The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 October 2004

Lorton hears a...what?

The Tulsa World points out in an editorial today [link requires Adobe Reader] that Brad Carson got the highest possible rating from Americans for Better Immigration, a group which seeks to reduce the number of immigrants; Tom Coburn, on the other hand, received a less-than-mediocre D-plus.

There's just one problem here: it's not true. Had anyone from the World bothered to read ABI's ratings in full — which Michael Bates actually did — it would have been excruciatingly obvious that both Carson and Coburn got exactly the same overall rating: a B-plus. And it's not like the details are hidden away; even without using Bates' links, I was able to find the scorecards in a matter of seconds.

What's really weird is that the editorial wasn't intended to cast a pleasing light on Carson, but to castigate the Republican National Committee for a Coburn ad about immigration; the ABI scorecards were merely a sideshow. Yet the World was perfectly willing to go on the attack with a complete misstatement of ABI's positions. What were they thinking? As lapses in editorial judgment go, this is so utterly amazing that I have to wonder if the World has been raiding CBS News to staff its editorial board.

Posted at 7:45 PM to Soonerland

I don't think you're right here. What the World said is that when it comes to cracking down on employers Carson has an A+ and Coburn something far lower. According to their website, this is accurate. While their overall rating are the same, when it comes to prohibiting employers from hiring illegals, Carson gets an A and Coburn a D.

Posted by: Bill Smith at 8:13 PM on 8 October 2004

But that's only one issue, and not the only issue mentioned in the editorial.

Here's the paragraph that discusses Carson's stances:

In fact, Carson has voted for every major bill that tightens immigration policy, including one that would beef up funding and powers for the Immigration and Naturalization Services and another that authorized the use of the military to assist in border control. He also co-sponsored a measure that would provide for more state and local control over illegal immigration. Carson has received an A-plus rating from Americans For Better Immigration, a strong immigration watchdog lobby.

That doesn't sound like they're singling out one issue on which Carson scored high.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:25 PM on 8 October 2004

Typical media distortion. Take a rating on one portion of the issue, and present it as a rating on the whole issue.

They've been doing that in newspaper editorials since before I was born.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:42 PM on 8 October 2004