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The real news of the day seems to be about...the news. There's a sudden outbreak among journalists of, um, doing important journalistic work--that is, telling the public the truth.

The important truth.

And the important truth of the day is that the GOP's electoral pitch is built on lies.

I've seen a couple diaries linking to this or that example of news organizations blasting Paul Ryan for lying. Over at The Atlantic, James Fallows has for a long time now been pounding his fellow journalists to go beyond "he-said-she-said" and actually report who's lying and who's not. Today Fallows provides a collection of a dozen or so links to various news sources who are doing just that, pointing out the lies and omissions in Paul Ryan's speech of last night. More over the jump.

I'm not taking the time to embed all Fallows's links--you can jump to any of them from Fallows's piece of today:

So I am impressed, in a bad way, that Ryan thought he could just brazen it through. But it is also impressive that, at least in the short run, parts of the press are responding as they must in an era when politicians don't care. That is, they're not simply quoting "critics" about things Ryan made up. They are outright saying that he is telling lies. For instance:

* The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, with the headline, "Ryan misleads on GM plant closing in hometown."

* A more omnibus fact-check item also by Kessler, with half a dozen similar exaggerations, distortions, etc.

* A very tough item by Jonathan Bernstein, on the WaPo's Plum Line site, with the headline "Paul Ryan fails -- the truth."

* An excoriation by Jonathan Cohn, in the New Republic, under the headline, "The Most Dishonest Convention Speech ... Ever?" As Cohn adds: "I'd like to talk... about what Ryan actually said--not because I find Ryan's ideas objectionable, although I do, but because I thought he was so brazenly willing to twist the truth.

"At least five times, Ryan misrepresented the facts. And while none of the statements were new, the context was. It's one thing to hear them on a thirty-second television spot or even in a stump speech before a small crowd. It's something else entirely to hear them in prime time address, as a vice presidential nominee is accepting his party's nomination and speaking to the entire country."
I know that TNR is not "mainstream" in the sense that the NYT, WaPo, AP, etc are. Still this is a very powerful item. And it leads to:

* An AP item headlined, "FACT CHECK: Ryan takes factual shortcuts in speech."

* An item from NPR with a mildly "he said, she said" headline ("Fact Checkers Say Some of Ryan's Claims Don't Add Up") but that gets the main points across.

* One just now from the NYT, with the headline "In Ryan Critique of Obama, Omissions Help Make the Case." It begins this way: "In his speech accepting the Republican nomination for vice president at the Republican National Convention, Representative Paul D. Ryan criticized President Obama for seeking Medicare cuts that he once sought as well, and for failing to act on a deficit-reduction plan that he too opposed."

* Another excoriation by Michael Tomasky, in the Daily Beast, that is headlined "Paul Ryan's Convention Speech and his Web of Lies" and which begins, "It just boggles the mind to imagine how Paul Ryan can stand up there and lash Barack Obama for abandoning Bowles-Simpson when he did exactly that himself."

* An item on the Fox News site for which there must be an interesting backstory, in which contributor Sally Kohn says that "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."

* On TPM, a catalogue with the headline "Top 5 Fibs in Paul Ryan's Convention Speech."

To restate the larger points for the moment: The bad one is that a major party's nominee for national office apparently just doesn't care that he is standing in front of millions and telling easily catchable lies. The less-bad one is that parts of the media are noticing, and are trying to figure out what they can do in response.

My guess on the Fox News piece: they're pre-assigning blame for the anticipated Romney-Ryan defeat. Fox is the first big rat to decide the ship is really sinking.

If you know of fact-check pieces Fallow missed, please link them in the comments.


When it comes to lying, how much is too much for even the GOP to get away with?

45%14 votes
54%17 votes

| 31 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 09:20:51 AM PDT

  •  Others know the FAQ better than I (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Sylv, sockpuppet

    but are you quoting too much of the article?

    I really appreciate the link, I just don't want this to get pulled.

    "Well, the problem here is that you're out of candy. You're gonna need more candy." Rachel Maddow on the Big Bailout

    by cishart on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 09:30:53 AM PDT

    •  I believe I'm OK. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      After a few minutes rooting around in the DKos knowledge base and user-help discussions, the only thing I've found is one DKos link here (scroll down) to the Wikipedia article on fair use.

      According to Wiki, "fair use" considers a number of factors. I believe the factors "purpose and character" and "effect upon work's value" especially weigh in favor of my use. By not embedding any of Fallows's internal links--which are the heart of his piece--I'm actually driving traffic to Fallows's piece. My piece effectively serves as advertisement for Fallows's.

      So while I appreciate the heads-up, I think I'm OK.

      If there's something more specific in the DKos rules, I'd appreciate somebody cluing me in.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 10:04:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thougt this would be a fact check of links nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, sockpuppet

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 09:35:02 AM PDT

    •  Click my link to... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Fallows's piece. He has links to the dozen or so fact-check pieces.

      I didn't embed Fallows's links because (a) it would be tedious, and (b) fair use concerns--see my other comment on that.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 10:52:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I liken this GOP lying stategy to a thermostat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, sockpuppet

    You set the thermostat to a level you want [frequency of lying and size of lies]. All thermostats overshoot the target at least a little because the feedback loop is not 100% efficient. [The liars overreach]. Eventually, the thermostat kicks in and the target temperature is reached. [Blow-back from the press and the public forces a dial-back to an "acceptable" optimal intensity of lying, or OIL.] Has the GOP reached the OIL [optimum intensity of lying] yet? My sense is, they are close to it.

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