Reporter Larry Rohter has proven his pro-Obama bona fides many times before in his slanted "Fact Check" stories, but he really went all out in "Drilling Down on the Facts in McCain's Speech," his Monday evening blog post on nytimes.com.
Rohter set the table for the bash:
Speaking in Albuquerque on Monday, Senator John McCain attacked Senator Barack Obama on several fronts that by now have become familiar. But many of his charges relating to the economic meltdown, taxation and health care contained inaccuracies or exaggerations of his own position or Mr. Obama's.
For instance, Mr. McCain claimed that "as recently as September of last year," Mr. Obama "said that subprime loans had been, quote 'a good idea.'" But that quote is taken out of context and reverses the intent of Mr. Obama's remarks, which were clearly meant primarily as a criticism of practices on Wall Street.
"Subprime lending started off as a good idea helping Americans buy homes who couldn't previously afford to," Mr. Obama said in a speech to NASDAQ in September 2007. But, he added, "as certain lenders and brokers began to see how much money could be made, they began to lower their standards. Some appraisers began inflating their estimates to get the deals done. Some borrowers started claiming income they didn't have just to qualify for the loans, and some were engaging in irresponsible speculation. But many borrowers were tricked into glossing over the fine print."
Rohter then accused McCain of oversimplifying "a complicated situation" when he claimed Obama "was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in."Rohter harrumphed:
But Republicans controlled the Senate and its agenda then. That suggests that Mr. McCain's Republican colleagues, some of whom opposed regulation of markets on purely philosophical grounds, had at least in part a hand in the bill's failure to come to a final vote.
Apparently nothing is ever a Democrat's fault. Then on to taxes:
Mr. McCain also criticized Mr. Obama's policies on taxes, in language similar to last month's first debate, with a few new fillips. But fact-checking organizations have already repeatedly dismissed the bulk of the accusations he made as inaccurate or exaggerated.
One must perversely admire how Rohter painted McCain's health care plan.
It is true that Mr. Obama's health care plan envisions more of a role for government than does Mr. McCain's, which focuses on individual or family credits and a larger role for the private sector in the name of deregulation. Mr. Obama would, for example, expand Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which Mr. McCain has opposed.
Does Rohter seriously believe John McCain constructed a health care policy solely as some kind of homage to "deregulation," a term Rohter knows to be poisonous in the current economic climate?