The Guardian has two examples this morning to illustrate a pattern in detachment from reality. How do newspapers deal with politicians who go on repeating lies? and How the Swift boat veterans stack up against 2012′s special ops group.
Of course, for this news outlet, the lies are from Romney. In this case is is about the administration’s relaxing of work for welfare rules. The Washington Post fact check is cited as support for the idea that Romney’s assertions are lies. The problem is, though, that one of the architects of the welfare reform act, Dick Morris, supports Romney’s view.
“Worse. Despite the fact-checking process that is supposed to inform its journalism, America’s press is not confronting Romney about his falsehood. He is being allowed to get away with it.”
The end up with another famous reality distortion:
“But lies still beat us. After all, we made war on Iraq because too many newspapers happily accepted the political lie that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was able to launch them within 45 minutes.”
The explanation is the lies repeated often enough seem to take on a mantle of truth. The problem is that they are dealing in projection on this. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth still rankles as the left side of the political edge still decries ‘swiftboating’ as a dishonest smear tactic. The latest edition of this idea that military veterans standing witness to their own observations is a ‘dishonest smear’ is a 22 minute video put out by former special forces and security personnel on the administration’s use of leaks for personal gain.
“The emergence of a group of former special operations soldiers dedicated to running adverts critical of President Barack Obama’s national security policy has raised the prospect of a 2012 version of the infamous Swift boat campaign.”
“At first glance both Opsec and the Swift boaters appear to have many similarities drawn from the shadowy underworld of political dirty tricks. But there are important differences too.”
Of course, one of those “political dirty tricks” are about the straw man of partisanship. A great deal of effort is made in the article to tie these despicable groups to the evil Republican conspiracy.
What is encouraging is that these sorts of delusions in the media are becoming a topic of discussion in themselves. For instance, the lack of coverage of an attack on the Family Research Center by a gunman who professes that his motive was that he didn’t like the anti-gay politics of the group is noted as a comparison to just how quick and extensive the coverage has been on attacks that were mistakenly credited to right wing political assaults.
What is also important now is that one can fact check the fact checkers simply by comparing what was actually said and done to what is claimed. Whether it is the “didn’t build that”, or the “ya’ll in chains”, or the work requirements EO, or the swiftboating, or the Mediscare efforts the original is laid on the table for all to see. Only those in a severe stage of psychological denial can set aside that evidence.