Friday, July 30, 2004

New RNC "Extreme Makeover" talking points

Here are the new talking points for the Dems "Extreme Makeover." Let's see if we can spot them bubbling up in the liberal media.

I'll give you an easy freebie:

The Bush-Cheney re-election campaign said Thursday that Democrats are continuing their "extreme makeover" of their candidate to mask Kerry's "out of the mainstream record."

The campaign pointed out that Kerry voted 98 times for tax increases totaling more than $2.3 trillion, at least 126 times against tax cuts totaling more than $5.3 trillion, 73 times to reduce the size of a tax cut, 67 times for smaller tax cuts and 11 times against repealing tax hikes.

Note the way that the reporter cites the campaign but leaves its conclusions un-fact checked. But, it's Fox News, so no surprise.

Here's one from AP. This one has been picked up all over the country, e.g. at NYT, LAT, etc. Note that the AP piece unabashedly compares Kerry to Dukakis and parrots the EM talking point without any attempt at balance.

Washington Times, another right-wing rag.

The Boston Channel.

Here, the Green Bay Press Gazette posts verbatim a Republican response to Kerry's speech without any pretense of reporting.

(Here, I skip dozens of local papers that parrot the "Extreme Makeover" line.).

A Chicago Tribune article that cites Kerry's vote against the $87B appropriation out of context, and then quotes Zell Miller parroting the Republican talking points. (The Sun-Times also runs an article about Miller.)

National Review Online (no surprise here, either).

Here's a different AP piece on Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This one gets quotes from two different conservative commentators, but the liberal POV is represented by a soundbite from Kerry's speech.

I would like to see someone in the mainstream ("liberal") media actually solicit the opinion of a liberal commentator on the veracity of the talking points. Without that perspective, the figures (voted against this 98 times, that 127 times) are essentially being repeated ad nauseum without verification.

I am almost certain that many, many of the votes cited in these figures followed a format something like this:

Under consideration: Bill pertaining to a proposed tax break.
Poison-pill amendment offered and successfully attached: declaring "libruls official enemies of the state" (or other nonsense)
Voted against tax break bill because of poison pill amendment.

Voila, a vote against cutting taxes. Or this:

Under consideration: Federal budget.
Amendments attached: changing various taxation levels as part of budget process (happens every budget period).

Now, no matter which way he votes on the budget he loses. He votes no on the budget? Well, he just voted against tax cuts (and if there are 10 tax cuts in the bill, we can count it 10 times!). He votes yes on the budget? Well, he just voted to raise taxes!

It's a fun game, right?


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