.-based." However, that’s a wholly inaccurate representation of where THE POLITICO is actually located. Indeed, THE POLITICO is based in Virginia. Let’s go to the evidence:

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As you can see, THE POLITICO is clearly a Virginia-based periodical. Its offices are in Rosslyn, Va. This isn’t a shady dodge on their part trying to fool the gullible public, I can assure you. I’ve been to their offices. They are quite nice! And they are most definitely in Virginia.

Of course, we probably shouldn’t be surprised by Eldridge’s remarkably poor grasp of American geography, as he’s actually from Canada. Here’s an interesting nugget from Politico Pro:

Eldridge was born in Canada (he became a U.S. citizen in 2006) and grew up in Toledo, Ohio. … In 2005, while attending Deep Springs College—a rigorous two-year institution in the California desert where pupils take part in activities such as harvesting alfalfa fields and laying gopher traps—a student magazine wrote that Eldridge would "soon become an American to pursue a political career in this country."

One longtime resident of New York’s 19th district is absolutely disgusted by this Canuck's attempted infiltration and purchasing of his hometown’s seat in Congress.

"As the Hudson Valley has become a popular weekend and summer spot for New York City millionaires, the fightin' 19th has worked to preserve its historic culture and serene character in the face of a flood of downstate tourists," said Lachlan Markay, who actually grew up in the district whose seat Eldridge is hoping to purchase. "As if that weren't difficult enough, it's now attracting Canadian spouses of California tech tycoons. I'm hard pressed to think of a person less in tune to the interests of residents of Rhinebeck, Hyde Park, Kingston, New Paltz, Red Hook, and the rest of the small, wonderful towns that Eldridge deigns to represent after less than two years in their company."

Eldridge’s stunning disregard for the facts not only shocks but also saddens this fact checker. I give Sean Eldridge’s statement "13 Facebook Pokes from that Creepy Guy in Your Astronomy Class."