You might think that a fact checking piece would have given some slight hint of the flavor of what went down. Well, you might think that if you'd been asleep for the last 45 years. But we might as well fill in some details.
Calvin Woodward, Andrew Taylor, Stephen Ohlemacher, Jonathan Fahey and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar put the thing together. And it's balanced! Oh, yessiree, we have balance from the get go:
President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney spun one-sided stories in their first presidential debate, not necessarily bogus, but not the whole truth.
OK, so you can lower your expectations. Unless you were expecting some lame attempts to deal with minor random assertions that carry none of the flavor of what really went down.
And it gets really realllllly lame in the search for balance:
OBAMA: "Gov. Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut _ on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, that's another trillion dollars _ and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn't asked for. That's $8 trillion. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign."Sounds definitive, right? Read on, and find that in fact Romney, did, of course propose a $5 trillion tax cut, and Obama's fault is not counting the offsets - NONE of which Romney has specified.
THE FACTS: Obama's claim that Romney wants to cut taxes by $5 trillion doesn't add up.
So, the eejits try again on O'Bama:
OBAMA: It’s important “that we take some of the money that we’re saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild America.”Is there even a language this makes sense in??
THE FACTS: This oft-repeated claim is based on a fiscal fiction. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid for mostly with borrowed money, so stopping them doesn’t create a new pool of available cash that can be used for something else, like rebuilding America. It just slows down the government’s borrowing.
In the end of course, it's the format, not the details that doom this enterprise. Pick some random statements. Ignore the Big Lies, (like energy), ignore the flow, and try to appear Balanced.
In sum, an utterly worthless piece, which has appeared in hundreds of newspapers at varying lengths.
Can we expect a worthy treatment? Sure, but not in the newspapers. Watch Tom Levenson dance on David Brooks' head. Remember Hunter Thompson, or read Matt Taibbi. But in your average newspaper? Fuhgedaboutit.
Ohlemacher is no Danny Greene. He'll never be played by Titus Pullo. This AP crews goal is a little lower. Cash their paychecks & make the bar before closing.
*Just the clean energy lies took the Annenberg Center all day to wade through. So the AP"s lame
ROMNEY: “At the same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president. Electric rates are up.”Is left looking as lame as it is. Sure, they deal with the essential silliness of this - but the real point? Of course not. Even the Annenbergers, though, miss the bottom line beneath the bottom line : While Obama's frustration at being unable to get even minimal growth measures past the insane Congress is ignored, what would happen if the US & Europe adopted economically sound growth policies?
Growth. Sure. For a few months. Then we'd have an oil crisis.