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Why I Voted For George W. Bush

GW Bush Election Approval of Policy

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#121 Spectacles

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 07:33 AM

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Eloisel: I hesitate to agree with Bill O'Reilly because he is, in my opinion, almost a nut job. But, he is on the air and radio, he got the research and put it out there. No one anti-Bush is disputing that the numbers are accurate.

Evidently, there's been a Rovian disinformation campaign in the past couple of weeks touting Bush as a champion of the poor. This is probably to counter the discussion of poverty sparked when Katrina blew the veneer off society. And Clinton finally came out and criticized the Bush administration for its policies that have not helped the poor.

Anyway, you're right to be suspicious of O'Reilly. I'd add any other "conservative" pundit to the list. All of them get their talking points from the White House's minister of propaganda.

http://mediamatters....ms/200509140004

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Fox News host Bill O'Reilly compared the poverty rate in 1996 with the poverty rate in 2004 to falsely suggest that President Bush has done more to reduce poverty in the United States than President Clinton. O'Reilly cited the statistics in response to claims, which he described as "complete nonsense," that the Bush administration has neglected impoverished Americans. While O'Reilly is correct that the poverty rate in 1996 was higher than in 2004, he took those numbers out of context to mask a far more significant fact: The poverty rate declined every year of the Clinton presidency and has increased every year under the Bush presidency. Put another way, the poverty rate was higher now than it was when Clinton left office. During the Clinton presidency, the poverty rate fell from 15.1 percent in 1993 to a low of 11.3 percent in 2000; it has risen every year that Bush has been in office, from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.7 percent in 2004.

So, they (and I say they because O'Reilly wasn't the only one tooting this horn) took the poverty rate from Clinton's second year in office, when the rate was beginning to decline from the 15.1 percent he inherited the first year of his presidency, and then compared it to the rate in Bush's fourth year, which is higher than the rate Bush inherited from Clinton.

CNN conservative commentator Joe Watkins, a guy I find it impossible not to like, trotted out the same story:

http://mediamatters....items/200509130

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Misleadingly citing poverty statistics on the September 12 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now, Watkins stated that "under Bill Clinton, 15.1 percent of the population was poor; under President Bush, 12.7 percent of the population is poor. That's a reduction, that's a good thing." But the poverty rate declined every year Clinton was in office, from 15.1 percent when he took office in 1993 to a low of 11.3 percent in 2000; it has risen every year that Bush has been in office, from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.7 percent in 2004.

Ol' reptilian Dick Morris repeated this distortion on Hannity and Colmes, and added the whopper that the deficit ain't no problem under Bush.

http://mediamatters.org/items/20050923

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False claims about poverty echo throughout media; are RNC "talking points" to blame?

Last week, we noted that CNN contributor Joe Watkins and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly both made false comparisons of the poverty rates under President Clinton and President Bush. Since then, similar false claims about poverty have appeared in other news outlets.

The Washington Post claimed in an editorial that "Since 1999, the rate has been edging steadily, and disturbingly, upward." After Media Matters pointed out that, in fact, the poverty rate declined from 1999 to 2000 (as it went down every year of the Clinton administration) before increasing from 2000 to 2001 (and every year of the Bush presidency), the Post corrected its error. Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III used his nationally syndicated column to dismiss as "comical" Clinton's claim that his administration "moved 100 times as many people out of poverty in eight years as had been moved out in the previous 12 years." In fact, Clinton was understating the disparity, as Media Matters noted: "The presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush actually saw a dramatic net increase in the number of impoverished Americans, whereas Clinton's presidency witnessed an even more dramatic net decrease."

Fox News contributor and former Clinton adviser Dick Morris also got in on the act. On Fox News host Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated radio show, Morris made the highly misleading claim that the U.S. poverty rate is "two points lower than when he [Clinton] took office, and it's lower in the midpoint of Bush's term than it was at the midpoint of his [Clinton's] term." That may be true, but Morris ignored the more important trend that poverty declined every year of Clinton's presidency and has risen every year of Bush's.

So where did this flood of misinformation about the Clinton and Bush records on poverty come from? Is it just an odd coincidence? Or is it a result of the recently revealed daily conference calls and emails through which the Republican National Committee gives marching orders to "about 80 pundits, GOP-leaning radio and TV hosts, and newsmakers"?

Like Twain said, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. And these people are goooood. Here's how it works. Someone finds a way to spin and twist reality to make Bush look good. That "someone" is a PR person who tests the information on focus groups (contrary to Bush's assertion that he scorns them). If it flies, then it is released to Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, any number of "conservative" talk jocks across America, and any number of "conservative" print pundits. They get the message out. It's repeated here and there (hence the term "echo chamber") until people begin to believe it's true simply because they hear it so much.

The Dems don't have such an efficient apparatus and are trying to play catch up. But I've thought it might be interesting to have a "Truth or Propaganda" thread here where we can all test the assertions we hear across the political spectrum.
The old Who song, "We Don't Get Fooled Again" comes to mind.

Edited by Spectacles, 25 September 2005 - 07:36 AM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#122 Lin731

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 11:03 AM

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So, they (and I say they because O'Reilly wasn't the only one tooting this horn) took the poverty rate from Clinton's second year in office, when the rate was beginning to decline from the 15.1 percent he inherited the first year of his presidency, and then compared it to the rate in Bush's fourth year, which is higher than the rate Bush inherited from Clinton.


Yeah Specs I noticed that too when I was looking into the numbers Eloisel cited (they are accurate btw and can be found Here):

http://www.census.go...d/thresh04.html

But the "media spin" neglects to point out as you said, that they took a year at the beginning of Clinton's term (when the numbers were still quite high) and compared them to Bush's, without citing that poverty declined every year AFTER that Cherry picked stat, where Bush's have done nothing but increase every year he's been in office. They also neglected to point out that even during THAT year wages were RISING, not stagnant as they are now and have been. You might also note that while corporate profits rose significantly, it really didn't create many jobs nor did it bring up wages. Even where I was working (and we got yearly wages) you weren't actually SEEING those increases in your paycheck because they'd give you a 30 cent raise AND up your weekly contribution to your insurance AND raised the co-pays on office visits and perscription drugs.
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#123 eloisel

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 11:56 AM

Spectacles, on Sep 25 2005, 12:33 PM, said:

The Dems don't have such an efficient apparatus and are trying to play catch up. But I've thought it might be interesting to have a "Truth or Propaganda" thread here where we can all test the assertions we hear across the political spectrum.
The old Who song, "We Don't Get Fooled Again" comes to mind.
Good idea.  Start up your thread.



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