Latest Clinton tactic: Fake news reports

The Clinton campaign's latest tactic in Ohio is, apparently, a radio ad that tries to make listeners think it's a news report until the very end.

Stuff like this, if it succeeds in fooling voters, fairly seriously pollutes the information environment by trying to steal the credibility of the news media and use it to present a biased, exagerrated set of facts. Why can't we rely on people who want to be president to not engage in the kind of creepy behavior that you teach your kids not to do?

Here's the script:

"This is an election news update with a major news story reported by the AP. While Senator Obama has crisscrossed Ohio giving speeches attacking NAFTA, his top economic advisor was telling the Canadians that was all just political maneuvering. A newly released document from the Canadian government shows that Obama’s senior economic advisor met with the Canadian Consul General and made clear that Obama’s attack on NAFTA were just, quote, “political maneuvering,” not policy. Political maneuvering, not policy. In fact, the document shows that Obama’s advisor also assured the Canadians that these attacks against NAFTA would not continue. Obama would not want to be, quote, “fundamentally changing the agreement.” As Senator Obama was telling one story to Ohio, his campaign was telling a very different story to Canada. How will Ohioans decide whether they can believe Senator Obama’s words? We’ll find that out on election day. Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President." (Newsday, March 4, 2008)

The truth is:

It was a Clinton staffer who told a Canadian official that the NAFTA talk by Clinton was just political rhetoric.


CLINTON was first on NAFTA ‘wink, wink’ to Canada

That’s what Canada’s top paper, the Globe and Mail, says.

Ian Brodie, chief of staff to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, supposedly talked about Clinton staff back-dooring on NAFTA to a CTV informal press backgrounder:

”He said someone from (Hillary) Clinton’s campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt. . . That someone called us and told us not to worry.”

And, CTV was looking at the Clinton angle first:

CTV News President Robert Hurst said he would not discuss his journalists’ sources.

But others said the content of Mr. Brodie’s remarks was passed on to CTV’s Washington bureau and their White House correspondent set out the next day to pursue the story on Ms. Clinton's apparent hypocrisy on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

However, CTV coverage focused on Obama, for whatever reason. Anyway, Clinton and Obama are both missing the boat in several ways.

First, the focus should be on the WTO, not NAFTA. Second, within NAFTA, put more money in the federal jobs retraining fund.