Two new related Spanish-language ads from the Barack Obama campaign - unlike their previous effort - don't appear at first glance to contain outright lies in the misstatement of a fact sense. However, they do continue the proud BHO tradition of taking someone's words out of context.
In this case, it concerns the John McCain quote "the fundamentals of our economy are strong", which is followed immediately - literally without a pause - by "but, these are very very trying times" (video here). He's not only right about that, but to say something else would be to undermine confidence in the U.S. economy, something that could have far-reaching side-effects. Obviously, the BHO campaign isn't concerned about sending the wrong message to U.S. consumers and foreign investors.
These ads follow the BHO campaign doing the same thing last week in English. See this where Howard Kurtz fails to put McCain's quote into context, but does point out that McCain is right.
Here's the TV ad script with the video here, which is accompanied by graphics with figures for those unemployed and those losing their homes; checking those against reality is left as an exercise. Note also the chintzy sound editing as they cut off the second part of the McCain quote:
"For the thousands of parents who are left unemployed, for all the families at risk of losing their homes, for each child of the 45 million people who don't have health insurance, how is it possible that John McCain could opine, 'The fundamentals of our economy are strong?'... Perhaps John McCain and the Republicans don't want to preoccupy themselves with the prosperity of our families. But for us, there's no greater obligation."
The Florida version of the radio ad also includes this; checking these figures (and verifying that their transcription is correct) is left as an exercise, although the non-healthcare numbers seem very high:
John McCain and the Republicans have no clue about the struggles of the middle class and working people. We have the highest unemployment in Florida in 13 years. Forty-five million people are without health insurance. Nine thousand five-hundred homes are being foreclosed every day. In Florida, 1,400 families lose their homes on a daily basis. But John McCain and Republicans want to continue George Bush's same failed policies that led us to this collapse. How can McCain and the Republicans fix our economy if they don't know it's broken?
 Those failing to contextualize McCain's quote include Dan Balz (washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/09/17/ST2008091703422.html), and Michael Cooper of the New York Times waits until paragraph 13 to reveal McCain's full quote (link).
Politics · Tue, 09/23/2008 - 08:58 · Importance: 4