First off, a HUGE bravo to Anderson Cooper for standing up for truth. Partisan politics aside, the position of this blog from the beginning has been to stand up for truth and fact above all things. Cooper's recent reports highlighting the democrats' often false and over-exaggerated claims about the GOP waging a war on women is precisely the kind of journalism we stand for. We often rail on the mainstream media for the spinning and misrepresentation of facts, but Anderson Cooper's stance on this specific issue is a breath of fresh air. He takes on the democrats' (and Moveon.org's) claims and argues for truth in journalism, campaigning, and politics. Below are 2 clips that show what we're talking about.
Clip 1: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/03/kth-are-republicans-waging-a-war-on-women/
In this "Keeping Them Honest" segment, Cooper describes the democrats' use of the student loan issue to claim the GOP wants to fund the continuing government subsidy of the Stafford student loan program by cutting funding to women's healthcare. The clip also shows Moveon.org's ad that claims "republicans must think we are stupid," referring to the alleged war the GOP wants to wage between students and women. He also airs numerous clips of prominent democrat congressmen/women and their claims of a GOP attack on women's health overall.
Clip 2: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/03/moveon-org-claims-gop-has-war-on-women/
In this clip, Anderson Cooper confronts a Moveon.org editor about his group's claim that the GOP is waging a war on women. Cooper correctly points out that Moveon.org is taking a hypocritical stance in chastising the GOP for wanting to fund the subsidy of Stafford loans by zero-balancing a preventative healthcare fund established under Obamacare, but does not make the same war on women charge when Obama proposed drawing from the very same fund. He also points out how the fund is actually NOT a women's health fund and, in fact, very little money allocated in the fund is for women's heath issues. He cites a factcheck.org write-up seen here: http://factcheck.org/2012/05/white-house-spins-womens-health/
Sure, there will be those that say, "both democrats and republicans do this (spinning)," and yes, they're right. Both do. We at The Elephant in the Room find this spreading of "maltruths" disgusting and abhorrent regardless of political leaning. We call it "maltruths" because it seems like the media and many politicians take one ounce of truth and spread it like it's a ton. To use this specific issue as an example, the Moveon.org claims the healthcare fund targeted for use by the GOP would withdraw many crucial funds from women's health programs, but as Anderson Cooper properly points out, it is incredibly small. Moveon.org's claim isn't a lie in full since some (regardless of how small) funding for women's health would be cut, but the amount that they're claiming would be cut is a massive exaggeration.
Another example of this is how Barack Obama tries to push the "Buffett rule" as if millionaires paying a lower tax rate than middle-income earners is the norm, when it is nowhere close. See those numbers here: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2011/12/media-and-half-truths-obamas-biggest.html Again, it's not a lie; it's a "maltruth." Under the current system, some millionaires do pay lower tax rates than the middle class, but as a trend, in spite of the claim Obama makes, this isn't the case.
Political rhetoric, in my opinion, is dangerous, and it seems politicians and media outlets know the average American can be easily swayed. Unfortunately, it will continue, and the best we can hope for is for large-scale journalists like Anderson Cooper to let truth and facts rise above the spin and muck. Just like we do at The Elephant in the Room, he takes a position, and he backs it with cited evidence. It seemed the Moveon.org editor couldn't handle this, and tried to spin whatever "truth" he was pushing. I think every American should see these clips and realize the truth about his alleged "war on women." I hope they can wade through the bull to see the real information in the face of propaganda and fear mongering.
Please share your thoughts below.