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Are liberals purveyors of misinformation?

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In my last post, I wrote about why it’s hard to debunk misinformation. Two examples of misinformation I cited came from the Trump administration. Some readers suggested I should have been more balanced. One wrote, “Too bad you didn’t offer a couple examples from the other side of the aisle, like the notorious Harry Reid or the ever-panicked Nancy Pelosi. Surely there are others??”

I wasn’t trying to pick on the Trump administration, and I’m not an apologist for either Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Citing examples of misinformation from the liberal side of the aisle would have made for a more balanced piece, but I haven’t seen any.

So, I ask for your help. Post whatever misinformation you think liberals have spread. To keep the comparisons equal, stick with real misinformation. Pelosi’s characterization of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as Armageddon may be over-the-top (and silly) hyperbole, but it’s not misinformation.

I’d like to hear from you.

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Jack D’Aurora writes for Considerthisbyjd.com

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Discussion

  1. Bill  January 8, 2018

    Jack, one example was the Obama administration pushing the position that if you like your doctor and/or insurance plan you’ll be able to keep both under the Affordable Care Act. That did not prove to be reality for many in the exchanges.

    http://www.politifact.com/obama-like-health-care-keep/

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  2. Ben Z  January 9, 2018

    I’ll look forward to seeing what comes back your way.

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  3. Bruce Lackey  January 9, 2018

    I suggest you better define hyperbole, misinformation, fake news and just plain old fashion lying. I will suggest it is all in the ears and head of the beholder. And I agreed that balance is important to retain your street cred.

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  4. Matt  January 9, 2018

    Hello Jack,
    There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep track of politicians’ misinformation. Here are a few times that President Obama was called out by the Washington Post. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/19/obamas-biggest-whoppers/
    Best,
    Matt

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  5. Miriam  January 9, 2018

    on obamacare: if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance” “premiums will decrease” “we have to pass the bill so we can see what’s in the bill”

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/12/07/factcheckers-democrats-wont-stop-lying-about-tax-reform-n2419216

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/11/28/no-the-gop-tax-plan-doesnt-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class-in-a-few-years-n2414790

    Just a few things, more to come if you need more. Miriam

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  6. Bob  January 9, 2018

    Jack:
    The “fact” that “all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump” was a pretty widespread liberal talking point in main stream media last summer. Actually, the number was 4.
    https://apnews.com/6f05b3a81e134568902e015e666726f6
    Bob

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  7. Steve  January 9, 2018

    Jack,
    This is somewhat dated but since you (your commenter) specifically mentioned Harry Reid; then how about then-Senate majority leader Reid alleging from the Senate floor that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for more than a decade. His response to the unsubstantiated allegation was, “Romney didn’t win did he”? Of course, the old joke on how to tell if a politician is spreading misinformation is, “their lips are moving”.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ayobami-olugbemiga/harry-reid-gives-shameful-response-to-his-attack-on-mitt-romneys-taxes_b_6999996.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/15/harry-reid-lied-about-mitt-romneys-taxes-hes-still-not-sorry/?utm_term=.2c1a04a2d223

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/politics/harry-reid-dana-bash-interview/index.html

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  8. Frank Wilson  January 10, 2018

    Misinformation

    1. Most politicians, including liberals cherry pick data in order to bolster their positions on public policy issues. ( Obama….you can keep your Dr.)

    2. Failing to include examples of misinformation from the left provides an opening for Trump supporters to claim bias.

    3. However, it is important that we do not create a false equivalency when the goal is balance. The sheer number of misstatements by our current President and his surrogates creates a natural imbalance.

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  9. Charles  January 11, 2018

    Jack, Jack, Jack….my friend. How can anyone go through the past 24 months (perhaps even the past 24 hours) and not have seen any examples of misinformation from the liberal side OR the conservative side? OMG! Part of our challenge as spectators in this world of “government dysfunction” is the outlandish/false claims, comments, information presented by most of these politicians (on both sides of the aisle). Drain the swamp and replace the career politicians with more responsible non-political women and men (who can keep their pants on) who commit to a term limit and who commit to uphold our constitution. Unfortunately “The System” is seriously broken and America should be screaming for a fix.

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    • jdaurora@behallaw.com  January 13, 2018

      Draining the swamp will be impossible until this nation does two things: 1) ends gerrymandering, and 2) passes a constitutional amendment that puts campaign finance outside the reach of the First Amendment. Regrettably, I don’t live to see it.

      Here’s another thought: while President Trump claimed he would drain the swamp, he just changed the complexion of the swamp. Instead of the swamp being inhabited by career politicians, it’s now inhabited by former CEOs who are interested in protecting, for the most part, only the interests of the top one percent. So sad.

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      • Miriam  January 13, 2018

        Pelosi’s collossal net worth is 196 million and she comments negatively about economic inequality. Sounds a little hypocritical? She owns and runs vineyards in California and is in the real estate business no different than the backgrounds of the new clientel.
        So do you have evidence that these folks that have business experience are protecting the interests of the top 1 percent? I would think our nation has a better chance to move forward than with the status quo who are essentially rewarding themselves each year with bigger salaries for doing NOTHING!

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        • jdaurora@behallaw.com  January 15, 2018

          You asked, “So do you have evidence that these folks that have business experience are protecting the interests of the top 1 percent?” That’s easy. How about the recently passed Tax Cut and Jobs Act? The tax changes in the bill significantly favored the top one percent.

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          • Miriam  January 16, 2018

            Disagree. It’s affecting all Americans. CNBC just announced numerous corporations and businesses have increased wages and giving out bonuses. ( Walmart, Comcast, Wells Fargo. ) I know two friends that I can think of right now that own small business in Naples and Orlando that have increased wages that otherwise would not have.

          • jdaurora@behallaw.com  January 18, 2018

            I don’t deny the Tax Cut and Jobs Act benefits everyone. It does, but that wasn’t my point. My point is that the benefits of the Act are much more generous for those at the top of the economic ladder (if we compare on a percentage basis tax savings versus tax obligations) than those at the bottom of the ladder. From what I read, this was the consensus of economic pros who evaluated the Act. And why was the Act constructed in this fashion? Because the folks making policy are from the top of the economic ladder, plus ours is a paternalistic society.

          • miriam  January 21, 2018

            Replying to your Jan 18th comment.

            The top 1 percent pays nearly half of this country’s tax burden and also bears the risks involved in running a large or small business. Instead of focusing on how the tax cut favors them, lets move forward with a more positive outlook about how this will shake out for those at the bottom of the ladder in the near future. There are already promising signs with an increase in job creation and wages, along with the commitment of big businesses moving back into the states.

          • jdaurora@behallaw.com  January 21, 2018

            This is the argument cited by the Administration, and perhaps the Tax Cuts and Job Act was a good idea. Regardless, we have moved far afield from the original post, which dealt solely with misinformation.

  10. Lauren  January 11, 2018

    Charles – do you have specific examples we could use as a basis for a conversation?

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  11. Bill  January 16, 2018

    The comments are interesting. Not creating a false equivalency is fundamental to the analysis.

    I also see an interesting theme – the blog responders who provided sourced used the Washington Post and even Huffington Post as well as Associated Press. This suggests a follow up question about “fake news”. The current administration spends significant rhetoric bashing mainstream media outlets, yet those same allegedly liberal purveyors of fake news seemed to be trying to hold liberal politicians accountable under the prior administration.

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