Monday, October 27, 2008

Gableman just needs an editor

It's been some time since I had the dubious pleasure of reading any Jessica McBride "analysis," but was not terribly surprised to learn that not much has changed.

In her Waukesha Freeman column, we learn that the only problem with the slimy commercial Michael Gableman ran against Louis Butler in the Supreme Coirt race is that it was "poorly worded."

The commercial in question was more than poorly worded. It was purposely designed to make voters think that Butler had gotten a rapist freed on a technicality, and that the released rapist had then committed another rape.

That is not what happened. Butler indeed found a provision in the law -- a loophole if you will -- that convinced a judge the rapist should get a new trial. But that was overturned on appeal, and the criminal served his full sentence.

Years later, when he was released, he did indeed commit another crime. But it had nothing to do with Louis Butler.

Here's McBride's version:

Read the ad again: "Butler found a loophole. Mitchell went on to molest another child."

Could the ad have been worded more precisely? Yes. Does it imply that Mitchell molested another child BECAUSE Butler found a loophole? Arguably. But it doesn’t say that...
Nope, no foul play there. Just some bad wording.

McBride again:
You’d think state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman was the first candidate in state history to run a poorly worded campaign ad.
She's right about one thing. There's a lot of that going around.

Just the other day I got a poorly worded, poorly designed piece of mail from the Republican Party of Wisconsin that would leave the average person with the impression that Barack Obama worked with terrorists to bomb the US Capitol and kill some Americans.

Poorly worded, indeed. Surely McCain and the GOP didn't mean to imply that.

But I guess I will have to yield to McBride on this subject, since she clearly knows, firsthand, about how poorly worded commentary can get you into trouble. She wrote the book.

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