There They Go Again

September 10th, 2008

I thought that this time there would be a chance of some light being cast: an article which promised a “fact check” on whether the charges against McCain and lobbyists were true. The piece started out OK, but quickly started making unnecessary equivocations.

The first is limiting the attention only to “top advisors,” ignoring the fact that the campaign hires dozens of other lobbyists at all levels of the campaign.

The second comes when the article stresses McCain’s BS line about how none are “currently registered,” a distinction without a real difference, as the New York Times pointed out. For example, one lobbyist who is mentioned, Randy Scheunemann, received payments from Georgia just months earlier despite being currently “unregistered”; additionally, while Scheunemann is unregistered, the firm from which he is on a “leave of absence” is still highly active. In short, “none are currently registered” is a false front meaning that they made some changes on paper to make it look like they aren’t lobbying–but they obviously are.

However, the kicker comes in the end of the article, when the author makes the same old stupid argument of equivalency:

But the bottom line is, both sides have ties to lobbyists, meaning whomever wins will have a hard time backing up the rhetoric about change and shaking up Washington.

“Both sides”? True in a technical sense, but wildly inaccurate in a quantitative and qualitative sense. Saying that “both sides have ties to lobbyists” is like saying “both sides have candidates of advanced years.” In the case of one candidate, the statement is barely true; in the case of the other, it is far more strongly the case than is made to appear.

The Liberal Media™ at work again, remaining ever-vigilant.

Update: Steve Benen points out another example of CNN equivocating and refusing to do the most fundamental tasks of journalism, this time on the “bridge to nowhere” lying issue.

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