Candy Crowley loses balance, wrongly accuses Obama of falsehoods, to win the Media Putz
Originally published on MediaPutz.com on September 18, 2008
The word “balance” has been so distorted in the MSM, especially in cable TV news coverage, the word has lost what little meaning it ever had.
Candy Crowley, the long-time CNN political correspondent, was asked about the weight of McCain’s lies vs. Obama’s lies this week. Her “analysis” was disturbing.
Anderson Cooper asks Crowley if it was equal (in response to what Karl Rove said on Sunday after McCain and Obama TV ads). Her response: “I’m not going to be the one to tell you whether it’s equal or not. I honestly think that voters need to be out there…”
Yes, voters are tuning into CNN to find out whether the candidates are lying. They are looking for you to tell them and your response was to pass the buck.
Crowley noted that it was up to voters to sort it out. Huh? You can’t give a detailed thought-process based on facts about which one has been the bigger liar. Yes, there is a built-in corporate pressure to give the right-wing candidates the benefit of the doubt, and no cable news outlet celebrates that mentality better than CNN.
But when the balance is clearly out of balance, any reporter, even a CNN reporter, can stand behind the idea that Candidate A is lying way more than Candidate B when it’s true. After all, if FactCheck.org and other truly independent outlets know the answer, why doesn’t Crowley?
This in itself was rather bad, but it gets worse. Far worse.
“I can tell you that there are stretched truths and things that are not fact that show up in Barack Obama’s speeches.”
Now the topic was ads, not speeches. And her take was dominant on Obama’s speeches. She clearly isn’t a fan.
Crowley then launches, in some bizarre “balance” concept, to then talk about Obama’s “alleged” falsehoods. The list consists of these “accusations”:
— John McCain’s mentioning $5 million as a mark for middle class (but McCain did say this)
— Crowley complains that McCain quotes were taken out of context in an ad (again, but McCain did say those things). She says McCain said in January that we weren’t in a recession (many thought we were for good reason); but again he did say that.
— Her final crack was about Obama and his tax programs – she feels Obama has left out the part of how he will pay for the tax cuts and other programs is from the removal of the Bush tax cuts for those (such as Crowley) who make over $250,000. But Obama has said those making $250,000 or more will pay taxes – you may or may not like that, but Obama hasn’t left that out.
In her rant, she says NOTHING about lies in any ads. As she spends almost 2 minutes ripping through Obama’s alleged falsehoods, she never comes up with one. Not a one.
And if Mark Halperin, no progressive himself, comes along right afterward and says the McCain lies are more central to his campaign, then Candy Crowley lost her credibility right on the spot.
Sadly, too many voters get too much information from TV news, especially the cable news outlets. And unlike the regular pundits whose agendas are obvious, average observers of the campaign are more likely to believe someone such as Crowley, who doesn’t outwardly have any ax to grind.
But distortions and outright deception is part of why campaigns are closer (i.e., more revenue for cable TV news outlets since more people would tune in if it was close) than they should be.
It’s bad enough that a seasoned reporter/analyst can’t give legitimate details based on fact. It’s worse when that person then turns around and accuses the other side of lies when not one falsehood example is listed.
If a TV weatherperson came on the air and said skies are sunny with no clouds when it was raining, credibility wouldn’t last too long. Well, Candy Crowley, we see it’s raining McCain lies no matter how sunny you might think it is. For your refusal to give a true analysis and then you turn around and give a deceptive view of the other side, we gladly bestow you as the Media Putz of the week.