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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lies, lies, lies, and more lies--the media's responsibilities

As I don't need to tell many readers of this blog, the level of dishonesty of the McCain-Palin campaign has already reached heights previously unscaled by even the sleaziest of politicians past. The latest example, a McCain-approved ad declaring that Obama wants to provide sex education to kids before they can read, is nicely taken apart by Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo.

There are also indications that at least some mainstream media outlets are seeing the dissemination of lies as itself a news story in which "objective" or "fair and balanced" reporting requires them to actually point out the contradictions (and the Obama campaign has begun to rise to the occasion as well.) For example, both CNN and MSNBC ran repeated stories throughout the day yesterday pointing out that Palin was for the "bridge to nowhere" before she was against it, and today Washington Post writer Jonathan Weisman pens a story examining the "outright lies" spread by the campaign. Readers of this blog have no doubt seen many other examples which I hope they will share with us.

As the lies are exposed, the McCain-Palin campaign will increasingly make the allegedly "liberal media" into a campaign issue as well. Let them do it. When a presidential candidate and his running mate try to lie their way into office, that's news--big news.

(With thanks to Marc Cooper for alerting us to the Talking Points Memo link.)

Addendum: Paul Begala raises similar points on The Huffington Post. And John Neffinger says this is Obama's "Dukakis Moment": He must respond to the sex education ad or lose the respect of the American people.

"Troopergate" Update: Newsweek reports that a judge had to warn Sarah Palin and her family about publicly disparaging her former brother-in-law during the ongoing custody battle because of the possible effect on the children involved, calling it a form of "child abuse."

Lipstick Update: If the lipstick sticks, wear it. And great to hear Obama calling the McCain-Palin people liars to their faces, in an excellent--and I hope widely reported--response today.

Perils of Palin Panic: The Los Angeles Times reports today that "some Democrats" are worried about the possible negative effects of attacking Palin too strongly, fearing that this will engender sympathy for her. The biggest worriers tend to be the kind of Democrats who thought that self-effacement was somehow a good campaign strategy for Gore and Kerry--in other words, the Democrats whose wisdom lost both of those elections. Stay the course!

A new, more feisty Obama: I like what I am reading in this article in today's (ie Sep 11) Los Angeles Times, particularly the news that Obama is making the Supreme Court's habeas corpus decision a campaign issue.

1 comment:

terryt said...

"When a presidential candidate and his running mate try to lie their way into office, that's news--big news".

Unfortunately history shows (in this country at least, I don't know about the USA) that the most preposterous liars get the most votes. Everyone seems to know they are liars but still vote for the liars they'd most like to be able to believe, against all common sense.

Politics is not sensible.