Romney’s long nose

The press is starting to notice.

Mitt Romney telling fibs is hardly news. But I continue to be encouraged by the willingness of some of the press to call him on it, despite the general press bias in favor of Romney and against Obama. The Republicans now have all the structural advantages: an utterly unhinged and unprincipled right-wing press led by the Murdoch empire, a cowed mainsteam press terrified of charges of “liberal media bias” and in love with ersatz even-handedness, and a billion dollars’ worth of unaccountable super-PAC money.

But this year the Republicans have an unlikeable and obviously untrustworthy candidate, and the Democrats have Barack Obama. That may turn out to even things up.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

11 thoughts on “Romney’s long nose”

  1. So the race is neck and neck? Out come the GOP Black Box Computer vote tabulators.
    Yes we still have the same old hackable voting system. All the GOP needs is a “too close to call” election. Really it only needs to be close in the presidential race. Nobody will even notice a 10% shift in down ticket contests.
    The GOP has been stealing elections for so long it has just become business as usual.

  2. Once the Republican party realized that it could lie and fabricate without consequence, it changed everything. (Thank you, Karl Rove.)

    Here’s our new reality: The independent, impartial press doesn’t work any more–there are no fact checkers, only spin. Every opinion is as good as every other. Every issue has two sides–a liberal and a conservative side, and each are equally valid, whether true or not. Fair and balanced means equal time to each side, regardless of the facts. And what is a fact anymore? Ten-thousand scientists can produce verifiable evidence that global climate change is happening, but the doctrine of “fair and balanced” means that people who don’t believe in facts, or who are funded by big oil, get equal time to spout their views.

    In this context, it seems not to matter that Mitt Romney lies. Who will counter him? And how? The NYTimes can say “Mitt Romney said something not true,” but who listens? The electorate doesn’t, the majority of the press doesn’t. We live in a political age when wholesale fabrication of truth is a given, and all that matters is optics. Truth no longer matters.

    1. Matt, a couple of nits to pick:

      “Thank you, Karl Rove.” — The godfather of the modern Republican approach was Newt Gingrich.

      “We live in a political age when …” — It isn’t the “political age” specifically that’s screwed up; it’s the “information age,” including the Internet, the media focus on celebrity, and the foreshortened attention span of so many of our fellow citizens.

      Not us, of course; we’re smarter than that. But just think of how unintelligent and uninformed the average person is. And then remember that half the people are below average.

  3. “unlikeable and obviously untrustworthy” — somehow this is not reassuring. Remember that fellow Nixon?

    1. I do remember, but somewhow that makes me feel better about the near-term.

      Because I remember that in the face of a hugely unpopular presidency by the incumbent, which was an albatross around the neck of his VP in the 1968 election, Nixon was barely able to eke out a close victory.

  4. I don’t want to argue with the numbers, but it’s not what I’ve noticed.
    As far as I’ve seen, the press coverage of Romney is harsh on his personality, but quite favorable to his policies.
    Press coverage of Obama is the opposite: generally depicting him favorably on a personal level (Maraniss revelations aside), but harsh on the policy level.

  5. The press are biased against Obama, in favor of Republicans? Geeze, this is more of an unreality based community. I mean, that’s so objectively wrong that it suggests derangement. How about the polls showing some 90% of media people are left wing Democrats? Word frequency surveys?

    1. So it’s derangement to use *actual words in the actual press* to determine biases rather than just assuming them based on political affiliation? And the research being from the Pew Center, whose research credentials are generally found to be pretty unimpeachable?

      You’re not even TRYING anymore.

      1. You can’t judge bias by negative coverage, without calibrating the coverage to account for the underlying reality. IOW, the press is in the tank for Obama, but Obama sucks so bad that even being in the tank leaves his coverage less than ideal.

        1. You are ridiculous. “Calibrating the coverage to account for the underlying reality” is otherwise known as “rigging the numbers.”

          But hey, might as well make up your own facts to fit your preferred narrative rather than dealing with reality.

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