Bruce Siceloff at the Raleigh News & Observer had the task on Tuesday of writing up the results of his newspaper's follow-up investigation into the safety of bridges in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area after Barack Obama's visit there last week. In a speech there, the President asserted that "In North Carolina alone, there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be repaired. Four of them are near here, on or around the Beltline. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"
I know this will come as a total shock to readers -- not -- but the president wasn't being truthful. Behold what Siceloff and his paper found, and how he felt compelled to come up with a new word to describe Obama's untruthful characterizations (HT to Rush Limbaugh, who brought this up on the air today):
Worry not: Triangle's bridges are safe
President Barack Obama scared some of us last week when he stopped in Raleigh to pitch his American Jobs Act.
He told an audience at N.C. State University that the nation should beef up spending to repair bad bridges - before one of them falls on us.
"In North Carolina alone, there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be repaired," Obama said Wednesday. "Four of them are near here, on or around the Beltline. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"... readers wondered whether there really was cause for alarm.
... DOT engineers and administrators are fielding calls about the president's remarks, too. They say the bridges around the Beltline and across the state are safe.
"The key thing is: We don't have any bridges that are about to fall," said Wally Bowman, DOT's division chief for Wake and six neighboring counties. "We don't have any bridge out there that is structurally inadequate, where it cannot handle the traffic. We make sure those bridges stay in a good state of repair."
Obama appears to have undercounted his bridges. And at the same time - employing the deft spin that political speakers use when they spice up a little information to make a big impression - the president may have over-suggested the risk to public safety.
As one would expect, Rush had some choice words today concerning the qualify of Siceloff's reportage (bolds are mine):
There's a story in the Raleigh News & "Disturber" recently about Obama's trip there and the bridges. Last week in the Raleigh area, Obama was there, and during his speech to a bunch of skulls full of mush at a university, he said that the bridges in Raleigh were about to come tumbling down unless we passed this stupid bill. That was the message he left everybody with. Dangerous situation. Bridges, in some cases in a state of urgent disrepair, (imitating Obama) "We need to pass this bill now, pass this bill today, so we can fix those bridges." So finally ten days after he's gone the local media is starting to ask, "Well, how many bridges are in danger of spilling unsuspected drivers into the drink?" And it turns out none. The Raleigh News & "Disturber" went out and did their own survey, apparently.
Here's a pull quote. "Obama appears to have undercounted his bridges. And at the same time - employing the deft spin that political speakers use when they spice up a little information to make a big impression - the president may have over-suggested the risk to public safety." Over-suggested is how lapdog media defines lying? Obama may have over-suggested the risk to public safety? The headline of the story is: "Worry Not, Triangle's Bridges Are Safe." We all knew that they were.
... I love that Raleigh News & Observer. Obama "over-suggested" the danger of the bridges. A new away for lapdog media to define lying. Obama "over-suggested." Yeah, I didn't default on my mortgage; my bank over-loaned. No, no, no, no, I wasn't stalking that Hollywood actress! I was over-admiring. (laughing) Over-suggested. ...
... They went out and they can't find one that is in a state of disrepair. They can't find one that's in danger of collapse. Not one! I mean, this is presidential panic. This is Ted Mack and the original amateur hour. That's precisely what this is.
The competition for minimizing the reality of President Obama's words and actions in the media is fierce. After all, Solyndra, according to the Associated Press, is an "embarrassment." Heaven forbid that anyone in the establishment press call it what it really is: a "scandal" and, as described by Andy McCarthy at National Review, a "fraud."
Then there was the AP's May description of Obama's failure to comply with the 60-day requirement to seek congressional authorization for continuing to have U.S. troops involved in Libya under the War Powers Act. In this instance, AP told its readers that Obama was merely "skipping a legal deadline." Uh, no; he was breaking the law.
In July, Kevin Sack at the New York Times wrote that during the 2008 campaign and the runup to the passage of Obamacare, Obama had "mischaracterized a central anecdote about his mother’s deathbed dispute with her insurance company," leaving "the clear impression that his mother’s fight was over health benefits for medical expenses." In other words, he made audiences believe that his mother didn't have health insurance as she fought ovarian cancer, when she did. There's a three-letter word for this. It begins with "L," ends with "E," and has the ninth letter of the alphabet in the middle.
Add Bruce Siceloff's "over-suggested" howler to the list of nominees for the Obama Administration Whitewash Hall of Shame. Paraphrasing the late Roy Scheider in "Jaws" ("we're going to need a bigger boat"), when it comes to the just-mentioned Hall of Shame, we're going to need a bigger building.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.