The Level of Lying Stokes Radical Political Partisanship

In an article on her website, Ariana Huffington raises the issue of the level of lying in politics – Mitt Romney Brazenly Lies and the Media Lets Him Slide. Here is he crux of the complaint against Mitt Romney and his election team:

The lie is found in Romney’s first television ad, run last week in New Hampshire. The ad shows President Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” What the ad doesn’t tell you is that this was from 2008 — and that Obama was quoting an aide to John McCain at the time. Here is the full Obama quote: “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.'” (The full speech can be found here.)

This is far from the garden-variety truth stretching we’re used to in political advertising. This is so breathtakingly cynical it should cause us to question whether a candidate that would put it forth is fit for any public office — let alone the presidency.

Ariana was as furious with many  in the media and Press as she was about the dirty trick of the Romney campaign. She feels too many let the issue slide through and  names the culprits from NYTimes and Politico through to PBS Washington Week and even FactCheck.org. The problem is described as follows:

Along with being deceitful, the ad is also a challenge to the media. It’s like when a toddler looks right at you and slowly and deliberately spills a glass of milk. The child wants to see the reaction. It’s a test of boundaries. If there’s no reaction, then the message is that it’s OK

Ye Editor agrees exactly with Araiana. Too much of the past two years has seen the Media and Press turning a blind eye to blatant lying by politicians and  even worse,  “news” sources like Fox News,and many in the Rupert Murdoch publishing world. Britain has gotten to see the consequences of the latter with. Mediamatters,org and Factcheck.org are expected to carry the load on keeping political players honest.

But the problem with Mediamatters.org and Factcheck.org is a)they simply do not have the reach of the major TV, Press and online sources and b)because so much of the deception is emanating from Republican sources[of top 10 recent week of Factcheck stories, 8 are GOP misdemeanours, 1 is both parties and 1 is Democratic missteps], one gets the impression they are biased against the GOP.  So media control groups like Factcheck can be branded as “liberal think tanks”.

Worse,  the GOP is by far the worst offender in terms of lying and slander. But they are not alone, the Democrats unleash low blows too. So the GOP can always say – “see , the Democrats do it too”. But its sort of like the recent  Israeli-Gaza conflict – for every 1 Israeli casualty, there were 10 Palestinian casualties. The attacks and political partisanship are asymmetrical; its as if the GOP were using Terrorist tactics. Use  extreme radicals like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Glen Beck to launch outlandish smear campaigns, followed by Fox News “opinion” pieces supporting some of the details, followed by GOP Think Tanks that  who have a dollar budget  and numeric advantage over Democratic and neutral institutions. So the level of lying and smear available and used by the GOP has radicalized political partisanship in Washington – making it more dysfunctional than ever before.

Ye Editor who strives to achieve journalistic credence with direct links to most major assertions in Takethe5th articles and postings, find these War of Partisan attrition so worrying. The US is confronted with a series of Economic, Resources, and Environmental problems that global and far reaching. The US and the World have littlemargin or  time to make major missteps. Yet thwarting any progress is  an attitude of  “we can dismay and  dupe most most of the people most of the time” which now prevails in politics. The GOP is saying can deliberately damage the economy to gain political success and suffer no consequences. It is quietly terrifying.