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    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    Fact Check.org,is it always right?

    Even this site needs to be read with some discernment.

    Ok, I had a heated discussion with a co-worker today who describes himself as a moderate (i.e. Liberal, but scared to admit it). He suggested that Obama's energy plan is better than McCain's, when it was obvious from his description of McCain's plan that he had never actually read it, which is really what set me off. As you can tell from scrolling down, I have previously posted a pretty detailed look at these two plans. If you're against new sources of American fossil fuels and nuclear power, Gobama. If you think we ought to get some of our own darn oil and use nuclear power, Nobama, choose McPalin.
    In this discussion, he stated that he uses factcheck.org as a resource to sort the wheat from the chaff in candidates advertising. Well, I have perused the factcheck site, and it's not awful. Interesting that most of the items today above the fold are all about McCain ads,in fact of 12 front page articles, 8 are about McCain ads,4 concern Obama misdeeds. 2/3, 1/3 - I'd say it qualifies as balanced as far as MSM sites go!

    Just to prove that even an even-handed site like this can be misleading, I am going to take it to task for one of it's rebuttals - the McCain ad about Obama and Iran. Known as "tiny" in McCain parlance.
    In their "fact check"on McCain's ad, which correctly states and shows clips of Obama saying Iran and Venezuela are"tiny" countries who don't "pose a serious threat," factcheck.org does correctly show the context that Obama was comparing them to Russia, both in size and in nature of the threat, or at least of the threat we once associated with Russia (all out nuclear war).

    Of course, you could re-do this ad today, post Georgia invasion, and we could show Obama's naivete' about Russia, but, that's not the point. The "Tiny" ad goes on to question that "destroying Israel isn't a serious threat?"

    In their factcheck, they attempt to use a June 4th Obama speech to refute that McCain is misleading on his Israel comments. The problem is, as anyone who was paying attention after May 18th, when Obama uttered the initial statements, they will recall that the June 4th speech, in which he spoke of the threat of Iran to Israel, was accomplished precisely to counter these statements he had made previously, as a sort of salve to put on what was then a festering wound.

    So, it's a little disingenuous to suggest that the June 4th comments that Factcheck uses to "refute" the "Tiny" ad actually refute it. Put into the proper context themselves, they were made to put Obama back in the good graces of the pro-Israel lobby and to correct the mistake he made 2 weeks prior.

    The "fact" remains that when Obama spoke on May 18th, he may have been speaking in the larger context of comparison to the former Soviet Union. But, words do have meaning, and as a President, he has to know every clause he speaks will be parsed and judged,and in his May 18th speech, he slipped, and it showed an inexperience that a more seasoned foreign policy expert would not have made. That's not to say that he wouldn't learn from his mistake, but, I still think the criticism from the McCain camp is a fair one, though I think they ought to show his June 4th attempt to clean up the mess, because that is a pattern of the Obama campaign, that, if elected, I hope we don't see repeated over and over again.

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