SHADING THE TRUTH….I realize that we all have our complaints about the press, and that those complaints are heavily conditioned by our own partisan views. But even so, I’m getting pretty tired of the debate “fact checking” being done by most of the mainstream media this election cycle.

For example, here’s the LA Times headline today:

Kerry, Bush Beat Around the Truth in Debate

Although the president mischaracterized the senator’s voting record and positions, both candidates shaded the truth in their favor.

As usual with these stories, the headline makes it sound like both guys were equally at fault. But if you read Warren Vieth and Janet Hook’s story, here’s their scorecard:

  • Bush: 11 inaccuracies (8 serious, 3 primarily differences of opinion), 1,021 words of copy

  • Kerry: 4 inaccuracies (1 serious, 3 primarily differences of opinion), 251 words of copy

I’m not making any judgments about whether Vieth and Hook caught everything, or even about whether their conclusions are fair. (In fact, they failed to call Kerry on his misleading statement about General Shinseki and failed to call Bush on his outright lie about the growth of nondefense spending.)

All I’m saying is that their own analysis clearly showed that Bush was far more deceptive than Kerry. Why don’t the headline and the lead have the guts to more clearly state that?

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