Telling the truth about Romney’s lying

Greg Sargent asks when the press is going to go there.

The sheer cynicism of the Romney campaign leads Greg Sargent to ask the key question.

 The Romney campaign continues to pose a test to the news media and our political system. What happens when one campaign has decided there is literally no set of boundaries that it needs to follow when it comes to the veracity of its assertions? The Romney campaign is betting that the press simply won’t be able to keep voters informed about the disputes that are central to the campaign, in the face of the sheer scope and volume of dishonesty it uncorks daily.

Now that Tom Edsall has reported as objective fact the decision of the Romney campaign to play the race card, why shouldn’t horserace reporters start their sentences with, “The Romney campaign, which has made a strategic decision to try to bury Obama under a blanket of false charges …”

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:

12 thoughts on “Telling the truth about Romney’s lying”

  1. Greg Sargent is 100% correct. Until we figure out a way to shame or destroy this kind of behaviour, it will continue and likely increase. Obviously, you can’t sue, because in the timeline of a campaign, it would never work–by the time a libelous ad is taken down, not only is the damage done, but the election may be over. So how do we punish lying in an opposition campaign?

    We can rant all we want on left-of-center blogs and forums about lies by the Romney campaign, but until the mainstream media comes out and says “Romney Lies,” with no prevarications or false equivalencies, it will continue. And since half of the mainstream media is Fox News, this is unlikely to happen.

    It seems like there should be a jujitsu/boomerang move to tar the Romney campaign with its own fabrications. In day to day social interactions, once we learn that a person is a habitual liar, we tend to avoid them. The same thing should happen to Romney. Portray him as a habitually untrustworthy liar–a Tricky Dick to the power of ten–from his taxes, to his flip-flopping, to his campaign messaging.

  2. it wouldn’t matter if they did mr. kleiman. surely you heard this report when it aired on npr–

    here’s the money quote–

    “”We think that the fact that the work requirement has been taken out of welfare is the wrong thing to do,” said Peggy Testa, attending a Tuesday rally near Pittsburgh for Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.

    When told that’s not actually what had happened, Testa replied: “At this point, [I] don’t know exactly what is true and what isn’t, OK? But what I do know is I trust the Romney-Ryan ticket, and I do not trust Obama.”

    Another Romney supporter at the Ryan rally said it’s really tough to know what’s true anymore.

    “I think we always have to look at who the fact checkers are,” Ken Mohn said. “There’s lots of … groups that purport themselves to be neutral, nonpartisan, but often are [partisan].””

    1. of course it didn’t help that politifact went down the rabbit hall by proclaiming a true statement to be the lie of the year last year.

  3. I hadn’t really understood before the degree to which the “conservative” mind-set is based on projection. Sure, the accusations of class warfare. the accusations of not defending the country, the accusations of being spendthrift. But I had always somehow thought that there was something to the idea that the right wing clung strongly to some vision, even if meanly and narrowly construed, of traditional morality. But no liberal admitter of nuance (called “situational ethics” or “moral relativism” by the right) would go nearly this far in abandoning the basic value of not bearing false witness.

    (Would it be religion-baiting to ask if the ten commandments are in Mitt’s Book?)

    1. “(Would it be religion-baiting to ask if the ten commandments are in Mitt’s Book?)”

      Yes. Now claiming that President Obama is muslim would be merely point out that we don’t actually *know* that he’s not…….

  4. The complicity of media can’t be underestimated, note the increasing right-wing extremism enabled by CNN this last decade plus:

    CNN’s Howard Kurtz’s mainstreaming of Limbaugh and Malkin, CNN’s embedded promotion of the Tea [not a] Party, CNN’s hiring right-wing sleaze like Erik Erikson and Dana Loesch, having Republican toadies like CNN’s Borgia and Blitzer fluff Republicna talking points.

    James Fallows even catches CNN skipping the last 40 years of Republicans’ racist strategies in order to falsely portray what the Republican Party really is.

    Which goes hand in hand with CNN protecting racist Republicans at the Republican Convention from accountability.

    CNN’s failure to report the facts of Republicans’ racist heckling of a black woman at the Republican Convention is (or rather, should be) now as much of the story as the Republicans’ racist insults.

    Who were the racist Republicans insulting the black woman?

    Why were those Republican racists comfortable insulting a black woman at the Republican Convention?

    Who at CNN decided to protect those racist Republicans who insulted the black woman?

    And why is CNN altering history to protect Republicans from the Republican Party’s racist strategies?

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