Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Uses Republican’s Quote Out of Context

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Politics — Patterico @ 5:58 pm

The other day an L.A. Times article painted Republicans as more prone than Democrats to engage in negative advertising. The story had fair and balanced quotes such as this: “mudslinging is crucial to the Republican plan for this year’s midterm elections.”

The story also contained the following passage, which you should read carefully:

Republican incumbents this year began running attack ads earlier than ever. But the hardest-hitting are yet to come.

“You haven’t seen the majority of the negative ads yet,” said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, where a staff of 10 has been deployed on opposition research.

In context, this passage makes it sound like his quote related entirely to Republican ads — as in: you haven’t seen the majority of our sleaze yet. I suspected otherwise, and said:

I bet if you were to ask Forti about that quote, he’d tell you that he meant the negative ads coming from both sides — but the story makes it sound as though he’s talking only about ads coming from Republicans. If I can track him down, I’ll ask him.

Well, today I did. I spoke with Forti briefly by phone at lunchtime. Unsurprisingly, Forti said that the quote referred to ads both from Democrats and Republicans — not merely to ads by Republicans, as the quote implies.

Forti was clearly reluctant to criticize the L.A. Times article directly. He said that Republicans have made no secret of the fact that they do opposition research and believe it to be effective. If a newspaper wants to criticize Republicans for doing that, he said, so be it. But he stressed that Democrats do just as much negative advertising, and that this is nothing new.

Was I surprised to learn that Forti’s quote was ripped out of context? No. But we should all be distressed that such one-sided pieces continue to come out of a newspaper with such wide reach and (believe it or not) respect.

3 Responses to “L.A. Times Uses Republican’s Quote Out of Context”

  1. The LAT’s has respect? By who, a Mexican farmer in middle Mexico that uses the LAT to line his chicken coops? Perfect use for the LAT/NYT, poop catching poop.

    Scrapiron (9f37aa)


    krazy kagu (f674df)

  3. The Democratic Party in California does no opposition research — they simply subcontract that work out to the LAT.

    Sean P (256007)

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