The Easiest Job At the Oregonian

Wow, did Dave Reinhard come up with that item about John Edwards being “out of diapers” all on his own? That’s some impressive reporting; I wonder why nobody else has mentioned it?

His column today (“Edwards: tan, rested and out of diapers”, 8 July) is so rife with falsehoods it just makes sense to start at the top. In Reinhard’s first paragraph, he regurgitates the Bush campaign’s lie that John McCain was offered the VP slot by John Kerry. The Associated Press reported this statement from McCain’s chief of staff, Mark Salter, in mid-June: ”Senator McCain categorically states that he has not been offered the vice presidency by anyone.” If only Dave would read the newspapers instead of those online gossip sites!

In his second paragraph, Reinhard parrots the talking point that the National Journal ranked Edwards as the “fourth-most-liberal member of the Senate,” something repeated verbatim by Rush Limbaugh, RNC chair Ed Gillespie, and Senator Bill Frist among many others. Not that there’s anything wrong with being liberal, in my own opinion, but the RNC brief containing that statement selects just one of the years the National Journal reported on. Edwards’ record over the full course of his Senate career is somewhat different from the Republican spin. The National Journal analysis says: “Among the other presidential contenders, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina has been in the moderate-to-conservative range of Senate Democrats during his four years in the chamber.”

In paragraph three, Edwards is described as “no Southern Democrat.” He’s lived in the Carolinas or Georgia most of his life. Dave claims that because he’s liberal he can’t be a Southern Democrat, yet he managed to get himself elected as a Democrat in a state-wide race in North Carolina. Barring some other explanation of what a Southern Democrat is (Bill Clinton?) I’d have to say Edwards qualifies.

I could go on, but unlike Dave I have to work for a living. Dave Reinhard hasn’t ever checked a fact in one of his columns, and while the Oregonian adheres to its policy of allowing people to cut and paste from the Drudge Report on its opinion pages, I guess he’ll continue to have the easiest job at 1320 SW Broadway.