I think this point is just absurd and ridiculous. This is a big thing among folks calling it "moral equivalence" (Fallows, Ornstein) and others calling it the "cult of balance" (Krugman). It's just stupid. If you want someone to tell you that Republicans stink, read opinion pages. Read blogs. Also, the underlying sentiment on the left is that this is the real reason why things went wrong in 2010: That the mainstream media is to blame. Sorry, I think that's the sorta head-in-sand outlook that leads to longer term problems for a movement.The quote is by Paul Kane, a Washington Post reporter. I'd suggest that Mr. Kane listen to BBC Radio interviews, in which interviewers, armed with their British sense that journalism is a public service (go figure!) can often be heard saying to the interviewee "But that is simply not true." Yes, I know, there is a difference between radio and newspapers and between an interview and a news article. Or is there? More importantly, should there be one? I don't think so. Just as I don't think that someone writing on a blog has less journalistic integrity than his newspaper "equivalent". Luckily for us, Hunter at the Daily Kos is a disrespectable blogger, so he has no qualms about calling Mitt Romney a liar. Romney lies very often, and he seems to be possessed with complete disregard for the truth and for the positions he had in the past, seemingly oblivious of the fact that we are long past the days of the VCR. DVRs and the World Wide Web are horrible things to have around, for people like him.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Romney, The Serial Flip-Flopper and Constant Liar
It should work this way: when a candidate lies, the media should point it out. Period. Instead, the media bend over backwards in order to avoid calling out a lie. They call lies "stretching the truth", "factual inaccuracies", and other euphemisms that fall short of using the word lie, and treat that custom as a venerable act of moderation. The only places where lies are called lies is in the blogosphere, and we know bloggers are not worth the keyboards that they type on. At least that's what "respectable" media figures and pundits like Mark Halperin, one of the most offensive regurgitators of political common wisdom, would have you believe. Never mind that, increasingly, the words "respectable" and "media" clash like a polka dot shirt and a pin-stripe suit. (There are exceptions, of course.) As I was doing a bit of research on the matter of why it has become okay to let lies slide, I found an interesting piece on The Atlantic's website. It contains the following passage, which in my view is symptomatic of the trouble that plagues mainstream media (emphasis added):