Eric Slater of our local Dog Trainer makes the following incorrect claim:
In 2003, the federal government spent just $25 million on stem cell research.
Bzzzzzt! Close, Eric Slater! Only off by about $190 million!!
Yup. As Scott McClellan explained in a White House briefing:
The funding for fiscal year 2003 was $24.8 million, that’s up from zero in the previous administration. That’s for embryonic stem cell research. We’ve also provided over $190 million in funding for adult stem cell research, which continues to show great promise.
This one is a few days old, but sloppy is sloppy — whether it’s today, yesterday, or the day before.
Thanks to reader M.P.
Quiz: a CNN poll shows one of the presidential candidates ahead, 52% to 44%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points. Does the headline say that the candidate with 52% “leads” the other candidate?
The answer is, of course, “it depends.”
This morning’s L.A. Times has another shoddy and biased article on Proposition 66, the initiative to gut the Three Strikes Law in California. The article features more minimizing of convicts’ criminal histories, uncritical acceptance of sob stories, and misleading and unchecked rhetoric concerning the law’s likely impact.
Can’t they find anybody who understands the law, is willing to do a little research, and can write a fair article?
The Los Angeles Times has a long piece on Bush’s National Guard service this morning, titled An Agile Pilot Who Flew Under the Radar. Clever, huh?
Hasn’t this paper covered this story extensively already? Why, yes it has! So why another story on this topic? Blame the “growing chorus”:
A growing chorus of Bush critics has emerged in recent weeks, saying his youthful conduct then is freshly relevant today.
I have warned you that such language is a signal that the paper agrees with the criticism. When the paper disagrees with criticism of a candidate, it is portrayed as an attack by political opponents. When the paper agrees with the criticism, the criticism becomes a mysterious and disembodied (but ever-growing) entity. Doubts grow. Criticism emerges. The L.A. Times has always portrayed the criticism of Bush’s National Guard record this way.
What we don’t learn in today’s story is that a major voice in the “growing chorus” has sounded a discordant note. That voice belongs to Bob Mintz of the “Texans for Truth” group. For about the fifth time, the folks at the L.A. Times manage to mention Mintz and his commercial without mentioning Mintz’s previous contradictory statements — even though I told them about those statements over two weeks ago.