The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

The New “Liberal Media” Rallying Cry

Posted by ALmod on September 30, 2008

Remember when we said that the news was a good thing?  It reported on what leaders were doing and, bias or no bias, when we knew what leaders were doing, it was a good thing. It kept them honest.  And then came the rallying cry for the right:  “liberal media.”  Suddenly people quit listening to the news as if everything they were reporting was blatently false.  Indeed, the best way to keep the masses in line is to keep them ignorant as to what you are doing.

Then there were the political ads.  People thought, “Well, they’re not allowed to lie, so the ads must be true.”  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  So when we got organizations like Politifact and FactCheck.org and Snopes to tell us what was true and what was not, we were happy.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle embraced these services and have even quoted them (albeit incorrectly at times) for their own purposes.

But then there was a problem.  These organizations started fact checking the claims made by these politicians and groups backing them (as they’d promised to do), and they started making these ads and the groups behind them look like liars.  I mean, one or two or several “factual inaccuracies” repeated constantly and not retracted after being pointed out doesn’t make you a liar, does it?

So what was a politician and his loyal spinners bloggers to do when he ends up on the wrong side of the fact checking organizations more than twice as much as any other candidate?  Why, we debunk the fact checkers!  We point out that they’re wrong and unreliable!  The day is saved!

Such is the case in blogs such as this and this.  I’m seeing these pop up more and more these days.  Nevermind that John McCain has (incorrectly) quoted FactCheck.org in his own ads.  Nevermind that Obama is targeted for his own errors.  Nevermind that FactCheck.org DOES correct any errors that they make and post them to their front page.  They are now the new “liberal media” and “unreliable.”

And what is the basis for this claim?

FactCheck.org used as it source for a particular piece such shoddy sources as the senator’s roll call votes and copies of the laws in question.  They looked at quotes from the senator.  And they even dared to ask the senator’s campaign what their stance was.

What did they ignore?  Well, the main offense seems to be that they asked the NRA (the group that put out the false ad) for their take, but they looked at the solid facts rather than the way that the NRA interpreted and spun those facts to the masses.  And they dared to only use quotes from the senator in full context rather than cherry picking.

And who’s behind this slamming of FactCheck.org?  The organization who put out the ad that was questioned in the first place– the NRA, who is continually running their attack on FactCheck.org on their front page.

Now there’s a “fair and balanced” opinion.  The very group who was proven to have their pants on fire calls the person holding the fire extinguisher wrong.

In fact, upon reading most of these blogs and spins of how FactCheck.org is so completely unreliable, one has to wonder if the person doing the blogging and spinning even looked at the FactCheck.org article at all.

From the Factcheck.org piece:

“The flier looks almost as though it comes from the Obama campaign. It uses the same color and font scheme as well as the campaign’s sunrise logo. And on some points it is right; Obama has called for national legislation against carrying concealed firearms, and he would revive and make permanent the expired ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons,” for example. On other points it exaggerates. Obama has spoken in favor of government registration of handguns, for example, but has not called for registration of all “firearms” including hunting rifles and shotguns. But the TV spots and fliers also make claims that are directly contrary to what Obama actually says about guns.”

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