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Posted at 5:44 PM ET, 09/12/2008

Weekend edition

By Michael Dobbs


BARBARA WALTERS: "She [Governor Sarah Palin] also took some earmarks..."
JOHN MCCAIN: "No, not as governor she didn't. She vetoed - Look, well, the fact is she's a reform governor."

--ABC "The View," Sept. 12, 2008.

John McCain is trying to claim that black is white when he argues that his running mate, Sarah Palin, has not accepted earmarks as Governor of Alaska. While it is true that she has sought fewer earmarks than her predecessor, Governor Frank Murkowski, Alaska still leads the nation in terms of per capita spending on earmarks, according to Citizens Against Government Waste.

The Facts

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Palin sought $256 million in earmarks during her first year in office. This year, her office has sought the assistance of the Alaska Congressional delegation in landing $197 million in federal earmarks.

A comprehensive list of the governor's latest earmark requests is available at the website of Alaska senator Ted Stevens with a covering letter from Palin's office. The requests range from $71 million for the "Rural Alaska Sanitation Initiative" to $3.2 million for "Sea Lion Biological Research to $7.4 million for "Rural Airport Lighting."

While we are talking about Palin, here is a quick run-down of factual errors in her first media interview as vice-presidential nominee, with Charles Gibson of ABC News:

  • "Show me where I have ever said that there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any affect, or no affect, on climate change."
    Palin may not have said that human activities have had no impact whatsoever on climate change, but she has certainly depicted that impact as minimal in the past. Here is what she said in an interview with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on December 4, 2007: "I'm not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity."

  • Her claim that "many vice-presidents" had never met a foreign head of state before becoming president (after conceding to Gibson that she has never met a foreign head of state.)
    I would appreciate some help from readers on this one. The last seven vice-presidents (Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush, Walter Mondale, Nelson Rockefeller, and Gerald Ford) had all met foreign heads of state prior to taking office. The 39th vice-president, Spiro Agnew, had been governor of Maryland for just two years when Richard Nixon picked him to be his running mate in 1968. Does anybody know whether Agnew had met a foreign head of state prior to assuming office as vice-president? Agnew's immediate predecessors, Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson, and Nixon, were all well-known figures prior to becoming vice president.

  • Her claim that Russia invaded a "smaller, democratic country [Georgia] unprovoked."
    The Russian invasion of Georgia, beginning on August 7, may have been "disproportionate," as the Bush administration has argued, but it was hardly "unprovoked." Reports from Georgia and South Ossetia suggest that the Russians were responding to a Georgian attack on Tskhinvali, capital of the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, which has been under Russian protection since 1991.
  • Some readers have complained that I have been soft on the Democrats over the last week, while awarding a string of Pinocchios to the McCain campaign. I would like to think that this simply reflects the current state of the campaign: the McCainites have been on the offensive over the last week, tearing into Obama with a series of questionable TV ads. If you think it reflects bias on my part, there is a simple remedy: send in specific examples of Pinocchio-esque statements by Obama and the Dems, and I will check them out.

    The Pinocchio Test

    I will give Governor Palin a pass this week, to mark her inaugural media outing. Four Pinocchios for McCain for his clumsy attempt to rewrite history.

    (About our rating scale.

    By Michael Dobbs  | September 12, 2008; 5:44 PM ET
    Categories:  4 Pinocchios, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Spreading dirt on Palin--and Obama
    Next: Obama Confuses his Verb Tenses

    Comments

    It is interesting how there has been almost no vetting and reporting
    of the millions of dollars of prok barrel federal funds Obama has fought to get (waste).
    "The View" is made up of a bunch of tired liberals who could not know the truth if they were eating it. The campaign supporters of Obama continue their "gotcha" game, hoping to help Obama get back ahead of McCain. As they have been doing for months they will say and do anything, while accusing their opposition of the same.
    It is the proverbial "pot calling the kettle black". However, one does not expect competency, honesty or fairness from "The View" or from other progressive (radical left) or liberal Democrats ( 4 of the 5 members of The View ) Oprah, bloggers, or the bias media.

    So what else is new?

    Posted by: rljmsilver | September 12, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

    John Mc Cain has simply proven over and over again that is s dishonorable liar. Slimey coems to mind

    Posted by: jmh300 | September 12, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

    Actually, Obama's recent ad portraying McCain as the old, out-of-touch man that he is is misleading, i.e. McCain has learned in the last few months to use a computer on his own, according to a news report I saw somewhere Obama's ad is not nearly as rediculous as McCain-Palin ads, by any stretch, but still misleading. You should investigate. Thank you for the work you do.

    Posted by: AL in Alabama | September 12, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

    What else is new rljimsliver?

    Reading your right-wing drivel is nothing new. Obama never said he didn't take ear-marks ever (while he actually didn't last year, AT ALL!) your man Johnny just lied again and you twist it around, like a child on the playground, into "Well, he did it first"...

    Nothing new from your side of the isle, indeed.

    Posted by: MGBYG | September 12, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

    Five in a row against the GOP, that's a new record, Dobbs. There's was NOTHING worthy of fact checking from either Democrat?! If you don't "fact check" a single item from Obama-Biden from now until the election, can we finally make the case you are in the tank for the Democrats?

    First of all, you haven't given Gov. Palin a "pass" at all since you returned (check every current thread). Second, she didn't say that "many vice-presidents" had never met a foreign head of state before becoming president [sic]. Third, when did shaking a foreign head of state's hand become a prerequisite for the Vice Presidency, or the Presidency? Clinton, Reagan, Carter? All the way back to George Washington, many hadn't personally greeted a foreign head of state. Especially if you include every Vice Presidential candidate, I would guess most of them hadn't.

    This is getting just a bit rediculous!

    Posted by: JakeD | September 12, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

    Sad that John McCain has started using tactics like this.

    Posted by: HarrisCo | September 12, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

    Just read Agnews bio and I don't think he met any heads of state... But the fact that so many of the most recent had is a bid deal. It speaks of the qualifications that are now established which Palin does not measure up to for that office.

    What is so bad about this is that McCain put politics ahead of governance and what is best for our country. That is unforgiveable.

    He is 72 and will be 76 at the end of a first term. Then possibly another at 80? That is past the average lifetime of a white male.

    It is pretty likely that Palin will be President should they win. She simply doesn't have the chops for that.

    Posted by: Mike in Sac | September 12, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

    MGBYG:

    What about Obama's claim that McCain doesn't know how to use a computer, or that he wasn't referring to Plain with his "liptick on a pig comment"? There's been plenty Dobbs could have "fact checked" on Obama-Biden since the Conventions.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 12, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

    I think we saw John McCain under pressure today. He continues to engage in smear tactics even when the facts prove him wrong. Joy absolutely got it right when she asked him, in essence, if he would revert back to his moderate stance if elected and no longer needed the conservative base he's shunned and which has shunned him for so many years. That and Cindy's assertion that they both believe that the choice to have an abortion in the case of rape and incest is appropriate. Wow, could he be any more transparent???? Sarah Palin better hope she can keep the hype going for the next two months. Personally I think all those women she's hoping to woo are going to wise up once she's forced to face the tough questions.

    Posted by: eeva | September 12, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

    Mike in Sac:

    Who cares if "so many of the most recent" have?! That's not what Gov. palin pointed out (see above). I, for one, hope that Palin will be President some day.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 12, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

    From:
    Head of State
    http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/hed-rather-win-election-than-tell-truth.html

    Friday, September 12, 2008
    He'd Rather Win The Election Than Portray The Truth

    John McCain ran an honorable campaign in 2000.

    He was beaten due to scurrilous dishonesty.

    He's learned the lesson well.

    He's hired those who did this to him.

    And now, they are doing it again.

    McCain has said that he would rather win the war than win the election.

    In fact, as we have seen time after time this week, he would apparently rather win the election than convey the truth.

    This approach brought us George W. Bush--and the dissembling, half-truths, omissions and distortions to come. And the tragic consequences that have followed for individuals and families across the nation and the world.

    As Americans, we often have short memories and powerful impulses. We tend to act on the latter. This is why history can repeat itself.

    Remember. Remember how riled up by emotion many became last time. By impulse. Without thought. Remember the statements that were made. Remember the realities that followed. Remember.

    You can feel what you feel now--anger, aggression, glee, without examination of the underlying truth--for a moment.

    You will live for the consequences for years, decades--perhaps for the rest of your life.

    Remember the thoughts and feelings that preceded these last 8 years.

    Remember.

    According to the non-partisan FactCheck.org (http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_mccain.html), McCain has strained the truth about health care. About small business. About education. About taxes. About corporate welfare. About energy independence. About free trade.

    We've seen this before.

    We were distracted from the truth in just the same way before.

    And we've lived the consequences--for the past 8 years.

    This is the way we need to change the world: By realizing what is true, rather than realizing what emotes us for the moment.

    Think.

    Remember.

    And act accordingly for our future.

    Cite:
    Head of State
    http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/hed-rather-win-election-than-tell-truth.html

    Posted by: Marie Stewart | September 12, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

    JakeD: Maybe it's 5 in a row because ever since the RNC McCain and Palin have been lying non stop to the electorate, and repeating those lies even after being caught telling them as if they think we're complete idiots who will believe what they say no matter what?

    But let me guess, you're one of those "reality has a liberal bias so it shouldn't be reported because that's not fair" geniuses? If McCain acts like a liar, by lying, then it's going to make it into the news. If he doesn't like the negative coverage he could try, just as a thought, *telling the truth for once*. He could stop telling people Obama will raise everyone's taxes when he won't. He could stop telling people Palin was against the Bridge to nowhere when she wasn't. He could stop telling people she's against earmarks when she's the reigning Queen of Earmarks. He could stop spreading that disgusting smear that Obama wants to teach kindergarten kids about sex because of a bill that was designed TO PROTECT KIDS AGAINST SEXUAL PREDATORS. He could stop suggesting that the only reason he's running such a disgusting dishonest campaign is because Obama wouldn't go to town hall meeting with him as if it's Obama's responsibility what McCain puts in his ads which which is such a spectacular line of bull it boggles the mind. Etc...

    Posted by: Grant | September 12, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

    It must be the "Angry Left" that is making McCain lie about Obama's attempt to help children determine what appropriate touching is. Or the "Liberal Media" that repeats these lies as if there was some truth in them. Thanks fact checker, and hey, right wing-nuts, feel free to submit anything you want.

    Posted by: Bill on Maui | September 12, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

    i hope you people realize that a governor has no control over the earmarks given by the senators in thier respective states.

    at one point in the congressional process states were to make bills for respective state fund allocations, however they found that some states that were less affective to teh trading of other states found thier states underfunded or without funds and therefore had to attach thier funds to other bills that curried more favor in order to appropriate the necessary funds.

    i love how even the post admits that its stretching on her quotes to claim she is things that she isnt.

    part of a governors job is to tell the senators what they need, they dont provide morale standards for the senators to uphold or suggestions of how to go about the senators job.

    palins "falsehoods" are an increasing stretch of the truth, by the very media giving pinochios. but, keep it up, it only makes her look better, because what you report as "Facts" and "issues" is nothing more than a smear so obvious that over 51% of the us (thats a decent % of democrats) beleive that its just a smear.

    Posted by: dale | September 12, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

    btw, grant and bill,

    please do a little reading up on the % of children who can equate to "inappropriate touching" in a manner that can be documented and cataloged for child services at hte age of 5.

    you might find that the % of children helped is less than 2%, and in fact of those reported at that age most are false, children who are abused do not start showing personality related signs under they start developing a personality outside of thier abusive and controlled home environments (8 and up) when somewhat creative writing is introduced, the previous law was for 6 years and up to learn.

    however, despite constant rumors mccains ad is not false, if it were it would be taken off the air immediately as they do have standards yes even for presidential campaigns (its the same concept as you cant yell fire in a crowded theatre). the ad states facts, that obama's only legislation in education that he specifically pushed into existane was this. all other legislation he tried to pass was either A) simply had his name attached to it as a co-sponser or B) did not pass.

    please, you have to realize that if these things were really lies not even our government as messed up as it is would stand for them. but then again, obama is actually being sued, and you wouldnt know about that because of hte media, whilest mccains campaign ads havent even been formally charged. waht a surprise, weak baseless attacks.

    Posted by: dale | September 12, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

    As respectfully as I can communicate: I am a woman who does not believe it's appropriate to give someone who's running for vice-president of the United States a "pass" on...what, at least three?...lies offered in the only interview given (besides that bedrock of journalism, People magazine) in the two weeks since being nominated. For what reason? Because she's a woman? Because she's an unqualified woman?
    Would you do the same thing if the candidate was a man?
    This is all so surreal. A candidate who thinks foreign policy experience is related to championing a pipeline in her home state(that has yet to start construction and may never even get there) and "seeing" Russia from one of Alaska's islands; a candidate who clearly was offering scripted talking points for almost every question asked of her (with nary an original thought); a candidate who boldly lies over and over again (Bridge to Nowhere, earmarks, "Troopergate" cooperation pledge, etc.)...
    Wow. Again, I ask you,Fact Checker: If this was a man, would you push it all aside like you just did?
    Me thinks it's called: reverse sexism.

    Posted by: Barbyrah | September 12, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

    P.S. I do want to thank you for the vetting you're doing. It's an incredibly important part of maintaining our democratic republic. Kudos.

    Posted by: Barbyrah | September 12, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

    I am sure tomorrow we will her that she meant VP's that had had sleepovers with foreign leaders, so of course she was really correct.

    Vice presidents that had met foreign leaders prior to taking office...

    "- Gerald Ford (1973-1974): As a 25-year member of the House of Representatives, Ford went on numerous press junkets and fact-finding missions overseas. A research historian at the Gerald Ford Library in Michigan spotlighted the Congressional rep’s trip to China, with Hale Boggs in 1972 as an example of Ford’s engagement with overseas leaders. In “Time and Chance: Gerald Ford’s Appointment with History,” James Cannon writes that along with observing acupuncture surgery and meeting US diplomats, Ford and Boggs had dinner with Chinese Premier Chou En-Lai.

    - Nelson Rockefeller (1974-1977): The young, rich Rockefeller made his name in the State Department, serving as director of the Office of Inter-American Affairs, assistant secretary of state for Latin-American affairs and a special assistant to Eisenhower on foreign affairs. He was part of the U.S. delegation to the Chapultepec Conference and met with many foreign policy leaders to urge solidarity in the Western Hemisphere.

    - Walter Mondale (1977-1981): The Minnesota Historical Society, which holds all of Mondale’s papers, found many records of overseas travel, starting with a 1966 fact-finding mission to India and continuing through his decade in the Senate, including trips to Israel and Tokyo in 1973. In “The Democrats’ Dilemma: Walter Mondale and the Liberal Legacy,” Steven Gillon writes of Mondale’s visits to Jerusalem, Bonn, Brussels, London and Paris and a week spent in the Soviety Union meeting with high-level Russian officials in preparation for Mondale’s aborted run for the presidency.

    - George H.W. Bush (1981-1989): Presumably, between being ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China (the U.S. didn’t have official ties to the People’s Republic, so Bush couldn’t have the title of “ambassador”) and head of the CIA, Bush had plenty of face-to-faces with leaders overseas.

    - Dan Quayle (1989-1993): A New York Times Magazine article by Maureen Dowd–a White House reporter at the time–characterizes Dan Quayle as “the Congressman who chalked up better attendance in the House gym than in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.” Nevertheless, Quayle appears to have at least claimed ties to international dignitaries; a 1989 Time article about Quayle’s diplomatic debut in Venezuela says he bragged about links to NATO leaders and Israeli higher-ups while on the campaign trail.

    - Al Gore (1993-2001): Gore had been in Congress for 25 years before being tapped for the vice presidency, and while he was most well-known for his attentiveness to technology issues, he did lead a convention of high-ranking officials from 42 countries in drafting a global Marshall plan that promised economic equity and an international commitment–you guessed it–protecting the environment.

    - Dick Cheney (2001-present): As secretary of defense, Cheney presided over the Panama invasion and Operation Desert Storm. Press coverage at the time indicates that Cheney met with Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd and Russia’s Boris Yeltsin, among others."

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/12/vice-presidents-and-meetings-with-foreign-leaders-a-brief-history/

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

    Finally 4 Pinokes!!! McCain and Palin have deserved it for weeks!

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

    The Republican Campaign does not realize that all the issues that are surfacing about Gov.Palin will come to a boil in three or four weeks. This will be the middle of Oct. and they WILL NOT have enough time to do "damage control" before the election and the Repulicans will LOSE.

    What issues you may ask:
    1) The BRIDGE to NOWHERE and how the Gov, kept the funds after the Gov opposed the project. Color it any way you want, if the Gov, opposed the project than Alaska owed Washington the monies appropiated.
    2)Sen, McCain continues to tell the public that the Gov, was "NEVER" involved in accepting any "Pork Barrel" monies, when it is clearly documented that Alaska did receive monies. Not only did they receive monies but it was/is the higheat per person for the stae than in the after 49 states.
    3) the use of the Gov, Office for personal gains.
    4) Charging the state a per diam expense for traveling from her home to the Capitol. The Gov, could have moved her family into the Gov. Mansion but the Gov. elected not to. This was not the decision of the people but of her own so why should the taxpayers pay for it?
    5) The Gov. has Foreign Experience because Alaska is the closest stae to Russia.

    This is the problem when a VP is chosen at the last minute without a proper background check and Sen. Mc Cain going to have to live with it. He will need to continue to attemptto defend these issues even though he knows that the charges are true..

    The Repubican Party will not win in Nov. and they will have no one to blame but themselves. Sen. McCain will need to look in a mirror and thank hilself for running the type of this campaign which left him with "egg" on face.

    He will realize that the voters wanted to heare the true about the issuesand not continue to heasr and see the type of adsthat McCain publishes.

    Posted by: EDG | September 12, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

    Mr. McCain is a desperate man. Desperate enough evidently to make a pact with the dark side, change his tune on so many issues from what he said during his 'maverick' days and now to telling lies - daily. [And thank you for calling them LIES rather than the mistruthy-type words so often used.] Between that ad about teaching kids about sex before teaching them to read, and his deliberate misrepresentation of all things Obama - GIVE ME A BREAK!! He and his campaign have gone off the charts. I imagine he's not feeling too honorable on the inside these days. What a shame.

    Posted by: Mamandala | September 12, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

    Had Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas ever met a head of state in any official capacity? Please..let's get real. What qualifications other then being the former President's wife did Hillary have?

    Posted by: Fred | September 12, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

    Dale: Palin's office specifically and in writing asked Stevens for the earmarks

    and Dale: even if "good touch" "bad touch" was over the heads of kindergarten kids (which it probably isn't but it hardly matters), the ad is a damned lie. It doesn't say that Obama is for teaching your kids to avoid predators before they can understand what that means, it says he wants to teach them sex before they can read. that's a lie no matter how bad the bill was.

    Posted by: JoeT | September 12, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

    If Palin wants to run for VP of the United States she had better be willing to have her words questioned and analyzed and not to take offense at a common phrase used in a speech that isn't even about her. The fact that she refers to herself (and every other hockey mom) as a pitbull with lipstick does not mean that every reference to lipstick refers to her. We need to analyze everything about her views and beliefs. We can't afford to giver her lies a pass for a single week. When she lies, she needs to be called on it, immediately and forcefully. Women have earned the right to be treated equally and so we need to treat Palin just as we would any man selected to run for VP, that's what equality means.

    All of the whining about her treatment in the press needs to stop. As shown here Palin and McCain are misrepresenting the truth on all fronts, which is just more of the same. Today when McCain was asked exactly what Palin was going to reform he couldn't give a concrete answer. That's because she is part of the problem, and the fact that she has no real experience in national government does not mean that she is an "outsider". Change does not come from the same policies it comes from new different policies.

    Posted by: Liz | September 12, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

    The truth is getting out but not by the media. I can't believe how the media allows Palin's overseer to manipulate them. By the time they even realize that they have been duped it will be to late. We need someone in the media with guts who will not take no for an answer and force this woman to give an interview that is not tampered with. Such as a live interview. Comeon McCain what are you afraid of? Surely she can't do any worse than you have in the past.

    Posted by: Dave | September 12, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

    JakeD,
    I suppose the whole Republican complaint that Obama can't be president because he lacks "experience" (whatever that codeword conveniently means) is dis-proven by your equally positive view that now foreign policy experience (as trivial as hanging with important foreign leaders) isn't required??? That's the point being made about this issue.

    Can't have it both ways. It's been convenient to bash your opponent (obama) only until you chose an obviously in-experienced foreign policy person (pallin) as running mate. Doesn't make it right or wrong but it does need some smackin'.

    Posted by: rhubarb42 | September 12, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

    I am glad to see the View calling McCain on his terrible record as well as Palin's. Sorry GOP, Palin's second interview was less impressive than her first. Her impressions on the economy sounded sophomoric. My GOP hubby called her a "moron"...he is not voting McCain, says they don't have a clue about geo politics or the economy.

    Obama and Biden have the intelligence, compassion and reason to make carefully thought out decisions to help us out of Bush rut. The shoot from the hip GOP tactics of the past 8 years have been a complete disaster, are not working. Talking about CHANGE and REFORM, last two months of the election, rings hollow GOP. We ain't buying it.

    I am glad Barbara and Co are on this, and let's see if Caribou Barbie sits on the hot seat.

    Posted by: Cora Peach | September 12, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

    If anyone hasn't figure it out yet that Palin is just a toy doll for the GOP to play with to win the election then your as blind as can be. Gibson showed Americnas that she has no clue about anything and this is who the GOP wants in the White House. Come on now, who will be pulling the strings, Rove, Cheney, Bush and who ever else wants to control the Military and Wall Street. More war anyone?

    Posted by: cherrypl2 | September 12, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

    i was wondering how you could continue to issue only 3 pinocchios to McCain's continual fabrications. This " lie, lie, and lie again" form of campaigning demeans us all.

    I thought the whole point of your function is the serve as an honest broker, and it's about time you exhibited some honesty.

    Posted by: Helen | September 12, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

    Sorry JakeD.. here's EXACTLY what she said:

    "Have you ever met a foreign head of state?" Gibson asked Palin Thursday.

    "I have not," Palin said, "and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you."

    She would be the first VP candiddate in 30-plus years who has not. In today's global climate, that, ESPECIALLY combined with her woeful lack of knowledge of foreign affairs makes her not only unqualified, but dangerous.

    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, not their own facts"
    --Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Posted by: dvill | September 12, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

    Yes, you do need help. You, ABC, WSJ, etc. have accounted for the last 7 or 8 VP's covering the last 32 years. How many VP's have there been. You are confident in asserting that the previous few were "well known", but don't seem to know if they'd met any heads of state. Our country is much older than 32, and there have been many more VP's than 7 or 8. In order to properly refute her in a way that in any way approaches validity, one would have to do the full research. It's still quite possible, based on the lack of research, that there have been more VP's who haven't met a head of state than those who have. I'm not going to do the research, because I'm not the one trying to dispute her. Disputers, please do YOUR complete research--not half research--and report back. Thanks.

    GBU, MDJ.

    Posted by: Marvin Johnson | September 12, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

    Straight talk Express has left the station. McCain has sold his soul to Rove and his people to win an election.

    I guess he would rather win an election than tell the American people the truth.

    Posted by: GC4Life | September 13, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

    I keep hearing rumors that Prez'Candidate Palin, who's nubile visage is oft blurred by the wispy remnants of the "Ghost of J.Mc", is/has been 4-6wks Pregnant and will therefore (Apr 1st;ish) endow us with our nations "1st born Presidential Son".
    You may think me a busybody, but, I do feel that all of America will concur in feeling that the sexual methodologies of Our First Person (Sarah) must needs be known, as no true Patriot could stomach Their President being in any way sexually subservient to any man.
    A simple gyn,exam INDEPENDENT and CERTIFIABLE should suffice to assuage any nay sayers.
    Also, if these rumors should prove "certifiably" groundless, then the next logical step is for a contract with America to be duly sworn whereby if Ms. Sarah becomes pregnant while in office certain parameters be implemented immediately in order that the delicate sensibilities of the American people be honored and protected.
    Your looking into factualities and the interests of the common folk of America is greatly appreciated.

    Posted by: ezazcanbe | September 13, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

    These right wing idiots just don't get it. Despite what you think, you are not above everyone else, you are not better than everyone. Simply using political double speak and psychological projection to accuse others of doing what you are doing and denying what your party has already done will not work forever. Eventually people will see through it and see you for the idiots you are. Keep posting your drivel so that everyone can see just how you people think, or rather, don't think.

    Posted by: Average joe | September 13, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

    The sad thing Average Joe is the general populace is stupid. That is why our founding fathers created the electoral college. And that is why America elected GWB for a second term. The McCain Campaign is banking on this stupidity. which is why they mention capital gains tax increases to scare the people. And it works even though the vast majority of people don't earn capital gains.

    Posted by: GC4Life | September 13, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

    My cock hurts and my butt is sore from the pounding I took last night.

    Posted by: Average joe | September 13, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

    No one believes the Buch/Cheney lies anymore! See this video of Obama hammering McCain over the war in Iraq!

    http://resources.on.nimp.org

    Posted by: Obama_fan1 | September 13, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

    Dobbs...you fact-checking is up to par. It is sad to see a so-called "War Hero" reduced to telling half-truths to outright lies.

    Maybe Obama is right. McCain just doesn't know or just doesn't get it.

    Too often politicians especially on the McCain side say things that are untrue and then repeat them over and over again.

    Enough is enough! America has already been mislead and lied to enough during the last 8 years.

    Posted by: Obama-Junkie | September 13, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

    Now that McCain learned how to use a computer, he should started reading people's comment. He needs to find out himself how stupid he is. They control and misleading the media, but on the internet blog. I am glad that people like me and you can voice our opinion without hesitation. They may control the ones that were not favor of their stupidity but not people like us. He is the most irresponsible person who run for presidency. Picking Palin as his running mate is a joke. Palin is really a pig. She needs to go back to the mud where she came from.

    Posted by: goldieluck | September 13, 2008 3:19 AM | Report abuse

    I go back to the saddest thing about the Sarah Palin pick was that it was the final straw in John McCain's conversion from Straight talk express to right wing suck up. From all reports, John McCain wanted to name Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge but bowed to right wing pressure and came up with this totally unprepared ignoramus (6 schools in 6 years for a news reading degree ... u of IDAHO for God's sake?). If he caves on this point, we know he will cave forever. And you know people, for all the yahoos grinnin' and shufflin', saying how much they like the Lil' lady cause she's just like "us"... I got news for you. I don't want the Pres & VP to be "just like me." I want them to be a LOT smarter than me! I graduated better than 894 out of 899 students -- it scares the hell out of me that once again I'd have a president "just like me." Lipstick is going to be the least of our problems if this tandem gets elected.

    Posted by: Did I mention I'm a POW??? | September 13, 2008 4:03 AM | Report abuse

    funny comparison you've made regarding palin's alleged earmarks:
    "that's like saying black is white"

    Admittedly, this question will be a departure from the Palin earmark issue, but I have a question I've been meaning to pose to the voters in general: BHO has been touted as the first black candidate for presidency. Why are we calling him black, and "black" only...when he's half white?

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2008 4:54 AM | Report abuse

    Obama campaign should make an Ad about McCain Patriotism. If he really love this country, he should not pick Palin to be his running mate. What an irresponsible pick to leave us with Palin idiot if he crook. Some people doesn't know how to use a computer. We need to reach those people who depend on the media and give them the rigth message. Americans, Please help each other on this one. Color of our skin is not an issue here. Bullets and granade will not aim for the color of our skin. This is about our people and country. This is about us and our future generation. I love this country and my children so much. I don't trust Palin to run this country and so do you. Wake up and do the right thing before it is too late.

    Posted by: goldieluck | September 13, 2008 5:12 AM | Report abuse

    Ops! I forgot, the fact is some Pigs are smarter than Palin. One message for Sarah, stay home and spend time with your kids. You'll be amaze in finding yourself spending time with your kids is more important than ruin this country. Stay in Alaska and shoot some moose. At least animals will not feel the pain that you are going to bestow upon us. God Help America. Let this pig go back to mud.

    Posted by: goldieluck | September 13, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

    I can't believe you are giving Palin a pass, after exposing her blatant mis-statements in the Gibson interview. Is this your attempt to placate those who would call you biased? If you stand on the side of accuracy and objectivity, why buckle? This is clearly not her first time in the spotlight. If she is not experienced enough to handle it, then she has no business on the ticket. Period.

    Posted by: Virginia-gal | September 13, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

    Cheney and Bush lied to us and thousands of American mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters are dead.

    And the American people are ready to do it again. They will elect someone with no respect for truth.

    McCain = Liar.

    Posted by: trace1 | September 13, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

    Grant and divill:

    Stick to the topic. Please prove even ONE "lie" by Palin. Not even Dobbs is claiming that.

    goldieluck:

    I would rather have a President Palin than either Obama or Biden.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

    1975-1991 Marijuana Legal in Alaska

    2004 -2006 Marijuana Legal in Alaska

    Palin has admitted she used marijuana, before Alaska outlawed it in 2006, but claims she did not like it and does not use it now.

    So how long did Palin use marijuana? And when?


    Posted by: Sue | September 13, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

    Jake, you can't honestly tell us that a President Palin would be better for our country than Obama or Biden. She has proven *repeatedly* over the past few weeks that she has no idea how to run government and lacks fundamental knowledge about international affairs. "I can see Russia from Alaska, that makes me qualified!"

    If, God forbid, Palin does become president one day, I'm going to look for you to defend your statement when our country goes to hell. I've never been as scared for the future of our country as I am right now.

    Posted by: ManUnitdFan | September 13, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

    And Mr. Dobbs, thank you for examining the McCain campaign's statements over the past week. Please don't give in to Republican media-bashing, as that's clearly become their favorite tactic recently.

    Posted by: ManUnitdFan | September 13, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

    In regards to earmarks: liberal, conservative, or what-have-you, no governor would turn down earmarks, because its money coming primarily from other governors' taxpayers: they get all the benefits of government spending without any of the risks of actually having their states' residents pay for it.

    The latest idiocy I've heard is a Republican pundit (iirc, she was a Congresswoman) who claimed Sarah Palin was an "energy expert." Can't blame Ms Palin for that, but if Sarah Palin's an "energy expert," Al Gore is the inventor of the Internet.

    I've met energy experts, and Sarah Palin isn't one.

    Ed

    Posted by: Ed | September 13, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

    I thought I just told you? No wonder you people deny she told Congress "thanks but no thanks".

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

    People, Are you blind, deft and dumb to vote for a ticket that admit it is corrupt. i.e. John McCain stated that earmarks is corrupt part of politics. Yet the McCain/Palin ticket has the biggest earmarks per capita for Alaska than any other State in the USA.
    .
    Some want to "spin" the truth until they are blind. So, in order for you to see more clearly, it will take you beyond November 4 to really know Sarah Palin.

    Some of you deliberately try to diminish Obama's accomplishment while polishing Mrs. Palin's resume. So, you sweep issues like this FactCheck under the rug.

    4 Pinocchios means McCain will lie, lie, lie.
    Seems McSame is like Bush.

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

    People, Are you blind, deft and dumb to vote for a ticket that admit it is corrupt. i.e. John McCain stated that earmarks is corrupt part of politics. Yet the McCain/Palin ticket has the biggest earmarks per capita for Alaska than any other State in the USA.
    .
    Some want to "spin" the truth until they are blind. So, in order for you to see more clearly, it will take you beyond November 4 to really know Sarah Palin.

    Some of you deliberately try to diminish Obama's accomplishment while polishing Mrs. Palin's resume. So, you sweep issues like this FactCheck under the rug.

    4 Pinocchios means McCain will lie, lie, lie.
    Seems McSame is like Bush.

    Posted by: ThePoliticalTruth | September 13, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

    The media is letting the dirty tricks gang get away with it yet again, this time by dictating the parameters for public interviews with the potentially second most powerful person in the world so we dont see the real Sarah Palin until she gets in office. Again, the dirty tricksters are hiding the ball (you remember their last really big trick -- "weapons of mass destruction" as an excuse to invade Iraq). We don't get to see the real Sarah until the media is "respectful" -- come on! Is she that fragile we have to treat her like a child? Or is the campaign afraid, once they take her off the short leash, that she will make a gaffe that tells us who she really is. That alone tells me she is unprepared to lead. Also, telling us her family is not part of the story? I think it is. You can't have it both ways, Sarah. You cant parade your family when they serve your needs, such as showing us how patriotic you are by sending your son the war, and how pious you are by having a special needs child, but then hiding your pregnant underage daughter behind a fence. You show us, again how pious you are by forcing a shotgun wedding on two children clearly not prepared for marriage. You either hide them behind a fence for all purposes, or put them out in the media for all to see and question. My question: Is what you are going to promote for America what you promoted for your own family and the state of Alaska? Abstinence instead of birth control? Well, that didn't work too well, did it? Creationism in the schools? That sounds a little too American Taliban to me -- let the church teach creationism and let the schools teach science. Assault weapons ban eliminated? Well now, let's just make it really easy for criminals to rapidly gun down police officers with assault weapons by making them easier to obtain so a few can use them for the real legitimate use -- you know, squirrel hunting. Taking state money in the form of travel per diem for living in your own house? Sounds like high powered state welfare and a total lapse of moral judgement. Charging the state for dragging your family along on "official" trips? Sounds like you didn't want to pony up the money for your own family's travel -- perhaps a bit of an offical boondoggle. Saying "thanks but no thanks" to the bridge to nowhere? Well, that is just a flat out falsehood. When Congress finally decided not to fund the bridge you had to concur. However, it didn't prevent you from taking the money under different project names. A fiscal conservative, attacking earmarks? I don't think hiring lobbyist to bring the bacon in the form of earmarks to Alaska at higher per person rates than any other state shows fiscal conservatism -- it show flat out hypocracy. Tell the truth Sarah.

    Posted by: still disgusted | September 13, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

    Forget putting the lipstick on the pig; it will just lick it off and eat it.

    Instead, try putting it on the pitbull!

    Posted by: bizi_b | September 13, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

    LOL! Gov. Palin is more qualified should she be forced to be President than Sen. Obama.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

    Mr Dobbs,

    I think you should remove the second bullet for Palin's "factual errors." You are distorting her statement. She never claimed "that 'many vice-presidents' had never met a foreign head of state before becoming president." You should at the very least put up the full quote.

    I think you're also pushing it with the first bullet as a "factual error." A better thing to fact check is the Democrats accusation that Palin thinks man has had NO effect on climate change. Which is what Gibson what really trying to get to the bottom of when he asked the question.

    Posted by: jfg | September 13, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

    It is thanks to Sen. Obama that we can see for ourselves how our money is spent. The first bill he, along with Tom Coburn (R-OK) wrote and passed - S.2590 - gives we-the-people access to "google for government" at www.usaspending.gov
    That, my friends, is something John McCain should have done during his 25 so-called "maverick" years.

    Posted by: Joyce | September 13, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

    Dobbs:
    "I will give Governor Palin a pass this week, to mark her inaugural media outing"


    This is highly inappropriate. Of course, Mr Dobbs has regularly telegraphed his willingness to let his personal opinions color his "fact checking", so I'm not surprised.

    Posted by: zukermand | September 13, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

    Technically, the State Treasurer took federal money ; )

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

    "Some readers have complained that I have been soft on the Democrats over the last week, while awarding a string of Pinocchios to the McCain campaign"

    How pathetic you even feel the need to respond. You have a serious job, please take it seriously.

    Posted by: zukermand | September 13, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

    zuckermand:

    Please review the last FIVE threads and say with a straight face that Dobbs has given Gov. Palin a "pass" this week. What would you call not "fact checking" ANYTHING from Obama-Biden?! I would give him at least Three Pinochhios for that untrue statement.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

    McCain is still seeting over his loss to GWB in 2000. He seems to have learned a lesson that the bullies and liars end up winning and being honest doesn't win you points in this country. Sadly, he may be right -- to a point. What he seems to have NOT learned is that when you win by bullying, lies, and intimidation of your opponenets, you also win enemies. And enemies who suffer under your tactics will lie in wait, looking for the right moment to expose and shame you. After 8 years of Bush bullying, Americans are fed up with these tactics. Sadly, McCain hasn't learned that his own moment of exposure is now.

    Posted by: SLB | September 13, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

    I think its important to state that just because someone takes earmarks does not mean they are in favor of earmarks. Earmarks are the way the game is set up right now. To not take any earmarks would be irresponsible for any standing governor under the current system.

    Posted by: jfg | September 13, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

    SLB:

    Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20. 2009.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

    I saw McCain on "The View". It was obvious he has decided abandon "straight talk".

    From the NYT:
    Mr. Sipple, the Republican strategist, voiced concern that Mr. McCain’s approach could backfire. “Any campaign that is taking liberty with the truth and does it in a serial manner will end up paying for it in the end,” he said. “But it’s very unbecoming to a political figure like John McCain whose flag was planted long ago in ground that was about ‘straight talk’ and integrity.”

    Palin will face scrutiny on the problems that have surfaced like Troopergate and paying herself travel expenses for nights at home. McCain may be faced with a bottoming out from the Palin bump, then he will face the same problems he had before his VP choice- that he voted with Bush 90% of the time.

    Posted by: oline | September 13, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

    "JakeD", your whining doesn't cut any ice with me.

    Posted by: zukermand | September 13, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

    "should she be forced to be President"????

    If she wins! .. and I do say "She" cuz J.BushCo.McSwine ain't nu'thin but an "inconsequential pipsqueak" who, even if he can stay healthy will be puppeteered by Sarah-Cheney McSubstitute.
    The Righty-Whitey ("O,Bama's too white and too black")- faction mostly wouldn't want anyone looking into their own questionable blood-lines (because it would high-light and obviate their laughable hippocracy) The real ITEM on the agenda of "THE RICH - $5mil +" folks is that their control over the 6.9billion Exploitable World Peons be secured and guaranteed for THEIR kith $ kin.
    9.9% of so called Republicans are merely allowed their delusions only as necessary to garner their support in the indoctrination of their own children.
    The so called Dems are in the same boat. This is NOT about Dems vs Reps but rather the control and domination of your children and mine by the POWER ELITE.
    At least O'Bama encompasses a broader spectrum of America and Earth and will lesson the terribly alarmed "rest of the world populations".

    Posted by: ezazcanbe | September 13, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

    Theirs only 1 differences between Palin and the dolls of her that they are selling,she can be programmed on what too say and her dolls can't! It's pretty astonishing that she got more vetting from Charles Gibson than McCain!They are using Palin too ride on Hillary's coat tail,and I am sickened how they act like they have alot of respect for Hillary when in fact they have none!!!She will never be a Hillary Clinton!!!!!!SO STOP FOOLING YOURSELVES!!!

    Posted by: Gail | September 13, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

    Gail:

    Perhaps you missed when BILL Clinton said Hillary and McCain at least "love their country".

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

    The following abridged "Privileging the lie" article from Media Matters for America (www.mediamatters.com) illustrates how the way the press handles lies told frequently by, for example, the McCain campaign, impacts reader/viewer perceptions - even though the lie is debunked in the "fine print."

    Why any exposure is given to these falsehoods in the first place, other than clearly saying who said them and they are wrong, is beyond me. Note that the Washington Post is cited in one example.

    The full article is at the end for more detail, such as how this technique was used against Gore in 2000 regarding ONE comment about the Internet, even though he wasn't lying.

    Come on journalists - let's get the facts up front and expose either campaign that is clearly making stuff up! ->

    9/12/08 Media Matters for America
    The frame of most news reports about false claims made by McCain (and Palin and their staff) is very different. The frame isn't John McCain is lying again; it is John McCain said something; how will Barack Obama respond? Some of those news reports get around to mentioning that McCain's claim isn't true -- but those passing mentions hardly matter. They aren't the dominant theme of the report, so they don't stick in the minds of readers and viewers.

    Here's an example: Yesterday, The Washington Post ran an article about McCain's attacks on Obama, including his false charge that Obama's use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig" was a sexist reference to Sarah Palin. Paragraphs 1, 5, 6, and 7 contained the allegation in various forms. Paragraphs 9 and 10 were about McCain allies saying the attacks were working. Paragraph 11 finally brought the first indication that the attack wasn't true.

    Constructing the article that way privileges the false claim. Readers have it drummed into their heads, over and over again, before they finally see a fleeting suggestion that it isn't true.

    So how else could the Post have constructed that article? Well, the article could have begun not with an unchallenged recitation of McCain's false claim, but with a very different frame: "John McCain launched another dishonest attack on Barack Obama, the latest in a long line of claims that have been debunked and denounced by neutral observers as false, misleading, and in some cases, lies." It could have gone on to detail the growing body of evidence that McCain is running a dishonest campaign and to note that McCain risks being seen as a serial liar who will say anything to get elected.

    Sound judgmental? Maybe. But it's quite consistent with coverage of Al Gore in 2000 -- coverage about things he said that were not actually false.

    Besides, news organizations make judgments all the time. The Washington Post made the judgment that the best way to report the story would be to repeat the false allegation in four separate paragraphs before finally, 11 paragraphs into the story, giving some indication that it was false. That's supposed to be better, or more appropriate, or more ethical than making the judgment that the most important thing about McCain's attack was that it was false? Please. That's absurd. That doesn't reflect any principle or standard of good journalism, it just reflects the media's steadfast belief that John McCain is a straight-talker, no matter how much he says things that aren't true -- and their fearful refusal to risk the wrath of Mark Salter and the army of Republican operatives who will attack them for "bias" if they don't frame the story in a way favorable to their candidate.

    And that's just what happened this week. Journalists who knew McCain's "lipstick on a pig" charge was pure bunk framed their reports about it as though it might be true -- and as though the important thing was not one campaign lying about the other, but whether the lies would be effective. The Washington Post article described above is but one example of many.

    FULL ARTICLE:
    September 12, 2008

    The Weekly Update from Media Matters for America

    Privileging the lie

    Earlier this week, The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote that there was "[n]o blowback" against the McCain campaign for its repeated false claims about Sarah Palin's role in stopping the Bridge to Nowhere. Ambinder explained:

    [T]he electorate doesn't seem to penalize campaigns for deliberately distorting the record of their candidate and their opponent. It's probably an artifact of twenty years' worth of campaign advertisements and has something to do with the way consumers process news.

    Ambinder is completely wrong. First, the electorate does penalize campaigns for deliberate distortions ... sometimes.

    This isn't conjecture. We need only look back at 2000 to see a campaign in which the electorate seemed to penalize a candidate for distortions.

    Exit polls showed that, by a large margin, a plurality of voters identified the candidates' honesty and trustworthiness as the quality most important to them in deciding how to vote. Of the voters who thought honesty was the most important quality, 80 percent voted for George W. Bush; only 15 percent voted for Al Gore.

    A whopping 74 percent thought "Gore would say anything to get elected," compared to 58 percent who thought the same about Bush. Sixty percent thought Gore attacked Bush "unfairly," while only 49 percent thought Bush attacked Gore unfairly.

    In an election that came down to a handful of votes, the perception of Gore as less honest than Bush and more willing to say anything to get elected may well have been determinative.

    So, why did Gore get "blowback" from voters for (supposedly) being dishonest -- and why isn't John McCain facing similar blowback?

    Because there is a clear difference in the way the media have portrayed the two candidates.

    A dominant theme of campaign coverage in 2000 -- perhaps the dominant theme -- was that Al Gore was a liar, a serial exaggerator, and a vicious, power-hungry candidate willing to say and do anything to get elected. (The evidence to support this theme was largely fabricated -- and not merely by the Republicans, but by the news media, particularly The New York Times and The Washington Post.)

    Jane Hall explained in the September/October 2000 issue of Columbia Journalism Review:

    The underlying message of all of these stories was clear: Al Gore is a lying politician who will do anything to get elected -- a theme happily echoed by the Bush-Cheney campaign.

    Gore's motives are frequently questioned, frequently framed in the most negative light -- even in the lead of straight-news stories from some of the most respected and influential news organizations.

    [...]

    A new study by the Pew Research Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism underscores this. Examining 2,400 newspaper, TV, and Internet stories in five different weeks between February and June, researchers found that a whopping 76 percent of the coverage included one of two themes: that Gore lies and exaggerates or is marred by scandal.

    [...]

    The substance of what Gore has been saying in speeches around the country often has been wrapped in reporters' cynical language that effectively casts doubt about his motives before he even opens his mouth.

    The frame of the news reports about Gore's (not really) false claims was Al Gore is a liar, he exaggerates, he'll say anything to win. Is it any wonder voters tended to think Al Gore would say anything to win? Is it any wonder voters who put a great deal of value on honesty chose Bush?

    The frame of most news reports about false claims made by McCain (and Palin and their staff) is very different. The frame isn't John McCain is lying again; it is John McCain said something; how will Barack Obama respond? Some of those news reports get around to mentioning that McCain's claim isn't true -- but those passing mentions hardly matter. They aren't the dominant theme of the report, so they don't stick in the minds of readers and viewers.

    Here's an example: Yesterday, The Washington Post ran an article about McCain's attacks on Obama, including his false charge that Obama's use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig" was a sexist reference to Sarah Palin. Paragraphs 1, 5, 6, and 7 contained the allegation in various forms. Paragraphs 9 and 10 were about McCain allies saying the attacks were working. Paragraph 11 finally brought the first indication that the attack wasn't true.

    Constructing the article that way privileges the false claim. Readers have it drummed into their heads, over and over again, before they finally see a fleeting suggestion that it isn't true.

    So how else could the Post have constructed that article? Well, the article could have begun not with an unchallenged recitation of McCain's false claim, but with a very different frame: "John McCain launched another dishonest attack on Barack Obama, the latest in a long line of claims that have been debunked and denounced by neutral observers as false, misleading, and in some cases, lies." It could have gone on to detail the growing body of evidence that McCain is running a dishonest campaign and to note that McCain risks being seen as a serial liar who will say anything to get elected.

    Sound judgmental? Maybe. But it's quite consistent with coverage of Al Gore in 2000 -- coverage about things he said that were not actually false.

    Besides, news organizations make judgments all the time. The Washington Post made the judgment that the best way to report the story would be to repeat the false allegation in four separate paragraphs before finally, 11 paragraphs into the story, giving some indication that it was false. That's supposed to be better, or more appropriate, or more ethical than making the judgment that the most important thing about McCain's attack was that it was false? Please. That's absurd. That doesn't reflect any principle or standard of good journalism, it just reflects the media's steadfast belief that John McCain is a straight-talker, no matter how much he says things that aren't true -- and their fearful refusal to risk the wrath of Mark Salter and the army of Republican operatives who will attack them for "bias" if they don't frame the story in a way favorable to their candidate.

    And that's just what happened this week. Journalists who knew McCain's "lipstick on a pig" charge was pure bunk framed their reports about it as though it might be true -- and as though the important thing was not one campaign lying about the other, but whether the lies would be effective. The Washington Post article described above is but one example of many. Here's another -- a small one, but illustrative of the media's approach to McCain's false charges. MSNBC.com ran an online poll asking if "Sen. Barack Obama went too far with his 'lipstick on a pig' remark." Readers were offered just three choices:

    Yes, he has crossed the line this time.
    No, this is just part of the rough-and-tumble of political campaigning.
    I don't know.
    The poll was about Obama's conduct, rather than McCain's conduct in launching a false attack. It privileged McCain's false claim, rather than punishing it. And it didn't even give people an option that reflected the truth: There was nothing "rough-and-tumble" about Obama's comments; John McCain was dishonestly attacking him.

    On Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall offered viewers another poll: "Do you think Obama's lipstick comments were aimed at Palin?" Since Obama's comments obviously were not aimed at Palin, you might think they would have instead run a poll asking, "Do you think John McCain is lying about Barack Obama?" But no: They kept their focus on Obama's conduct.

    And that's what happened for much of the week. Journalists who knew McCain's charge did not have merit pretended that was an open question; television segments and newspaper articles were devoted to the question of whether Obama had made a sexist comment, rather than whether McCain was lying.

    But this is not a new development. It has been going on for weeks, if not longer. On August 1, I noted that despite a lengthy list of news organizations and independent organizations that had debunked false claims by McCain and his campaign, the media were repeating the claims over and over:

    All week, McCain's attacks have been driving news coverage. Those same news organizations that have declared McCain's charges false have given them an extraordinary amount of attention, repeating them over and over. They have adopted the premises of the McCain attacks even as they acknowledge the attacks are based on false claims. The media narrative of the week has not been, as you might expect, that John McCain's apparent dishonesty may hurt him with voters. Instead, the media's basic approach has been to debunk McCain's attacks once, then run a dozen stories about how the attacks are sticking, how the "emerging narrative" will hurt Obama.

    But attacks don't just stick and narratives don't just emerge. The only reason that the topic of the week was whether Obama is presumptuous instead of whether McCain is a liar who will do anything to get elected is that the news media decided to make Obama's purported flaws the topic of the week -- even after debunking the charges upon which the characterization is based. It's as though the news media -- so concerned about lies (that weren't really lies) in 2000 -- have suddenly decided that it doesn't matter that the McCain campaign is launching false attack after false attack. That it's the kind of thing you note once, then adopt the premise of the attack.

    Here's how the National Journal's John Mercurio described the dynamic currently at play:

    John McCain's campaign recently declared that the sky is red, with green and yellow polka dots. Armed with binders full of research and a New York Times op-ed, Barack Obama angrily jabbed his finger at the sky and countered that it is blue. McCain's campaign accused Obama of anti-skyism. Cable TV talkers spent the next 48 hours debating the color of the sky and Obama's anti-skyist tendencies.

    Remember: Al Gore said one time, "During my time in Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet" -- and the media ran wild, belittling him for falsely claiming to have invented the Internet (he didn't; he correctly noted that he played a key role in fighting for funding for its development, an accomplishment acknowledged by even Newt Gingrich). They belittled him as a liar and an exaggerator throughout the campaign based on that comment -- and they've done it for years ever since.

    By comparison, Think Progress has been keeping track of how often McCain, Palin, and their campaign's surrogates falsely claim that Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere, and they had found 27 such claims through Wednesday.

    Al Gore made his Internet comment one time -- a comment that wasn't even false -- and was relentlessly ridiculed as a liar by the media.

    Just imagine what would have happened if he had said it 27 times. Imagine how the media would have reacted if he kept exaggerating his accomplishments the same way even after having been called on it.

    And yet even this week, amid widespread media recognition that McCain and his campaign aren't telling the truth about themselves or their opponent, you can still turn on CNN and see journalists dutifully referring to McCain riding the "Straight Talk Express." And over on MSNBC, viewers saw Chris Matthews insist that John McCain would not personally engage in the false attacks his campaign was leveling. Ridiculous: First, McCain is responsible for what his campaign does -- particularly when the "something" in question consists of a multi-day offensive involving a surrogate operation and an advertisement. Second, McCain himself made the false claim that Obama had engaged in a personal attack with his "lipstick on a pig" comment. But that's the way the media treat McCain: Even when they know his claims are false, they refer to "straight talk" and insist that he wouldn't throw "slime" (Matthews' word) like that.

    Defending his statement that there isn't voter backlash against McCain's false claims, Marc Ambinder wrote:

    And, of course, though the press has pointed out the Bridge to Nowhere exagerration ever since it was uncovered, it must somehow be the press's fault that John McCain is enjoying a post-convention something-or-other because Americans don't realize that he's a lying liar, or whatever.

    Well, yes, it is the press's fault, in large part.

    First, Ambinder overstated the extent to which the media had pointed out McCain/Palin's Bridge to Nowhere falsehood, as Media Matters illustrated this week. It isn't enough to debunk a false claim some of the times that you report it. The media must do so every time they report the claim.

    Second, the way in which falsehoods are debunked is crucial. When a candidate makes a false claim, reporters can respond one of three ways:

    They can ignore it, on the basis that a false claim is unworthy of attention.
    They can adopt the false claim as the basis of their report, as they did with this week's stories about whether or not Barack Obama had made a sexist comment about Sarah Palin.
    They can produce a report centered on the fact that the candidate is saying something that is untrue. If it is the latest of many falsehoods, they can indicate that. If the candidate is telling more and larger falsehoods than the opposition, they can make that clear. In short, they can make the lack of credibility of the person making the false claim the theme of their coverage.
    The first option privileges the lie by allowing a candidate to run around saying things that are not true -- but at least it does not help spread the lie further.

    The second option -- even if it includes mention of the fact that the claim is false -- privileges the lie a great deal by helping the candidate spread the false claims. At the end of the day, what most people take away from this week's media coverage of the lipstick flap is likely that there is some controversy around whether Barack Obama made a sexist comment about Sarah Palin. That's a clear advantage to McCain -- and thus the media's handling of the episode has rewarded his falsehood.

    The third option punishes the falsehood. If you think the media's job is to bring their readers and viewers the truth, this is obviously the best of the three options.

    This is where some will say "but then reporters will be taking sides."

    And there is some truth to that: They'll be taking the truth's side.

    Reporters "take sides" with everything they do. Everything they do involves a choice, involves a decision that X is more important than Y. When they report a lie five times before reporting the fact that it is false, they are taking the lie's side.

    The question isn't whether reporters should "take sides" -- they can't possibly avoid taking sides.

    The only question is whether they will side with truth or with fiction.

    © 2008 Media Matters for America
    1625 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20036

    Posted by: Bert | September 13, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

    JakeD, why do you feel arguing your POV requires you employ the McCain campaign tactic of misleading and obfuscating? Is it the inherent weakness of your argument?

    Posted by: zukermand | September 13, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

    Why do you refuse to answer my simple questions?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

    McCain needs to be stopped. McCain is a lair! He will lead this country into harms way. Even his campaign slogan, "Country First" is a lie. It's McCain First. Have we forgotten the Keating 5? McCain took $112,000 from Keating in exchange for him pressuring the regulators of the FHLBB Savings and Loans to layoff of Charles H. Keating Jr. chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association McCain’s interference in the regulators investigation resulted in over 21,000 elderly investors loosing their life savings. McCain sold-out the other four democratic senators by leaking information to the press and because he was the only Republican of the five, the Republican party came to his rescue resulting in the ethics committee giving him a tap on the wrist and stating he had bad judgment. This is not a lie. This is a fact!

    McCain graduated 5th from the bottom of his class. This is not a lie. This is a fact!

    McCain told radio host Bill Bennett, March 27, 1987 on CNN that there “are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today.” Faced with overwhelming evidence that he was wrong, McCain denied he’d ever said it: “Well, I’m not saying they could go without protection. The President goes around America with protection. So, certainly I didn’t say that.” This is not a lie. This is a fact!

    According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi." This is not a lie. This is a fact!


    The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill. This is not a lie. This is a fact!

    McCain voted to terminate the federal family-planning program that provides breast-cancer screenings. This is not a lie. This is a fact!

    John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws. This is not a lie. This is a fact!

    McCain says political families are off limits however, at a 1998 Republican Senate fundraiser: McCain said, "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno." This is not a lie. This is a fact!

    For the sake of this country would the media please print the facts about McCain? If we don't learn from our past we are destine to repeat it. Americans are already losing their homes, jobs, credit, life savings, dignity, sons and daughters to a war we were tricked into. Our financial institutions are failing, our dollar value is plummeting daily and our once strong and proud nation is crumbling before our eyes. Can we really afford four more years of the same or worst?

    Posted by: Lore Fitzgerald | September 13, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

    I applaud the ladies of the View. Thank you Joy and Barbara for finally doing what I have been blogging and begging the news media to do, call McCain out on his lies and deceptive ads he is running against Obama. I think it is disgusting how the Republicans are running one of the most dishonest campaigns I have ever seen. He lied on your show about Sarah Palin not accepting earmarks when it is documented she did as well as he lied about Obama ‘s,”Lipstick on a pig” comment and the disgusting ad implying sex education should be taught to kindergartners. He justifies his lies by saying it is all apart of politics and refuses to accept responsibility for the way his campaign is running and then blames Obama because Obama won’t do what he wants him to do? Is this the way he will run this country and foreign policy? He will lie and deceive the American people until we surrender? He stated he has not changed. I agree he is the same corrupt senator of the Keating 5; he’s the senator who took $112,000.00 in bribes from Keating resulting in him taking meetings with regulators of the FHLBB on Keating’s behalf resulting in the savings and loan scandal which resulted in more than 21,000 elderly investors losing their life savings. The same senator who votes over 90% with Bush, the same senator eating birthday cake with Bush while people were dying in a flood during Katrina. He’s the same senator who votes against the poor, women rights, votes for tax breaks for the oil companies, votes against our veterans but supports and rallies for wars with Iraq, Iran and Russia. Forget about the fact the two wars we are currently in are bankrupting our country and have killed over 4 thousand of our soldiers. McCain’s “Win at all cost” philosophy is a far too great of a price the American people should have to pay.

    Barbara please do an investigative report on McCain and Palin, the how many lies can we get away with candidates of American politics.

    Posted by: Lore Fitzgerald | September 13, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

    The Republican Party is a fine oiled machine of lies, corruption, deception, twisters of truth, full of hypocrisy and thieves of others platforms and positions since they do not have one of their own besides further bankrupting the American people, pulling us into another war, abolishing women’s right of choice, dividing our country socially, economically, regionally, racially and down party lines. They label people as liberals and radicals who question or oppose them. They refuse to answer direct questions. Charlie Gibson did his job. He asked Palin questions and based on her delusional answers he was as surprised and at a lost as anyone who watch the interview who has not been bewitched by Sarah Palin’s pit-bull in lipstick charm. She said that, not Obama.

    I thought families were supposed to be off limits but she keeps bringing her family up and again distorts the truth. Wasn’t her son involved in a robbery and was given an ultimatum to enlist or go to jail? But in the interview she calls it a personal decision he reached inspired to do something greater than himself. Didn’t Obama use that same term in his servicing our country discussion at Columbia University the other night?

    When she was asked about her accepting McCain offer to be his vice president her response was she did not hesitate because that is the way she is wired. This is a person who will have the codes to potentially launch a nuclear warhead. You better hesitate and consider the consequences of that decision.

    Sarah Palin should not be underestimated at all. She is an effective diversion from the real issues that plague our country; she is a threat to our ailing economy, national security and foreign policy. She will and has deceived a significant number of Americans and if McCain and Sarah Palin weasel their way into the Whitehouse, God save us because no one else will!

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

    Why is anyone shocked that McCain is telling lies daily? If McCain is going to lie about Obama, it's time to tell the TRUTH about McCain

    He dumped his first wife who waited for him while he was a POW.

    He dumped his first wife for a MUCH younger, wealthier woman after his first wife had lost her looks in a car accident.

    He then married the woman with whom he was having an adulterous affair.

    That woman has since then supported him.

    He only got into the Naval Academy with his poor high school grades because his daddy was an admiral.

    He graduated 894th out of 899 in his college class.

    He lost FIVE planes as a navy pilot -- only one of those when shot down to become a POW.

    How many other Navy pilots would have gotten a 5th chance if their daddy wasn't an admiral? ZERO.

    He has never earned a dime other than from the US government.

    He has been supported primarily by others almost all his life -- first his father and since his second marriage, his heiress, drug addict wife who is 18 years younger than he.

    His political position sheltered his drug addict wife from being prosecuted for stealing drugs from her charity to support her habit.

    He was a charter member of the Keating Five bribe takers.

    His campaign is run by lobbyists -- who advise him to rail against lobbyists, and of course he does.

    His association with one female lobbyist got so close that his staff intervened -- it didn't have to be sexual; he was doing all she wanted w/o that. His younger wife should beware -- if he'll cheat with you, he'll cheat on you.

    He said the war in Iraq was a great idea and would be easy, cheap, and over in a matter of weeks -- oops, he went 0 for 3.

    He now says anyone who thought it would be easy was a fool -- and he's right -- he's a fool whose judgment is so rash and dreadful he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the White House.

    He approves ads that are pure lies and distortions (i.e. ones earning 4 Pinnochios here). These LIES and intentional distortions demonstrate a complete lack of ethics.

    He has zero ads on actual issues. It's a new lie every day to try to go another news cycle w/o talking about his already-failed-once policies.

    He said the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans were unfair -- until he needed to switch that position to get nominated.

    He said waterboarding was torture -- until he needed to switch that position to get nominated.

    He proposed a bipartisan immigration bill with Sen.Kennedy -- until he had to oppose it to get nominated.

    He authored a campaign finance bill -- then violated it in the primaries this election.

    He admitted he knows next to nothing about economics.

    He thinks we could have "won" the war in Viet Nam -- which means we'd still be there, if it were up to him.

    He thinks we can "win" the occupation in Iraq and is prepared to stay 100 years if necessary to do so and that looks like $10b per month plus untold deaths for decades to come if he has his way.

    He wants Georgia to be a member of NATO -- which would mean the next time Georgia attacks and gets crushed we WOULD be obligated to go to war (not "perhaps" as his moron VP pick suggested).

    He has serious anger management issues that make him scary as hell near a nuclear "button" and make his foreign policy based on 100% bluster and threats even scarier than Bush's.

    His frequent, well-publicized fits of rage involving screaming obscenities at fellow senators can also lead to a heart attack which could stick us with the least competent VP of all time -- well, maybe Dan Quail has retired that crown.

    He is 72 years old and like everyone else that age has a failing memory -- he has trouble remembering which Islamic sect is which w/o Joe Lieberman prompts.

    I could go on, but to sum it up for now: He is 100% pond scum with no redeeming characteristics and has been for a LONG time and is absolutely destroying the integrity of our democracy.

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

    Fool me once, my fault'Fool me twice your fault.Fool me a third time everybody fault.McPhony and Ms Cutie has the right approach for a 3rd consecutive GOP ADMINISTRATION.

    Posted by: trev153 | September 13, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

    Obama Cancels SNL Appearance

    "In light of the unfolding crisis in Texas, Senator Obama has decided it is no longer appropriate to appear on Saturday Night Live tomorrow evening," his campaign said.

    ========================================

    Since it is learned that the actual candidate that bumps off mutual opponent first will automatically win November's elections and it has nothing to do with issues and popularity polls, wonder if Obama's decision to cancel SNL show this morning and head back to Chicago tonight after rally in NH, is an orchestrated public distraction from his specific attempt to bump off mutual opponent in the middle of the night tonight instead?

    Apparently the mutual opponent exposed corruption within both parties and is specifically targeted. It is also learned this party is wealthy so this is another motivation to bump person off.

    The question is will Obama solicit an OJ Simpson convict type with jail time to do the bumping off? Will the Dem party employ the popular law enforcement practice of 'sweetheart deals' where such crimes/murders are committed by convicts in exchange for less jail time, conveniently covered up and real culprits publicly unsuspected?

    Should we too have to worry about our family's safety as our habits and plans are known in advanced via bugging devices both in private and public places frequented? For example, should we worry when we do our routine jog, shop or are asleep in the middle of the night in the privacy of our home?

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

    Attempted or actual "bumping off"?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

    I never cease to be amazed at the gall of people like rljmsilver. To say that "liberals...say and do anything, while accusing their opposition of the same" is an example of propaganda worthy of Goebbels. Probably posts his comments in the spirit of "public enlightenment".

    Posted by: DocSlo | September 13, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

    All of you citing the National Enquirer, do you believe Kirsten Durst's drunken binge too?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

    Is it possible that McCain isn't lying - that this is indicative of the onset of senile dementia?

    Just wondering.

    Posted by: hmmm | September 13, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

    hmmm:

    Another possibilty, of course, is that McCain is not "lying" because he's telling the truth.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

    Your rating system, and your vocabulary as well, needs to add a fifth Pinocchio: one that designates a bald, outright, flat, flagerant, barefaced LIE.

    Such LIES have been coming thick and furious from the McCain/Palin camp. I suggest that you escalate your rhetoric.

    The Republicans, desperate to hang onto power and having squandered all credibility with fair-minded citizens, are resorting to the Goebbels/Hitler-style Big Lie.

    As a historian, you should remind readers of what this means.

    Posted by: jm917 | September 13, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

    jm917:

    You tell us what you think is Palin's "Big Lie"?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

    You asked for some help about previous vice presidential candidates who may have met foreign dignitaries prior to their going onto the ticket.

    John Adams--who was Washington's VP--of course had been an American diplomat in Europe during the Revolutionary War. He didn't get on well with the French foreign minister Vergennes, and when George III finally had to recognize American independence and receive Adams as minister His Majesty turned his back.

    Thomas Jefferson (Adams' VP) was American minister to France and dealt with Louis XVI.

    No other American vice presidents before the mid-20th century had any exposure to foreign poohbahs. But that just underscores how insignificant was the American vice presidency until the post-World War II era (and, in general, how inconsequential were almost all the vice presidents, who--like Ms. Palin--were chose exclusively for whatever local electoral advantage they might convey).

    That practice extended down to 1948, when Truman picked the rum-de-dum Kentucky senator Alban W. Barkley to be his running mate. (Dewey made a much better pick: then-Governor Earl Warren of California.) In 1952, neither Eisenhower nor Stevenson picked inspiring, world-tested VP: Nixon (then known as a hanger-on to the McCarthy crowd) and John Sparkman, an Alabama segregationist. Both were ticket-balancers. In 1956, of course, Nixon, running for reelection with Ike, had got plenty of foreign exposure. Kefauver, who was Stevenson's pick, was known exclusively for his domestic-policy reputation.

    I think you could say that the first time a VP candidate was chosen for his reputation as a foreign-policy heavyweight was Nixon's pick of Henry Cabot Lodge as his 1960 running mate. I don't know whether LBJ, as Senate majority leader,had ever met foreign big-shots (he may have had some experience with the president of Mexico), but no one pretended that LBJ was a foreign-policy expert.

    Getting back to Sarah Palin: she and McCain may claim in self-justification that she doesn't have to meet a standard higher than most other VPs of the past--but that old standard was awfully low.

    The one she really resembles is Martin Van Buren's veep, Colonel Richard Johnson of Kentucky. His claim to fame was his boast (never documented) that he'd personally killed Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames during the War of 1812. Sarah is down in that category.

    Posted by: jm917 | September 13, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

    so, that's not a "Big Lie" right?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

    JakeD:

    Example of the Big Lie: That McCain is an honest, truthful, honorable man who puts country before self and who is qualified by temperment, experience, and worldly wisdom to lead this nation. Case in point: his reckless, gambler's-throw choice of the obviously unprepared Palin to be one (aged) heartbeat away from the presidency and the nuclear button.

    The essence of the Big Lie technique is to tell so many, and such brazen, untruths as to leave the plain people gasping that there must somehow be "some truth" to all that.

    This is what the Bush/Cheney/Rove machine has been spewing out for eight years, and that same gang of liars is now in full control of the political campaign of McSenile. All they've got is lies.

    Posted by: jm917 | September 13, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

    You're favorably comparing Sarah Palin to Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar?

    Posted by: DanOB | September 13, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

    I hope that this is allowed to get posted. Their is nothing in this writing that insults Palin nor derides John McCain. Yet, these two and the rnc filth producer all need a royal sitting down and talking bhy their bosess then their families, unless all of the above is decieved.

    YET, THE TRUTH ABOUT THESE TWO IS OUT THERE

    NO MATTER WHO TRIES TO SPPRESS IT THE TRUTH STANDS FIRM.

    Here's a little something I received from another MEDIA WATCHDOG...Media matters has posted this account of this weeks events....

    The Weekly Update from Media Matters for America
    Privileging the lie
    Earlier this week, The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote that there was "[n]o blowback" against the McCain campaign for its repeated false claims about Sarah Palin's role in stopping the Bridge to Nowhere. Ambinder explained:
    [T]he electorate doesn't seem to penalize campaigns for deliberately distorting the record of their candidate and their opponent. It's probably an artifact of twenty years' worth of campaign advertisements and has something to do with the way consumers process news.
    Ambinder is completely wrong. First, the electorate does penalize campaigns for deliberate distortions ... sometimes.
    This isn't conjecture. We need only look back at 2000 to see a campaign in which the electorate seemed to penalize a candidate for distortions.
    Exit polls showed that, by a large margin, a plurality of voters identified the candidates' honesty and trustworthiness as the quality most important to them in deciding how to vote. Of the voters who thought honesty was the most important quality, 80 percent voted for George W. Bush; only 15 percent voted for Al Gore.
    A whopping 74 percent thought "Gore would say anything to get elected," compared to 58 percent who thought the same about Bush. Sixty percent thought Gore attacked Bush "unfairly," while only 49 percent thought Bush attacked Gore unfairly.
    In an election that came down to a handful of votes, the perception of Gore as less honest than Bush and more willing to say anything to get elected may well have been determinative.
    So, why did Gore get "blowback" from voters for (supposedly) being dishonest -- and why isn't John McCain facing similar blowback?
    Because there is a clear difference in the way the media have portrayed the two candidates.
    A dominant theme of campaign coverage in 2000 -- perhaps the dominant theme -- was that Al Gore was a liar, a serial exaggerator, and a vicious, power-hungry candidate willing to say and do anything to get elected. (The evidence to support this theme was largely fabricated -- and not merely by the Republicans, but by the news media, particularly The New York Times and The Washington Post.)
    Jane Hall explained in the September/October 2000 issue of Columbia Journalism Review:
    The underlying message of all of these stories was clear: Al Gore is a lying politician who will do anything to get elected -- a theme happily echoed by the Bush-Cheney campaign.
    Gore's motives are frequently questioned, frequently framed in the most negative light -- even in the lead of straight-news stories from some of the most respected and influential news organizations.
    [...]
    A new study by the Pew Research Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism underscores this. Examining 2,400 newspaper, TV, and Internet stories in five different weeks between February and June, researchers found that a whopping 76 percent of the coverage included one of two themes: that Gore lies and exaggerates or is marred by scandal.
    [...]
    The substance of what Gore has been saying in speeches around the country often has been wrapped in reporters' cynical language that effectively casts doubt about his motives before he even opens his mouth.
    The frame of the news reports about Gore's (not really) false claims was Al Gore is a liar, he exaggerates, he'll say anything to win. Is it any wonder voters tended to think Al Gore would say anything to win? Is it any wonder voters who put a great deal of value on honesty chose Bush?
    The frame of most news reports about false claims made by McCain (and Palin and their staff) is very different. The frame isn't John McCain is lying again; it is John McCain said something; how will Barack Obama respond? Some of those news reports get around to mentioning that McCain's claim isn't true -- but those passing mentions hardly matter. They aren't the dominant theme of the report, so they don't stick in the minds of readers and viewers.
    Here's an example: Yesterday, The Washington Post ran an article about McCain's attacks on Obama, including his false charge that Obama's use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig" was a sexist reference to Sarah Palin. Paragraphs 1, 5, 6, and 7 contained the allegation in various forms. Paragraphs 9 and 10 were about McCain allies saying the attacks were working. Paragraph 11 finally brought the first indication that the attack wasn't true.
    Constructing the article that way privileges the false claim. Readers have it drummed into their heads, over and over again, before they finally see a fleeting suggestion that it isn't true.
    So how else could the Post have constructed that article? Well, the article could have begun not with an unchallenged recitation of McCain's false claim, but with a very different frame: "John McCain launched another dishonest attack on Barack Obama, the latest in a long line of claims that have been debunked and denounced by neutral observers as false, misleading, and in some cases, lies." It could have gone on to detail the growing body of evidence that McCain is running a dishonest campaign and to note that McCain risks being seen as a serial liar who will say anything to get elected.
    Sound judgmental? Maybe. But it's quite consistent with coverage of Al Gore in 2000 -- coverage about things he said that were not actually false.
    Besides, news organizations make judgments all the time. The Washington Post made the judgment that the best way to report the story would be to repeat the false allegation in four separate paragraphs before finally, 11 paragraphs into the story, giving some indication that it was false. That's supposed to be better, or more appropriate, or more ethical than making the judgment that the most important thing about McCain's attack was that it was false? Please. That's absurd. That doesn't reflect any principle or standard of good journalism, it just reflects the media's steadfast belief that John McCain is a straight-talker, no matter how much he says things that aren't true -- and their fearful refusal to risk the wrath of Mark Salter and the army of Republican operatives who will attack them for "bias" if they don't frame the story in a way favorable to their candidate.
    And that's just what happened this week. Journalists who knew McCain's "lipstick on a pig" charge was pure bunk framed their reports about it as though it might be true -- and as though the important thing was not one campaign lying about the other, but whether the lies would be effective. The Washington Post article described above is but one example of many. Here's another -- a small one, but illustrative of the media's approach to McCain's false charges. MSNBC.com ran an online poll asking if "Sen. Barack Obama went too far with his 'lipstick on a pig' remark." Readers were offered just three choices:
    Yes, he has crossed the line this time.
    No, this is just part of the rough-and-tumble of political campaigning.
    I don't know.
    The poll was about Obama's conduct, rather than McCain's conduct in launching a false attack. It privileged McCain's false claim, rather than punishing it. And it didn't even give people an option that reflected the truth: There was nothing "rough-and-tumble" about Obama's comments; John McCain was dishonestly attacking him.
    On Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall offered viewers another poll: "Do you think Obama's lipstick comments were aimed at Palin?" Since Obama's comments obviously were not aimed at Palin, you might think they would have instead run a poll asking, "Do you think John McCain is lying about Barack Obama?" But no: They kept their focus on Obama's conduct.
    And that's what happened for much of the week. Journalists who knew McCain's charge did not have merit pretended that was an open question; television segments and newspaper articles were devoted to the question of whether Obama had made a sexist comment, rather than whether McCain was lying.
    But this is not a new development. It has been going on for weeks, if not longer. On August 1, I noted that despite a lengthy list of news organizations and independent organizations that had debunked false claims by McCain and his campaign, the media were repeating the claims over and over:
    All week, McCain's attacks have been driving news coverage. Those same news organizations that have declared McCain's charges false have given them an extraordinary amount of attention, repeating them over and over. They have adopted the premises of the McCain attacks even as they acknowledge the attacks are based on false claims. The media narrative of the week has not been, as you might expect, that John McCain's apparent dishonesty may hurt him with voters. Instead, the media's basic approach has been to debunk McCain's attacks once, then run a dozen stories about how the attacks are sticking, how the "emerging narrative" will hurt Obama.
    But attacks don't just stick and narratives don't just emerge. The only reason that the topic of the week was whether Obama is presumptuous instead of whether McCain is a liar who will do anything to get elected is that the news media decided to make Obama's purported flaws the topic of the week -- even after debunking the charges upon which the characterization is based. It's as though the news media -- so concerned about lies (that weren't really lies) in 2000 -- have suddenly decided that it doesn't matter that the McCain campaign is launching false attack after false attack. That it's the kind of thing you note once, then adopt the premise of the attack.
    Here's how the National Journal's John Mercurio described the dynamic currently at play:
    John McCain's campaign recently declared that the sky is red, with green and yellow polka dots. Armed with binders full of research and a New York Times op-ed, Barack Obama angrily jabbed his finger at the sky and countered that it is blue. McCain's campaign accused Obama of anti-skyism. Cable TV talkers spent the next 48 hours debating the color of the sky and Obama's anti-skyist tendencies.
    Remember: Al Gore said one time, "During my time in Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet" -- and the media ran wild, belittling him for falsely claiming to have invented the Internet (he didn't; he correctly noted that he played a key role in fighting for funding for its development, an accomplishment acknowledged by even Newt Gingrich). They belittled him as a liar and an exaggerator throughout the campaign based on that comment -- and they've done it for years ever since.
    By comparison, Think Progress has been keeping track of how often McCain, Palin, and their campaign's surrogates falsely claim that Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere, and they had found 27 such claims through Wednesday.
    Al Gore made his Internet comment one time -- a comment that wasn't even false -- and was relentlessly ridiculed as a liar by the media.
    Just imagine what would have happened if he had said it 27 times. Imagine how the media would have reacted if he kept exaggerating his accomplishments the same way even after having been called on it.
    And yet even this week, amid widespread media recognition that McCain and his campaign aren't telling the truth about themselves or their opponent, you can still turn on CNN and see journalists dutifully referring to McCain riding the "Straight Talk Express." And over on MSNBC, viewers saw Chris Matthews insist that John McCain would not personally engage in the false attacks his campaign was leveling. Ridiculous: First, McCain is responsible for what his campaign does -- particularly when the "something" in question consists of a multi-day offensive involving a surrogate operation and an advertisement. Second, McCain himself made the false claim that Obama had engaged in a personal attack with his "lipstick on a pig" comment. But that's the way the media treat McCain: Even when they know his claims are false, they refer to "straight talk" and insist that he wouldn't throw "slime" (Matthews' word) like that.
    Defending his statement that there isn't voter backlash against McCain's false claims, Marc Ambinder wrote:
    And, of course, though the press has pointed out the Bridge to Nowhere exagerration ever since it was uncovered, it must somehow be the press's fault that John McCain is enjoying a post-convention something-or-other because Americans don't realize that he's a lying liar, or whatever.
    Well, yes, it is the press's fault, in large part.
    First, Ambinder overstated the extent to which the media had pointed out McCain/Palin's Bridge to Nowhere falsehood, as Media Matters illustrated this week. It isn't enough to debunk a false claim some of the times that you report it. The media must do so every time they report the claim.
    Second, the way in which falsehoods are debunked is crucial. When a candidate makes a false claim, reporters can respond one of three ways:
    They can ignore it, on the basis that a false claim is unworthy of attention.
    They can adopt the false claim as the basis of their report, as they did with this week's stories about whether or not Barack Obama had made a sexist comment about Sarah Palin.
    They can produce a report centered on the fact that the candidate is saying something that is untrue. If it is the latest of many falsehoods, they can indicate that. If the candidate is telling more and larger falsehoods than the opposition, they can make that clear. In short, they can make the lack of credibility of the person making the false claim the theme of their coverage.
    The first option privileges the lie by allowing a candidate to run around saying things that are not true -- but at least it does not help spread the lie further.
    The second option -- even if it includes mention of the fact that the claim is false -- privileges the lie a great deal by helping the candidate spread the false claims. At the end of the day, what most people take away from this week's media coverage of the lipstick flap is likely that there is some controversy around whether Barack Obama made a sexist comment about Sarah Palin. That's a clear advantage to McCain -- and thus the media's handling of the episode has rewarded his falsehood.
    The third option punishes the falsehood. If you think the media's job is to bring their readers and viewers the truth, this is obviously the best of the three options.
    This is where some will say "but then reporters will be taking sides."
    And there is some truth to that: They'll be taking the truth's side.
    Reporters "take sides" with everything they do. Everything they do involves a choice, involves a decision that X is more important than Y. When they report a lie five times before reporting the fact that it is false, they are taking the lie's side.
    The question isn't whether reporters should "take sides" -- they can't possibly avoid taking sides.
    The only question is whether they will side with truth or with fiction.

    Posted by: need4trth | September 13, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

    Saying Palin didn't get earmarks is like saying she went on "an excursion into the Iraq battle zone." Total b.s. McCain should be ashamed. No wonder "Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain".

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

    My friends, she's a maverick:

    "Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal.

    So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as one of her qualifications for running the roughly $2 million agency.

    Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages."

    Heckuva job, Havemeister.

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

    Lying should be considered a serious offense. Clinton should have been impeached, not for sexual indiscretion but for lying to the public, Bush for lying about Iraq, and McCain and Palin should be close to being disqualified for their outrageous untruths! This is ridiculous!! I'm furious and tired of the BS. Obama no saint but Obama and Palin contradict each other on the same day for how many days in row?? This is an insult to the country.

    Posted by: JBC | September 13, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

    JakeD seems to sit around all day posting. Are that you worried JakeD?

    Posted by: Ken | September 13, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

    Haven't we had enough LIES the last eight years? I'm really glad people are finally calling John McCain on his lies. I believe McCain and Palin have decided to shamelessly lie because they know they can not win this election if they are honest and upfront with the American people. The McCain / Palin ticket is hoping to win this one with propaganda and game the refs while playing disgusting Rovian politics. McCain / Palin doesn't represent change, they represent the very worst of what our nation has experienced for far too long! They will bring nothing but the same problems while appointing and employing the same people who have brought us nothing but disastrous policies. Its time for REAL CHANGE! Its time for Obama / Biden!

    Posted by: cowboyneok | September 13, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

    It's about time the media expose McCain as a liar and charlatan. So he thinks he'll reform lobbying in Washington? He has over 100 lobbyists who work on his campaign.

    His pork barrel spending crusade is just something that resonates with folks who somehow think that it accounts for a massive portion of Federal spending. It's an easy target for McCain that allows him to sidestep any discussion about real issues that face Americans everyday, like the economy, health care, education, energy policy, etc.

    His nasty, lying attacks are meant to force Obama from discussing the issues and defend himself against outright lies.

    Yet it is apparent that many Americans lap up these lies like a five year old with an ice cream cone. These are the folks who fall prey to the cheap slogans, snappy sound bites, and dated ideologies election after election.

    Posted by: Ken | September 13, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

    jm917:

    Didn't you just prove that Palin is not "lying" about "many Vice Presidents" not meeting heads of state before taking office? So, that part of this "Fact Checker" is incorrect, right? Do you think that Dobbs is the one LYING about that? Hypothetically, if everything she has said is technically true, and she is otherwise qualified for the office, where is the "Big Lie" you keep posting about?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

    Ken:

    No one has PROVEN even one "lie" that Gov. Palin has made. And I don't post here "all day". I honestly couldn't understand your question though.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

    As just one example, I didn't post today between 5:47 PM and 7:16 PM. Last time I went golfing, I didn't post then either. I could keep going, but this is about how "solid" your claims about Gov. Palin lying are too.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

    The idea that someone could post that Obama was bad also sounds like an argument that my 5 year would give me. McCain is touting Palin as a reformer who did not take ear marks. That is a lie. I would say the same if Obama said that about Biden but he did not. Ear Marks are a very small part of the economy. The lie exists though because McCain said it. It's a lie

    Posted by: JL | September 13, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse


    It is interesting how there has been almost no vetting and reporting of the millions of dollars of prok barrel federal funds Obama has fought to get (waste).***
    However, one does not expect competency, honesty or fairness from "The View" or from other progressive (radical left) or liberal Democrats ( 4 of the 5 members of The View ) Oprah, bloggers, or the bias media.

    So what else is new?

    Posted by: rljmsilver

    Mr. Silver,

    What you fail to understand is this isn't about whether a Governor, Mayor, congressman, or Senator should do everything in their power to obtain more than their cities, congressional district or states fair share of federal funds. Reasonable people can disagree on that issue. The issue is honesty. Obama has never claimed that he's not obtained earmarks for the state of Illinois. McCain has championed against earmarks. Some could argue he failed to represent the citizens of his state, on more than one occasion, by failing to obtain federal highway funding etc., but that's not the issue. In the introduction of Palin in Dayton Ohio, at the RNC in St. Paul, and in every speech (and even TV ads) McCain and Palin have LIED about Palin's record. Instead of saying she's committed to ending ear marks, or some vague statement implying Palin is in agreement with McCain's anti earmark crusade, McCain (and Palin) lied, and said she ended the bridge to nowhere, and told Congress thanks, but no thanks, and has fought against earmarks. These are lies! the issue isn't earmarks, the issue is about honesty. As a lawyer, when I have a client or witness who lies about a little matter, they have lost my trust, people who lie about little matters, without any qualms will have no problem lying about more important issues.

    During Alaska’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign Palin supported building the bridge, which her Democratic opponent opposed. It was Congress, not Palin, who told Alaska “thanks, but no thanks “ on the bridge. In 2006 Illinois Congressman Steven Kirk spearheaded legislation cutting federal funding for the bridge from over 225 million to 60 million.

    On September 21, 2007 over a year after pledging unqualified support for the bridge, and after Congress reduced funding by over 73%, Palin issued a press release redirecting federal funds to other projects.

    Palin’s press release states: “Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project.” Palin blamed the inability to go forward on Congress. “It’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island.”

    Palin defended the importance of the bridge explaining: “Much of the public’s attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects.”

    This isn’t about pork spending, but about honesty. McCain (and Palin) knows Congress, not Palin, pulled the plug on Alaska’s “bridge to nowhere”, but the truth doesn’t matter to the McCain campaign.

    Posted by: IowaHawks | September 13, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

    JL and IowaHawks:

    Whether you like it or not, Gov. Palin did not LIE.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

    "Palin says Alaska supplies 20 percent of U.S. energy. Not true. Not even close."

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

    rljmsilver, you miss the point. it is not that sen. obama has not asked for earmarks. the question is that whether in the face of the facts he would make a desperate attempt to lie to the American people about how and when he obtained those earmarks. it's the lies i can't stand. i don't give a flying flip about the bridge to nowhere, or about sarah palin to get funding for her state. it's actually laudable in my eyes. the LIES, however, are despicable.

    Posted by: j f n | September 13, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

    20% of America's DOMESTIC oil supply.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

    "Maverick" McCain's sorry record on whistleblowing

    While Barack Obama has stood firm on employee free speech rights, making sure that those who dare commit the truth on behalf the public integrity, the taxpayer and national security, John McCain refuses to commit to real whistleblower protections.

    Even now, conservative free speech groups are furiously lobbying him to take a stand, in part to try to neutralize Obama's leadership on the issue.

    I know how important this is, having won the U.S. Office of Special Counsel's "Public Servant Award"--the highest award given in the federal service to whistleblowers and, in my case, the first one given to a national security whistleblower. [www.osc.gov/documents/press/2001/pr01_16.htm]

    More than a maverick, McCain and his lobbyist crew appear to be the "loan arrangers."

    What is his people afraid of? A little ethical dissent in government?

    Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | September 13, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

    j f n:

    What is the worst Palin "lie" you've got?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

    "Palin claims Alaska "produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy." That's not true.

    Alaska did produce 14 percent of all the oil from U.S. wells last year, but that's a far cry from all the "energy" produced in the U.S.

    Alaska's share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent, according to the official figures kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    And if by "supply" Palin meant all the energy consumed in the U.S., and not just produced here, then Alaska's production accounted for only 2.4 percent."

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

    Exactly. The key point is not who asked for earmarks. Getting congressional earmarks for their states is a big part of what state officials DO -- even McCain! The point is that McCain has staked his entire "brand" on being the guy who's going to clean up "Warshington" and (I guess) balance our entire budget by getting rid of earmarks. And in the process he has LIED about his own running mate being basically the pork Queen.

    Barack Obama doesn't have to defend himself on earmarks because he has never claimed not to have asked for them. McCain has claimed this for Palin and he is a liar.

    Posted by: Elizabeth | September 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

    +1 for Elizabeth.

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

    John McCain shouldn't have hired the minions of Karl Rove. Liars, each and every one.

    Posted by: bill from OH | September 13, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

    Drink beer with George.
    Hallucinate with John.
    Fornicate with Sarah (in your dreams).
    Think and act with Barrack.

    Posted by: Cold Lightning | September 13, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

    The McCain campaign is desperate to change the subject. False controversy takes the emphasis away from a candidate who was so uninspiring that only 20% of his supporters were enthusiastic about him. Tiny crowds of bored people were the norm for McCain. Palin was selected by the same folks who brought us a "compassionate conservative" from Texas, who, like Palin, turned out to be anything but what was advertised. They hope she can draw attention to McCain, but her record is that of secrecy, personal attacks, and absenteeism.

    Meanwhile, hard working Americans are slipping into the mud in this economy. Our real incomes have dropped while everything costs more. Can you tell me one thing McCain has done to help uninsured Americans get health care? Can you tell me what McCain has done over the last 26 years that will help us transition to a renewable energy economy? McCain agrees that global warming is influenced by the burning of fossil fuels. Do you know what his solution is? You heard it at the convention: Drill, Baby, Drill.

    Drilling. That was the answer in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and most of the first decade of the new century. Don't you think it's time we actually did something different?

    Posted by: Jennifer | September 13, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

    Jennifer:

    Unlike Obama, McCain is open to ALL energy options.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

    I've watched the full video several times and I'm convinced that McCain just made a simple mistake. He's talking about something else. Dobbs seems to love leaving out the full quote for some reason which removes the context.

    In response to the question of how Palin will specifically reform the government he answers:
    "Well first of all earmark spending, which she vetoed half a billion dollars worth in the state of Alaska."

    He was clearly referring to state budgets. The Alaska governor has NO authority to veto federal earmarks. I don't think state governments themselves have earmarks, and that was a poor choice of words on his part. But states do have wasteful spending similar to earmarks, and on that McCain is correct. It has been reported that she vetoed half a billion dollars of wasteful spending. McCain is making the connection that she would do the same with federal earmarks.

    He clearly made a mistake saying she, meaning Alaska, took no earmarks. The reason I call it a mistake is because (besides being obvious) he's talking about "state" spending and not "federal" spending. Personally, from the video, I think he knows he made an error right after he said it and tried to back track.

    I think this is a simple mistake that ranks right up there with Obama's "57 states" comment.

    Posted by: jfg | September 13, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

    So, she requested $197 million. Putting that in perspective, for Alaska's 222,000 households that works out to some $850 per household, from the rest of us. More than the $600/household Americans got from the recent tax stimulus package (and which Alaskans also got). The highest level of earmark requests (on a per capita basis) in the nation. She doesn't deserve the pass - she's lying as hard as he is, implying she has been turning back earmarks. Even while she was diverting the Bridge to Nowhere funding to her general infrastructure fund, she kept (and spent!) $25 million for the access road to the bridge. Her office said she did this because if they had turned it away, the access road money would have gone back to the Federal budget. This was all about getting the money, and contrary to any principle of budgetary restraint.

    Posted by: Kevin Burns | September 13, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

    wordup:

    I just checked the transcript, and Gov. Palin did say "nearly 20%" as to "energy" but in the context of oil and gas, so I am sure that's what she meant. She is not being held out as an expert in nuclear power plants. As jfg pointed out, this is no worse than a minor mistake.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

    Character counts ...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1024927/The-wife-John-McCain-callously-left-behind.html

    Ross Perot, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel – even by the standards of modern politics.

    ‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ he said.

    Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | September 13, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

    Kevin Burns:

    No one has proven that Gov. Palin has "lied" (hard or otherwise) about anything. Dobbs hasn't given her a "pass" this week either.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

    "I am sure that's what she meant"

    Ah, yes; the official motto of McCain/Palin apologists everywhere.

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

    Sarah Palin has no business being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    Posted by: bigmister | September 13, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

    wordup:

    Actually JakeD is correct, that is probably what she meant. Once again look at the actual quote from Palin:

    "Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that's with the energy independence that I've been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States."

    Right after the "20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy" she follows it up with the fact that she was "chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States." Key words are DOMESTIC, OIL and GAS. I assumed that's what she was talking about, and I think Gibson did too (otherwise he would've called her on an obvious mistake). Replace "energy" with "oil" and there's no problem.

    It's a simple mistake.

    Posted by: jfg | September 13, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

    "McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said this to the Politico about the increased media scrutiny of the campaign's factual claims: "We're running a campaign to win. And we're not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.""

    Bush/Cheney-esque, to say the least. Statements like that are the reason for 'wrong track' poll numbers being around 80%.

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

    "...that is probably what she meant...I assumed that's what she was talking about..."

    Seriously? I know what you "probably" mean. Would you like me to tell you what I "assume" you are talking about?

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

    What is it with McCain/Palin? Everything they say and do is a little "white lie, a mulligan- a do over?"
    I finally decided who I will vote for? It came down to the health factor for me! Mental health!

    I cant trust a codgety stoic man like mcCain in his present physical state to drive around
    or fly a plane much less be the president of The US in complicated times that confront us!

    He cant even remember what happens day to day!
    He still thinks the Vietnam War was righteous and that we should have indeed fought that war! Now the Iraq War too-this patern sounds real familar and real dangerous!

    I would listen to him and he would say insain things like,
    "Bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran, will kill them with cancer,
    were all Georgians, the current economic times are just great! Fight Fight Fight Fight Fight....."
    I can't take it anymore
    Finally, I know the definition of "Maverick!"

    Posted by: rube | September 13, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

    Palin is in Nevada doing her solo fundraising and using basically the same speech she used in the convention. The article describes it as containing the same "misstatements"....her oppositon to the bridge to nowhere etc. When you keep repeating the same lies day in and day out after you have already been called on it....how is it a misstatement. She is a FRIGGIN LIAR. The psycho repugs will never believe it and I do hope your party keeps it up. You are preaching to your own choir and, yes you can push too far. I think so many of the independents that you need to win the election are finally starting to look at what your party has become.

    Posted by: keeptryingtodefendher | September 13, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

    wordup:

    Assumming your not being rhetorical, I was referring to your 20% domestic energy post and JakeD response.

    Assuming you're serious and you would of course apply the same judgment to Obama statements, do you believe that Obama thinks there are 57 states? I sure as hell don't.

    Listen, these candidates talk all day long with every word recorded. If you don't think they make mistakes, you're kidding yourself.

    Posted by: jfg | September 13, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

    This is from a March op/ed by John Katz, director of State-Federal Relations and Special Counsel to Gov. Sarah Palin.

    In it he is explaning the Alaska earmark requests to the citizens of Alaska. A few excerpts:

    While Congressional earmarks represent less than 1 percent of the federal budget, a much higher percentage of the appropriations debate focuses on this topic.

    In my opinion, earmarks are not bad in themselves. In fact, they represent a legitimate exercise of Congress' constitutional power to amend the budget proposed by the president.

    The governor is very much aware of the importance of the federal budget to virtually every Alaskan. In responding to the new realities, we are not abandoning earmarks altogether but are seeking to constrain and document them in the ways discussed here.

    http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/031808/opi_258953362.shtml

    Posted by: Sandy | September 13, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

    McCain: "Listen, mayors have the toughest job, I think, in America. It's easy for me to go to Washington and, frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have."

    I'm not the one who's kidding himself.

    Posted by: wordup | September 13, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

    Being a convservative myself, I can see the end of the Republican party coming before my very eyes. They are flailing... they may win another election with the help of the media, but their politics have become so contorted that they cannot be sustained. The Palin pick was pure Affirmative Action... and McCain should be ashamed of himself. Country first, My ASS.

    Posted by: JJ | September 13, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

    John McCain: An American Hero's Fall from Grace. Conduct Unbecoming an American.

    Posted by: Dave | September 13, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

    DISPATCHES FROM THE GROUND WAR ...

    THE ARMY TIMES REPORTS ...

    McCain on FCS: Flip-flop or fib?

    By Bradley Peniston - Staff writer
    Posted : Saturday Sep 13, 2008 6:58:20 EDT

    Has Sen. John McCain renounced his longtime antagonism toward the Army’s Future Combat Systems?

    On Sept. 8, the Republican presidential candidate told a rally crowd in Lee’s Summit, Mo., about an Obama video message to a liberal advocacy group.

    “He promised them he would, quote, ‘slow our development of Future Combat Systems,’” McCain said, according to wire reports. “This is not a time to slow our development of Future Combat Systems.”

    Flashback to July, however, when his campaign furnished McCain’s economic plan to The Washington Post, declaring that “there are lots of procurements — Airborne Laser, [C-17] Globemaster, Future Combat System [sic] — that should be ended and the entire Pentagon budget should be scrubbed.”

    In fact, McCain has long criticized the over-budget, behind-schedule FCS program. In 2005, he blasted the Army for allowing the program to balloon to $161 billion, and forced the service to rewrite the main FCS contract.

    So where does McCain really stand? Some bloggers and analysts have suggested that he used the term “future combat systems” generically. Obama’s campaign maintains their candidate was speaking specifically about FCS, in which case McCain may be twisting his rival’s words.

    Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute called it deceitful.

    “McCain’s interpretation of Obama’s position is typical of the way in which the Republicans have twisted Democratic views in order to undercut their opponents and at the same time obscure the past positions of the Republicans,” Thompson said. “Future Combat Systems is the centerpiece of Army modernization. However, McCain has been more critical of it than anyone else in the chamber. Obama has been much more detailed and thoughtful in his comments about future military investment than McCain’s very superficial statements.”

    Officials with the McCain campaign did not return phone calls and emails requesting clarification.

    What Obama said

    McCain was quoting from a campaign video message from Obama to a liberal group that seeks to cut Pentagon funds by 15 percent.

    “I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending,” Obama said in the video, recorded earlier this year. “I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of Future Combat Systems.”

    F. Whitten Peters, a defense adviser for the Obama campaign and former secretary of the Air Force, confirmed that the Democratic candidate was talking about the Army program.

    “Obama had said that he wanted to review FCS and he thought that he might want to slow the fielding,” Peters said. “His feeling is there really needs to be an overall strategic review of larger weapon programs to decide which ones are sufficiently important to keep going and which ones may need to be scaled back.”


    Antonie Boessenkool contributed to this report.

    Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | September 13, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

    John McCain, "Branded" ...

    for conduct unbecoming of a presidential candidate.

    Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | September 13, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

    wordup:

    Did Obama mean 57 States?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 13, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

    I don't know,
    but I've been told,
    McCain's swiftboaters,
    reek of mold!

    Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | September 14, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

    keeptryingtodefendher:

    Gov. Palin DID tell Congress "Thanks but no thanks" to that bridge. That doesn't mean the project wasn't already stalled, or that she didn't keep some money for other projects. There was a shortfall if $329 million and she pulled the plug on that, once and for all. What do you think is the worst "lie" she's repeated?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

    Is saying a 57 instead of 47 the same as saying "Iraq battle zone" instead "Kuwait"?:

    "Following her selection last month as John McCain's running mate, aides said Palin had traveled to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq to meet with members of the Alaska National Guard. During that trip she was said to have visited a "military outpost" inside Iraq. The campaign has since repeated that Palin's foreign travel included an excursion into the Iraq battle zone.

    But in response to queries about the details of her trip, campaign aides and National Guard officials in Alaska said by telephone yesterday that she did not venture beyond the Kuwait-Iraq border when she visited Khabari Alawazem Crossing, also known as "K-Crossing," on July 25, 2007."

    Very sad.

    Posted by: wordup | September 14, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

    Is that the "worst lie" you've got?! There are plenty of other explanations besides a deliberate falsehood. You still haven't answered the first question though.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

    MBGYB:

    You surely picked two lousy examples to hold out for Obama to be fact-checked about!

    First, the lipstick on the pig. I have seen the full clip at least a dozen times and -nothing- was said about Palin. He was referring to John McCain's Policies and his claims to represent "change" when he said "even if you put lipstick on a pig, you still end up with a pig". There was not even a remote reference to Palin anywhere in the speech. That has been verified by myriad journalists, newspapers and magazines. In fact, no one legitimate has suggested otherwise. So get real. It's just a McCain campaign bald-faced lie designed to convince women that Barack hates them. Good luck on that one!

    Second, McCain did not teach himself how to use a computer, though he said he is now getting help. Bottom line: he doesn't even send or get eMail.

    Now THAT is out of touch. And both of Obama's statements were 100% accurate.

    Posted by: Alan A. Katz | September 14, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

    Don't take my word on it. Just ask Howard Kurtz:

    "The Arizona senator has made a crusade of battling pork-barrel "earmarks," but the whopper here is that Palin opposed her state's notorious Bridge to Nowhere. She endorsed the remote project while running for governor in 2006, claimed to be an opponent only after Congress killed its funding the next year and has used the $223 million provided for it for other state ventures. Far from being an opponent of earmarks, Palin hired lobbyists to try to capture more federal funding."

    [and then strangely enough, last thursday:
    "Palin Drops “Bridge to Nowhere” Reference in Speech"]

    Posted by: wordup | September 14, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

    Dale, have you lost your mind?

    You wrote: "however, despite constant rumors mccains ad is not false, if it were it would be taken off the air immediately as they do have standards yes even for presidential campaigns (its the same concept as you cant yell fire in a crowded theatre). the ad states facts, that obama's only legislation in education that he specifically pushed into existane was this. all other legislation he tried to pass was either A) simply had his name attached to it as a co-sponser or B) did not pass."

    ... and you got almost every single point wrong. First, he didn't push that bill through. He wasn't even a sponsor. And the bill never came up for a vote. Where are you getting your BS information from, the McCain lying-machine?

    And he did stand behind or author a number of other education-related laws among the 840 he sponsored or wrote in the Illinois legislature. I won't list them - why should I do the research you're obviously too lazy or mindless to do yourself?

    Posted by: Alan A. Katz | September 14, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

    "There are plenty of other explanations besides a deliberate falsehood."

    If factcheck.org ever becomes whatmccainprobablymeant.org or whatpalinprobablymeant.org and you need a job reference, I'm there for you.

    Posted by: wordup | September 14, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

    Alan A. Katz:

    After all this dustup, if Obama again uses the "lipstick on a pig" line, you are still going to insist it's not a veiled insult at Palin? The crowd reaction seemed to reveal a different possible meaning.

    wordup:

    If you ever want to answer a simple question, I'm there for you.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

    Here are some facts you don't see in the Post. These numbers are before the surge. Now things are even better.

    Did you know that 47 countries' have reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?

    Did you know that the Iraqi government
    currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

    Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated,364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are now under construction; and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq ?

    Did you know that Iraq 's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?

    Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in
    January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?

    Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5 - 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.

    Did you know that Iraq ' s Air Force consists of three operational squadrons,
    Which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night,and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?

    Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?

    Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?

    Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers every 8 weeks?

    Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq ?

    They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

    Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

    Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

    Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

    Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

    Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

    Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a
    televised debate recently?

    OF COURSE WE DIDN'T KNOW!

    WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW?

    BECAUSE OUR MEDIA WON'T TELL US!

    Posted by: SteveinPortland | September 14, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

    "a different possible meaning"

    Once again, the words of an apologist.

    Posted by: wordup | September 14, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

    Enough with the lies!!!

    Unlike previous elections the internet will allow millions to voice their outrage.

    WE ALL NEED TO KEEP SHOUTING AND EXPOSING THE LIES FOR WHAT THE ARE.

    Posted by: KenM | September 14, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

    "Now officials say they can't substantiate the figures McCain's aides are claiming.

    McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

    Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events."

    Posted by: wordup | September 14, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

    They're not lies if actually believed. Truth is irrelevant..."weapons of mass destruction"... etc etc

    Gimme four more years of a fantasy based administration.

    Posted by: T-Prop | September 14, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

    I cant trust a codgety stoic man like mcCain in his present physical state...He cant even remember what happens day to day!
    "Bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran,....."

    Posted by: rube | September 13, 2008 10:48 PM

    Rube ol' boy, r e l a x ! Think how much really Great Stuff we're gonna get for the late night comics!!!

    Posted by: T-Prop | September 14, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

    KenM:

    What do you think is Palin's "worst" lie?

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

    I am so glad that Independents and undecideds are choosing McCain/Palin. She appeals to Republicans, Independents and Reagan Democrats. They are surging in the polls and not only is looking good for McCain/Palin, it looks like the congress is up for grabs too.

    My wife was supporting Hillary and now loves Palin. Sorry, Dems she is a great lady and a great choice.

    Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2008 2:00 AM | Report abuse

    I am Independent and voting McCain.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 3:01 AM | Report abuse

    JakeD:
    I'm not sure which is the "worst", but...
    1. Sending her son off to war and stating to the troups that they would be “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

    The Irai insergents aren't the Taliban.

    2. Bridge to Nowhere. She was actually for the bridge until it was clear it wasn't going to get funded.

    3. She (or her aides) stated that she had toured militarty bases in Iraq. She's never been inside of Iraq.

    Maybe the campain is just streatching the truth, but where I come from that's LYING.

    I know all politicians do it, but we should expect better from them and hold them to a higher standard.

    Posted by: KenM | September 14, 2008 4:09 AM | Report abuse

    rljmsilver,

    Oh yes there has. Obama has been quite open about the earmarks he requested. The list includes some very worthy projects. But Palin beats Obama hands down when it comes to requesting earmarks on a per capita basis, both for her small town of Wasilla (she even hired a lobbyist to get them) and for Alaska.

    The problem for me isn't the issue of earmarks per se, but the hypocrisy of McCain and Palin when they say Palin fought against earmarks. She's actually the Earmark Queen up there in Alaska.

    I think you've got it exactly back to front. McCain is the one who's willing to say anything to get elected.

    Posted by: Mark O | September 14, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse

    Mr. Dobbs,
    Your column is titled: The Fact √ Checker. Take a moment to reflect on why your column is titled The Fact √ Checker.

    McCain announced Palin as his running mate two weeks ago and you are just now addressing Palin’s record on earmarks—the cornerstone of McCain-Palin's campaign platform!

    McCain and the Republican Party has been lying about Palin's record on earmarks nearly every day for the past two weeks and you are just now addressing Palin’s earmark record.

    The so called "liberal" bloggers/media began reporting on Palin's factual earmark record within a day of McCain’s announcement of Palin.

    You, like the majority of “mainstream” journalists, failed the American public for ignoring Palin's earmark record--despite Mccain-Palin's and the Republicans Party's non-stop assertions that she has fought against earmarks her entire political career.

    Palin is a figment of the media's imagination--a celebrity conjured up by the McCain campaign and promoted by gullible journalists who refuse to do their job.

    You, like the majority of “mainstream” journalists, swallowed the McCain-Palin and the Republican Party’s “victimization” bait—hook, line, and sinker!

    Fearful of being accused of “victimizing” poor, helpless, Palin, you, like the majority of “mainstream” journalists cowered from reporting on the facts of Palin’s record.

    Since when is analyzing and reporting on a candidate’s record been a form of “victimization”?

    The Fact √ Checker—The Fact √ Checker

    Take some time to reflect on the title and purpose of your column Mr. Dobbs. Then ask yourself why it took you two weeks to address Palin’s record on earmarks—the very cornerstone of her campaign for Vice President.

    Your last paragraph reflects your fear and vulnerability to McCain-Palin's and the Republican Party's media manipulation and intimidation strategy. Stop quivering with fear. Grow a back-bone for heaven's sake—or get out of political journalism—this isn't a career for wimps.

    Posted by: socalgal59 | September 14, 2008 5:00 AM | Report abuse

    Sadly, McCain/Palin ARE trying to win an election by way of twisting the truth and trying to drum up charges of "sexism" where there isn't any. McCain came up with the "lipstick on a pig" remark being an insult to Palin so I can only interpret that to mean McCain considers her to be a pig. It's kind of ironic anyway because McCain has used that same expression at least three times himself. (Documented on video) One of the times was in reference to Hillary Clinton's health plan, so I guess, using McCain's interpretation, he thinks Hillary Clinton AND Palin are both pigs. That whole indignation act was childish and ridiculous and it honestly made me wonder if McCain might be getting senile.

    For anyone insisting McCain/Palin haven't been lying about anything, first I offer my condolences and then I suggest listening to something besides Fox News and the likes of those who speak ignorance not so much out of belief as the knowledge it puts dollars in their pockets. We've had too many years of people clinging to a party even when it's brought our country almost to its knees. Please, let's stop choosing ignorance, and refusing to listen to a variety of sources and opinions is indeed choosing ignorance.

    Posted by: Concerned2 | September 14, 2008 5:58 AM | Report abuse

    Seems like Gov. Palin offers more of the same cheating and lies that the current administration has offered us. I say "Thanks, but no thanks" to Gov. Palin.

    Posted by: More of the Same | September 14, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

    id feel a lot better about this upcomming election if the decision wasnt left to americans

    Posted by: stone | September 14, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

    It would be nice to see someone ask Palin how she would fight the war on terror and her plans for the war theaters. McCain has over a 25% chance of not finishing his term and this is a vital national security question.

    Posted by: Jimbo | September 14, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

    The Wall St. Journal show today pointed out that the president does not have line item veto power that Palin had as governor. How will she keep her promises in the executive? I don't think a person that uses party affiliation to fill administrative spots will fight pork after losing both houses big time in the next election. Especially true when you look at the campaign staff. If Sarah is so talented, then why doesn't she take questions like any other political candidate?

    Posted by: Jimbo | September 14, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

    The only way McCain can win is by distracting the voting public from the issues and dragging the campaign into the mud. He has not put "Country first," as the Republican slogan proclaims. To paraphrase Sen. McCain himself, he would rather lose his integrity and self-respect than lose this election. And to paraphrase Hillary Clinton: Shame on you, John McCain!

    We have serious problems and the Obama campaign is proposing serious and thoughtful solutions and approaches. Sen. Obama has shown that he is an able administrator capable of choosing effective and honorable individuals as his advisors.

    If you are registered, vote for Obama. If you are not registered to vote, get registered. If you feel that you have a stake in this election, volunteer to register others and get out the vote.

    Posted by: Debra Schrishuhn | September 14, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

    rljmsilver

    The reason Obama doesn't need to answer criticism about earmarks is because he makes no erroneous claims about them. Remember, since Palin's resume is so thin, including a complete lack of credible foreign policy experience, the republican strategy has been to portray her as a reformer. In doing so, McCain started and continues to fabricate this notion that Palin never sought federal earmarks, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It's simply a lie.

    "Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group... Palin oversaw the hiring of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh, an Anchorage-based law firm with close ties to Alaska's most senior Republicans: Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens, who was indicted in July on charges of accepting illegal gifts. The Wasilla account was handled by the former chief of staff to Stevens, Steven W. Silver, who is a partner in the firm... In fiscal year 2002, Wasilla took in $6.1 million in earmarks -- about $1,000 in federal money for every resident. By contrast, Boise, Idaho -- which has more than 190,000 residents -- received $6.9 million in earmarks in fiscal 2008." from a story by Paul Kane
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, September 2, 2008; A01

    Also, Palin proclaims she said "no thanks" to the bridge, when in fact she had been campaigning for it, until revised cost estimates would have required Alaska to pay over $150 million on top of the $225 million from the federal government. In other words, Palin's Bridge was great when Federal tax money would pay for it, but no longer acceptable when Alaska would have to pay for some of it, although Alaska kept the money for other projects anyway.

    But since you asked about it, it's well known that Illinois' earmarks are about $30 per person compared to Alaska's approximate $300 per person. But again, democrats didn't bring this issue up until the republicans voluntarily attempted to distort the record.

    And also, touting Palin as a reformer for firing a chef and selling an airplane hardly cements her status as a reformer in light of these facts.

    Posted by: Ed Hudecek | September 14, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

    Republican modus operandi: Repeat a lie over and over, and the people will come to accept it as truth.

    Posted by: ernieson | September 14, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

    Democratic MO: repeat that something is a "lie" over and over even when it is pointed out it is not. If you will notice, not even Mr. Dobbs claims that McCain-Palin are "lying". Have a nice day, everyone : )

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

    Obama/Biden among worst Pork Barrel offenders in the Senate

    Each year, The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) tabulates its Congressional Ratings, evaluating how each member of Congress measures up on key tax and spending votes.

    Scale: 100% Best Record --- 0% Worst Record
    McCain - (2007 Score): 100%, (Lifetime Score): 88%
    Obama - (2007 Score): 10%, (Lifetime Score): 18%
    Biden - (2007 Score): 0%, (Lifetime Score): 22%

    http://ccagw.org

    Posted by: Ruth | September 14, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

    Kudos to The View. Who knew Barbara had more balls than the rest of mass media combined.

    Posted by: mikemos | September 14, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

    "the whopper here is that Palin opposed her state's notorious Bridge to Nowhere. She endorsed the remote project while running for governor in 2006, claimed to be an opponent only after Congress killed its funding the next year and has used the $223 million provided for it for other state ventures. Far from being an opponent of earmarks, Palin hired lobbyists to try to capture more federal funding."

    Posted by: wordup | September 14, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

    It's interesting to read those comments by McCain supporters. The fact that their candidate was telling lies doesn't concern them. Instead they change the subject. Yes, the View has more liberals on it, but that has nothing to do with McCain's choice to lie. Obama has nothing to do with McCain's choice to lie. He lied and is continuing to lie and that has nothing to do with the media or anyone else. McCain chooses to continue to lie to the American people and it's no ones fault but him.

    Posted by: adam | September 14, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

    Ruth,
    Lie: "to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive"

    Obama and Biden are not going the country lying to Americans about eating at the trough. In fact, Obama discloses his earmarks--an almost unheard of practice in Congress--to improve government transparency. As Palin said in her interview with Gibson, transparency is needed in the earmark process.

    By contrast, McCain et al are going around the country lying to Americans as they claim Palin never took an earmark as governor. Not only is their assertion that Palin never took an earmark as governor an outright lie, Palin et al is the biggest pig at the trough--eating more per capita than any other state.

    When confronted with the lie, Palin et al refuse to own up to the truth.

    Palin supporters can deny the truth all they want--but millions of Americans will not be deceived.

    Why do you think this column, The Fact Checker, exists?

    It because Americans hate liars. Americans want the truth.

    Posted by: socalgal59 | September 14, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

    John McCain has lost his integrity and forget about his honorable nature...all for the sake of attempting to win this election. That's a sad situation. If people are so determined to have faith in this 'new evolved' McCain, this election will be the biggest laugh in the history of this nation.

    Posted by: eww | September 14, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

    She's only the "biggest pig" per capita. She's not as big as Obama, just more efficient. You guys are hilarious. Gov. Palin has never claimed to always have opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. She is the final one to tell Congress "Thanks but no thanks".

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

    In reply to rljmsilver 9/12/08 7:14pm who wrote: “It is interesting how there has been almost no vetting and reporting of the millions of dollars of prok barrel federal funds Obama has fought to get (waste).”

    Obama supports reforming earmark allocation.

    Obama supports more transparency and accountability in government.

    Obama worked with Coburn, to draft and pass the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. GW signed this measure into law in September 2006.

    According to the nonpartisan watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, Obama has asked for nearly $1 billion in earmarks during his Senate term. But the group gives him credit for disclosing his requests, which most members of Congress don't do.
    Obama has not made any requests for the next fiscal year, and even when he was asking for earmarks, he was far from the worst offender, the group says.
    "Just to put it into perspective, he got $98 million worth of earmarks in fiscal year 2008. Sen. Clinton got more than $300 million in earmarks, and Sen Cochran, Republican of the [Senate] Appropriations Committee, got $800 million in earmarks,"
    Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense said.

    Obama says

    “We can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress' seniority, rather than the merit of the project,"

    "The entire earmark process needs to be re-examined and reformed. For that reason, I will be supporting Sen. DeMint's amendment and will not be requesting earmarks this year for Illinois,"

    McCain, the GOP and Gov Palin are however touting Palin as a champion anti-earmark person.

    This hypocrisy has been exposed during the national vetting of Palin.

    Posted by: KiwisCanFly | September 14, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

    So, Obama can request earmarks and then "see the light" but Palin is the hypocritcal one?! Airtight "logic" you've got there ; )

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

    I keep hearing stuff about Palin's support for the bridge to no where. The most often cited evidence I've seen for Palin's support of the bridge is where she stated she wasn't going to "stand in the way of progress." That's not a ringing endorsement. Basically the money was already on its way before she became governor and she was agreeing to continue with the process. That doesn't mean she was a big fan of the project.

    Posted by: jfg | September 14, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

    Don't forget to add to McCain's perpetual lies his boasts of being an environmental advocate. The truth is that the League of Conservation Voters gave him a flat ZERO rating based on his voting record for 15 crucial environmental issues. Here's the link:
    http://capwiz.com/lcv_stage/dbq/vote_info/?command=results&sort=Last&state=AZ&submit.x=14&submit.y=10
    ZERO/NADA/ZILCH-At least he's consistent, lies about everything.

    Posted by: VinnyC | September 14, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

    There are, of course, different measures than those "15 crucial". For instance, McCain does not want to drill in ANWR.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse


    You assume facts matter. They don't. The people who support McCain for Palin are doing based on whom they relate to. As the sociopathic Karl Rove taught us, they can create reality for those whom they inspire.

    Posted by: Charles Lewis | September 14, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

    Facts "matter" to me. Which is why not even Dobbs has claimed that McCain-Palin have "lied".

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

    Here's the rub.

    McCain/Palin, the "Reform" candidates, have made "Earmarks" a tenent of their campaign. It forms one of the basic components of their old-by-now, used up, stale, and pretty much debunked campaign debut and stump speech. They preach that they will do away with them, they lie that she doesn't take them, and they have been proven to be liars on this issue. They continue to maintain, in the bold clear light of discovery, that what they claim is true.
    They should have known that the facts would be researched and the findings would be made public and their claims proven false. So, why on earth whould they make a big issue of Earmarks?

    Either they are not very smart, are pathological liars, are not grounded in reality, or have no respect for the voters to whom they bring their campaign.

    I suspect it is all of the above and, as such, do not want this kind of team governing my nation---again. This is one more example of how they truly are "more of the same".

    Posted by: TJW | September 14, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

    Sarah Palin and John Mccain are big fat liars. Its just that simple.

    Posted by: I dont vote for liars | September 14, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

    Or, TJW, Palin is not "lying" ; )

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

    Why in the bleep are you giving Palin "a pass"???


    The initial impression of her will linger. Now is the most important time to learn who she is!

    Also, if Palin is the seasoned politician they claim she is, she should know better.

    No more double standards!

    You insult all women when you demand less from Palin.

    Posted by: jds | September 14, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

    Jake D cracked the joke of the year claiming to be a independant - Just beat the Republican party itself in that nomination..

    maybe he is Karl Rove - obvioulsy doesnt have much to do - only gets out to play a quick 9 holes and then spreads rubbish....

    Posted by: col in paradise | September 14, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

    Just wondered how Sarah would handle a 6th pregancy while she was VP. I realize this is personal, but being she just had her 5th child it is very possible she will have #6 in the next few years. Something to think about.

    Posted by: thaleia | September 14, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

    Jake D
    Your head must be stuck in the Bridge to Nowhere! Sarah Pain in the *** couldn't even answer NOT ONE simple question in her interview because she couldn't recall how to based on her scriptwriters. Did u see the video with her protesters in Alaska? What about the Library controversy, Troopergate, womenagainstsarahpalin? Can you imagine-a major world crisis, and she has to contact her "handlers" because she has no idea what to say to the country! The Good Ole Boys and the Bridge to Nowhere references in ALL of her speeches is a bit boring now, don't you think? You're getting HAMMERED on this site-maybe a good golf game will do you good. By the way, Sarah IS NOT EDUCATED probably like you


    Posted by: jackiecee | September 14, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

    For the record, Gov. Palin did answer questions, e.g. "No, I have not" when asked if she has personally shook the hand of any foreign head of state. She also correctly pointed out that many Vice Presidents had not, same as her, before taking office. The reason I keep bringing up the Bridge to Nowhere is because people keep claiming she "lied" about that. I will keep pointing out the facts all the way until Election Day.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 14, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

    Anyone can go out and call themselves Factcheck. The media is so biased. Do a Pinocchio check on yourselves you idiots. This is exactly why I support McCain/Palin. Democrats + Media = Russia. The media is doing the same thing they accused Putin of doing during russia's election. Plus obama wants to make it so the Government controls everything. It will be a cold day in hell before the true Americans allow that to happen. ABC even edited Palin's interview. I have lost all respect for the media and I still believe obama hussein is a muslim.

    Posted by: zeek | September 14, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

    He could, indeed, be a secret Muslim agent and the MSM are definitely in the tank for him. Luckily, they can't pull a complete Putin over our eyes and McCain will win. Keep the faith.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

    The Straight Talk Express has deviated. He is now Clumsy Talk Express.

    We all knew that with Schmidt, a Karl Rove alter ego, coming on board McCain's Campaign,It was going to be smears all the way.

    But coloring the smears with outright lies leaves much to be desired.

    It is just like a 72 year Old man playing with Sand in the Beach.

    Posted by: Dare Nigeria | September 15, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

    The liberal press has helped Obama to get to where he is today. The same help he has received all his life through various government entitlements and Affirmative Action. Palin represents the American dream. She worked her way to the top. This is the change we want!

    Posted by: cayc | September 15, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

    Soon I expect the media to report, in a fact check, that the McCain campaign is lieing about Palin being a woman. Whether it was to step one foot across the border, or drive a quarter of a mile, Palin did go to Iraq. Was the McCain campaign trying to tell us that Palin went hunting insurgents on her trip? No! The same goes for Ireland.

    A fact check might try to uncover what McCain is refering to when he talks about pork, or earmarks in the context of that pork. I suspect that such a check will find that McCain is talking about unnecessary projects that drain the pockets of some citizens just to line the pockets of others. It might also be discovered that Alaska is a donor state to the federal government when land and resources, within the state, controlled by the feds is taken into account.

    Last, if the media wants to vet VP candidates it would serve us well by examing Biden's sanity. Never would a Republican receive a pass after suffering a nervous breakdown in public as Biden did during his 1988 Presidential campaign.

    Posted by: rpatoh | September 15, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

    Polls will change soon! Yes, and all it took was Palin to sit down and memorize scripted lines. What a shame…Women failed for the gimmick during the convention speech. I actually felt sorry for Palin during the interview because she didn't sound like the "Pit Bull" with Lipstick - more like a 2 year old child or an elementary student cramming for a test. She is not well informed and definitely not a thinker. She is truly a “dud”.

    They have allowed her to go on the campaign scene along because the bloggers question why she needed to be "taped to the hip" of McCain. The McCain camp is now realizing she is bringing shame upon them and they will not allow her to speak to the Media anymore and they are keeping her in silence. I understand she was forced upon McCain but he should have taken a stand against someone who they did not vet properly.

    This lady is very spooky.

    Now news is being gathered about the possibility that Palin lied about “Trig” being hers.

    The Alaska paper is reporting the fact that Palin never looked pregnant.

    Many bloggers on various web sites wonder why this story has been in the news…Now if this comes out to be True that "Trig" is actually her daughters we are truly doomed if these two clowns/liars are elected.

    I doubt it…people are waking up to the lies that she continues to repeat on the campaign trail.

    Posted by: printthis02 | September 15, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

    Fact-Checker Michael Dobbs said: "If you think it reflects bias on my part, there is a simple remedy: send in specific examples of Pinocchio-esque statements by Obama and the Dems, and I will check them out."

    How accomodating of Michael Dobbs. In other words, he and the other 'reporters' at the Post will continue to PRO-actively dig into McCain and Palin, and will only RE-actively cover Obama's smears and half-truths if we in reader-land put it right in front of his face.

    And the self-righteous journalists at the Post continue to be befuddled by the accusations of "press bias", when guys like Michael Dobbs make it clear over and over again that they have much more passion for 'doing their jobs' when the targets are Republicans instead of their fellow Democrats.

    Michael Dobbs just said it himself: he's not going bother to look into any of Obama's smears unless readers force him to, not when he has to spend so much time pouring over the latest anti-Palin press releases from the DNC, deciding how to rewrite them as "news".

    Good job Dobbs. Way to fuel the fire of media bias.

    Posted by: dbw | September 15, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

    Dear 'printthis02':

    "Stand up so they can see you!" - Joe Biden, speaking to a handicapped person in a wheelchair.

    "Frankly, she [Hillary] would have been a better pick than me." - Joe Biden

    And you're worried about Sarah Palin?

    Posted by: dbw | September 15, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

    I should give credit where credit is due to one member of the left-leaning media. Chris Cuomo, product of a long liberal-Democrat line, interviewed Obama on ABC this morning. Cuomo called out Obama for his cowardice (ok, that's my word not his) in turning down McCain's invitation to town-hall style settings, rightfully wondering what Obama is scared of it he really wants to "talk about the issues" as he keeps claiming.

    Obama's meager response was that "look, there will be 3 debates". Cuomo asked "why not 23? or 33?". Cuomo successfully called Obama's bluff.

    Obama only wants to 'talk issues' when it makes for a convenient applause line. But when actually invited to 'talk issues', he's exposed as a coward to enter a forum without a well-rehearsed script....he knows he might say something about pigs again.

    Posted by: dbw | September 15, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

    McCain is trying to find our exactly how stupid the American public is.

    Posted by: drossless | September 15, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

    I think Palin is a secret Russian agent. In fact, I truly believe that her most recent child was actually fathered by Putin (working on evidence -- it will come out). Once in office, McCain will be pushed aside (or will be killed) and Palin will take over with and move us toward a more Russian-style democracy, that is, a party-controlled state. She indeed can see Russia from Alaska; she and her husband were both members of a radical secessionist party with ties to Russia. She has expressed an interest in banning books, and she and her party have decried media as having a liberal bias (both indicating her desire and willingness to control media, especially opposition views). We need to be very careful in looking at Palin -- electing McCain and her would be a disasterous move for American -- eventually leading to a Georgia-like takover starting in Alaska, or maybe a full-scale invasion like in Red Dawn.

    Stop the Russian-proxy Palin -- Vote Obama/Biden, two real Americans!

    Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

    fake JakeD at 11:48 AM

    P.S. to dbw: I have sent Dobbs plenty of Obama-Biden tips (we'll see if he looks into any of those between now and Election Day ; )

    Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

    "She's not telling the truth when she told ABC neither she nor her husband pressured me to fire Trooper Wooten," said Walt Monegan, the Alaskan official whose dismissal by Sarah Palin is the focus of a state investigation known as "Troopergate". "And she's not telling the truth to the media about her reasons for firing me."

    Posted by: cha cha cha | September 15, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

    The reason there has been "almost no vetting and reporting of the millions of dollars of earmars Obama has fought for" is that he and his campaign do not lie day in day out about being anti-earmarks and then getting the largest per capita amount of earmarks for any state like Palin has.

    There is a big difference between fighting for earmarks for your state as Obama and most politicians have, and fighting for earmarks, denying you tried to get them or ever got them and then using the lies saying you never got them and oppose in your campaign every hour of every dayas Sarah Palin has.

    The media has fallen in love with Palin and now they are finally reporting on just how sleazy of a politician she really is. She lies every day about her previous support of the "Bridge to Nowhere," and lies about earmarks. She lies being a reformer yet took state per diem money while staying at her home. That may be legal in Alaska, but at my workplace and almost all others, she would be in jail!

    Posted by: Eric Crossley | September 15, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

    Eric Crossley:

    If she "lies every day about her previous support" of the "Bridge to Nowhere" I'm sure it won't be too hard to actually QUOTE said lie? Then, we can discuss the "nail" part of your post.

    Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

    "the whopper here is that Palin opposed her state's notorious Bridge to Nowhere. She endorsed the remote project while running for governor in 2006, claimed to be an opponent only after Congress killed its funding the next year and has used the $223 million provided for it for other state ventures. Far from being an opponent of earmarks, Palin hired lobbyists to try to capture more federal funding."

    Posted by: wordup | September 15, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

    from elswhere in the Post:

    "He was asked about nearly $200 million in congressional pet projects Palin requested for 2009 for her state, despite her boasts that she opposes such projects and his claim that she didn't ask for any. McCain responded by criticizing Obama..."

    "McCain cut off a question about the "Bridge to Nowhere," which Palin claims to have killed in Alaska even though Washington pulled back money for the project before she turned against it."

    Posted by: wordup | September 15, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

    from the Wall Street Journal:

    "Last week, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, hadn't sought earmarks or special-interest spending from Congress, presenting her as a fiscal conservative. But state records show Gov. Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund $453 million in specific Alaska projects over the past two years."

    Posted by: wordup | September 15, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

    The view's quote actually said taken earmarks - using the phrase "a lot" - which you leave out ...

    McCain truthfully answered Palin didn't take "a lot" of earmarks, having reduced them from before.

    YOU are the liar, not McCain.

    Posted by: You've lied about his quote | September 15, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

    Palin also said she'd cooperate with the ongoing ethics investigation into her abuse of power. Now she's saying "thanks, but no thanks." Apparently rule of law is only for the little people; i.e., those of us who don't have a tanning bed in our home.

    Posted by: wordup | September 15, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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