Busting The False Equivalence
by Josh Orton, Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:09:30 PM EDT
In too many news outlets, John McCain still gets a free pass on Iraq. McCain was wrong from the beginning about the invasion, continues to flack for The Lie all across the country, and criticizes Barack Obama for positing a detailed and responsible plan to end the war - and many in the traditional media still creates a false equivalency between Obama's plan for withdrawal and McCain's empty "victory" rhetoric.
But it looks like the New York Times finally stepped up. Attempting to rebut Obama's recent op-ed detailing his comprehensive strategy for Iraq, the McCain campaign submitted many hundreds of words of the same detail-and-strategy-free political spin their candidate has used to desperately forward the myth that McCain is Much More Serious on foreign policy than Obama.
The Times editorial page said `thanks, but no thanks.'
Why? Because what McCain submitted wasn't a plan. It wasn't a strategy alternative to compare to Obama's. It was just rhetoric and spin. So, acting like actual editors, the Times rejected it.
Because it's Drudge, let's remain skeptical of the source. But editor David Shipley explained:
"The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans....It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq."
That would be terrific, wouldn't it?
More reporters should catch on. Ask McCain how he plans to turn Iraq into post-war Korea. Ask McCain why we should overrule the elected Iraqi government.
Update [2008-7-21 19:20:36 by Josh Orton]: A little more of Shipley's comments about the Times looking for substance:
"To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory -- with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate."
So instead of actually re-writing the op-ed with real details, the McCain campaign leaked the whole thing to Drudge and played the victim. Pathetic. After the jump, see today's presidential race contrasted with two images. They tell the whole story.
Update [2008-7-21 21:12:43 by Todd Beeton]:CNN has posted the full text of McCain's rejected OpEd.
Via Ben Smith: