The Billings Outpost

A Lie is a Lie...

You have written and published one of the most partisan, inaccurate hack jobs ever to disgrace your newspaper. I refer to “A lie is a lie—except sometimes in newspapers.” Here are some of your missteps.

1.   You quote Brisbane thusly: “…whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge ‘facts’ that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.” Then you say, “Readers obviously thought reporters should call out lies, but that wasn’t exactly the question Mr. Brisbane asked. The question isn’t whether lies should be called out, but how often and in what format.” You are wrong. Your Brisbane quote has two parts: (1) “Whether  … reporters should challenge ‘facts’ . . . J’ Part [sic] (1) makes it obvious that Brisbane raises the question of “Whether lies should be called out.

2.   You seem to think that it’s dispositive when a left-wing newspaper issues four Pinocchios, as in claiming that Romney’s assertion that Obama has made speeches “apologizing for America” is a “whopper” because Obama has not used the word “apology.” Wake up, Mr. Crisp. There are numerous ways to apologize without using the word “apology.”

3.   You say that Romney’s statement that he will “never apologize for America” leaves it uncertain “why he thinks that is a reason to vote for him.” Well, it might be clear to all but you that he’s drawing the distinction that he will be more patriotic in his statements than Obama has been. He must believe that’s one reason to vote for him.

4.   You claim that Romney’s assertion that Obama has made apologies for America “is simply untrue” and is a “falsehood” and “that Mr. Obama has never said the word.” Refer to number 2—that a person can apologize without using the word “apology” or its variations.

5.   You write that Romney’s “frequent public misstatements would add scads of boilerplate to every story about him.” As if Obama as a candidate and President has not told numerous lies. Where’s your journalistic balance?

6.   You mention Romney has claimed to have created hundreds of thousands of jobs when he was with Bain Capital. You should not have pluralized the word “hundreds,” as if Romney has claimed at least two hundred thousand jobs. Actually, Romney has used the figure one hundred thousand, or in the second South Carolina Debate, one hundred ten thousand. If he ever did say “hundreds of thousands,” that has not been apparent in recent news reports or when he’s shown speaking about it on TV. Yet you write as if that’s his constant claim.

7.   You say Romney took an Obama “quote blatantly out of context.” How many times is there ever full context with a quotation? You might refer, for example, to the many reports of the Citizens United decision that gave corporations the power to use money in political campaigns, conveniently omitting that the decision also gave unions that power. Claiming that something was used “out of context” is one of the oldest attack tricks. It’s only a deceit when the context disagrees with the quotation. Thus, using a quotation out of context may or may not be an accurate presentation of an idea.

8.   You ask how many people can fire an insurance company. With that, you are guilty of the out-of-context deceit—because surely Romney meant that people can “fire an insurance company” as their insurance provider.

9.   You write that it’s “ridiculous, if not a blatant lie” for Republicans to say that Democrats are engaging in class warfare. Wrong again. Republicans claim that it’s class warfare for Democrats to favor raising the income tax on the rich. People who are rich are a class of people. So your “rule of thum” proves that you are wrong. That action which Democrats favor does “involve class.” And, of course, the word “warfare” has many connotative meanings and does not always refer to military action.

10.  You imply that you agree with the claim of some Democrats that “Republicans voted to end Medicare.” A few Republicans want to end Medicare, but to impute that belief to the mainstream or majority of the Republican Party is not accurate. And your only support for the veracity of that lie is the evasion of basing it on the conveniently anonymous “critics.”

There are some reasons not to vote for Romney, but you have not presented them.

Norton Moses
Billings

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