Thursday, August 03, 2006
Dick DeVos' Pants Are on Fire
Dick DeVos, the GOP candidate for governor of Michigan, just drastically reduced his chances of getting endorsements from the Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal. Both newspapers have taken exception to his lies about what the papers have said about his opponent, Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Here's the Lansing State Journal:
Dick DeVos and his campaign for governor have tried to pull a fast one on mid-Michigan viewers with a new ad that makes reference to the Lansing State Journal. This ad, designed to erode Gov. Jennifer Granholm's image, does quite the opposite. It illustrates DeVos' unwillingness to play straight with voters. At issue is a brief TV spot that makes two text references to the LSJ. Citing the newspaper, the commercial says of Granholm, "It's all negative all the time out of the Granholm camp" and "... on a mission to get re-elected ... perhaps at any cost." But what DeVos' ad conveniently fails to note is the comments were in a April 28, 2006, column by Tim Skubick, a State Capitol reporter who writes commentaries for a number of state newspapers. For the record, in the same column, Skubick wrote " ... on the subject of those DeVos ads, it's truly amazing that viewers have apparently been sucked in." Just because the LSJ publishes Skubick's column doesn't mean the paper endorses the views therein, anymore than when we publish letters that take diametrically opposed stands on any issue under the sun. The DeVos campaign could and should have been clear about that in the ad. In fact, after being contacted, the campaign said it would modify the TV commercial to make the distinction. The fact DeVos wasn't clear to begin with is telling, though.The Detroit Free Press is just as scornful:
In response to an inquiry from the Free Press, the campaign of Republican Dick DeVos has changed his latest TV commercial, the one that amounts to an attack on Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm for going on the attack against DeVos. [...] The original ad attributed to the Free Press the words "phony" and "demagoguery," supposedly describing Granholm's rhetoric against DeVos. In fact, those words appeared in a column by Brian Dickerson of the Free Press, which makes them one person's view as opposed to the newspaper expressing an opinion on its editorial page. While the distinction may be lost on the general public, it is significant to a newspaper that may hold institutional opinions quite different from those of its columnists. Even as changed, the ad involves some misrepresentation. The Dickerson column was about Democratic Party attacks on DeVos for building Amway factories in China while DeVos was president of that business. Dickerson actually wrote that "Granholm would be well advised to disavow this phony bit of Democratic demagoguery before it blows up in her face." That's a little different from criticizing the governor for engaging in same.At least nobody will be confused about whether Dick DeVos is a Republican. Taking statements of out context and then warping them further into outright lies has become the Republicans' default campaign strategy. It's all they have, after all, since there isn't anything good they can say about what they've been doing the last few years.
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