I love to stay involved in the political process. After all, this is America, where we are supposed to have the freedom to voice our opinions without any fear of government reprisal – unlike so many other parts of the world. Add to that the fact that this is an election year, and you get a lot of blood boiling on every topic and issue from healthcare to taxes and everything in between, especially jobs.
Today, while doing some research on where our country is job-wise, I ran across an interesting CBS News article online entitled, “Fact-checking 6 claims in Paul Ryan’s convention speech.” As I read through the article I noticed just how much minutiae Lucy Madison, Stephanie Condon, and Paula Reid, the articles authors, dug their collective journalistic heels into. Now, I realize that for every article by a non-conservative media outlet, there will be similar opposing articles by those on the conservative, non-liberal side; that is no mystery or surprise.
As I continued to read the article, I began to see a pattern emerge of really nit-picking every detail of what Mr. Ryan said vs. which way the authors wanted to skew the readers’ opinions. It stuck me that I’d like to find out just how many times CBS News has published “fact-checking” articles against what President Obama has said in speeches – either since he’s been in office, or when he was a candidate.
Well, I used the following search criteria on ALL the relevant search engines: fact + checking + Obama + speech. You know what I found? Almost all of the media outlets, with the standout exception of Fox News (no surprise there) were all asking whether Paul Ryan’s speech got Obama’s GM speech right.
At the heart of the matter is the speech that then candidate Barack Obama gave at the now defunct GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, where Mr. Obama said, “I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years. The question is not whether a clean energy economy is in our future, it’s where it will thrive. I want it to thrive right here in the United States of America; right here in Wisconsin; and that’s the future I’ll fight for as your President.” This was a poignant stop for candidate Barack Obama; jobs were at steak, and these people were hopeful this candidate might save theirs. Well, he couldn’t – and it wasn’t his fault. The plant was going to close no matter what George W. Bush or Barack Obama may have done – it simply just wasn’t meant to be.
What Mr. Ryan said in his speech as he quoted President Obama was, “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” It was an encapsulation – not a paraphrase. Somehow, the authors of the CBS News article, and apparently most of the others, believe that Mr. Ryan took the President’s words out of context. Because of this I decided that I wanted to review a video of that campaign stop, but I couldn’t find it anywhere online. Odd, isn’t it?
My honest belief in a situation like this is that all things any politician says may be subject to interpretation. Some will believe what is said, lock-stock & barrel. Others will denounce the same exact words as “horse-puckey.” Either way, it’s true that most politicians end up eating their words at one time or another. What strikes me – actually irks me to a certain degree – is that the same scrutiny that is being applied to Mr. Ryan’s speech, and you can add Mr. Romney’s speeches for that matter, is NOT being applied to anyone on the democratic side of the house.
If I were a political analyst, and I am absolutely not, nor do I claim to be, I would probably try to focus the issue at hand to the greater – some would say “key” – factor that the economy is recovering much more slowly than originally anticipated by all – including the President and his people.
I will be watching the Democratic Convention, and listening carefully to the speeches. Afterwards, I will look to the same outlets to see if their “fact-checking” is going to be as fair as they claim to be. I have always believed in a free press – free to REPORT the news, not free to DISTORT, CREATE, or MANIPULATE the news.
Let’s see what happens.
Thank you for reading – Ed Martinez, Regular Guy.