Context? Who Cares About Context? | The Wandering Eye | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Blogs » The Wandering Eye

Context? Who Cares About Context?

The Gordon Smith campaign is out with another TV spot ripping Jeff Merkley as a tax-and-spend liberal. In this one, we actually see Merkley saying:

by

comment

The Gordon Smith campaign is out with another TV spot ripping Jeff Merkley as a tax-and-spend liberal. In this one, we actually see Merkley saying: "I advocate for tax hikes every night in living rooms across Oregon."


As is so often the case with political ads, though, there's more - or less - to this one than meets the eye.

As Oregonian blogger Jeff Mapes astutely points out, the use of that snippet is "a pretty clever case of selective editing." Merkley spoke the words during an April 15 debate sponsored by The Oregonian and KGW-TV. Here's the quote in context:

Question: " ... If you are elected to the Congress or the Senate on what occasion would you feel comfortable advocating for any kind of tax hike? And in doing so if you do that tonight do you worry that you are going to give Gordon Smith and the Republicans ammunition against you in the general?"

Merkley: "You know I advocate for tax hikes every night in living rooms across Oregon because we have to close the tax loopholes that were torn in our national treasury over the past eight years. In fact during this decade, the General Accounting Office anticipated a $5 trillion surplus, and now instead we are running trillions of dollars short. Part of it is the war in Iraq. But a lot of it is the loopholes that were torn in the national treasury for the wealthiest Americans, and indeed for the special interest corporations. We need to close those loopholes in order to be able to restore our national treasury, to take on global warming, to take on education and to take on national health care."

Props to Mapes for doing some digging and uncovering this distortion, but unfortunately it's a lot easier to spread misinformation than to correct it afterwards. As Winston Churchill said, "A lie gets halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its pants on."

About The Author

Add a comment

More by H. Bruce Miller

  • Who is John Galt? Who Gives a Crap?: Atlas Shrugged's tea party flops hard

    Members of the Ayn Rand cult have waited 54 years for a movie version of her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. They finally have one that's true to the letter and spirit of the book. And that's the problem.
    • May 11, 2011
  • LandWatch Goes to the Mattresses Over Resorts

    The fight over Deschutes County's new destination resort rules isn't finished yet: Central Oregon LandWatch has put the county on notice that it plans to challenge them. LandWatch filed ìnotices of intent to appealî Thursday with the state Land Use Board of Appeals, charging that the county's new rules for determining what lands are eligible for resorts ìactually increase the development potential in the county.
    • Aug 23, 2010
  • Waste and Fraud: Walden Goes After the Big Game

    Eastern Oregon's own Rep. Greg Walden and a couple of other Republican congressmen have unleashed their righteous wrath on a federal program that helps low-income folks heat their homes.
    • Jul 2, 2010
  • More »