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Thursday, September 23, 2004

I like some of this article by Nick Anderson in the LA Times.

In particular I like

"Kerry, however, was trying to distinguish between a congressional action intended to give the president diplomatic leverage against a rogue state and a presidential decision to launch an invasion." Yes exactly.

However Anderson balances his refutations of Bush's dishonest distortions with By nit picklering Kerry. That is he quotes Kerry saying something absolutely true and then explains how Republicans could counter argue honestly (if they decided to try honesty for a change). the counterargument is, for some reason presented as evidence that Kerry absolutely true claims are inconsistent with the facts. I quote all of the comments on Kerry shorn of nit picklering

Statement: "One year ago, this administration asked for and received $18 billion to help the Iraqis and relieve the conditions that contribute to the insurgency. Today, less than $1 billion of those funds have actually been spent." — Monday, in New York

Context: It is true that Congress appropriated more than $18 billion last year to help rebuild Iraq. Of that sum, Republicans acknowledge, only about $1 billion has been spent.

[that is Kerry's claim is just plain true]. The nit picklering is that Republicans could argue that this isn't so bad because"But about $6 billion more is obligated to be spent soon, and planning for the rest is underway."

Statement: "Today they've announced the biggest deficit in the history of our nation…. [We] have a plan to cut the deficit in half, to restore fiscal responsibility." — Sept. 7, in Greensboro, N.C.

Context: The Congressional Budget Office announced ... indeed a record.
[so the claim of fact is just plain true]

Unlike Bush, Kerry is proposing a tax increase to help pay for his programs. That buttresses the Democrat's claim to be more of a budget balancer than Bush. But independent analysts warn that Kerry's healthcare and education proposals would be costly, and the Democrat has not seriously addressed a looming fiscal crisis facing Social Security and Medicare. [nor is the claim that he has to plan to cut the deficit in half a claim that he has a plan to resolve the looming medicare crisis. This is arguing that Kerry's claim is dishonest by changing the subject].

Kerry vs the facts is that Kerry says things that are just plain true, however there are other true statements which he didn't make. This is exactly what Atrios causes Nit Picklering.

When one guy is lying and the other is telling the truth, reporters have to decide which is more important balance or fairness.

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