Question for Wayne Slater: Why Are You Misleading People About Greg Abbott's New Ad?
Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater appeared on Ronan Farrow's MSNBC show today.
Slater has done some excellent work over the years, but today he took off the mask and revealed a solid leftward tilt.
The segment was about the "politics of Ebola." Fair enough, the virus unfortunately has become a political issue.
But listen carefully to how Slater describes the state of play.
"Republicans are saying it's all Obama's fault," Slater begins. "I heard over on the far right, some of the talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh saying, in fact, it's Obama's fault because he wants America to suffer just like the people in Africa suffer."
Rush Limbaugh =/= the GOP, as Mr. Slater knows. He doesn't work for the party and is not its spokesman. As for the words in question, Limbaugh was quoting an author who proffered the theory about Liberia, slavery, suffering and Ebola. Limbaugh described the author of that theory as an "oddball" and made it clear that he does not believe it. He did add that political correctness is hampering response to Ebola. Slater did not address that point.
"On the left, the Democrats and some more progressive folks point out that it's Republicans who have severely cut the budget for response to Ebola, so it is a political issue."
See the bias? Slater sets up a comment from talk show host to use against all Republicans, then it's the Democrats who "point out" -- meaning in his mind, what they're saying is actually true -- budget cuts.
He didn't stop there.
Discussing local and state issues, Slater says "There's plenty for Democrats to point to that Republicans have done badly" -- again, a fact claim on behalf of Democrats -- while "There are some things that Republicans can point to that they claim, if they can claim, it's Obama's fault."
Slater just said that whatever Democrats say against Republicans is true, while whatever Republicans say against Democrats is a mere "claim."
He didn't stop there.
"As the gubernatorial candidate, Greg Abbott, in our governor's race, is now charging in a new ad today, it's all his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis' fault, because she's just like Obama."
Yeah. That's false. What Wayne Slater just said is totally false.
The new ad to which Slater refers is this one, which debuted today. See if you can spot any mention of Ebola in it.
That was a trick lead-in. The ad doesn't mention Ebola at all. Remember, the segment was about the "politics of Ebola." Slater tied that ad to Ebola and Greg Abbott. But the ad doesn't mention Ebola.
The ad does paint Wendy Davis as being just like Obama, because she does support Obama's policies. The ad makes that claim on several issues and provides sources for its claims. It does not blame Wendy Davis for Ebola.
It does say that she is just like Obama, which is a very typical charge in an election year -- to tie a candidate to an unpopular member of that candidate's party. Slater himself did something similar when he equated all Republicans to Rush Limbaugh, who is one of the left's major hate figures. Mentioning his name elicits a near Pavlovian response among liberals.
So Wayne Slater made out that the ad is false, and further, he put words in Greg Abbott's mouth for the MSNBC audience that Abbott did not say. The ad does not mention Ebola, and Slater knows that.
Slater probably assumes, and probably correctly, that most of the MSNBC audience will never see the ad. Therefore they will never fact-check him on this.
So the Dallas Morning News' chief political reporter just misled that entire audience.