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Throwing Stones:

Speaking of glass houses, it's somewhat ironic that a week after the Obama campaign complained of the McCain campaign's dishonest advertisements (see, e.g., here), it ran multiple ads with false claims (here and here) of its own.

fullerene:
Is it ever ironic for a politician to complain about some other politician only to turn around and do the very same thing he complained about?
9.21.2008 10:52am
MQuinn:
Last night, SNL did a hilarious skit on the integrity of McCain's campaign ads. Whether you agree or disagree, I defy you to say this skit isn't funny!
9.21.2008 11:06am
wb (mail):
These are the standard Democrat lies every presidential election; why are they surprising?
9.21.2008 11:09am
MQuinn:
wb:

These are the standard Democrat lies every presidential election; why are they surprising?

True! They are. But I suggest that the following is also true: these are the standard politician's lies every election; why are they surprising? This line of attack is hardly unique to Democrats.
9.21.2008 11:28am
Jack S. (mail) (www):
one technique that has been proven to not work in the past is merely bitching about the other party's dishonest advertising.

This post puts things into perspective a bit


Given the glacial pace of most legal processes, it would be very hard for a politician to sue his or her opponent and actually stop the lying before the election is over. If one candidate lied repeatedly, and the other took the high road and sued, how soon could anything be done? Moreover, if a lie is discovered, what's the remedy? Re-doing the election?
9.21.2008 12:18pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Isn't it better to have each side point out the other side's lies and distortions than ignoring them?
9.21.2008 12:26pm
emsl (mail):
I think the deeper point is that the Democrats are always claiming the moral high ground, denouncing any critical ad as "Swiftboating" or "Rovian". In their view, only Republicans run the evil "attack ads." It is this cognitive dissonance that is, I think, the point here.
9.21.2008 12:37pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:

Isn't it better to have each side point out the other side's lies and distortions than ignoring them?


You'd think, but a truthful pointing out of lies and distortions sounds exactly the same as a lie merely claiming that there's a lie and distortion.

Oh well.
9.21.2008 12:40pm
Haakon:
I found it marginally funny; however, a nearly identical skit with Senator Barack Obama would be equally applicable. Of course that would not likely have happened, as Politico reports that the SNL bit with McCain was created in large part by Al Franken.

Al Franken, the former flagship host of Air America, after two stints at SNL, is now running for Senate against Norm Coleman in Minnesota. Al knows deceptive ads quite well -- he uses them. His most egregious is an ad that first attempts to dismiss the fact that he failed to pay state income taxes from activities within 17 other states. He dodged reporters telling them it was his account's fault and to talk with him, meanwhile telling his accountant to keep his mouth shut. [Yes, that is the sound of an accountant under the bus.] He now claims to have overpaid in New York, but he won't release his financials. Then he turns his ad on Norm Coleman, claiming the Minnesota Senator gets a sweetheart $600 home lease from a Washington insider. Even the leftist "Star &Sickle" wasn't impressed. Coleman's response is that it is a basement bedroom he rents.
9.21.2008 1:17pm
Haakon:
Whoops! I forgot to link to Franken's deceptive ad (still posted on his website).
9.21.2008 1:21pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
We are seeing Gresham's law a played out in the political arena. Bad campaign ads drive out the good ones. Many of the lying ads would also require a more expensive ad to rebut. So one side can bankrupt the other by running a series of "hit and run" sound bytes.
"A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on."
-Mark Twain.
9.21.2008 1:21pm
Bpbatista (mail):
Obama correctly assumes that the media will carry his water by pointing out -- or even inventing (e.g., WaPo and Franklin Raines) -- "falsehoods" in McCain advertising while covering for his falsehoods. Exhibit #398,595 in how the MSM is in the tank for Obama.

Exhibit #398,596 -- Al Franken still writing political skits for SNL even though he is a Dem candidate for Senate in Minnesota.
9.21.2008 1:28pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
These are the standard Democrat lies every presidential election; why are they surprising?
Indeed; for all the talk by Democrats of Republicans campaigning on fear, Democrats have been running on the notion of terrifying senior citizens into thinking they'll starve for at least 3 decades now.
9.21.2008 1:28pm
barney the liberal purple dinosaur:
"These are the standard Democrat lies every presidential election; why are they surprising?"

As opposed to the standard Republic lies?
9.21.2008 1:34pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Last night, SNL did a hilarious skit on the integrity of McCain's campaign ads. Whether you agree or disagree, I defy you to say this skit isn't funny!
I think it's very funny.

(I also think it actually parodies Obama techniques, not McCain techniques. The "Obama supports tax cuts for pedophiles" is the exact attack line Obama has been running repeatedly against McCain, although he substitutes the less popular "oil companies" for "pedophiles." He refers to general corporate tax cuts that McCain supports and singles out oil companies as though they were the targeted beneficiaries.
9.21.2008 1:36pm
one of many:
One of the things that's becoming clearer and cleared to me is there is a general inability in the press to distinguish conclusions/judgments from facts. Most are aware that if you call something "good" or "bad" you are actually expressing a judgment instead of a fact (although even this is sometimes disputed), but it is a judgment not a fact that z is good. Likewise there is no clear cut standard that everyone can use to decide if something is significant, one person may believe y is significant and another that y is insignificant yet despite these opposing "facts" both are being honest. FactCheck.org is better than the press at identifying confusion of conclusion/judgment with fact and is a far more reliable source of campaign lies than say Politifact, and effectively recognizes when they are making a judgment and provide their reasoning behind the judgment for you to either agree or disagree.

Mind you I am not implying a malicious intent to the press, the failure to distinguish between subjective judgment and objective fact is common to all humans in varying degrees. Maliciousness would require that the press be aware of their confusing judgment with fact and ignoring it, something I see no indication that exists in individual members of the press who confuse the two. There is some indication that the press as an institution is becoming aware of the problem, but there is so much screeching about partisanship and such that a completely honest member of the press can render the judgment that there is no significance to the issue.
9.21.2008 2:18pm
Malvolio:
I also think it actually parodies Obama techniques, not McCain techniques. The "Obama supports tax cuts for pedophiles" is the exact attack line Obama has been running repeatedly against McCain, although he substitutes the less popular "oil companies" for "pedophiles.
True, but how much different is that from taking a vague, failed state bill and using the most extreme possible interpretation to describe it (the "sex-ed for kindergarteners" thing).
9.21.2008 2:30pm
Federal Dog:
"Maliciousness would require that the press be aware of their confusing judgment with fact and ignoring it, something I see no indication that exists in individual members of the press who confuse the two."

If this were honest confusion, as you contend, they would not refuse prompt retractions and corrections. Further, they would not intentionally repeat the misrepresentations.

They are completely aware of what they are doing, and their conduct is sustained and calculated.
9.21.2008 3:21pm
one of many:
I disagree FD, mostly because from what I can see they are not lies or "misrepresentations", they are truthful and accurate representations of judgments and conclusions members of the press have made. Why should one retract or clarify something which is true because someone else claims it is false and upon examination it is still true?

There is however a difference between a true judgment and a true fact. Hitler was a bad man is a judgment just about everyone would agree is true, but it is not a fact, there is no universal objective standard to judge badness. The only justification for a clarification or retraction of a statement of Hitler's badness on a truth basis is if the writer is one of the minuscule number of people who do not believe Hitler was a bad man.

This problem is greatly confused when a judgment is questioned. If someone were to question the statement "Hitler was a bad man", most people would agree and insist it was a true and accurate judgment. Those who disagree tend to fall into two groups, those who have a weird judgment structure for defining badness and those who dispute the underlying facts for determining that Hitler was bad (and those who mix both but that just makes it even more confusing). The first group we dismiss as having an unreasonable definition of badness while the second we dismiss as effectively lying. There is a 3rd group which goes around saying, sure Hitler was a bad man but you cannot go around presenting it as a fact since it is a judgment and other people may have other judgments, but this group is so small that their objection is lost in the noise from the first two groups.

You can follow the line of reasoning from there I am sure.
9.21.2008 4:14pm
Federal Dog:
"Why should one retract or clarify something which is true because someone else claims it is false and upon examination it is still true?"

That's not what I am talking about. I am talking about intentionally repeating known falsehoods even when they have been repeatedly disproven. It is not true that, e.g.,:

Palin wants to outlaw all abortions, even in the case of rape.

Palin wants to institute creationism as part of science curricula.

Palin tried to have books banned in Alaska.

Palin declared the Iraq War a mission from God.

Palin wants to force women to have disabled children, then deny them any support.

Palin slashed the budget for special needs education in Alaska by over 62%.

Palin endorsed Pat Buchanan for president and is an antisemite.

All of these falsehoods have been repeatedly debunked, yet the media still intentionally repeat them.
9.21.2008 6:01pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
It is not true that, e.g.,:

Palin wants to outlaw all abortions, even in the case of rape.
I'll grant you that all the others you list are false, but how is this one false?
9.21.2008 7:30pm
Arkady:

it ran multiple ads with false claims (here and here) of its own.


In an earlier age, we might have said it was a case of fighting fliar with fliar...
9.21.2008 7:44pm
one of many:
The first example you give is a fine example of confusing conclusion with fact. I've look long and hard to discover if there is any reason to conclude Palin wishes to outlaw abortions (rape or no) and there are reasons to conclude both ways. Neither conclusion is however a fact, they are only conclusions. It is certainly not unreasonable to conclude that a Govenor who wishes to overturn Roe v Wade and who is personally opposed to abortion is predisposed to outlawing abortion, but to state as a fact that she wishes to goes too far. HOWEVER there is also no evidence that if given the power to outlaw abortions that Palin would not do so, she has never committed herself on the issue. This one cannot be disproven with all the evidence I have seen, however it is a reasonable conclusion to draw from the facts. I would have no problem if it were presented as a conclusion, and it would be in no way dishonest to present it so.

The difficulty is that people like FD call it a "known falsehood", which it isn't. Governor Palin has never said that if given the power she would not ban abortions, she has not even said she would not vote to ban abortions and most certainly she has never stated that she believes abortions should be legal. However someone accused of repeating a "known falsehood" is going to look at the truth value not the fact value and determine that it is based on truthful facts and is a reasonable conclusion to draw from those facts meaning that it is truthful to say that Palin wants to outlaw abortions, it just may not be correct. Someone questioned as to the fact value of the statement will decide that it is not a factual statement but instead a conclusion drawn from facts. Those of us contesting the fact value of statements like this are drowned out by people asserting they fail the truth value, which allows makers of this type of statement to dismiss us with all those who contest it's truth.
9.21.2008 7:46pm
one of many:
BTW I wrote of the press which is not quite the same as the media. I noticed the term shifting and was going to distinguish between tehm but my fingers are sore.
9.21.2008 7:47pm
Federal Dog:
David: I have never seen any information about any attempt that she has ever made to outlaw all abortion, or any expression of desire to do so. Can you post some evidence of her attempts to secure enactment of such laws/expression of desire for such laws?

At best, she is personally against abortion. That in no way implies that she wants to outlaw it.
9.21.2008 8:25pm
The Ace (mail):
Joe Biden, bitter gun clinger:


At a fish fry for mine workers in rural Southwest Virginia, the Delaware Senator commiserated on being from coal country himself — and did his damndest to convince the blue collar, mostly white Democrats that he's on the ticket to win over that Obama's one of them as well.

One of rural Democrats' biggest fears about Obama? That he'll come after the Second Amendment. Not so, said Biden — and he'd better not try.

"I guarantee you, Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don't buy that malarkey," Biden said angrily. "They're going to start peddling that to you."

"I got two, if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem."


I love it when Democrats act tough.
9.21.2008 8:44pm
LM (mail):
For being only moderately right of center, you guys seem shockingly out of touch with what roils the other half of political discourse. For example, the latest fissure threatening to split our fragile Democratic coalition? Yard signs.
9.21.2008 9:27pm
jbvv (mail):
I see that you share Alanis Morisette's understanding of the definition of the word "ironic."
9.21.2008 11:06pm
josh:
Federal Dog:

"That's not what I am talking about. I am talking about intentionally repeating known falsehoods even when they have been repeatedly disproven. It is not true that, e.g.,:"

Couldn't agree more. Here are some other intentionally repeated falsehoods you left off your list:

Obama is a Muslim

Obama's birth certificate is forged.

Obama is responsible for higher gas prices.

Obama will raise taxes on energy.

Obama voted in favor of infanticide in the Illinois Legislature.

Obama snubbed wounded troops because the Pentagon wouldn't let him bring cameras and turn the visit into a photo opp.

Palin was against the Bridge to Nowhere.

... Funny ... Those tidbits somehow absent from your list .... funny ...
9.22.2008 2:34am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
The Casablanca reference is too obvious.
9.22.2008 4:41am
one of many:

David: I have never seen any information about any attempt that she has ever made to outlaw all abortion, or any expression of desire to do so. Can you post some evidence of her attempts to secure enactment of such laws/expression of desire for such laws?

At best, she is personally against abortion. That in no way implies that she wants to outlaw it.
Sorry, didn't realize I was David. But Pain has also stated that she believes Roe v Wade should be repealed. There are those of us who feel it should be repealed for reasons other than being anti-choice, but it is not an unreasonable conclusion that she wishes to criminalize abortion merely because of this. Combine it with her stated personal opposition to abortion and it becomes an even more reasonable conclusion. It is not however a fact, but it is no more a fact to state that she does not believe in criminalizing abortion, that is merely another reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from viewing the totality of publicly available information on her position on abortion.
9.22.2008 3:00pm
Federal Dog:
"Sorry, didn't realize I was David."


I am addressing David Nieporent.


"But Pain has also stated that she believes Roe v Wade should be repealed. There are those of us who feel it should be repealed for reasons other than being anti-choice, but it is not an unreasonable conclusion that she wishes to criminalize abortion merely because of this."


Yes, it is. Even were Roe overturned, that would not outlaw abortion. It would return the question to the individual states for determination in each jurisdiction.

Show me some expression of her belief that abortion should be outlawed. All you have shown me is that you draw illogical inferences from only partially understood legal principles.
9.22.2008 6:25pm
one of many:
FD,

Repeal of Roe v Wade would throw the issue back into the hands of the states which would then have the power to restrict what is basically at this point unrestricted access to abortions. From a certain perspective the only purpose of repealing Roe V Wade would be to make it possible to restrict access to abortions. There are many people, such as myself, who would repeal Roe for other reasons but we have different perspectives on the law than what appears to be the plurality US opinion. Palin wishing to restrict access to abortions is a logical inference from her position on Roe and her opposition to abortion. This is not an illogical inference, it is a completely logical inductive inference although not a deductive inference if I must use the terminology of logic, or a reasonable conclusion if I can be excused from using the terminology of logic.
9.23.2008 1:11am
Federal Dog:
"Palin wishing to restrict access to abortions is a logical inference from her position on Roe and her opposition to abortion."

This is illogical. If she wanted to outlaw abortion, she would be pushing for national legislation outlawing abortion, not for a ruling that would return the question to the states, some (most?) of which would permit a practice she opposes. It is illogical to think that she wants to outlaw abortion and is therefore pushing for a ruling that would assure the legality of abortion.
9.23.2008 8:46am