Good politics, bad journalism

By Eric Boehlert


Salon Staff
October 13, 2000 11:13PM (UTC)

Read the story

It is not dirty campaigning to point out that Al Gore has a problem with the truth. Yes, it is politely put that he "exaggerates" but it is embarrassing. It should worry everyone that someone this close to being our president not only lies but does so foolishly. A normal liar does not lie when he knows that he will be caught for sure. I am afraid it may be a sign of a deeper problem!

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-- John Fullerton

It may be true that Gore had a kernel of truth concerning the "great desk shortage" in Florida, but the fact is that he has consistently lied about many things, and these have been well documented. So if the press happens to get one slightly wrong, he really is in no position to complain. After all, he and most other Democrats have gotten the kid glove treatment from the press for years.

And considering the slimy mistruths he and his boss have, for years, distributed about Republicans, with the happy assistance of the press, a little payback is long overdue.

Remember that character didn't matter eight years ago and look at what we got. Do you still believe character doesn't matter?

-- R. E. Wright

Congratulations to Eric Boehlert for getting it right. I was totally dumbfounded by how the media attacked Al Gore with such viciousness over the Sarasota schoolgirl story. Living in Florida, I read the Sarasota newspaper frequently and wondered why the national media was reporting the exact opposite as the Herald-Tribune. Just as the media falsely accused Gore of lying in the Love Story, Love Canal, etc., stories (see Robert Parry's article in April's Washington Monthly or Jane Hall's in the Sept./Oct. Columbia Journalism Review), they continue with the attacks while few note the truth and the absolutely lazy and horrid journalism being practiced today by the media elite.

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Keep up telling the truth, Salon and Mr. Boehlert, and pointing out the media's exaggerations, lies and distortions.

-- Jeff Newkirk

I have been doing a great deal of sighing and head-shaking of my own about the press coverage of the election since the debate. There has been an abundance of coverage of the Gore "fib factor," while Bush's embarrassing lack of understanding of major issues (economy, foreign policy) have been almost completely ignored. Now it appears that one of Gore's "fibs" was essentially true, but since there doesn't seem to be a catch phrase for "We didn't check our story," I won't expect a headline on the New York Post or a lead-in on the Fox News Network with such a declaration.

-- Jason Hartley

I really can't understand why no one in the press examines G.W. Bush's campaign fibs. You might start with the claim that he speaks Spanish fluently. According to Texas political columnist Molly Ivins, Bush can start out a speech to a Mexican-American audience with a couple of stock phrases, and then he's done -- no more Spanish. Fluency should mean more than being able to order a beer in Nogales.

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Fibbing is part of politics. Forget the brouhaha over Gore's anecdotes, and concentrate on the issues -- surpluses that may or may not exist, tax cuts that may or may not be beneficial.

-- Lan Barnes


Salon Staff

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