Hillary Clinton said something in a speech recently that should have had every right winger applauding, given their history of opposing every single tax increase that anyone could possibly think of. She said “We aren’t going to raise taxes on the middle class.”
As a concept, it’s something that would be universally held in high esteem by everyone on the conservative side of the political spectrum, and probably most people on the left as well. Unless Hillary says it, of course. When she says something, it just HAS to be bad … even if it isn’t.
This rule is so unbreakable that you need to go to any lengths necessary to find a reason to criticize her, even if you have to lie. This is exactly what Republicans have done to Hillary. Their lie was that she said “We ARE going to raise taxes on the middle class.” Not only that, but then came the implication that her “stupid liberal followers” cheered for it.
As with most right-wing lies, though, it’s easily debunked. Politifact took things to a higher technical level than Republicans are able to understand, and ran it through a sound analyzer program. They then proved with science that Hillary said “aren’t” instead of “are.”
That is fantastic work by Politifact, and I think it’s really great that right wing jackassery like this gets called out in a way that’s irrefutable since computers don’t lie. However, what really is galling is that you didn’t even NEED a computer to tell what she said.
WATCH: Is Donald Trump attempting to distort Hillary Clinton’s words about taxes? Take a look at the clip.https://t.co/54hSElr1TO
— Meet the Press (@meetthepress) August 5, 2016
It’s a classic case of she-heard-he-heard, so we asked experts to arbitrate. They agreed with the Clinton camp and offered some technical evidence to prove it. Get ready for some science.
Alan Yu, a linguistics professor at the University of Chicago who specializes in phonology, ran the audio through a computer program called Praat, which analyzes phonetics.
By analyzing the sound waves, we can see that Clinton was saying “aren’t,” because she definitely pronounced the “n,” though she didn’t really hit the “t.”
Folks, I’m playing the clip myself on a cheap laptop with modest-at-best built in speakers. I’m not wearing earphones and I have an air conditioner running next to me and a TV playing in the background. Even I could hear that she said “aren’t” and I didn’t need to use a computer program.
I’m not saying that if someone has poor hearing it wouldn’t sound different to them. Even if someone doesn’t have bad hearing, I get that people can misunderstand things, but this was not a couple people making an honest mistake. This isn’t even just a couple of Ding Dong’s like Glenn Beck and The Daily Caller peddling their usual bullcrap. This is full-blown Fox News who said it along with the others.
You’ll never convince me that some person at Fox didn’t listen to this and say “Hey she said ‘aren’t’ and you can hear it clearly in this clip.” They aren’t exactly a low-resource news company. They have people for this. They knew what she said and made a conscious choice to misrepresent it. After that, the entire right wing started repeating the lie reflexively.
The Shame Of The Week award goes to the entire right-wing for jumping on the “I hear only what I want to hear” bandwagon on this one. It was the worst idea for a gimmicky news story since Balloon Boy.
Featured image via Mediaite