Times Goes After Obama's "Misleading Attacks" on McCain

Rectifying the paper's pro-Obama tilt, the Times takes Obama to task in a front-page story on his campaign's misleading ads.

How refreshing: Friday's off-lead by Jim Rutenberg and Julie Bosman, "Dubious Claims In Obama's Ads," actuallywent after Barack Obama's campaign for making misleading claims against John McCain.

Two weeks ago, Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign gleefully publicized a spate of news reports about misleading and untruthful statements in the advertisements of his rival, Senator John McCain. Asked by a voter in New Hampshire if he would respond in kind, Mr. Obama said, "I just have a different philosophy, I'm going to respond with the truth," adding, "I'm not going to start making up lies about John McCain."

Yet as Mr. McCain's misleading advertisements became fodder on shows like "The View" and "Saturday Night Live," Mr. Obama began his own run of advertisements on radio and television that have matched the dubious nature of Mr. McCain's more questionable spots.

Actually, it's been convincingly argued by National Review's Byron York that McCain's much-reviledanti-Obama "sex education for kindergartners" ad was perfectly valid. Still, this story is a positive step toward balancing the paper's pro-Obama tilt.

Rutenberg and Bosman go on to target four Obama ads as misleading, including one using distorted quotes from Rush Limbaugh to attack McCain on immigration:

A much criticized Spanish-language television advertisement wrongly links the views of Mr. McCain, who was a champion of the sweeping immigration overhaul pushed by Mr. Bush, to those of Rush Limbaugh, a harsh critic of the approach, and, frequently, of Mr. McCain.

The advertisement implies Mr. Limbaugh is one of Mr. McCain's "Republican friends," and quotes Mr. Limbaugh as calling Mexicans "stupid and unqualified." Mr. Limbaugh has written that his quotes were taken out of context and that he was mocking the views of others.