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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:40 PM
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False equivalencies are the real shame

By Steve Benen

Long time readers may recall that I had some concerns about Ron Fourniers coverage of the 2008 presidential race, back when he was the APs Washington bureau chief. The high-profile political reporter, who admitted in 2007 that he entered talks to join the McCain campaign as a paid staffer, and later sent encouraging emails to Karl Rove, covered the Obama-McCain race with a series of questionable pieces.

Fournier is now with National Journal, publishing pieces like these on the breakdown of the super-committee process.


Shame on Republicans for a stubborn unwillingness to seriously consider tax increases.

Shame on Democrats for keeping a closed mind to significant benefit cuts.

And shame on President Obama for standing idly by as Washington failed again to get the countrys fiscal house in order.

Well, one of those sentences makes sense. The rest are just lazy and superficial arguments that arent supported by the facts...For that matter, GOP members of the super-committee specifically asked President Obama not to intervene, arguing that progress would be more likely if he kept his distance. The president honored their request Republicans have already proven they arent going to listen to him anyway but Obama nevertheless outlined a variety of ambitious debt-reduction plans that the members could consider. Republicans rejected these efforts, too. Who acted shamefully in this scenario?

Greg Sargent, who named Fournier a winner in todays false equivalency sweepstakes, ran a takedown that was spot on. The conclusion especially rang true:

I maintain that the above represents a set of facts that can be consulted, in the quest to judge whos most to blame for the supercommittees failure. We can determine in factual terms whether each partys offers involved roughly equivalent concessions by both sides. We can determine in factual terms whether the desire for the wealthy to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction was the top priority of Republicans, and whether this was the central sticking point that made agreement impossible. This sort of line of questioning is often dismissed as mere opinion. But ultimately, what were really talking about here is the quest to establish factual reality, which is what journalists are supposed to be doing.


The GOP media shills have one goal: Use anti-government sentiment to put Democrats and Republicans on equal footing. Next cast Republicans as slightly more reasonable than Democrats by twisting the facts to show that Democrats passed on a really opportunity. Repeat some RW spin about President Obama.

In other words, according to the GOP media shills: Democrats are a bigger problem than Repubicans.

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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:43 PM
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1. K & R. n/t
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:35 PM
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2. Yes. And when people are equally mad at government the ones who are perceived as the antiwashington
ones get the vote. The GOP is holding onto the democrats for dear life. We have to stop this equivalency meme.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:57 PM
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3. False equivalence is a growing problem in our current "down is up" universe created by the GOP
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 10:57 PM by high density
Republicans can get away with and say anything in this media environment. Nobody challenges them on anything. Even worse is that you have countless DC-brainwashed tools like this Ron Fournier idiot and David Gregory who constantly go after a "balance" that doesn't exist.
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