It may be time to start a regular feature about the recurring episodes of stupidity on the part of NewsBusters’ associate editor, Noel Sheppard. The latest example comes from his analysis of a debate between Liz Cheney (Dick’s spawn) and Gov. Howard Dean.
The NewsBusters column asserts that “Liz Cheney Exposes Howard Dean In Lie About His Connection To George Soros and MoveOn.org.” Sheppard helpfully provides video of the exchange and a transcript. The only problem is that these documents show that Dean was entirely truthful and that Sheppard and Cheney were the liars. Here is the relevant portion of the debate:
HOWARD DEAN (overlapping): We don’t want anybody buying elections.
LIZ CHENEY (overlapping): I mean George Soros started all of this with MoveOn.org–
HOWARD DEAN (overlapping): I know McCain-Feingold, they weren’t able buy elections.
LIZ CHENEY (overlapping): –which was a big backer of yours, Governor Dean. So I think that, you know–
HOWARD DEAN (overlapping): Who was a big backer of mine?
LIZ CHENEY: George Soros, MoveOn.org.
HOWARD DEAN (overlapping): No he wasn’t. No he wasn’t a big–
LIZ CHENEY: Governor Dean, I think that the notion–
HOWARD DEAN (overlapping): –neither– neither was MoveOn.org, as a matter of fact, just to set the record straight.
As we see in this exchange, Cheney asserted that George Soros and MoveOn were “big backers” of Dean. The Governor denies that. And this is where Sheppard barges in to declare that. “This was a flat out lie by Dean on national television.” Sheppard backs up his claim by revealing that Soros had contributed $1,000 to Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004, and that MoveOn had hosted a web page where Dean solicited donations.
Gov. Dean raised about $50 million for his 2004 primary campaign. Soros donated only $1,000 of that (or 0.002%), which is less than half the amount allowable ($2,500). As for MoveOn, Sheppard admits that they donated nothing at all to Dean. They merely permitted him to solicit their members for donations. Those donations would have been made by the individuals choosing to donate, not MoveOn, and there was no accounting for how much the members may have donated, if anything. But MoveOn donated $0.00.
It is on the basis of this that Sheppard asserted that Dean’s contention was “100 percent false.” However, Dean was actually 100 percent truthful because the facts, even as Sheppard told them, show that Soros and MoveOn were not “big backers” of Dean by any stretch of the imagination. Unless you define “big” as infinitesimally small. So, as it turns out, it’s Sheppard who is lying.
The remainder of the Dean/Cheney debate gave Sheppard additional opportunities for him to make a fool of himself. Cheney kept trying to put words in Dean’s mouth, to the effect that he and President Obama were saying that the Chamber of Commerce was paying for domestic campaign ads with foreign money. However, neither of them said that. The issue was whether the Chamber was receiving money from foreign entities (which they admit), and that because there is no disclosure of those receipts or how they are spent, there is no way to know whether the foreign funds were included in the campaign financing. It is a question of disclosure and transparency. There is a big difference between accusing the Chamber of using foreign funds in the election, and merely criticizing them for not disclosing their financing. It was the latter that Dean was asserting.
Sheppard and Cheney are either too dense to grasp that distinction, or too politically dishonest to acknowledge it – or perhaps a little of both. Cheney, of course, is a political operative and can be expected to spin arguments in her favor. But Sheppard fancies himself a media watchdog and, thus, reveals himself to be utterly disreputable and without credibility.