CNN Takes the lead in Debunking McCain / Palin Lies in Back-to-back reports:
Obama wants to teach sex to kindergarteners? Lie.
Palin opposed the Bridge to Nowhere? Lie.
Palin hasn’t taken earmarks as Governor? Lie.
Alaska produces 20% of America’s energy? Lie.
Palin visited Iraq and Ireland? Lie.
From Darrel West:
Despite these historical precedents, the 2008 campaign has reached all-time lows in the use of misleading and inaccurate political appeals. Even Karl Rove, the architect of negative ads in previous campaigns, has complained about the tenor of this year’s campaign.
This imbalance has caused some soul-searching and second-guessing in newsrooms as reporters realize they are being successfully manipulated by the McCain campaign. “Stop the madness,” said TIME’s own Mark Halperin in an appearance on CNN to discuss the controversy. “I think this is the press just absolutely playing into the McCain campaign’s crocodile tears.”
By the weekend, many news organizations had mounted a backlash of their own, running prominent pieces accusing the self-branded “straight-talking” McCain of deceiving voters. “The ‘Straight-Talk Express’ has detoured into doublespeak,” announced the Associated Press, while the New York Times blared, “McCain Barbs Stirring Outcry as Distortions.”
The backlash has not yet had an impact on voters’ perceptions of McCain’s credibility, though with the press emboldened, that could change.
And from CNN’s Report on this morning’s Palin-POW-wow in Ohio:
Palin’s claims aren’t exactly accurate: Obama would maintain the Bush tax cuts and offer tax breaks to individuals making under $250,000 a year. According to the non-partisan Center for Tax Policy, Obama’s tax plan would offer greater tax relief than McCain’s for low and middle-income earners, but McCain’s plan would lower the tax burden more across the board.
And this from TIME:
In the heat of a campaign, Schmidt understood that outrage could cut through the news clutter like a buzz saw. It didn’t matter much if the outrage was fueled by fact — better if it was fueled by emotion, which would tweak the fury of his base, leading to exciting exchanges on cable television and fresh chatter around the watercooler. Unlike health care or foreign policy, the emotional charge of outrage has a magnetic effect; voters are forced to take sides and respond, shifting the debate.
Now, four years later, Schmidt and the McCain campaign have returned to outrage, and there is little doubt that the tactic is again having the desired effect.