More on CNN’s “fact checking” efforts

Posted by: ST on September 30, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Last night I wrote about a very misleading CNN “fact check” report on Barack Obama’s claims about John McCain’s record on deregulation as it relates to Wall Street, and noted how CNN left some important facts out of the article that would have changed the “true” ruling they gave to Obama’s comments.

NRO Campaign Spot’s Jim Geraghty has done some additional fact checking on that CNN piece, and found it lacking as well. First, the relevant part from the CNN “fact check” piece:

During a September 21 interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” McCain was asked if he regretted a 1999 vote for deregulating Wall Street. “No — I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy,” McCain said.

In footage of a speech aired during that interview, though, McCain voices support for government now stepping in. “I’m not saying this isn’t going to be messy and I’m not saying it isn’t going to be expensive,” he said, “but we have to stop the bleeding.”

The Verdict: True — although McCain has supported more government oversight of Wall Street as part of the bailout plan.

Oops, says Geraghty:

Second, that 1999 vote was Gramm-Leach-Bliley. You would think CNN would bother to mention the bill, so readers could look at it in more detail.

If so, they would learn that McCain missed the vote on final passage. (McCain did vote for an earlier version that did not become law.) But the premise of the question is wrong; McCain did not actually vote for G-L-B. Pelley would have been in the clear had he asked McCain if he regretted supporting the bill.

You know who did vote for the bill? Joe Biden. And 89 other senators of both parties. In the House, it passed with 210 Republicans and 151 Democrats, and was signed into law by President Clinton. The idea that McCain ought to be singled out for this legislation is rediculous, and CBS and CNN ought to hang their heads in shame at their slipshod reporting and seemingly deliberately evasive wording.

Shame? They actually have shame?

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One Response to “More on CNN’s “fact checking” efforts”

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  1. SteveIL says:

    I also noticed that CNN didn’t even bother mentioning McCain co-sponsoring the bill to create a new independent regulatory agency for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, getting it out of HUD (S. 190 from the 109th Congress). This was the bill that passed in the Senate Banking Committee on a party-line vote, and never made it to the Senate floor.

    CNN should rename their “fact check” report to “fact-free” report.

    BTW, excellent post.