Monday, May 21, 2012

Cory Booker Incident Highlights Problem of False Equivalence

Cool guy. Bad day. Image from The Nation.
Mayor of Newark managed to step in it pretty big on Meet the Press on Sunday (in a discussion in an episode I watched, and didn't manage to notice). Cory Booker's problem--besides going against President Obama's message when he is an Obama surrogate--was a classic on: false equivalence. It's one of the most infuriating issues in politics and in modern news-info-tainment. "They all do it." "They're just alike." "Both sides of the aisle are guilty."

 Mama might have told you that there are two sides to every story, but she should have been more precise. Both sides are not always equal. Rachel Maddow is not merely the flip side of Sean Hannity. Creationism isn't as scientifically valid as Evolution. And the Jeremiah Wright "issue" is not the equivalent to Mitt Romney's history at Bain Capital.


Et Tu, Cory Booker? The Pathology of False Equivalence

There is a disease spreading across our political punditry, and the beloved mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, seems to have contracted it. On Sunday’s Meet The Press, Booker disavowed the new ad campaign attacking Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, and in doing so, compared the Obama team’s decision to air the ads to the right-wing invocation of Reverend Wright to take down the president. Booker released a retraction video hours later, but the incident indicates just how advanced the sickness of false equivalence is in our national dialogue. The plague has now infected a normally sharp public official unlikely to confuse a thinly veiled racist play against the first African-American president with an examination of the economic track record of his challenger. . .

Read more at: The Nation

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