Thursday, October 9, 2008

Maybe He Didn't Understand the Question

David Broder is pissing me off. Here is what he had to say about the presidential candidates' answers at the second debate.

John McCain and Barack Obama have been asked twice -- once in the Mississippi debate and again on Tuesday night -- what their priorities would be. McCain flat-out refused to choose, arguing that the United States can do it all. Obama mentioned energy, health care and education but did not acknowledge that he might have to choose among them.
The question didn't ask what they would leave out, it asked what their priorities are. McCain did not answer the question. Obama did. But Broder, in typical Broder fashion, blames them both.

Now the larger point of his story is well-taken. It is true that both candidates are reluctant to say what they might give up with a bad economy. But if Broder is really surprised by that he probably hasn't learned anything in his century of writing columns. Or maybe he is just mailing it in at this point.

The bigger issue is that Broder is almost never willing to say one side has behaved worse than the other, even when it is clearly warranted. This is the type of media coverage that allows John McCain to get away with egregious attacks and outright lies. Yes, the media needs to be fair. But they need to be accurate too.

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