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The Truth About the Censored Ad

By Robert Romano

A television station in Roanoke, Virginia that declined to run a National Republican Congressional Committee ad against Congressman Tom Perriello's (D-VA) vote in favor of the climate change bill is now letting the ad run after being only slightly modified.

And in so doing, it is putting the lie to a deceptive smear campaign organized by the Democrat Party and promoted by a now-discredited liberal “fact check” front group.

The now-famous ad began with a quote from Barack Obama's interview with the San Francisco Chronicle of January 2008 when he said, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket [emphasis added].”

How badly would the bill hurt the economy? The ad says, “It [the bill] will destroy jobs and cost middle class families $1800 a year, every time you turn on a switch.”

That claim was in turn challenged by FactCheck.org—run by the liberal Annenberg Foundation's Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. As expected, the group then issued a declaration claiming the “NRCC ad credits a Washington Times editorial for its claim that the Waxman-Markey bill would make electricity prices ‘skyrocket,' costing families $1,870 a year. But the NRCC is wrong.”

Leaving aside the fact that the Annenberg Foundation was Barack Obama's employer from 1995-99, the truth is, it's FactCheck.org that's dead wrong.

Why? Granted, “every time you turn on a switch” is hyperbolic, but the rest of it? FactCheck.org argues that the Times was actually citing a portion of a Heritage study stating the Gross Domestic Product losses in 2020. And, “a decrease in gross domestic product is a different calculation than an increase in electricity costs.”

Never mind that the Heritage study in question defined GDP losses from the Waxman-Markey bill as “economic costs”. And, never mind that the ad never claims that electricity bills will increase by $1800. Instead it notes that the bill will “cost middle class families $1800 a year…” How much legislation costs overall—i.e. its net impact upon the GDP—is a different calculation than how much it will increase electricity costs. As FactCheck.org undoubtedly well knew before it drug out its red herring.

A main reason why the GDP will be negatively affected by the cap-and-tax legislation is precisely because of increased energy costs. Which, as Barack Obama noted in 2008, “would necessarily skyrocket.”

The total impact on the economy? Heritage's analysis stated, “In The Heritage Foundation's analysis of the Waxman-Markey climate change legislation, the GDP hit in 2020 was $161 billion (2009 dollars). For a family of four, that translates into $1,870.” Truth be told, there was nothing dishonest or false about the ad. At all.

Not that this stopped the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—and several news outlets carrying their script in lockstep—from saying that because the ad was found to be “wrong” by FactCheck.org, WDBJ-TV refused to run it. According to DCCC.org's press release, “WDBJ-TV, a Roanoke television station, refused to air a false National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) attack ad on Congressman Tom Perriello (VA-05).”

This is pure political spin brewed in the war room of the DCCC—and percolated at FactCheck.org. The message? That the NRCC ad was so blatantly “dishonest” that TV stations are refusing to run it.

In an exclusive interview with ALG News WDBJ General Manager Jeffrey Marks sought to set the record straight. He noted that the whole story began as a result of the DCCC release. And that release certainly did give the false impression that the station was taking some sort of stand against the NRCC's ad.

Marks acknowledged that the Congressman's office had complained to the station about the ad. And so, he said, “We wanted to address the complaints,” adding that the station wanted to “make sure everyone is being treated fairly.”

In this case, the station judged that there was “enough substance” to warrant bringing the complaint to the attention of the advertiser. And, according to Marks, the NRCC has addressed the issue, minutely modified the ad, and it was running as of yesterday. “This happens from time to time,” he said.

But the real story here is that the Hard Left—the true villain of this sordid tale—is so desperate to hide the truth about this horrible, costly bill that they resort to distortion and censorship.

A pattern is emerging. First, as ALG News previously reported, Dr. Alan Carlin was publicly flogged and exiled for telling the truth at the EPA about “man-made” global warming. And now the Democrats are badgering stations to prevent the public from learning the truth about cap-and-trade.

And in the end, what have they really gained? A lot of attention to the fact that Barack Obama “necessarily” believes that electricity costs will “skyrocket,” the fact that the GDP will be hurt drastically by the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill, and the fact that Tom Perriello voted for it.

Sometimes it seems, truth will out.

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of ALG News Bureau.


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