Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Say What?

Maybe it's because I have more time now that I'm pretty much retired, but I don't recall our press spending quite this much effort parsing campaign speeches and political assertions for their veracity. I'm noticing a lot of articles and posts with "Fact Check" in their headlines or their lede paragraphs these days, and it hasn't been all one-sided. The Democrats (especially those in the White House) are getting a raft of criticism for bending the truth, but so are Republicans (especially the candidates for the 2012 presidential nomination).

Today I noticed several articles taking issue with the Republicans, primarily those in the 2012 race. One example is this AP article which weighs in on several of the GOP candidates when it comes the President Obama's handling of the current Israeli-Palestine tussle over statehood. It examines several statements by Romney, Perry, and Bachmann in which Obama's alleged backhand to Israel is decried and matches them to the facts:

Yet as the administration fights fiercely on behalf of Israel this week, pressing the Palestinians to abandon their quest for statehood, some of the Republican claims have strayed well beyond reality.


Also today, the Los Angeles Times did a less formal evaluation of Michele Bachmann's latest campaign rhetoric on regulatory overload and government spending and points out where she glosses over the actual facts:

Standing before a row of shiny orange trailers carrying portable solar-powered traffic lights, she said her plans for a smaller government with fewer rules and lower spending would help OMJC Signal Inc. "grow, grow, grow, grow, grow." ...

But OMJC thrives on the kind of road and bridge spending that Obama has promoted as a key remedy to the nation's economic slowdown. As much as 80% of OMJC's revenue comes from government, according to the company's chief executive, Arlen Yost.

"It is government projects primarily that use our products," Yost told Bachmann after showing her how a crane on one of the orange trailers rises to display temporary traffic signals at road construction sites.

In other words, OMJC is doing just fine thanks to government spending, even by the company's own accounting.

Both media sources have nailed it and in doing so have done their readers a great service. That's their job, but it's nice to see them actually doing it.

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