Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan — August 30, 2012 at 8:09 am

How the Media Enables GOP Lies


Ryan and Romney prove the only thing Republicans have learned since Bush is how to lie better

Howard Kurtz is the one “media critic” in America with a TV show. And, better than anyone, his take on Paul Ryan’s speech last night typifies the media’s reaction what has become standard practice from the right wing.

He called Ryan’s speech a “Wonky Assault” despite Ryan’s complete indifference to policy and the clear distortions and lies in his speech. He says Ryan’s speech was effective because in the GOP, “He is viewed as a truth-teller who would slash the size of government, although his deficit-fighting fervor lags when it comes to tax cuts and trimming defense spending.”

In this one statement he shows he understands Ryan’s rhetoric is hollow. But that doesn’t matter. It works! Kurtz puffs up Ryan’s reputation and lets others do the actual fact checking. And this is our preeminent media critic.

America’s failure to vet and disarm Republican lies isn’t just a quirk of our democracy. It may be our fatal flaw.

Lies – accepted as “spin” – let George W. Bush pass massive tax cuts on the premise they would mostly go to the middle class – they didn’t – would pay for themselves – bullshit – and would create jobs – never happened.

Lies – furthered by the media – led us into Iraq.

Lies – uncritically accepted by media – allowed huge financial bubbles to grow with almost no investigation to what consequences they might bring.

The men and women who authored these lies are completely accepted by the media as reliable sources who form the backbone of Mitt Romney’s unprecedented attempt to make a fact-free run at the presidency. Joining the Romney team is one of the architects of a strategy to sabotage a recovery of an economy that collapsed under right wing rule. Ryan voted for everything that Bush did and then engaged in a systematic ploy to oppose anything the president proposed — including a debt commission he was on (and voted against) and a debt limit deal he made (and now campaigns against).

Again and again people including Steve Benen have asked, “If the president is so bad, why do they have to lie about his record?” The answer is the president has been successful in every way the GOP has failed – despite GOP opposition. And the GOP knows their tactics are craven and their record is miserable. They lie because that’s their only choice.

The consequences of accepting GOP lies are measured in millions of jobs, thousands of lives. Our ability to point their incompetence, their hardhearted coddling of the richest at the expense of the middle, their blatant irresponsibility is the only antidote we have left.