Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ballance at CNN

Jed sent me over to this clip from CNN, which he describes as "a fairly brutal appraisal of McCain's pathological campaign:"

It is and I am certainly not one tenth as passionately for Obama as Jed is (my practical contribution was to propose at dailykos setting up a JedPac to put his youtube videos on the air. Much enthusiasm. No one did any more than I did).

However, I am struck by CNN's dishonest search for just a bit of Ballance.

Because of the lies of McCain and Palin, the media in general and CNN in particular have decided that Obama was dishonest about McCain's "maybe a hundred" years in Iraq line. Now the Obama campaign make an ad in which the video was cut after the word "hundred" deleting McCain's effort to dodge the question *after* he had answered it. The deleted words were not responsive to the question. They were an escape into fantasy land. McCain said if Iraq were peaceful it would be OK to keep US troops there for 100 years. That's a big if.

The CNN reporter introduces the devastating list of lies and disproofs by saying Obama has been accused of dishonesty too

"like telling voters McCain wanted to spend one hundred years in Iraq
troops should stay in non-combat roles as long as it takes
Not that he wanted one hundred years of war"

She is distorting what McCain says (more I think than the Obama campaign ever did). There is a huge difference between soldiers being in "non combat roles" and there not being "casualties" (McCain's ex post assumption which he did not describe then or ever as a necessary condition for staying one hundred years). A non combat role implies that one doesn't (normally) try to kill even if the other side is fighting. McCain just said he hopes that the other side stops fighting. Neither then nor later did McCain give a number of years of war that he would consider too many so that we would have to accept something less than total victory. He just said that once we achieve total victory, there would be OK (since milatary spending isn't spending and the US military doesn't have anything to do outside of Iraq to keep soldiers there).

To make the claim that Obama distorted what McCain says, CNN tells a gross monstrous absolute lie about what the Obama campaign said. Obama never said that McCain hopes that the Iraqi insurgents keep on fighting because he wants the war to go on. If McCain wanted one hundred years of war in Iraq, he would not want peace through victory. That would be insane, even more insane than McCain is. The lie about what the Obama campaign said is the only way to argue that they said something materially different from a full and fair analysis of McCain's complete answer.

Now CNN didn't actually say that the Obama campaign said McCain wanted 100 years of war. They just said that the Obama campaign said something arguably false, then two sentences later argued against an insane claim which they did not explicitly attribute to Obama. To me this is no defense. In context it only makes sense to reject the insane claim if the Obama campaign made it. They didn't. CNN lied.

Then the closing line was

"and Anderson you know it's getting pretty ugly on both sides."

Well maybe Anderson does, but CNN viewers sure don't as all the evidence presented in the service was evidence that the McCain campaign has gotten ugly. In fact, I don't know it either, because although I follow the campaign obsessively I haven't noticed the Obama campaign getting ugly. It was simply an unsupported assertion that the reality is balanced which, I think, can only have been added because CNN is ballanced.

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