Roy Barnes “represented a child molester,” his spokeswoman Anna Ruth Williams allegedly acknowledged to the Savannah Morning News in October, according to a Nathan Deal ad mentioned in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Deal’s ad paraphrases Barnes’ spokeswoman as saying Barnes “represented a child molester,” with mock headlines printed up and shown on the ad as legitimate.
But what Williams really said that day to the Savannah Morning News was a tad bit different.
When pressed about whether Barnes handled a case involving a child molester, allegedly at a bond hearing, Williams reportedly said this, according to the AJC:
“Barnes’ work ‘had nothing to do with the trial.”
Barnes spokeswoman sounds like Bill Clinton
That sounds like Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” comment. Turns out he did, he just used a different definition than the rest of us about what constituted sexual relations.
Splitting hairs with comments isn’t new to the political arena and this time is no exception. Williams isn’t saying a representation of sorts didn’t occur for a child molester by Barnes; she is just saying he didn’t represent the child molester at the actual trial.
I don’t know about you, but I resent it when candidates and their spokespeople twist the truth or cut it off at the knees like that.
Barnes demands Deal remove ad
The AJC reported that Barnes called for Nathan Deal to pull that ad from the airwaves on Wednesday at the same time Nathan was busy calling for Roy to pull one of his he disagreed with.
The ad Deal took issue with was not as controversial as Barnes and the child molester one, but Deal took umbrage with the fact that the facts were so obviously wrong.
Barnes ad about Deal was a case of Barnes’ team exercising their own brand of creative embellishment. Barnes’ ad was giving the television audience five voices clamoring for Deal to answer their hot-button question, actually replicating a real-life campaign site scene in which only three people had really been talking previously.
Barnes said he believes education is important, but his math is a bit fuzzy if he starts with three people in a room and ends up saying there were five present.
Why Deal’s ad is okay, Barnes’ isn’t
Deal made an ad that showed Barnes did do some legal work on behalf of a child molester, even if Barnes wanted to downplay what that work was–and who it was for–to the citizens of Georgia. In the newspaper business that is called an expose. People like it when you bring out the dark secrets that risk folks voting someone into office they shouldn’t.
Barnes made an ad that showed he would stretch the truth to paint Deal badly, just to win back the Georgia Governor’s seat. In the newspaper business that’s what we call slander and poor sportsmanship.
Deal obviously hasn’t perfected Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” or Barnes’ spokeswoman’s “Barnes’ work ‘had nothing to do with the trial” kind of comments.
I guess that is why Nathan Deal instead of Roy Barnes will be able to count on my vote this year — because Deal hasn’t become adept at skirting the truth, parsing it down, inflating the facts to create sound bites, or learned how to do fuzzy math.
Resources: Op/Ed piece with AJC and YouTube resources