Tag Archives: lies

Link Posting for Dummies

So, during election season, much misinformation is spread over the Web and then spread some more via e-mail, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter. This misinformation doesn’t help educate anyone. Instead it leads to confusion and voter apathy.

Posting legit links, which I’ll get into in a few seconds, not only improves voter knowledge, but it makes the blogger’s/twitterer’s/poster’s opinion more legit.

Also, regardless of what McCain and Palin and the rest of the GOP says, the mainstream media is usually very unbiased. Unbiased to a fault, actually. (Sometimes they give voice to opinions that are flat out false just in order to orchestrate the illusion of “balance.”)

Here’s a very brief summary of what sites poster’s should use when writing about politics:

Tier 1 – Always legit if articles come from the news section, not the opinion or editorial page section.

  • CQ Politics – the site elected officials turn to for political news.
  • The New York Times – Still the nation’s paper of record
    • For example, I can write, “McCain called himself a Nazi” because that’s what was officially reported in the NY Times without refutation in 1997. I should also mention that the next line said McCain learned from his hard-line stances early on and tried to reach out to both sides.
  • The Hill
  • Any other major newspaper’s news section – LA Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (the editorial page is a right-wing monstrosity), etc.
  • CNN – They usually use AP stories.

Tier 2 – Blogs from any of the above and the following:

Tier 3 – Columns and opinion pieces from any of the Tier 1 sites

Note: Although columns and opinions are fact checked, they should be labeled as “op-ed” or “opinion” before linking to them. For example, a guy wrote a column about Obama’s economic plan and how it was all wrong, and all that jazz… it would’ve been pretty damning, except the guy that wrote about it was one of McCain’s economic advisor. (Who, by the way, said the economy is just fine – and, sadly, hasn’t been heard from since this column ran. His wife did receive a fish wrapped in newspaper, whatever that means. J/K!)

Use these with extreme caution

– I’m not discounting these blogs as non-legit, I’m just saying that when linking to them, it’s important to note that most of the information on there is twisted before being disseminated.

Liberal blogs and sites

  • My blog
  • HuffingtonPost
  • DailyKos
  • Wonkette
  • ThinkProgress

Conservative blogs and sites

  • Townhall
  • Newsbusters
  • Michelle Malkin
  • Powerline Blog
  • Washington Times

Use only to promote a cause

(These often contain false and inflammatory information and anything read here that poses as “real news” should be taken with extreme caution and the lies debunked after by going to FactCheck.org)

LifeNews, Media Research Center, MoveOn.org, etc.

***

I tried to be as unbiased as I could be in this (the stuff in paranthases is when I threw my political bias in there). My degree is in communications and I worked in journalism for a few years and it bothers me when voters continue to expound false information saying they “saw it on a Web site.” Also, I am not saying NOT to use any of the above mentioned sites, just put them in context for less-informed readers.

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Learning from the past – Fear wins

So, ever since I heard about livingroomcandidate.org on Slate’s Political Gabfest, I’ve been hooked. It’s a roundup of almost all of the presidential ads since 1952. Some of the ads are pure genius (and sick) like this one, which basically said, “Vote for Johnson, or die”:

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more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

However, for the Obama Campaign, I think several tactics can be learned from watching these videos. The first, and maybe most relevant ad, comes from none other than the prez himself:

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more about “bush honesty ad“, posted with vodpod

Message: Lie about what you bring, and disparage everything about the other candidate without even mentioning his name.
My Obama recommendation: [Kids playing in the backyard; Michelle Obama sitting next to Barack smiling] Too many Americans are out of work. Crime is on the rise. Sons and daughters are dying to support a nation that has asked Americans to get out. It’s time for a change. It’s time for hope and honesty to reign in Washington. I believe I’m the man to do this job.

But don’t talk about things that the average voter won’t get, such as a candidate’s past record (unless it has something to do with the death penalty and crime, military spending and immigration):

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Now take a look at this ad by Bush:

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My Take: Al Gore didn’t win Ohio in 2000 because he didn’t scare the average voter.

Advice: [Oil fields pumping in Saudi Arabia. Images of women getting stoned and men getting beheaded. Troops getting shot at in Baghdad. Finish with an image of Osama Bin Laden. Obama voice over.] In an era of war, we need a leader who will not back down to our supposed allies in the Middle East who allow the terrorists to run free in their hills. We can not allow our allies to terrorize their citizens because we depend on their oil. We cannot send our troops into battle without body armor or batteries to power night vision goggles. And most importantly, we cannot allow enemy No. 1 to roam free in the mountains of Pakistan. As president, I will defend this nation and hunt down the terrorists where they are.

Here’s another ad from a winning Democrat:

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My take: Take on a Republican scare issue, or several issues, and embrace them.

Advice: [Begin with Osama’s face] Terrorism is our No. 1 enemy. A dependence on oil from the Middle East is No. 2. That’s why I support a temporary increase in offshore drilling, the exploration of new nuclear power plants, and the development of clean-burning coal. We’ll need these valuable resources while we transition the United States to a new kind of energy.

Advice No. 2: [The Mexican border fence. People crawling through the mud.] We need to do a better job securing our borders. Every year billions of dollars in drugs cross into the United States. Illegal immigrants are taking Jobs away from legal immigrants and hard-working Americans. And shady employers do this because they can pay the illegal immigrants a third of what they’d have to pay legalized citizens. We need comprehensive immigration reform. We need to make it easier for immigrants to come to the United States legally. We need to give the children of immigrants the chance to fulfill the American dream. My opponent, after originally supporting immigration reform, now opposes it because he kowtowed to the Republican base. You won’t ever see that happen with me.

And finally, the Obama must avoid complicated issues:

Furloughs

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Environmental issues not focused on terrorism:

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And finally, don’t get caught doing something that doesn’t befit a candidate’s stature:
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more about “untitled”, posted with vodpod

Fear is a candidate’s most powerful tool. I’m not sure if Barack Obama can make it central to his campaign, which has been based on the theme of “hope.” But I think he needs to take on one of the fear issues that he has an advantage on: terrorism, immigration, crime in the United States, the war in Afghanistan. Without scaring the American voter and reminding them constantly that Bin Laden is still alive, the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, and the dependence on foreign oil, Obama might not win this very winnable election.

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Do they not know? Or are they lying?

So, I’ve often visited FactCheck.org during election time to see whether or not the candidates are telling the truth. Usually both candidates stretch the truth equally. Sometimes they can legitimately be accused of lying, but for the most part the fibs are limited to exaggerations.

But this morning when I opened FactCheck.org, which is run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, I saw something unprecedented. Of the 12 fact-checked claims debunked on the front page, nine belonged to the McCain campaign, two belonged to Internet rumors, and one belonged to the Obama campaign.

And the one on Obama was nothing more than the usual campaign mumbo jumbo of exaggerating one’s position at a national convention.

In addition, McCain cited FactCheck.org during one of his speeches recently. It turned out that he had actually misinterpreted (or lied) about the findings.

So, as a voter, I’m left thinking two things:

  1. McCain doesn’t really understand what his opponent’s plan is. With all the lawyers and all the staffers working on his campaign, explaining Obama’s plan and pointing out the differences from his plan, I worry that if McCain still doesn’t understand what his opponent’s saying, he is probably very unqualified for the job of president.
  2. He’s lying about his opponent’s plans in order to confuse voters. He’s trying to appeal to the undecided voters by painting Sen. Obama as the boogeyman.

My vote is on No. 2. For McCain to admit that he visits Factcheck.org and then repeat the same claims over and over again, even though he knows they’re lies, is unprecedented.

On a related note, NPR did a piece last night about Sarah Palin’s “thanks, but no thanks” claim.

I’m tired of the liars and dirty politicking. Let’s once and for all say goodbye to Rovian campaigning.

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