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Cheney directs surfers to anti-Bush site
VP's incorrect Web address redirects traffic to a George Soros page lambasting President Bush.
October 6, 2004: 6:10 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Vice President Dick Cheney told viewers Tuesday night they could verify his claims from the vice-presidential debate at an independent Web site -- www.factcheck.com -- but visitors to the site found a searing anti-Bush message.

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Cheney accidentally said ".com" instead of ".org" during the televised debate. Internet surfers who visited factcheck.com were redirected to the home page of billionaire anti-Bush activist George Soros, with the statement "Why we must not re-elect President Bush" at the top of the screen.

The Soros site also claims "President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests, and undermining American values."

The Web site Cheney had apparently meant to shuttle viewers to is: www.factcheck.org, run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The site www.factcheck.com has no connection to Soros; it was simply redirecting traffic to his site.

Factcheck.com is owned by Name Administration Inc., a Cayman Islands company that acquires Web domain names and makes money off the traffic by redirecting surfers to text ads, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

A spokesman for Soros told the newspaper that he "was as surprised by it as everyone else," adding that George Soros does not own the domain name factcheck.com and doesn't know why traffic to that site is being redirected to his home page.

When Cheney mentioned the wrong site during the debate, Name Administration officials saw nearly 50,000 visitors click on the site in the first hour, up from 200 visits a day, said the report.

Employees sent traffic to the Soros site based on their own political views, not because of any intervention from Soros, the newspaper report said.  Top of page




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