The Voter Quoter

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Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken, Dutton, 2003

Excerpt from chapter 1, "Hummus", p. 2

How about the 2000 presidential campaign? Remember in the first debate, Al Gore said he had gone down to a disaster site in Texas with Federal Emergency Management Agency director James Lee Witt? Actually, it turned out that he had gone to that disaster with a deputy of James Lee Witt. As vice president, Gore had gone to seventeen other disasters with James Lee Witt, but not that one. The press jumped all over him. There were scores of stories written about how Gore had lied about James Lee Witt. It was as if James Lee Witt had been the most popular man in the United States of America and Gore was lying to get some of that James Lee Witt magic to rub off on him.

Contrast that with the media's reaction to this Bush description of his tax cut in the very same debate. Bush said, "I also dropped the bottom rate from fifteen percent to ten percent, because, by far, the vast majority of the help goes to the people at the bottom end of the economic ladder."

"By far, the vast majority...goes to the people at the bottom." That is what George W. Bush told America. The truth is that the bottom 6O percent got 14.7 percent. Gee, that's a pretty significant misstatement, don't you think? More important than whether a Texas fire was one of the seventeen disasters you went to with American icon James Lee Witt. So what was the reaction of the liberal mainstream press?


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