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During the 2000 presidential campaign, the press couldn't stop writing, investigating and carrying on about Al Gore's alleged exaggerations regarding old movies, canoe trips, and classroom seating inside a Sarasota school.
As detailed at Daily Howler, journalists turned exaggerations into the pressing issue during the closing weeks of the campaign, as pundits argued that Gore's embellishments all but disqualified him from serving as president. Hooked on the story, reporters spent an extraordinary amount of time checking in with experts -- psychoanalysts, academics, political scientists -- trying desperately to figure out what all the exaggerations meant.
By dwelling on, and often falsely reporting, Gore's so-called exaggerations, the press became the Bush campaign's best ally and helped drive down Gore's poll numbers, particularly when voters were asked which candidate was more trustworthy. As veteran political analyst Charlie Cook noted last year in a National Journal column, it was Gore's "exaggerations that cost him his post-Democratic convention lead."
But Bush's current-day exaggerations about Iraq's nuclear weapons program, Saddam's fictional alliance with al-Qaida, or the reasons for flying in a jet fighter to a photo-op on the USS Lincoln? Or the deceptive White House spin on Bush's radical tax policy? Much of the press gives him a pass.
Replies: 2 Confessions
Despair. Is there no one who can save democracy from this odious gang of WASP privilege crossed with Bible belt reaction? It must be trouble when the Rehnquist Court starts looking like moderates.
elavil @ 07/01/2003 09:50 AM CST
The biggest exaggeration ever is Bush calling himself President. He got less votes - how much bigger a lie do you need?
Larry Lurex @ 07/01/2003 10:02 AM CST