Another post from another liberal about the media’s failure to point out that most of what comes out of Romney’s mouth is a lie. For some reason, while reading this article, my mind flew back to another campaign that took place a long long time ago, in a political galaxy far far away.
The time was the year 2000 and the place was America before everything changed on 9/11. The candidate was Al Gore, who, according to the press, had a problem telling the truth. We were assured, for instance, that he had claimed to invent the internet, though he hadn’t. Hadn’t invented it, and hadn’t made the claim, that is. He was accused of other deviations from the truth, all of which, on close examination, turned out to be no deviations at all, but they had been branded deviations by the right, and that was sufficient for the press to repeat them. What difference did it make, for while there was no truth to the claims, there was a manufactured truthiness about them. You can learn the details of this ancient history at this site, and get more details by searching around on Bob Somersby’s former site, here.
Some might argue that the press learned its lesson from 2000 and now it is just being extra careful before it implies or says that Mitt (or Little Ricky, or Newt, or every other Republican ) is a liar. Perhaps it feels that if one can come up with any construction of the language used- no matter how strained or contrary to sense, grammatical principles, mathematical laws, or scientifically proven facts- that would make a statement arguably true, then the press feels duty bound to let the statement pass, lest it unfairly sully the reputation of an honorable Republican. For after all Mitt is an honorable man; So are they all, all honorable men.
Some might make that argument. Others, far more cynical, might argue that, were Al Gore to run for office again, the liar narrative would be reincarnated in a flash. Such people might point out that there appears to be a rule among members of the press corps that it is impolite to point out that Republicans lie, because that is what they do, that is what they are expected to do, and it is therefore incumbent upon us to look the other way when they do it. Democrats, on the other hand, are expected to play it straight, so not only is it incumbent on the press to point out when they lie, but it is also perfectly fair to pass on Republican talking points that allege that they lie, even when they are not, in fact, lying. In Washington, this is known as fair and balanced reporting, which has not, in lo these many years, been confined to Fox.