Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Conservapedia - Because quote mining is great!

Does the stupidity not end for these people?

On Conservapedia (you know, the "Trustworthy" -- stop laughing! -- Encyclopedia), a recent "In The News" posting quotes from another blog a short transcript and video from Fox and Friends, "proving" that Senator Obama's a "redistributionist." That is, his tax plan is all about taking from those better off and giving to the poor. He's Barack of Locksley, apparently.

The quote from CP's main page:

A plumber on the campaign trail this weekend asked Obama about his tax plan.

Voter: "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more. Isn’t it?"

Obama: "It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."

It links to a HotAir.com posting complete with video from the morning show Fox & Friends.

However, anyone who manages to watch the video will notice two distinct events. First, the plumber asks Obama the question. Then there's a cut of the video before Obama answers him. Nowhere in the transcript is this break mentioned. Secondly, there is a very noticeable break, and some time passing, between "they have a chance for success too" and "I think that when . . ."

Odd, this, too, is lacking in the transcript. Why would the transcript, and CP's subsequent posting, not point this out? After all, CP prides itself as a resource for schoolchildren to use. Would it not want to be grammatically correct in its quoting?

In fact, doing a Google search on this story gets many right-wing "news" sites, blogs and newspaper comment forums talking about this story. Only they all quote up to, or including with no mention of the break of time, the line of spreading the wealth around.

Yet a CBSNews.com blog posting points out a very good reason why this break in time is not mentioned -- it shows that the quote has been mined and is taken out of context:

As he made his way down the street, Obama was barraged by questions about the economy, mortgages, and taxes. This was perhaps the best kind of debate prep for him, because not all of the conversations were easygoing. One man in particular questioned Obama’s tax plan, telling him that he is about to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year.

“Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?” the man asked.

Obama responded by telling the voter that his business would get a 50% tax credit for health care, but that his taxes will go up from 36% to 39%.

“I want to give all these folks who are bus drivers, teachers, auto workers who make less, I want to give them a tax cut,” Obama explained.

The man wasn’t convinced, telling Obama that he has been a plumber for 15 years and doesn’t believe that he should be taxed more.

After explaining that the tax rate would be the same as under Bill Clinton and that 95% of Americans make less than $250,000, Obama made one last pitch to the voter.

“I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well - even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts,” Obama said.

“It’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.”

Let's review that again. These right-wing sites, CP included, mention that "a plumber" asked about his taxes going up. They ignore that he's asking in concern because he's going to be buying a company that's worth more than $250,000, and in the bracket of people Obama would be taxing higher if he wins the office this November. He's got enough money to purchase a fairly large company, and he doesn't believe he should pay more taxes (and instead push that onto the people struggling in the economy who have been paying a larger share of taxes).

The two talk about the proposal. The missing time in the video and missing from the transcripts. And the tax increase? "[H]is taxes will go up from 36% to 39%"

Call up the Sheriff of Nottingham!

This dishonesty shows desperation. And that Conservapedia decided to include it in its News section, which has become a veritable selection of extreme-right-wing attacks on liberals, atheists, educated persons and especially Senator Obama, goes to prove, like so many times before, that they are not trustworthy in any sense of the word.


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