Democracy Has Prevailed.

August 21, 2008

The "Smear Gap"

Hey, did you know there's a "smear gap" going on?

Of course you did. So did I. But you wouldn't know it from the coverage. Here's Johnny Alter (how I love him) of Newsweek:

This is hardly the nastiest campaign in recent memory. But it's not shaping up as the "civil" contest that both candidates promised either. Instead, we're seeing the emergence of a "smear gap". John McCain making stuff up about Barack Obama, and Obama trying to figure out how hard he should hit back.

As usual, news organizations are deeply afraid to say that one side is more negative than the other. Doing so sounds "unfair." It's much easier, and less controversial, to say that "both candidates" are being negative. That would be "balanced", but also untrue.

So after point out a negative Obama ad that "goes too far" Alter writes:
But overall, and to his credit, Obama has not engaged in anywhere near the number of falsehoods as McCain.
And then gives details.

First, a McCain ad charged that Obama was responsible for higher gas prices, which was not just false but absurd. Next, an ad said Obama had cancelled his trip to visit wounded soldiers in Germany because he couldn't bring the press along. I was in Germany at the time, and as every reporter knew, the visit to the military hospital was never going to be open, not even to a press pool. It appeared on no press schedules. Obama had cancelled the visit when it was clear that the Pentagon viewed it as political. The charge was simply untrue.

The now famous Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ad, accusing Obama of being a celebrity, wasn't false, just dopey. But it detracted attention from a string of false McCain spots on taxes. One ad said that Obama would raise taxes on electricity. Nope, not in Obama's plan. Another said 23 million small-business owners would pay higher taxes under Obama. found that the "vast majority" of small-business owners would pay the same in taxes as they do now, and "many" would pay less. An ad saying Obama had voted for a bill raising taxes, for families making more than $42,000 a year, was found to be "false." And McCain's consistent claim that Obama would "raise taxes on the middle class"--a major theme of his campaign--is "simply false," according to this neutral policy center.

How many times did Alter write that something in a McCain ad was false or untrue?

Finally Alter ends with:
But when he resorts to these kinds of falsehoods, and casts such aspersions on his opponent's patriotism, John McCain is no longer putting his country first. If he were, he would recognize that the interests of the nation require a relatively truthful campaign. To fulfill his image of himself, McCain should stop lying about his opponent. For a man with his claims to honor and integrity, that's not too much to ask.
On the other hand, for a man who's willing to lie about his POW experience in order to pander to Pittsburgh voters, I guess it is.


cathcatz said...

isn't this always the case, though?


lies=winning election

John K. said...

John K: But Hussein Obama's gaffes are funnier.  57 States for instance.  And I do so enjoy his ahh and ummm and other pauses when his teleprompter fails to function. Remember, you left wingers are not opposed to lies.  You just hate it when the other guy does it.  But if it is Edwards/Clinton or Obama, hey they misspoke.

Anonymous said...

How many homes does John McCain own?

I don't know. But neither does McCain.

John K. said...

John K: I am willing to bet though that Hussein Obama does not know the recommended tire pressure in the SUV he drives around in.  Besides, Rezko bought Obama his home so it is sort of moot.  We should at least demand a President who can afford to buy his own home.  Now Bill Clinton did not even own a home when he went to the White House. LMAO LMAO Liberals LOL

Dayvoe said...

John, please produce some EVIDENCE that "Rezko bought Obama his home."

I know that these sorts of charges stick in Wingnuttia, but here in reality YOU'LL HAVE TO SHOW YOUR WORK. WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU HAVE ABOUT THAT?

Until you show it, we all know you're lying.

John K. said...

John K: Aha I see Dayvoe missed the Hussein Obama expose on FOX news on Monday night.  I told you folks it was coming on.  You lefties need to start reading or watching the news before you challenge me.

Dayvoe said...





I said that until he produces EVIDENCE that Rezko bought Obama's house, we'll all know he's LYING.

And guess what??



This is too easy.

RMH said...

John Songbird McCain didn't buy any house his wife Cindy bought all those, she gives Songbird a weekly allowance though. For a guy that says social security is a disgrace Songbird McCain sure isn't shy taking taxpayers money his whole life. Naval career paid for by tax payers, Senate career paid for by taxpayers. Songbird must be a closet socialist.

John K. said...

John K: Naval career paid by taxpayers?  And? I still see Dayvoe did not watch the Bill Hemmer expose on Obama and his dealings with Rezko.  Too bad, you need to expand your horizons and stop talking only to left wing kooks. LMAO

Conservative Mountaineer said...

RMH... You disgust me with your insinuation that military personnel are "taking taxpayers money." Have you served?

Both my uncles served (Marines and Army) in VietNam returning to be Drill Instructors with well m,ore than 20 years in the Service.. one uncle went back to VietNam for at least 2 tours (the Marine uncle)... my Father served in Korea more than 30 years including National Guard.. the Marine's son is now FT in the Marines.. I can't fathom the committment my Father, my Uncles or my Nephew made.

You, sir, are a effing' disgrace with your leftist attitude. Are Service personnel now in Iraq "taking taxpayers money"?

At least Servicr personnel are doing something for this Country (volunteers, btw), not sitting at home on their fat-a**es collecting their welfare checks... their EITC "refunds".. their food stamps.. pushing out babies, etc.

[Full disclosure.. Did I serve? No, I couldn't. I have a serious medical issue.. only 1 eye... blind in 1 from birth. I did register for the draft in the early 70s anyway, btw. So, eff off and KMA.]

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Questioning Service personnel and their committment is a SERIOUS hot-button issue for me.

How many of you leftists have walked up to Service personnel in a fast-food or other restaurant and handed over $$ for their next meal? We have many in Pittsburgh at the 911th Refueling Wing. I have... many times

How many of you leftists have contributed to the Marine Corp Law Enforcement Foundation? Do you evem know what the MCLEF does? I have.. many times.

I am grateful for each and every Service personnel each and every day. My Father and Uncles served... I could not through no fault of my own. I was born at an Army Hospital and spent a great deal of my very early age at Bethesda Army Hospital in Bethesda, MD (1958) as they tried to fix my eye. My Parents stayed in WV.. I was all alone for many, many months at age 3.

Again, eff off and KMA. Yes, I am fuming. Screw the typos.

RMH said...

With all those relatives in the service I find it hard to believe none of them realized their pay came from taxpayers money. Where did they think it came from? I was in the Army from 1966-1970. The basic pay I received was taxpayers money.I didn't do 2 or 3 tours only one to Viet Nam, but that was enough for me. BTW go to your local fire department and buy the real heroes a meal, They go out and risk their lives everyday and night for no pay. They are the REAL VOLUNTEERS. I know I've been one for 23 years. How about you? How many peoples homes have you helped save how many peoples and animals lives have you helped? Or have you been too busy sitting on your ass. Oh that's right, you righties only like to take lives. BTW KFC fuk u.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Frankly, KMH.. I don't believe "knowing their pay came from taxpayers" ever entereed into the equation. My Uncles, my Father and my Nephew served because IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!

Service personnel today, if you haven't noticed are (voila) VOLUNTEERS.

I'll bet you only served because you had to (1966-1970). Probably a liberal whiner then, cuz you're a liberal whiner now.

Oh, let's feel sorry for volunteer firefighters.. pity party. Not. Go cry with Marty. I pay my taxes and contribute $$ to the local department.. not my fault the system is FU. I would rather lose my house than my freedom to some rag-head. That's why I'll support Service personnel EVERY time over ANY other.

RMH said...

Hey Fluffy you brave boy why don't you volunteer to serve now hell they take illegal immigrants, felons,they'll even take you. Instead of telling me about your relatives serving you can be a man and do it yourself.You won't be labeled a hypocrite chickenhawk anymore. Or Fluffy do you have the sniffles and can't or you have a cough due to a cold. So be a man for once Fluffy step up to the plate and go after those ragheads. Hurry before it's too late.If you don't Fluffy, you better call your Uncles your nephews, your cousins, your nieces, your Aunts to protect you cause their coming for you.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Typical liberal tactic...
1. Make an outlandlish comment,
2. Get called on it, and then,
3. Resort to name-calling.

You are such an angry old man probably about 6 years older than me... a whiner. Probably drawing or about to draw SS (aka "taxpayers money" according to you since you probably will receive more in benefits than you ever paid in). Oh, and did you avail yourself of the VA or any other benefits of your service (also, "taxpayers money" according to you)? Oh, I bet you're the type who wants special benefitss or to be paid to be a volunteer fireman.
I'll also bet you were a union thug-type... go cry to Marty Griffin... you're such a typical yinzer.

RMH said...

There was no name calling Fluffy I just figured that was your nickname. By the contents of your postings you are a terribly frightened man that relies on the acts of other people to raise your non-existant self esteem up. It looks like I hit the nail on the head. That's SOP for neo-cons and chickenhawks so you're not alone though. I tell you what I'm going to do. I am going to volunteer to protect you from any and all Ragheads whether they're Iraqi, Saudi, Irani, Jordanian it doesn't matter. I will also protect you from aliens of any planet you can name, and since the latest Bigfoot was a hoax I'll throw Bigfoot back in the protection list. Just for you I'll also throw in the Boogieman. I'll do all this for free for that is what volunteering is all about. I won't be writing you as often as you can see I'll be a little busy. But I'll get back to you maybe once a week to check on your welfare. So tuck yourself in you won't need to pull the cover over your eyes anymore RMH is here.