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Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation. Journalism. Energy independence. 2004 Presidential Campaign Promise Deception: Bush and Kerry promised to make the U.S. energy independent

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Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation

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energy independence
Energy independence
  • 2004 Presidential Campaign Promise
  • Deception: Bush and Kerry promised to make the U.S. energy independent
  • Facts: To achieve independence by 2040, a heavy tax would be needed on gas-guzzling cars vehicles, a federal program to buy and scrap old gas-gulping clunkers, and generous subsidies from taxpayers to help low-income families buy better fuel efficient vehicles. Estimated cost: $180 billion, $150 billion more than Bush or Kerry pledged
  • After Bush was elected, the U.S. imported 59.8% of its crude oil, up from 58.4% in 2004.
mideastern independence
Mideastern Independence
  • President Bush 2006 State of the Union Address
  • Promised to cut imports from the Middle East by 75%
  • Only 1 barrel in 5 comes from the Middle East; the rest comes from Canada and Mexico
  • A deceptively modest gain
no more flossing
No more flossing
  • Deceptive Advertising
  • In 2004 Listerine claimed that its product was as effective fighting plaque and gingivitis as flossing. They claimed clinical studies proved it.
  • Wrong! Studies failed to insure that people were flossing correctly
tax cut
Tax cut$
  • 2004 Bush tax cut bill promised that 80% of the tax relief for upper income filers would go small businesses
  • The definition of small business included……
  • All partnerships, including the nation’s biggest accounting firms, law-firms, and real-estate partnerships where the partnerships were only a small sideline investment. Even Bush got the cut from a sideline business he owned.
  • Deceptive in that not as many true mom-and-pop businesses got the relief as the numbers indicated
job alaries
Job $alaries$
  • Kerry’s Claim
  • In 2004 campaign, Kerry said the jobs created under the Bush administration paid $9,000 a year less than the jobs they replaced
  • Claimed economists could measure the gap accurately
  • Not true
  • No one can gather these kinds of statistics in a way that allows for precise job-to-job comparisons

In an increasingly dangerous world—even after the first terrorist attack on America—John Kerry and the liberals in Congress voted to slash America’s intelligence operations. By six billion dollars—cuts so deep the would have weakened America’s defenses. And weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm.

  • 2004 Presidential Campaign
  • The first attack on the World Trade Center was in 1993.
  • Kerry supported a $1 billion dollar cut which would have continued for five years.
  • This amounted to a 3.7% reduction in intelligence spending
  • It’s not a lie, but it is misleading
fahrenheit 9 11
Fahrenheit 9/11
  • The Michael Moore Claim
  • The movie gave viewers the impression that President Bush approved a special flight to allow relatives of Osama bi Laden who lived in the U.S. to get out of the country while U.S. airspace was still closed immediately following 9/11.
  • He implied it, but he never stated it as a fact
  • The flight didn’t depart until a full week after airspace was reopened to commercial flights.
  • Furthermore, the FBI questioned a number of the family members before they were allowed to leave.
warning sign if it s scary be wary
Warning Sign:If it’s scary, be wary
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • In the 2003 State of the Union address, Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and imagine what it would be like if it had been involved in the 9/11 attacks.
  • The result: an overwhelming support of the war in Iraq.
  • Now we know that Hussein destroyed such weaponry years ago.
  • No such weapons existed then in Iraq.
warning sign a story that s too good
Warning sign:A Story That’s too good
  • Gun Control Advocacy
  • A professor at Emory University published an article that claimed gun ownership had ben rare in colonial America. This meant the picture of the American Minutemen was false and the National Rifle Association would have less “artillery” to argue about the Second Amendment.
  • The professor offered 11,000 probate records showing what people owned when they died, and few listed guns. Columbia University endorsed the study.
  • When Northwestern University checked the same records, these researchers discovered that women were counted as men (and would not own guns), counted guns in about a hundred wills that never existed, and claimed guns that were broken were for more than then 10% that were listed.
warning sign a story that s too good1
Warning sign:A story that’s too good
  • Gun Control Advocacy
  • This study shows that guns were twice as prevalent as Bibles in estates from 1774.
  • Records from San Francisco were fabricated because most had been destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.
warning sign the dangling comparative
Warning sign:the dangling comparative
  • Bush Politics
  • Bush TV ads hammered at Kerry that he voted for higher taxes over 350 times.
  • The assumption: Kerry voted for higher taxes.
  • The deception: Kerry vorted against a proposed tax cut, which meant he voted to leave taxes unchanged.
  • Bush used the phrase “higher taxes” without people asking “higher than what?”
warning sign the dangling comparative1
Warning sign:the dangling comparative
  • Arsenic and Old Swindles
  • Bush was accused of trying to put more arsenic in the water
  • Democratic hopefuls proclaimed they had put a stop to this
  • The deception: Bush had order that Clinton’s measure to reduce the amount of arsenic from 50 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 ppb was halted until he could study it more. He kept it at the existing limit
  • He never advocated increasing the arsenic.
  • In fact, he reduced it to the 10 ppb in 2006
warning sign the superlatives swindle
Warning sign:the superlatives swindle
  • The toughest hand
  • In 2004 a pro-Bush group asked the questions, “Has any president been dealt a tougher hand?” Meaning, the 9/11 attacks during his first term.
  • Tougher than Lincoln and the Civil War, Roosevelt and the Depression, Roosevelt and World War II.
  • Ask questions about these superlative comparisons.
warning sign the pay you tuesday con
Warning sign:the “Pay You Tuesday” con
  • What cost Iraq?
  • Bush promised in 2002 that the Iraq war and an increase in Medicare to pay for prescription drugs means that “our budget will run a deficit for that will be small and short-term.”
  • The deficit ballooned to $413 billion in 2004, $318 billion in 2005, and an estimated $250 billion in 2006.
  • That’s a heck of bill being presented on Tuesday.
  • Same with Democrats who promised to preserve
  • social security without mentioning that to keep the
  • same benefits will mean a deficit of $4.6 trillion
  • dollars for the next 75 years.
warning sign the blame game
Warning sign:the blame game
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Blaming comes a lot of times from pure partisanship
  • Bush was blamed for the damages caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Opponents of Bush blamed his tax cuts and other cost cutting measures that made New Orleans vulnerable prior to the hurricane.
  • In truth, the levees and floodwalls that collapsed were installed during the Clinton administration. Some sections may not have been constructed as designed; some of it may be due to human error; some of it may be due to malfeasance.
  • He may have been slow to respond, but the disaster was not his fault..
warning sign glittering generalalities
Warning sign:glittering generalalities
  • The Middle Class
  • Candidates always fight for the middle class
  • Gephardt, Edwards, Dean and Kerry and Bush all promised to lower taxes fo the middle class
  • Bush lowered taxes for households earning between $40,000-$50,000 by $1012 per household and $112,925 for people earning more than a million dollars.
  • Kerry’s definition for middle class included those earning as much as $200,000 a year
  • Dean and Gephardt promised to repeal all of Bush’s tax cuts, including those at the bottom of the federal income tax scale.