Is It Copyright Infringement For A Political Campaign To Use A Snippet Of A News Broadcast In An Ad?

from the fair-use? dept

Reader Video Savant alerts us to the fact that CBS Interactive is the latest entity to ding the McCain campaign for copyright violations. In this case, CBS has sent a takedown notice to YouTube concerning one of McCain's latest commercials. The commercial uses a brief clip of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. CBS explains that it does not endorse a candidate for president, and it's inappropriate for either campaign to use a clip containing Couric. You can certainly understand why CBS (or any news station) wouldn't want to appear to have endorsed a candidate if they have not -- but it's difficult to see how those viewing the clip would assume that Couric was actually endorsing the campaign (or the ad, which appears to be almost entirely misleading -- isn't presidential politics great?).

So, the question, then, is whether or not this is fair use, and whether CBS is correct in having the ad taken down. It's a very short clip of Couric (about 5 seconds), and it seems quite likely that this would be found to be fair use. According to the article, it looks like CBS just sent the takedown to YouTube, while the ad remains on McCain's site. It would be interesting to see if CBS tries to take it down from McCain's site or other sites that are hosting the ad as well. While I think the ad is incredibly disingenuous (and, honestly, a totally stupid issue -- what happened to debating on the important issues?), it's difficult to see how this is copyright infringement.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:24am

    Sad . .

    Its sad that John McCaine has been reduced to these kinds of ads and this kind of campaign. I really thought he was better then that. I guess its obvious the Rove-Bush wing of the Republican is still firmly in control.

     

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  2.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    What bugs me, Mike is not that you are Liberal, but that you pretend to be nonpartisan. I don't want to get into an argument about what exactly Obama meant, I don't even care that much if he called Pallin a pig. (yes, I understand it's fairly commonly used phrase that both candidates have used. I also saw the WHOLE clip, and he made a really significant pause before saying "lipstick." He knew what he was saying.) If you want to be nonpartisan, then you really should leave the question of whether the ad is misleading to others.

    If you just want to highlight the ridiculous IP issues, fine do that, and leave the politics to others. If you want to weigh in with an opinion on the politics, fine you can do that too, but you don't really get to claim to be nonpartisan anymore.

     

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    LostSailor, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:33am

    Mike, since I've lately pointing out where I think you're wrong on copyright, I'd like to point out that I agree completely that this (and the use of songs at political events) is entirely fair use (subject to any performance fees being paid for the use of the songs, as you point out).

    CBS really doesn't have a leg to stand on, but if they can get action just by mailing a lawyerly letter, well, that's cheaper than suing. And it frequently works, sad to say.

    And, yes, presidential politics is great...as a spectator blood sport.

     

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    bobbknight, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:38am

    It Is If

    It's copyright infringement only if the media is liberal and the candidate is Republican/conservative/Libertarian.

     

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  5.  
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    NeoConBushSupporter, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:42am

    More Libral Mud Slinging! Calling a pitbull a pig!

    I am outraged! Obama is calling this strong beautiful woman a pig and the press says nothing. A barracuda, sure. A dog, no doubt, but a pig! Thats just over the damn line in America!

     

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  6.  
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    Copyright Newb, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:42am

    McCain for President... of the Retirement Home.

    The guy can't even use a computer, how do you expect him to know the laws... even the ones he makes.

     

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  7.  
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    Hulser, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:47am

    Re:

    What bugs me, Mike is not that you are Liberal, but that you pretend to be nonpartisan.

    Source? I'm not saying that Mike has never said that he's non-partisan, but if you're going to level an accusation like this, you might want to include some evidence.

    If you want to be nonpartisan, then you really should leave the question of whether the ad is misleading to others.

    Why is this exactly? Why should a lack of formal alignment with a particular political party preclude someone from commenting on the validity of a political ad?

     

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    mobiGeek, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:47am

    Re: More Libral Mud Slinging! Calling a pitbull a pig!

    She called herself a pit bull....and those things are u-g-l-y.

    But to say that this ad is not COMPLETELY misleading is to blatantly ignore the facts behind each clip. Obama was referring to McCain('s policies) when he used the phrase "lipstick on a pig", not Palin.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re:

    "Why is this exactly? Why should a lack of formal alignment with a particular political party preclude someone from commenting on the validity of a political ad?"

    Cause he didn’t like the comment. This is standard republican ad homonym stuff avoid the issue attack the character of the person; i.e. - you point out the insultingly obvious misleading nature of this ad so you must be a liberal democrat spy".

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    Lipstick Comment

    What is really funny is that Cheney said that comment 4 years ago. And McCain just said it last year.
    There were clips of them saying it on the news.
    Although, it being on the news, even as a video clip doesn't make me believe it 100%.
    I would not put it past them to edit it somehow.
    I have seen them do the bluescreen / greenscreen too many times to make it look like their reporters went down to an area where there was a storm and the area was flooded or what have you.

     

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    hegemon13, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    Um, Matt, that makes no sense. So, to criticize the ridiculous antics of the current partisan system means one can't be non-partisan? To have an opinion about the ad's validity means you must ally with a party? I will likely vote for McCain, and I think that ad is stupid and ridiculous.

     

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    hegemon13, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    Re: McCain for President... of the Retirement Home.

    Yeah, and the sky is blue, so I have a dog. That is about how much your two points correlate. Apparently, there were no experts on the law before computers. How did we survive?

     

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    hegemon13, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Fair use....wasted

    This is fair use all the way. Too bad the point is wasted on such a shame of a commercial. I would love to see either candidate start talking about issues and policy any time now.

     

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    vidiot (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Clearance

    Whenever we ask to use a news clip in a non-broadcast video program, we're informed that not only does the network need to sign off on it, but any newscasters who appear need to give their individual, separate permission. And that's an automatic double-"no".

     

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    UnlikeLobster, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Re: More Libral Mud Slinging! Calling a pitbull a pig!

    Obama did not, repeat DID NOT call Palin a pig. If you listen to the whole quote, you'll see that he was making a symbolic reference that trying to cover up something ugly with something pretty doesn't make it pretty. It's still ugly. Hence the "if you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig".

    This comment wasn't directed towards Palin at all, it was directed at the policies of McCain.

    Furthermore, it's worth noting that McCain uses this exact saying all the time (and there's video of it). He knows exactly what Obama meant by it, and is trying to make a distraction out of it.

    There is a reason that the press isn't going crazy. They recognize this stunt for what it is. A stunt. Nothing more.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    haha, he was quite clearly talking about the fact that McCain can say he's all about change all he wants, but he will act out the party line.

    This is simply nothing more than the "liberal" media manufacturing a scandal to cast a negative light on the liberal candidate. Oh god, he smoked pot? But he didn't inhale? rabble rabble rabble!

    why don't they talk about the issues that actually matter to the American people? Oh wait cause the Republicans are the political wing of corporate America, they can't win if we actually have a real discussion about the issues. They have to make it about moral/personal choice issues.

     

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  17.  
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    NeoConBushSupporter, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: More Libral Mud Slinging! Calling a pitbull a pig!

    "There is a reason that the press isn't going crazy. They recognize this stunt for what it is. A stunt. Nothing more."

    Im outraged I tells ya . . . OUTRAGED!

     

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  18.  
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    jonnyq, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:34pm

    Meh...

    My wife and I heard the comment Obama made and we immediately took it that way. Everyone on cable news took it that way. Everyone in Obama's audience took it that way - they were laughing and cheering and they later chanted "No more pit bulls", even though he made no other reference to Palin.

    Either Obama REALLY meant that comment to be a reference about Palin, or he's REALLY stupid for being the only one (on either side) who didn't get it.

    If Mike wants to say the ad is "misleading", that's fine - at best, you could say that, and I can't accuse Mike of any political pandering (though I don't see what Mike's opinion has to do with the issue...) But I find it hard to believe that Obama was completely oblivious to how the comment would be taken, so I do believe creating the ad was a fairly reasonable response.

    In a world where political ads can be created in an hour and thrown on YouTube for next to no cost, don't be surprised to see stuff like this. It doesn't detract from the issues, unless you truly believe that one more ad on YouTube is clogging the tubes.

     

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  19.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re:

    1) He's said it multiple times through out his blog. I'm not going to bother to find them but they're probably not hard to.

    2) I suppose that's true, in theory, but in practice, it usually doesn't work out that way. But a number of things Mike has said over the year's leads me to believe he is at least somewhat Left, this was just one of the more overt things. It's not that you couldn't point out an ad as misleading with out having a political leaning, but Mike does have one, and this one is more opinion based than anything. There's nothing wrong with that, he's free to have whatever political slant he wants, but then he shouldn't claim to be non-partisan. It's kinda how Keith Olbermann can say whatever he wants on his opinion show, but when he's anchoring actual news coverage and says the same things, people legitimately got pissed off.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:38pm

    I enjoy the Ads for McCain. Sure, there's no meaningful message, but turn off the sound sometime and you'll see it-- they can hire a graphics guy. The last few seconds of the McCain ads where the lens flare from McCain's balding head eclipses the sun sure is amazing.

    I think that graphics guy is the only thing the campaign has that is quality.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Meh...

    "If Mike wants to say the ad is "misleading", that's fine - at best, you could say that, and I can't accuse Mike of any political pandering (though I don't see what Mike's opinion has to do with the issue...) But I find it hard to believe that Obama was completely oblivious to how the comment would be taken, so I do believe creating the ad was a fairly reasonable response."

    I think the snarky-ness (the joke) was about using a "lipstick" analogy when Palin had such a moment with her "lipstick" analogy at the convention. I dont think it was about her being like a pig (which actually makes no sense, shes not fat, slovenly and doesnt even have a flat nose or anything?).

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    who cares

    Aren't there more important things to talk about in your election?

     

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  23.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ad hominem attacks? And who looks more ridiculous here? No, I didn't agree with his comment, and I suppose that's part of why I pointed it out, isn't everyone like that?

    Look, this is a very opinion based thing, what Obama actually meant. It's largely impossible to determine objectively, as his implication relied upon subjective human cues. In some ways, had he just said, "Pallin is a pig" while shocking, the news story probably would have been over sooner. This way, though, everyone gets to have fun arguing about it for awhile.

    Yes, it's commonly used expression. Yes, he had been talking about blah McCain policy. But he paused really significantly before saying "lipstick." Pallin had made her lipstick joke just the week before. And by the hoots and hollers of the crowd present it's clear that THEY thought he was referring to Pallin, that's why they loved it.

     

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  24.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    As I said above, I think you can attack a particular action from non-partisan position, but I don't think Mike was. Also, I mean, ask yourself if a news anchor would use that language, or call it "ridiculous"? Like I said, I don't mind him having a position, I mind him having a position and then calling himself nonpartisan.

     

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  25.  
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    comboman, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    fair use?

    Is it fair use? Let's go through the check list:

    -Is it parody (of CBS or Couric)? No.
    -Is it a critical review (of CBS or Couric)? No.
    -Is it educational and non-profit? No.

    I see no defensible fair use claim here.

     

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  26.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Meh...

    here here!

     

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  27.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 12:55pm

    Re: fair use?

    Small reference bits can be fair use, even if they're for-profit and neither a review or a parody. They just have to small excerpts (definition of small is up for much discussion, but presumably 5 secs counts).

    I'd also like to point out that political campaigns very much are non-profit.

     

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  28.  
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    offroadering, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    wait a sec...

    the definition of a Couric:

    A unit of measure for fecal matter. One Katie Couric is equal to approximately two and a half pounds of excrement.

     

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  29.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    What bugs me, Mike is not that you are Liberal, but that you pretend to be nonpartisan

    Hmm. What makes you think I'm liberal? Half the time people accuse me of being a right wing conservative, half the time people accuse me of being a leftist liberal.

    I really am neither. I like to look at each issue individually, understanding it as much as I can and making an educated decision based on the facts, not any particular ideology. The tools I use to apply my reasoning tend to come from my knowledge of economics -- which most people associate with more conservative viewpoints, or perhaps libertarian viewpoints.

    If you want to be nonpartisan, then you really should leave the question of whether the ad is misleading to others.

    I linked to the nonpartisan Factcheck.org.

    The ad is FACTUALLY misleading. I don't see how you can deny that, no matter what your political leanings are.

    In the meantime, when I *defend* McCain against equally baseless attacks from the Dems (as I did here: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080625/0251071514.shtml) does that make me a partisan conservative?

    Seriously. Get it through you're head. I am not partisan.

     

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  30.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    Re: fair use?

    Is it fair use? Let's go through the check list:

    -Is it parody (of CBS or Couric)? No.
    -Is it a critical review (of CBS or Couric)? No.
    -Is it educational and non-profit? No.

    I see no defensible fair use claim here.


    That's not the four factor test.

    1. the purpose and character of your use

    It was a political commercial, not a for-profit effort, so this could tend towards fair use.

    2. the nature of the copyrighted work

    It's a political ad, not something competitive. So that tends towards fair use.

    3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and

    It was five seconds, so that tends towards fair use.

    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market.

    It would have little to no effect on the potential market for CBS Evening news. So, that definitely tends towards fair use -- and this factor is often seen as the most important.

    So, on the checklist, this certainly appears to lean towards fair use pretty strongly.

     

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  31.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re:

    How can you say it's factually misleading? Yes, I followed the link, the lady writing didn't exactly have a clinical dissertation herself. The fact is, what he meant when he said is a pretty opinion based thing. There's nothing "factually" about it, whether you link to factcheck.org or not.

    Yes, I'm familiar with the "Lipstick on a pig" expression, I think everyone is. Documenting the history of the phrase, as Jess Henig endeavors to, suggests that those who think he was referring to Pallin are either too dumb to have heard of the expression or are hoping everyone else is. I can only speak for myself, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

    Yes, it's pretty common expression, and yes, it even made sense in context. But, as I have stipulated, 1) Pallin had made her famous "Lipstick" joke the week before (it really doesn't have too much to do with her being the only woman in the race, just the lipstick joke) 2) He paused rather significantly before saying "lipstick" 3) Everyone in the crowd at the time obviously thought he was referring to Pallin, and Obama seemed to think that was fine. This all leads to the conclusion that yes, he was taking a jab at least in passing.

    It's not that I can't see the counter arguments, I can, and I'm not going to laugh at you for thinking differently than myself on this. But you can take your "factually" and shove it.


    As to your political leanings, I won't "get it through my head." You're a free market kinda guy so most of your fiscal policies are center-right/republican/libertarian, and of course that's what you focus on here. Every time social issues or politicians themselves come up, though, you make comments that lean slightly left. This time more than usual. You can insist that's not true, if you want, but it's pretty evident to me. Not as evident as Obama calling Pallin a pig, mind you, but evident.

     

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  32.  
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    Hulser, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    1) He's said it multiple times through out his blog. I'm not going to bother to find them but they're probably not hard to.

    The fact that you haven't posted proof of your accusation would lead the average person to believe that it's actually a little harder than you say to find this information.

    It's not that you couldn't point out an ad as misleading with out having a political leaning, but Mike does have one, and this one is more opinion based than anything. There's nothing wrong with that, he's free to have whatever political slant he wants, but then he shouldn't claim to be non-partisan.

    As far as I can tell, you haven't actually answered the question, but merely restated your original opinion. Again, why should a lack of formal alignment with a particular political party (i.e. "nonpartisan") mean that someone "shouldn't" comment on the accuracy of a political ad? Even if Mike has claimed to be not affiliated with a particular policital party, why would this mean that it's wrong of him to give an opinion on a political ad? His job is to give opinions. TD is not a newspaper. It's a web site where people give their opinion on technical issues. Is it surprising to anyone that there was an opinion in an article where people post opinions?

     

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  33.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ok, last one before I go home for the night.

    1) Lazy, they're scattered and not really overt, it's given me an overall impression.

    2) Well, it's an opinion blog on tech issues. He can give opinions on politics if he wants, but that undermines his claim to be non-partisan, as he just did above.

    3) I already said it is possible (but hard!) to comment on political matters while remaining non-partisan. However, particularly on an opinion based thing such as this "pig" issue, it's pretty impossible to give an opinion one way or another and remain impartial.

    I guess I'm repeating myself cuz I thought my position was pretty clear the first time. You just did the same thing. Are we done now?

     

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  34.  
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    Video Savant, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 2:36pm

    Non-Partisan

    I was the one who submitted this story to Techdirt, and in the note I sent with it I made the point that I thought the way the McCain used the Couric clip was both misleading. In addition, I said that it seems duplicitous, in view of the GOP's constant (albeit mostly correct) claims of (liberal) media bias.

    FWIW, I'm a McCain-Palin advocate. But I still think the use of the Couric clip was designed to give the impression, at least to "a fool in a hurry," that Couric was siding with the GOP viewpoint. But even to this non-fool GOP supporter, it seems both manipulative and clumsy.

     

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  35.  
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    Dewy, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    It would be sexist to remove the phrase from political lingo because someone in the race is wearing lipstick. It is reverse sexism to fabricate offense at anything that might be misconstrued as anti-feminist.

    It also says something about the Ms. Swift who has taken such vocal offense, that she feels like Mrs. Palin can't take a jibe or 10 and be able to lead the nation. Its hypocritical for McCain to endorse the ads after he said it about Clinton's plans, and she didn't cry foul.

    Its also beyond fair use when you take something out of context... you are assigning a meaning to the material that was never intended.

    Imagine if you would, the McCain-Palin Camp using a 4 second clip of AC/DC's Back in Black behind a smiling Obama. Would that not add up to an unfair use of the "legal" properties?

     

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  36.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    Oh, hey, don't get me wrong. The McCain campaign using this bit has been pure political manipulation. This thing has hurt Obama a good bit, particularly with women voters. (Who, at the risk of being chauvinist myself, really can be a little more sensitive) But all of that doesn't make it not true.

     

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    BigDownLoader, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: More Libral Mud Slinging! Calling a pitbull a pig!

    Hurah, someone was paying attention. Good for you. You are right, I saw the same thing, and got the same idea that Barrack or however you spell his name, was referring to McCain. But, on CNN, Lou Dobbs pointed out, that Palin was complaining that Hillary should not whine about sexism back in march of this year. Now, Palin is trying to complain about sexism when it was not even her that borack was talking about. Is she worried because she wears lipstick? Sara is such a hypocryte, TRUE REPUBLICAN.

     

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  38.  
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    I give up!, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Mccain Hijacks Christianity Via Palin

    As a Christian, It truly concerns me that so many other Christians are still falling for Republican manipulation tactics. Please consider everything carefully before you vote in November.

    This is a very interesting read concerning McCain's choice of Palin from an unusual and surprising religious perspective. I highly recommend checking it out:

    http://www.newsflavor.com/Opinions/McCain-Hijacks-Christianity-Via-Palin.240929

     

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  39.  
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    Streaker, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 5:07pm

    Thanks to all who commented...

    I've read all your rhetoric and have come to the conclusion that it would be better to have John McCain, despite all his problems, filling the executive office of this country.

     

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  40.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    How can you say it's factually misleading?

    Because Obama was talking about something entirely different, and yet the ad positions it quite clearly as him talking about Palin. That's simply a lie. There is no other way to classify it.

    That's not a partisan statement. When the Dems falsely positioned McCain's "jobs" plan, I also pointed out how wrong that was.

    I'm not sure how to respond to you if you can't tell the difference between truth telling and partisanship.

    The fact is, what he meant when he said is a pretty opinion based thing.

    Look at two things: what he actually said, and how the McCain campaign positioned it in the ad. They lied. There's no "opinion" around that. It's simply a lie.

    That's not partisanship. It's not an opinion. It's a factual statement. Obama did not say anything about Palin, and yet the McCain ad said he did.

    . But you can take your "factually" and shove it.

    Ok. No offense, but you really ought to learn what factually means.

    The McCain ad was grossly misleading. Even if you're a McCain supporter that should be recognized.

    Every time social issues or politicians themselves come up, though, you make comments that lean slightly left.

    Really? Can you point to an example? Again, my positions are neither left nor right. They are based on the facts of the situation. And, as I've made it clear, I've dinged the Dems probably just as much as I've dinged the Repubs. I think both are misleading partisans, and my distaste for both is about equal.

    I find it absolutely ridiculous that you think because I dinged one candidate this time I'm somehow partisan. That's simply incorrect.

    You can insist that's not true, if you want, but it's pretty evident to me.

    Wait, so why isn't it evident that I'm a conservative when I dinged the Dems for misleadingly attacking McCain?

    The only evidence partisan here is you. I'm sorry that you don't seem to recognize that it's possible to be non-partisan and disagree with candidates, but it's true.

    Having an opinion against a candidate does not suddenly make me partisan -- especially when I can back it up with evidence.

     

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  41.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "..yet the ad positions it quite clearly as him talking about Palin. That's simply a lie."

    That, right there, is the disagreement. It's quite clear to me, and a number of people, I think, that he WAS talking about Pallin. It's clear by the situation, his manner, and the emphasis he placed on certain words. The straight ASCII text of a conversation does not contain all the information in that conversation.

    "That's not partisanship. It's not an opinion. It's a factual statement."

    It probably is, it definitely is, and it definitely is not, in that order.

    I don't get what you don't get. Your opinion on what someone might or might not have meant between the lines is not a fact (neither is mine, by the way). You don't get to watch a debate and say "candidate X won that debate, and that's a fact." Well, no it isn't, it's an opinion, even if it's shared by the majority of people (and I don't even think you have that, here). Just cuz you say it's a fact doesn't make it so.

    We're not arguing about the word for word statement of what he said, or what the historically meaning of that particular phrase are, we agree on that. We're arguing about what he was trying to imply, what he was trying to suggest ot the audience beyond his actually words. And if you think you can just declare, "this what he said, this what he meant, case closed." then you're even more off-base than I thought.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 6:24pm

    When Pigs Fly

    What a bunch of thin skinned whiners.
    The PitBull is not whining about it, she seems to be alot tougher than those that do.

    Truth is, the whole "I'm Shocked" thing is diversionary smoke screen intended to distract attention from other more important issues.
    Hey look over there !!!

     

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  43.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't get what you don't get. Your opinion on what someone might or might not have meant between the lines is not a fact (neither is mine, by the way). You don't get to watch a debate and say "candidate X won that debate, and that's a fact." Well, no it isn't, it's an opinion, even if it's shared by the majority of people (and I don't even think you have that, here). Just cuz you say it's a fact doesn't make it so.

    Um. This isn't about saying so-and-so won a debate. That's clearly an opinion.

    But you CAN absolutely make a FACTUAL statement about what someone said. McCain said that Obama said something about Pallin. He DID NOT. You can claim he thought it or meant it, but that doesn't change the fact that HE DID NOT SAY anything about Pallin there.

    That IS factual.

    Your OPINION on what he MEANT doesn't matter.

    We're talking FACTS.

    And it is FACTUAL that he did not SAY ANYTHING about Pallin.

    Period.

    We're not arguing about the word for word statement of what he said, or what the historically meaning of that particular phrase are, we agree on that. We're arguing about what he was trying to imply

    No. We are not. The ad in question did not say that Obama was *implying* something about Pallin. It said that his statement WAS about Pallin.

    That is a lie. An out and out lie.

    And if you think you can just declare, "this what he said, this what he meant, case closed." then you're even more off-base than I thought.

    The only one asserting what he *meant* is you. I am focused on the facts.

    Try it. You might find it enjoyable.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    LBD, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 8:55pm

    Re:

    Fun fact: Obama was using 'putting lipstick on a pig' to refer to Iraq before McCain announced that Palin was his running mate

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 9:00pm

    Re: It Is If

    Mike is a social liberal and an economic conservative. Which is to say he's a libertarian. He also dislikes lies.

    And it's copyright infringement if it's copyright infringement. In this case, it's probably fair use.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Factcheck.org has a slight pro-non liars bias.

     

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  47.  
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    MadJo (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 1:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    news anchors are supposed to just report facts. And not have an opinion on something.

    But Matt, can you help me out here? In which sentence in above article, does Mike say he's non-partisan?

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He says it all the time. He said it elsewhere in these comments. Pay attention.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The entire discussion is and has been about what he MEANT. No one reasonable is arguing about the actually words and syllables he used, they're right there for all to see. But it was quite clear that he was purposely referring to Pallin, without actually saying so. He does this of course so he can sling mud while being able to deny it later. It's called being "sly". Apparently you fell for it, hook line and sinker.

    If you want, we can quibble about symantics and say that the McCain ad should have said "Obama implied....". It probably wouldn't have been as good an ad, then, and it's not like Obama has been so kind in the past.

    Your vehemence betrays you, Mike, you're obviously not impartial on this issue. But anyway, this has never been an argument about facts so you're pulling "Factually" into it has no meaning.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    3) I already said it is possible (but hard!) to comment on political matters while remaining non-partisan. However, particularly on an opinion based thing such as this "pig" issue, it's pretty impossible to give an opinion one way or another and remain impartial.

    There is a rather large difference between nonpartisan and impartial. All that nonpartisan means is that you don't officially align yourself with a particular political party. I don't see any contradiction with giving an opinion on a political ad and remaining nonpartisan. The bar for impariality is set much higher and certainly doesn't apply to an opinion-based web site.

    It seems like your argument is based on the incorrect assumption that the two terms are synonymous.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    From an OPINION site (Michaelgraham.com)

    'MSNBC may claim not to get it, but as Jake Tapper at ABC News points out, the crowd in Virginia listening to Obama's speech sure did:

    "The crowd rose and applauded, some of them no doubt thinking he may have been alluding to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's ad lib during her vice presidential nomination acceptance speech last week, 'What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.'"'

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Continued..

    And for those of you still in denial, Victor Davis Hanson lays it out at National Review Online:

    When read in the entire context you can see what he seems to mean with his dual animate male/female references and why he probably evoked two metaphors: most would think that Obama is talking about both on the ticket and his anger how each has expropriated his change motif.

    So in that sense he appears both to insult the 72-year old McCain as the "old fish" that is still going to "stink", and to refer to Palin, who had famously evoked the metaphor of lipstick in a nationally televised address, as still the pig despite the lipstick.

    The fact that he used two metaphors to attack the two, and used expressions referring both to age and Palin's recent use of "lipstick" don't seem to be accidents and that's why the cooing crowd got the old fish=McCain;lipsticked pig=Palin immediately.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    Xyro TR1 (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Matt: I believe the thing that both you and Mike are disputing is the meaning of the word "said". Unfortunately, the word can both express an implication as well as an exact series of words. Therefore, I believe that you're technically both correct on the matter of what Obama "said". Mike would be correct as he did not directly make a correlation between the lipstick comment and Palin, and Matt would be correct (to a point) that the popular opinion is that he implied, with his lipstick statement, that Palin was a "pig". The only issue I find here is with interpretation, and that will always be an issue, as we're all human, we all interpret our environment and those in it differently than others. That, good sirs, is a fact.

    Also, Politics suck. I believe I'll be expressing my right not to vote, as I don't have an opinion on who the best candidate is, nor what the most desirable political party is. G'day.

     

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  54.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The entire discussion is and has been about what he MEANT

    Ok. Well, until you can read what was going on in his brain, all we can rely on is what he actually said.

    No one reasonable is arguing about the actually words and syllables he used, they're right there for all to see.

    You appear to be.

    But it was quite clear that he was purposely referring to Pallin, without actually saying so.

    I don't see how you can read that and make that leap. But that doesn't make me "partisan."

    I am relying on the actual statements. I find it stunning that you can claim that Obama is being "sly" when it's McCain's campaign that out-and-out lied in the ad.

    And, no that doesn't make me "partisan."

    As Hulser noted, there's a stunning difference between having an opinion on THIS particular ad and being PARTISAN.

    And, I note, AGAIN, that you seem to ignore the fact that I called out the Dems when they did something equally as misleading about a McCain quote.

    I've repeated it a few times in this thread, and your response is....... silence.

    Get it through your head: I am NOT PARTISAN. I was looking at THIS issue, and I think it's entirely misleading and factually incorrect.

    That doesn't make me partisan. It's what seems clear from the facts.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Y'know, I actually mostly agree with you. It's just that even more annoyingly, Mike seems to have it in his head now that his interpretation is "factual."

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Ok. Well, until you can read what was going on in his brain, all we can rely on is what he actually said."

    Oh, c'mon, that's not true. Humans spend a great deal of time and effort interpreting what people actually meant between the lines. You must suck at office politics, but I guess that's one of the perks of owning your own business.

    And no, we're not arguing about the words and syllables, it's just that you think the words and syllables are all there is and I don't. I think Xyro TR1 quite clearly has the right of it.

    "I am relying on the actual statements. I find it stunning that you can claim that Obama is being "sly" when it's McCain's campaign that out-and-out lied in the ad."

    Well, your interpretation that McCain lied depends upon the interpretation that Obama WASN'T referring to Pallin. There are A LOT of people who disagree with you on that point. And, just say you were wrong on that (I know, know! It's impossible, it's a fact!) than that brings the whole rest of the argument crashing down.

    "And, I note, AGAIN, that you seem to ignore the fact that I called out the Dems when they did something equally as misleading about a McCain quote."

    Ok, I remember that time, and fine, you get a pat on the back. 'Course in that instance, McCain's words had no hidden meaning and were unambiguous. No one who actually listened to the clip even vaguely thought McCain was saying what Obama indicated what he was saying. It's a big difference.

    "Get it through your head: I am NOT PARTISAN. I was looking at THIS issue, and I think it's entirely misleading and factually incorrect."

    Ya are, though apparently you don't realize it. The fact that you think this is so black and white is a big inidicator.

    "It's what seems clear from the facts."

    Ok, so what bugged me at first was the (only slightly, even!) partisan comment. But now that you think the matter has some kind of clear cut, inarguable facts to it, that mathematically prove you are right is driving me freaking bug NUTS.

    Can you at least admit that there are a lot of people who, looking at the entire clip, think he is talking about Pallin? I don't know if it's over 50% (but it very well might be), but it's a significant portion of people in any case. Are those people utterly insane? Or might there be a little more to it than you're seeing?

     

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  57.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Matt, I can see how some folks might think it's about Pallin, but I think it's a HUGE stretch to say that because some people think it's about Pallin that it clearly is about Pallin.

    The context, again, was quite clear. He was talking about McCain and Bush's plan. It had nothing to do with Palin.

    The ad has been pretty universally condemned by the press as being factually incorrect. I find it hard to fathom how you can still insist that it's accurate.

    In the meantime, even if you insist that he *was* referring to Palin, can you explain how the comment is then sexist? If it was sexist in reference to Palin, then was it sexist when McCain used it in reference to HRC's health care plan?

    As for your comment on the post I put up defending McCain against Dem attacks, you're flat out wrong on that one. Lots of people WERE saying that McCain meant what the Dems were falsely saying. Otherwise why would the press have made a big stink about it?

    Either way, you still haven't shown how my comment is "partisan." I do not support either party. My opinion is my opinion. It is not influenced by any party. Just because I disagree with the Republicans on this issue doesn't make me any more partisan than when I disagree with the Democrats (which is about equally as often). Honestly, the only way you could claim that I am partisan is if you are a total tool of one party who thinks that anyone who disagrees is "partisan."

    Anyway, I'm done with this conversation. Clearly, I will not convince you, but that is no longer my problem. I find it absolutely ridiculous that you would think my pointing to a non-partisan explanation of how incredibly inaccurate and FALSE that ad is somehow makes me a partisan. The ad is factually incorrect under any reasonable measure. It's a lie. And you're lying to yourself if you think otherwise.

    That doesn't make me partisan. It makes me honest.

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One final point on this: I have voted for pretty much an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in my life (and plenty from neither party). I am not registered to either party. The last time I was registered to a party was in 1992, and that was only so I could vote in a primary.

    I do not know who I'm voting for in this election yet. I'm still waiting to make my decision, watching how both act during the campaign. I've read many of their proposals already, but want to see the debates.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 13th, 2008 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't particularly think it was sexist, just insulting.

    "Matt, I can see how some folks might think it's about Pallin, but I think it's a HUGE stretch to say that because some people think it's about Pallin that it clearly is about Pallin.

    The context, again, was quite clear. He was talking about McCain and Bush's plan. It had nothing to do with Palin."


    How come it's huge stretch to think it's "clear" in my direction, but not to think it's "clear" in yours? And it's not just "some" people, it's a significant percentage, and the same thing with the media, even as biased as they are. C'mon, Mike.

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 13th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't particularly think it was sexist, just insulting.

    Ok. Was it insulting when McCain used it on HRC?

    How come it's huge stretch to think it's "clear" in my direction, but not to think it's "clear" in yours?

    Because any logical person can read what he said, know it's a common phrase, used quite often in politics.

    And it's not just "some" people

    Yes, actually, it is just "some" people. The nearly overwhelming response to the "controversy" was for people to point out how blatantly misleading the ad was. Except for those "partisan" folks.

    the same thing with the media, even as biased as they are.

    The same media that's now pointing out how misleading the ad is? The media just points out what will get them the most attention.

    In the meantime, you still fail to respond to anything concerning the difference between having an opinion on this one thing and being partisan.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 15th, 2008 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When McCain said it about HRC, it really WAS just talking about a specific policy. How is it different, you ask? WELL, there was that whole big, very publicized, "Lipstick" joke two weeks before.

    "Because any logical person can read what he said, know it's a common phrase, used quite often in politics"

    The thing is, any reasonable person can see how it it was meant, how it was different this case.

    "Yes, actually, it is just "some" people. The nearly overwhelming response to the "controversy" was for people to point out how blatantly misleading the ad was. Except for those "partisan" folks."

    We're just going to have to disagree on this one. I looked it up, the only pools I found on the subject were tongue-in-cheek on (yes, partisan) blogs.

    Mike, I think you have your head in the sand. I think that since you, and everyone you know, thinks Obama had not a hint in his heart of referring to Pallin's "lipstick" joke, that it just could't possibly be ottherwise. Anyone who's saying otherwise is either an idiot or demagogue or possibly both.

    You have elevated your political opinion to irrefutable "fact". This has the dual benefit of making mention of it non-partisan (after all, it's just a "fact"), rendering any debate useless. My only reasonable recourse, at this point, is to remind you that flat-earthers and Creationists feel much the same way.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2008 @ 8:12am

    Re: McCain for President... of the Retirement Home.

    but he was able to fly a fighter jet [ignoring the fact that he was shot down], being one of the most complex computers available at the time and I would say more complex than surfing the web and retrieving email.

     

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  63.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 15th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Matt,

    No offense, but that's insane. To claim that it's perfectly legitimate to make up stories based on what you think Obama may have been thinking, and claim that as fact is simply wrong.

    It's a lie. And it's not partisan to say it's a lie.

    Just like it was a lie when the Dems said McCain's job plan was eBay.

    And I called both of those lies because they were lies. Factually incorrect, gross distortions of what was said.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 15th, 2008 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Are you serious? This isn't about what he was thinking, it's not mind-reading. It's about what he was suggesting and implying. And people not only speculate and discuss that but judge based on that all the time. Otherwise no one would ever get in trouble for saying, "Gee, wouldn't it be great if so and so had an 'accident'." And yet cases have been prosecuted on that very thing. Grow up.

     

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  65.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 15th, 2008 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, Matt, I'm very serious. And it's rather childish to suggest I "grow up."

    I have made the point, and made it clearly. You are suggesting that because some people are reading a lot into a single statement it's okay to create a misleading ad claiming that's what he actually said.

    He did not say it.

    It's factually misrepresenting the truth.

    I don't need to grow up, thank you very much. I am a grown adult who knows truth from fiction.

    I also know how to look at the facts and make up my own mind, as opposed to reading off a partisan script.

     

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