The Republican National Convention was held this week and although I didn’t watch it live, I did read the speeches and reactions to them and one thing jumped out at me. Republicans were serial liars. These weren’t just political misstatements or hyperbole but out right LIES. What does it say about our political system when people don’t seem to be concerned that serial liars want to be in charge of our government?
Paul Ryan told some whoppers:
His speech was riddled with false claims, so much so that even Fox News wrote, “To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.”
3. Shuttered General Motors plant is “one more broken promise.” Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.
5. “$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” Ryan’s favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare’s savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan’s own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.
And then about Mitt Romney’s speech:
From claiming that “Obama gutted the welfare work requirement” to insisting that his own policies won’t deregulate Wall Street, Romney has led a post-truth campaign. A top adviser even admitted earlier this week, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
But what really got me was the political pundits who seemed not to really care about the lies – as if it were some strategy to be debated.
From this Wednesday evening’s coverage of the Republican National Convention on MSNBC, Chris Matthews talks to Lawrence O’Donnell, Michael Steele and Howard Fineman following Paul Ryan’s speech to get their opinion of it. Both Lawrence O’Donnell and Howard Fineman heap praise on Ryan’s political skills and O’Donnell proclaims that the fact checking on Ryan’s lie filled speech won’t matter to swing voters.
The analysis from all of them was basically that facts don’t matter if people like what they hear and don’t know the difference on whether they’re being lied to or not and that the Democrats had better get busy with rebutting this stuff. While I agree with them as far as low information voters and whether it’s even possible to get through to them and that the Democrats do indeed need to rebut this stuff, here’s my beef.
Isn’t that exactly O’Donnell and Fineman’s job to be pointing out the lies along with the rest of their cohorts in the media? Aren’t they supposed to be a backstop against the politicians being allowed to just lie to us constantly and the voters not knowing the difference? I think it’s an indictment on what’s left of our fourth estate that they didn’t even consider the possibility that if we had enough “fact checkers,” and accurate ones and not those that are too often making a mockery of that term, but if we had enough push back from a media that did its job instead of always playing the Fox “fair and balanced” game, maybe we wouldn’t have so many low information voters and so many swing voters who are easily duped by the likes of Ryan.
Exactly, it is the media’s job to give all of us the information we need to make informed choices. Not aggressively pointing out the lies told by politicians or making it seem like a common political strategy is the WRONG way to give us the information we need.
And I’m sure during the Democratic convention the networks will do a lot more fact checking and give the excuse they need to be harder on the President since he has the job now. *sigh*
Facts are NOT debatable and the media need to start doing their jobs.