Thursday, May 29, 2008

Owens is selling and The Rocky is buying

Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens has decided to become a vocal supporter of John McCain during this 2008 Presidential election. Owens has kept a decidedly low profile since leaving office in January 2007 focusing most of his energies on his many business interests.

Owens first foray into the '08 campaign is an interview with Rocky Mountain News reporter Chris Barge. Barge dutifully acts as Owens stenographer and uncritically reports his patently false talking points. This is my favorite,

Asked how he thinks McCain can separate himself from President Bush without alienating the GOP base, Owens said McCain is by all accounts independent, "even often a maverick" who doesn't support all that Bush has proposed.

I know that the idea that McCain is some kind of maverick is the accepted conventional wisdom and that reporters are wary to wade into complicated policy debates. This statement by Owens though is so easily disproved that there really is no excuse for not noting the actual truth after reporting Owens spin.

A recent report from the respected and non-partisan Congressional Quarterly shows us that in 2008 John McCain has voted with the president's stated position 100% of the time. In 2007 he voted with Bush's position 95% of the time. In 7 of the last 8 years John McCain has voted with George W. Bush 89% of the time or more.

It's expected that Owens is going to trade in misleading talking points, he's a partisan. The media should be sophisticated enough to realize this, do some actual reporting and inform readers about the truth and not just whatever spin is emanating from the campaigns that day.

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