In the last 24 hours, there’s been a rash of glaringly bad media distortions of Obama surrogates.It started yesterday on CNBC, when Maria Bartiromo interviewed Bill Clinton about his take on the economy and a host of other issues.
The interview got a lot of buzz, because CNBC titled the story US Already in ‘Recession,’ Extend Tax Cuts: Bill Clinton.
In their story they said that Clinton called for the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and that he had broken with Obama on the issue, but when we read the transcript, we couldn’t see that at all.
He was very vague on what should be done at the start of 2013 (when a host of tax cuts and spending cuts are due to kick in), but he was very clear that Obama should definitely NOT cave to Republicans and extend the Bush tax cuts permanently.
But of course the media ran with the CNBC story.
POLITICO reported that Clinton had broken with Obama on the tax cuts.
Last evening, Bill Clinton issued a statement insisting that he’s on the same side as Obama on the whole tax cut/fiscal cliff debate.
So that was that.
But then now we have Larry Summers, who today was on MSNBC, talking about the same stuff.
And here we go again.
The NYT headline is: Summers Calls for Extending the Bush-Era Tax Cuts.
The WSJ originally had Summers Says Tax Cuts Should Be Extended.
CBS’ headline is: Summers backs extension of Bush tax cuts.
But we just watched the video. And once again, the only thing Summers said about the controversial tax cuts, is that the rich need to pay more than they are now.
Weirdly, the New York Times’ actual article is pretty clear on what Summers says:
“The real risk to this economy is on the side of slow down,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” news program. “And that means we’ve got to make sure that we don’t take gasoline out of the tank at the end of this year.”
“That’s got to be the top priority,” Mr. Summers added.
The remarks are a clear break from Mr. Obama, who wants to allow the tax breaks for affluent families to expire.
It should be noted that the WSJ actually issued this correction at the bottom of its post:
Correction: An earlier version of this blog post and its headline said that Mr. Summers specifically called for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. Mr. Summers made no such mention.
But apparently the other publications feel comfortable enough concluding that Summers saying we have to make sure we don’t take gasoline out of the tank is tantamount to “extend the Bush tax cuts.”
We don’t think it is the same thing, especially given how clear Larry Summers is in wanting the rich to pay more.
Incidentally, Summers’ interview with MSNBC is fantastic, and he talks about the absurdity of just thinking of the national debt as the burden on our children’s future, when lack of infrastructure spending or education spending is also a big problem.
We get that it’s fun to try to create divides in Obama’s message, but these examples are ridiculous.
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