LAT False Equivalence: Michael Moore = Limbaugh

Over on Media Matters’ County Fair blog (3/12/09), Jamison Foser asks, “Is there any major-newspaper reporter who is more consistently wrong than Andrew Malcolm?” The latest gaffe by the Laura Bush flak-turned-L.A. Times writer comes in response to filmmaker Michael Moore’s explaining what he sees as the difference between Democratic framing of Rush Limbaugh as the GOP’s real leader and Republicans’ similar claim about Moore and the Democratic Party:

But some commentators (Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, Chuck Todd of NBC News, etc.) have likened this to “what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore.” Perhaps. But there is one central difference: What I have believed in, and what I have stood for in these past eight years–an end to the war, establishing universal healthcare, closing Guantanamo and banning torture, making the rich pay more taxes and aggressively going after the corporate chiefs on Wall Street–these are all things which the majority of Americans believe in too.

Malcolm’s piece, attempting to summarize this passage, said:

Moore lists numerous ways that Republican strategists went after him in past years–books, ads, funny photos and how he was booed off the Oscar stage even in liberal Hollywood for his early opposition to the Iraq War, Guantanamo, torture and other things. Did that help Democratic Senator Kerry not get elected in 2004? “Perhaps,” Moore admits.

Foser points out that

if you read what Moore wrote, you’ll notice that Malcolm is simply not telling the truth. Moore’s “perhaps” was not an admission that Republican attacks on him helped to defeat John Kerry; not even close. Moore said “perhaps” there is some similarity between what Democrats are currently doing and what Republicans tried to do to him; he is not saying Republicans were successful. Malcolm simply made that up, and ripped Moore’s comment out of context in order to hide the fabrication.

Actually, Foser’s citation of the quote’s actual context shows that, “In fact, Moore said the GOP’s attacks on him backfired.”