Today’s article from the LA times about dishonest campaigning is a good example of the mainstream news media attempting to put balance on a story that really isn’t balanced. The article’s generic title and general discussion of dishonesty in campaigns imply that both the Obama and McCain campaigns are stretching the truth. But when you read the article closely, you can see that it’s only the McCain campaign that is doing the lying. Consider these examples from the article of the McCain campaign’s prevarication:
“…the McCain campaign has barraged voters with the notion that Obama would raise their taxes. Even though Obama has pledged not to raise taxes on all but the wealthiest Americans…”
“McCain’s ad ominously contends that Obama’s single accomplishment in education was “legislation to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergartners.” In fact, the measure would have allowed teachers, with parental approval, to inform young children about the dangers of inappropriate touching by adults.
“Obama was not the measure’s author, and the bill ultimately failed, meaning that it was not an accomplishment for anyone.”
“On the stump, Palin claims that she told Congress “thanks, but no thanks” and that, if Alaska wanted the bridge, Alaska would build it itself. The line became one of the most popular in her early campaign appearances.
“Actually, Palin backed federal financing for the bridge when running for governor in 2006. Once in office, she pulled the plug after the proposed bridge proved such an embarrassment that Congress scrapped the earmark. While the “no thanks” implied that she turned back the money, it was actually spent on other Alaska projects.”
And the best they can come up with for the Obama campaign?
“Obama has argued that McCain doesn’t understand voter concern about the foundering economy and — attention, Michigan voters — has refused to support loan guarantees for the auto industry.”
This is really a story about the McCain campaigns lies, so why did they try to present it in a way that leads a casual reader to believe that the campaigns are equally guilty? Why can’t the media just call a McCain lie a lie, without resorting to a generic article about misleading campaigning?
When even Karl Rove says the McCain campaign has gone, “one step too far”, you know they’ve gone over the edge.