Thursday, January 24, 2008

Obama chest high in violent surf

Media attempts to "present both sides" can obscure truth.

As well, media inclination to promote conflict can obscure truth.


Dem debate on Monday night:

Hillary makes six false accusations against Obama.

Obama makes zero false accusations against Hillary.

Do headlines say

Obama Rebuts to Hillary's False Accusations


They do not. Headlines say

Clinton, Obama Spar

Media failure to provide context equates to misleading the public.

Thus Obama is left standing in the equivalent of "washing machine" ocean surf:

  1. Hillary's false accusations hit Obama like violent waves pounding in from the ocean

  2. media mischaracterization (due to lack of context) crashes back from the shore and into Obama.

Obama is pounded from both sides:

~ Hillary's waves of accusation ~ media backwash of mischaracterization ~
~ Hillary's waves of accusation ~ media backwash of mischaracterization ~
~ Hillary's waves of accusation ~ media backwash of mischaracterization ~
~ Hillary's waves of accusation ~ media backwash of mischaracterization ~

Welcome to the conservative political experience, Mr. Obama. On this ride, Democrats lie about you, and media lie about your public appearances.

Example: Last week, Mitt Romney politely but vigorously rebutted a false accusation by an AP reporter. The AP reporter responded in heated fashion. Headlines the next day said Romney loses temper. The headlines were a lie. Romney maintained decorum. The AP reporter lost his temper. MKH (inclu. video)

Example 2: Obama received similar treatment today. A reporter asked about a Bill Clinton accusation. Obama vigorously rebutted - as he should. Headlines said Obama loses temper ~ is Bill Clinton in Obama's head? The headlines were lies. (Greg Sargeant: ABC News Badly Mischaracterizes Obama's Alleged "Testy Exchange" With Reporter)

Obama must wonder what he ever did to deserve being treated like a conservative politician.


Below: my analysis of the analysis of the give and take in Monday's debate. My analysis is better than theirs! Although, I do rely on their research. Thanks guys. finds a couple of places to allege Obama played loose with the truth. However, upon studying these, I do not believe Obama said anything misleading. Instead, I speculate that even fell victim to the "present both sides" mentality. Imagine their reporters turning in the story to be edited:

Editors: Whats this? You have Hillary telling six lies and Obama telling zero lies!

Reporters: That's what our analysis showed, sir.

Editors: Go back and report on the Obama lies. We must present both sides!

Reporters: (hang heads)


Debate Analysis

Clinton said Obama said Republican ideas - such as moving from surplus to deficit - were good ideas.

1. false: Repubs did not say that + 2. false: Obama did not say that


Clinton said Obama endorsed Repub proposal to set up private SS accts.

3. false: Obama did not say that


Greg's note: Bill Clinton said Obama said (we're back in gradeschool: Sally said Susie said) Dems hadn't had any good ideas in 16 years.

4. false: Obama did not say that

- and I'm counting Bill against Hillary, as Bill's statement came straight out of Hillary's War Room.


Obama said Bill and Hillary criticized me for praising Pres. Reagan, yet Bill and Hillary have praised Reagan - including extended praise quoted in Tom Brokaw's current book: "Boom! Voices of the Sixties".

True - which amounts to one hypocrisy point against Hillary for making this an issue in the first place.


Clinton said Obama switched: from supporting Single Payer Health Care; to a system which will provide health care for all.

Obama: I said I liked Single Payer health care if it was feasible, which it wasn't.

Fact says Obama's answer is misleading. I disagree. If you read the transcripts of Obama's statements, he did not mischaracterize what he said in the past.

My verdict: 5. false accusation by Hillary. Obama's statements were not inconsistent.


Clinton said that, for political purposes, Obama cast a large number (130 total) of "present" votes in the Illinois Senate.

True. And not denied by Obama. Therefore, I'm not scoring this for Hillary.

This is like saying: Strictly because her husband was in politics, Mrs. Clinton turned a $1,000 investment in cattle futures into $100,000. It's a true statement. It cannot and will not be denied by Mrs. Clinton. Therefore is has no business being in an article about disagreement.


Clinton said "the Chicago Tribune, his hometown paper, said that all of those present votes was taking a pass. It was for political reasons."

Here we get into Clintonian cleverness. In actuality, a Clinton supporter gave that quote to The Chicago Tribune:

The Tribune story, which ran in December, did quote Bonnie Grabenhofer, president of Illinois National Organization of Women as saying, "When we needed someone to take a stand, Senator Obama took a pass." But those weren't the words of the Tribune itself. And Grabenhofer was endorsing Clinton at the time.

Clinton used the local paper angle to add heft to her charge that Obama was politically calculating. She lied.

6. False: the Chicago Tribune did not say that.

Also, consider it takes balls the size of planets for Hillary to accuse anyone else of being politically calculating. Obama should humorously skewer her for this. Roast her over an open flame.

Such an accusation comes from the classic Clinton playbook: whatever is a Clinton weakness or problem, accuse your opponent of same. Thus Hillary accuses Obama of being politically calculating. Thus Bill accuses Obama of being inconsistent in his position about Iraq. Thus Hillary's campaign accuses Obama of shady financial dealings. Thus Hillary, to deflect her law firms' representation of Whitewater criminals, accuses Obama of having represented a slum landlord.


Obama said Clinton was "a corporate lawyer who sat on the board of Wal-Mart."

First: this is a fact which Hillary cannot and did not deny. Fact check was wrong to score this as a point for Obama.

Second: consider the irrationality of publicly decrying being a "corporate lawyer." Someone has to to legal work for corporations. Dems are publicly irrational.

I. Public irrationality point for Obama.

Third: consider that the Dems are heavily partnered with the legal community. Dems are speaking out of both sides of their mouths when they utter "corporate lawyer." Fact check should've pointed this out.

One hypocrisy point against Obama.

Fourth: consider the irrationality of publicly decrying Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart does more good for America than the Democratic Party. Again we see the public irrationality of the Dems.

II. Another public irrationality point against Obama.


OF COURSE Hillarity responded an accusation found to be a lie: that Obama was representing his contributor, Rezko, in a slum landlord business.

Hillary is succeeding in demonizing Rezko - with some justification. Rezko is likely dirty, and Obama is possibly dirty. The more Obama succeeds this spring, the more Rezko will be demonized into Enron, Halliburton, and Bernard Kerik. Dems know how to demonize.

HOWEVER, Hillary lied via saying Obame represented Rezko. Obama's legal firm represented Rezko. Obama was not directly involved, except in the most peripheral manner.

7. False. Obama did not represent Rezko.


Last, Obama said Senator Clinton said she voted for (the 2001 [bankruptcy] bill) but hoped that it wouldn't pass.

Senator Clinton's exact words: "I was happy it never became law. "

Factcheck scores this as an instance of Obama passing false info. Strictly speaking, they are correct. Yet, I give Obama a pass. I can't see where he intentionally mischaracterized in order to gain advantage.


My final score:

7 falsehoods,
one hypocrisy point,
one balls the size of planets point

zero falsehoods,
one hypocrisy point,
2 public irrationality points

Now, focus on the falsehoods:

Clinton: 6 falsehoods against Obama (here, I won't count her falsehood against Repubs).

Obama: zero falsehoods.


Final thought: THIS was a debate for the office of President of the United States(?!): he said she said trivial trivial he said he said he said she said trivial trivial trivial. Sheesh.

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