Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter: McCain’s Smear Gap


It’s nice to see that some mainstream media sources are not afraid to report on the facts in John McCain’s smear campaign against Barack Obama.  Jonathan Alter of Newsweek pens this column.

He writes:

For about a month, McCain’s campaign has been resorting to charges that are patently false. When Obama traveled abroad in July, to positive reviews, McCain decided he had to make attack ads that went far beyond the norm. In the past, plainly deceptive ads were the province of the Republican National Committee or the Democratic National Committee or independent committees free to fling mud that didn’t bear the fingerprints of candidates. But not this time. These smears come directly from the candidate.

Alter does a great jon dissecting falsehoods in McCain’s ads that distort Obama’s position on taxes.  For example, a McCain ad says Obama’s plan would mean millions of small-business owners would pay higher taxes under Obama. But Alter reports the non-partisan website says under the Obama plan, the “vast majority” of small-business owners would pay the same in taxes as they do now or less.  An ad claiming Obama voted to raise taxes on families making more than $42,000 a year was also found to be “false.” (Paging Lloyd Brown..the press is onto you).   

Additionally, McCain’s claims that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class is “simply false,” according  Under the Obama plan, families earning less than $150,000 a year would get a tax cut, and only those making more than $250,000 (the upper 3 percent of all taxpayers) would see a slight increase in taxes, but not enough to offset their standard of living.  Alter was firm; “McCain’s description of his opponent’s plan was and is untrue. This isn’t opinion, it’s fact.”

Alter wraps up nicely:

“But when he resorts to these kinds of falsehoods, and casts such aspersions on his opponent’s patriotism, John McCain is no longer putting his country first. If he were, he would recognize that the interests of the nation require a relatively truthful campaign. To fulfill his image of himself, McCain should stop lying about his opponent. For a man with his claims to honor and integrity, that’s not too much to ask.”

Note to Alter: don’t hold your breath.

  2 comments for “Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter: McCain’s Smear Gap

  1. Eric Cooper
    August 21, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Look out for that pic accompanying the story. The WARNING “ad” was actually created by a right wing blogger (Bob McCarty) who has far more anti-Democrat and anti-Obama stuff than anti-McCain on the site mentioned in fine print at the WARNING ad you see here.

    Perhaps it was designed as a trap for liberals? Dunno…

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    August 22, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Nothing better han Republicans eating their own

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