Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Distorts McCain’s Initial Reaction to Financial Crisis

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 3:19 pm

The L.A. Times advocates for Obama by utterly distorting John McCain’s initial reaction to last weekend’s financial crisis:

McCain acted first but suffered several false starts. On Monday, he declared that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” On Tuesday, he said that the economy, while strong, was in “crisis” and that he opposed a federal bailout of insurance giant AIG. On Wednesday, after the federal government announced that it would take over AIG, he said the action was unavoidable.

What a doddering old fool! On Monday, he didn’t even realize there was a crisis! It took him until Tuesday to acknowledge a crisis!

Except, of course, that is a complete distortion of his comments — as you can tell by looking at his full remarks:

You know that there’s been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street. And it is, it’s – people are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong but these are very, very difficult times. And I promise you, we will never put America in this position again. We will clean up Wall Street. We will reform government.

That is the statement of a man who understands there is a big problem. But there are seven words in the middle of that paragraph that, if you take them completely out of context, make McCain seem like an out-of-touch buffoon.

So, of course, that’s what Obama did — and, of course, the L.A. Times simply follows suit, because the paper is in Obama’s pocket.

What’s more, they ignored his lengthy clarification — which also took place on Monday, after Obama had pulled those seven words out of context:

Today we are seeing tremendous upheaval on Wall Street. The American economy is in crisis. Unemployment is on the rise and our financial markets are in turmoil. People are concerned about our economic future. But let me say something: this economic crisis is not the fault of the American people. Our workers are the most innovative, the hardest working, the best skilled, most productive, most competitive in the world.

My opponents may disagree, but those fundamentals of America are strong. No one can match an American worker. Our workers sell more goods to more markets than any other on earth. Our workers have always been the strength of our economy, and they remain the strength of our economy today.

McCain said all that Monday. But all the L.A. Times tells you is that he said “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” This is strong evidence of a deliberate attempt to mislead readers.

You can’t trust anything this paper says without checking with other sources, people. I know most of you know that, but it never hurts to remind you.

12 Responses to “L.A. Times Distorts McCain’s Initial Reaction to Financial Crisis”

  1. Like I said, Patterico, you are the fact checking site you’ve been waiting for.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  2. This is strong evidence of a deliberate attempt to mislead readers.

    Obama is portrayed elsewhere in the article as indecisive, taking “fewer clear positions.”

    “He sometimes appears to favor both sides of a proposition as he listens and talks to people. You don’t always know where he is. He’s his own inkblot,” [C.U.N.Y. Prof. Stanley] Renshon says.

    There were too many down arrows on the day Lehman Brothers cratered for McCain to have made such a remark and not need to support the argument.

    steve (c2ffe6)

  3. i just run on the principle that everything they print is a lie:
    i would even double check the box scores, were i dumb enough to subscribe to the times.

    redc1c4 (27fd3e)

  4. steve,

    If by “elsewhere” you mean the second-to-last paragraph, you’re right. But my complaint isn’t that they said mean things about McCain and not Obama. My point is that they ripped McCain’s word completely out of context and gravely distorted them.

    I respect you too much to accuse you of deliberately constructing a strawman argument to refute. But, I presume not consciously, that is what you have done.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  5. Is it an campaign ad everytime the “Times” drops their journalistic intergrity and shills for Obama? – do they have to report it as an “in-kind” donation?

    I wish I was jesting

    EricPWJohnson (c00a5d)

  6. Steve

    Lehman brothers have been on the knifes edge since the Carter Years – Merill Lynch as well – all of us who “work” in global finance were

    A. Not invested in those companies

    B. Not surprised

    EricPWJohnson (c00a5d)

  7. McCain is not helped by the fact that most of the people in this country don’t even know what the fundamentals of our economy are.

    Dan (6a763b)

  8. Least of all Obama, McCain is not a huge improvement, but Obama’s comments are the most ludicrous in this whole fiasco.

    Obama’s refrain of blaming “Bush economic policies” is just completel horse manure. Bush’s economic policies have almost nothing to do with the slump in housing prices, the extension of mortgages to those unable to pay them, and the problems with the complex derivatives built on securitized mortgages by freakshows of incompetence like Fannie Mae.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  9. Comment by Dan — 9/20/2008 @ 5:40 pm

    And, it is very difficult for them to learn those fundementals since the “teachers” don’t know shit about economics either.

    Another Drew (0d32b9)

  10. sign the petition to impeach obama,
    or… have a look at what a concervative artist can do… on a PC no less, not a mac.

    Zac (04397e)

  11. Arguably, SPQR, lack of oversight had plenty to do with it.

    Patterico (e5775e)

  12. Um, Zac, senators can’t be impeached.

    Milhouse (89df7f)

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