Monday, October 13, 2008

Smack checking

McCain and Obama are both talking smack about each other. McCNN says it's all even-steven, all fair in love and war, a pox on both their houses, they all do it.

Never mind that much of Obama's ad budget is going to contrast ads about their actual positions, while most of McCain's is going to character assassination. Just tot up the spending for ads that cast the respective candidates in a bad light - that's McCNN's method.

Never mind that the McCain campaign cannot show one single positive ad. Of course, they won't admit this; they just won't call you back. Well, actually, their flacks in the field will tell you that you'll have to talk to HQ to get a comment on that one story, and then HQ won't call you back. But if you're a reporter, don't worry; they'll still hand-deliver their latest spin on everything else, not to mention the catering schedule.

Never mind that Biden's assertion is about proportion, not total amounts. McCNN "reasons" that Alexander Mooney, one of its producers, found that the Obama campaign is spending double the McCain campaign, so the fact that it's spending half on so-called negative ads means it's keeping pace with McCain.

Never mind that people with an ordinary middle school understanding of basic arithmetic can see that this finding confirms Biden's claim.

Never mind that even this claim from Mooney of McCNN is false. His numbers are vague estimates, not backed up by ... anything. The group that actually studied the question says that Obama is spending a third of his budget on negative ads, which is only "roughly half" if you're republishing a Republican press release and pretending against all experience that it could be accurate.

McCNN still claims that Joe Biden is stating a falsehood when he says that 100% of McCain's ads are negative. It's McCNN's claim that's bullshit.

Never mind that it's bullshit. Swallow it whole. Assuming you like the taste.

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