Earlier this week, MoveOn.org ran a full page ad in the New York Times under the headline “General Petraeous or General Betray Us?”
It sent conservatives into mouth-frothing, unmitigating anger.Ã‚Â We had postings here saying MoveOn had accused the general of treason.Ã‚Â OC Blog’s Matt Cunningham, in a post on his site, called Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s press secretary demanding that Rep. Sanchez denounce the ad.Ã‚Â
The fight moved from the ad itself to Move On’s web site which provided a link to documentation for the content in the ad.Ã‚Â Its hard to argue with the accuracy of the ad.Ã‚Â The General has a history of multiple press interviews over the past four years all depicting the rosiest of outlooks on the situation in Iraq.
But those on the right chest-beating the most over the ad failed to notice an important detail in the headline.Ã‚Â A small piece of punctuation.Ã‚Â The plainly revealed question mark.Ã‚Â See the ad here.
Why does this matter?
Because the headline suggests to the reader, will the General tell the truth or will he use smoke and mirrors to present an Iraq situation that President Bush wants the voting public and Congress to see unchallenged.Ã‚Â No accusations of treason.Ã‚Â But a question of truthfulness.
Fox News does this all the time.Ã‚Â Read the scroll below the Neil Cavuto show or the O’Reilly Factor on a regular basis.Ã‚Â It’s Fox News’ way of saying “The Democrats are Responsible for the Situation in Iraq” when they write: “Are the Democrats Responsible for the Situation in Iraq?”
This question mark, my friends on the left, is simply MoveOn.org’s attempt to play the information game by the same rules so firmly established by media influencers on the right.Ã‚Â Jon Stewart parodied the Cavuto Show using an example not appropriate for a web site read byÃ‚Â young people.Ã‚Â Rather than say, “Your Mother wears combat boots,” they said “Does your mother wear combat boots?”Ã‚Â See how the question mark almost completely changes its meaning?
The ad, for as much as the right doesn’t like it, is accurate, its backup solid, and since everything is talking about it, it’s a damn effective ad as well.
PS — Fox News was the only network not to broadcast the Democratic response to the President’s speech last night.Ã‚Â Fair and balanced…sure they are.Ã‚Â Another glass of Kool-Aid?