What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

They Don't Cry When They Lie

Over the last several months we've heard the same thing from just about every conservative pundit out there: John Kerry is the most liberal member of the Senate, and John Edwards is the fourth most liberal.

The next time Hannity and Colmes is on, watch and listen for Sean Hannity to mention that John Kerry is the "most liberal member" of the Senate.

The rankings are conducted by the National Journal. And yes, in 2003, John Kerry was the most liberal Senator, and John Edwards was fourth.

That's only in 2003.

Not in 2002, 2001, 2000, or 1999.

Funny how pundits like Hannity "forget" to mention that the "most liberal" ranking for Kerry only covered 2003.

Let's look at how the National Journal ranked Kerry and Edwards in previous years:

Kerry -- 9th most liberal
Edwards -- 31st most liberal

Kerry -- 11th most liberal
Edwards -- 35th most liberal

Kerry -- 20th most liberal
Edwards -- 19th most liberal

Kerry -- 16th most liberal
Edwards -- 31st most liberal

Why does Sean Hannity and his fellow pundits leave out these important bits of data? President Bush says it. Vice President Cheney says it. Right-wingers everywhere like to quote the 2003 rankings, without mentioning that the ranking is only for 2003.

Why? Because they know that their target audience -- conservatives -- will not bother to look up the information. Conservatives are like children; they believe everything they are told. Why else do so many conservatives quote Matt Drudge? Drudge "exclusives" are nothing more than rumors, and often they are discredited rumors. Even so, right-wingers eat it up. This is a group that called themselves -- proudly -- "dittoheads," in that they agreed with everything Rush Limbaugh said. Just mindless robots, ready to regurgitate the party line.

Here's an example of how Drudge utilizes misinformation. Drudge recently ran a story about how a Boston Globe reporter covering the Kerry campaign had also been commissioned to write the forward to a book on the Kerry-Edwards campaign -- "just as he is covering the campaign in an official capacity as a journalist for the BOSTON GLOBE!"

Yet, during the 2000 presidential campaign, Fox News chief political analyst Carl Cameron covered the Bush campaign, at the same time Cameron's wife was working for the Bush campaign, and I don't recall Drudge reporting on that bit of information. Why? Because Drudge is a right-wing shill. Also, he's not a journalist. He has no training or education in journalism, and the closest he came in working for the media was when he managed the gift shop at CBS News.

Not that any of this will matter. The Bush campaign will continue to lie and distort the truth, Drudge with continue to report rumor and innuendo as fact, and conservatives will believe it all.


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