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September 23, 2011 2:55 PM The incentive to lie

By Steve Benen

As is the norm when a group of Republican candidates get together for a high-profile event, there was quite a bit of lying in last night’s debate. I don’t mean instances in which candidates fudge some details, tell half-truths, get factual claims wrong, or exaggerate for effect. I’m talking about pure, obvious, unadulterated lies — stuff the candidates know to be false, but say anyway.

Kevin Drum had a great item today, noting that this is “a real problem for liberals.”

Sure, we cherry pick evidence, we spin world events, and we impose our worldview when we talk about policy. Everyone does that. But generally speaking, our opinion leaders don’t go on national TV, look straight into the camera, and just outright lie about stuff. Theirs do. And you know, if you’d been told over and over that Obamacare meant getting government permission every time you want to go to the doctor; if you’d been told over and over that the economy is in bad shape because a tidal wave of regulations are strangling American business; and if you’d been told over and over that stimulus spending didn’t create one single job — well, what would you think about Barack Obama’s presidency? Not much, I imagine.

It’s awfully hard to fight stuff this brazen. Everyone understands that politicians fudge details and engage in partisan hypocrisy. All part of the game. But most of us don’t expect them to flat out lie. So when they do, we figure there must be something to it. It’s a pretty powerful formula, especially when the mainstream press no longer seriously polices this stuff, and isn’t much believed even when it does. The answer remains frustratingly elusive.

Agreed. I tend to have a pretty sunny disposition, but this is the sort of thing that has me banging my head against my desk.

That last point Kevin made — about the media — strikes me as especially important. Republicans would probably be less inclined to lie if they thought there would be consequences for their dishonesty. Lacking character and integrity, they need an incentive to be honest.

Ideally, major news organizations would offer that incentive. Before Mitt Romney lies about President Obama “apologizing for America,” a little voice would echo in his head saying, “If you tell this lie again, voters will hear about it, and no one wants to vote for a known liar.”

But that doesn’t happen precisely because Romney and his cohorts knows he can lie with impunity. Some news outlets will run fact-check items that most of the public won’t see, and many who do come across these pieces won’t believe them anyway, since they’ve been told that the media is “liberal” and not to be trusted. It’s always been an underlying part of the campaign against media — if the right can discredit the referees, it’s that much easier to get away with wrongdoing.

Even for well-intentioned members of the public, there’s very likely a sense that the lies might have some truth in them. And through constant repetition and reinforcement from like-minded outlets like Fox News and talk radio, folks start to consider the falsehoods credible simply because they’ve heard them so many times, which creates an incentive to tell even bigger lies.

What’s to be done when the discourse is broken? I don’t know, but I’m open to suggestion.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

Comments

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  • T2 on September 23, 2011 3:04 PM:

    vote them out

  • Anonymous on September 23, 2011 3:10 PM:

    We need a Truth Squad that will go to events, and when they lie, will stand up and scream "You are a shameless liar. That is a lie. Liars go to hell."

  • Steve on September 23, 2011 3:10 PM:

    A: Fairness Doctrine


    it ends (or reduces) the dominance of personalities like limbaugh and beck. They're also the reason the mainstream media is too scared to call a lie a lie.

  • scott_m on September 23, 2011 3:12 PM:

    Something just occurred to me when I read the line about "Some news outlets will run fact-check items ..." It seems I recall from four years ago that fact checking candidates assertions in debates or in ads was common, but I haven't seen much of it this time. Maybe I'm just missing it, or maybe it's too early this time around for that to kick in, but the GOP candidates have had a few debates by now. It's odd.

    Anyway, my suggested solution is for all Dems to make frequent and assertive use of the L word when appropriate. Comity, schmoity-- if your distinguished friend across the aisle is lying, say he's lying. If he keeps doing it, call him a liar. That'll get the press's attention, and then they'll have to report on whether the accusation is correct.

  • SecularAnimist on September 23, 2011 3:13 PM:

    Steve, how many articles have you posted here in which you have written that various Republican politicians are "confused" or "ignorant" or "mistaken" or "crazy" or "don't know what they are talking about" when it is abundantly obvious that they are BLATANTLY, DELIBERATELY LYING?

    Even today, you posted an article which concluded with "Everything Herman Cain said last night [about the ACA] was completely wrong".

    Why didn't you write "Everything Herman Cain said last night was completely FALSE"?

    Or even "Everything Herman Cain said last night was A LIE"?

    It seems that one "incentive" for Republican politicians to lie, is that "sensible liberal" bloggers are unwilling to call them out on their lies, preferring squeamish ephemisms like "wrong" or "confused".

    Let's hope this article is a sign that you will change your ways, and stop giving these LIARS the wholly undeserved benefit of the doubt.

  • CT on September 23, 2011 3:13 PM:

    I'm fascinated by this as well, but I have long believed and argued that it may not be lying alone. At some point stupidity has to factor into the equation as well. And I believe an effective and easy to understand frame could be built around this.

    The standard response should always be: when candidate x says this, are they stupid, lying or both?

    That's the kind of thing that could catch fire.

  • QuestionEverything on September 23, 2011 3:17 PM:

    Vote Liars Out (Good One T2!)

    Contact the press outlets that are not pressing for truth; Do your homework and source why it's a lie and that they have a responsibility to expose lies

    Keep yourself informed (read/listen to several sources and to both sides-although I can't find a credible GOP/Right Wing source and I lack the patience to read/listen to understand a side that continues to lie with impunity)

    Attend Town Halls and confront your representatives via email and letters when they lie or push lies on their websites (a lot of work but once you have a system in place, it should take less time)

    Don't give up on America!

  • Mark-NC on September 23, 2011 3:22 PM:

    "Lacking character and integrity, they need an incentive to be honest."

    Yep - that's why I call them The Repugnant Ones. A perfect description!

  • SYSPROG on September 23, 2011 3:24 PM:

    Thanks SecularAnimist! And Steve why are you SURPRISED??? Candy Crowley flat out said when questioned about this very thing 'I'm not here to call them out as liars. I'm here to REPORT on their lies.' My head spun around like The Exorcist and I stopped watching CNN. It is absolutely incredible how people (esp. MSM) have deluded themselves as to what their JOB is.

  • Josef K on September 23, 2011 3:24 PM:

    Whats to be done when the discourse is broken? I dont know, but Im open to suggestion.

    Every time one of these walking freakshows opens their mouths, immediately ask them the following:

    Is that another 'not factual' statement?

    Basically, imprint on the public's consciousness that Republicans do nothing but lie. Make them so toxic the media won't touch them and won't cover them anymore.

    That's the only thing I can think of right now.

  • MEL on September 23, 2011 3:26 PM:

    It would help if TV interviewers, and press panelists at debates, had the knowledge and willingness to push back against lies. Knowledge should be easy: a political junkie with access to Google in the back room speaking into their ears. Willingness may be harder to find.

    Could a deep-pocketed Democrat buy advertising time during or after debates to provide instant fact checks?

  • NW on September 23, 2011 3:26 PM:

    Move the hell away from this doomed place.

  • kevo on September 23, 2011 3:31 PM:

    Maybe we should move toward the Robert A. Heinlein idea of "fair witnesses" put forth in his opus, A Stranger in a Strange Land!

    Citizens would be trained and then dedicate their lives to provide clear and truthful observations to our political discourse and state verifiable phenomena when asked in order to reinforce our reliance on the empirical record to promote our collective way of democratic life! -Kevo

  • ElegantFowl on September 23, 2011 3:37 PM:

    Maybe strong positive feedback for interviewers who follow-up pointedly and persistently until the transgressor has to admit the error or storm off? There aren't very many instances of that, of course, but if they were noted and promoted maybe it would spread.

  • steve sherman on September 23, 2011 3:39 PM:

    There is a rather strange naivety here.
    " The Big Lie" has been a diplomatic and political strategy for as long as there have been political human relations.
    Overtly dishonest and immoral politics are nothing new.

  • worcestergirl on September 23, 2011 3:40 PM:

    Actually, the media problem is even worse.

    Remember how the media had a grand old time painting Gore as a liar for remarks he never made about the internet? Ole Ceci Connolly and her pals had a great time with that one.

    Not to avoid mentioning Clinton's impeachment for the world's most famous blow job. "I did not have sex with that woman" was blasted all over the place.

    Similarly, the "John Kerry is a hopeless flip flopper" theme arouse out of a single (slightly inarticulate) quote in which he said he changed his mind about voting for a bill because the committee version had funding and the one on the floor didn't. Hardly earth shattering stuff, but anything will do for the washington insider set.

    The media have no problem with taking thin or no evidence to brand Democrats with whatever Homeric epithet they deem appropriate. So it's always John "the flip flopper" Kerry, but never Mitt "the flip flopper" Romney.

  • blondie on September 23, 2011 3:43 PM:

    Ooooh, kevo, I like that idea! I'd sign up to be a Fair Witness in a heartbeat.

  • Bartender on September 23, 2011 3:50 PM:

    The lies the Republicans tell pretty much fall on deaf ears until the election year and even then most voters (aka the "low information" independents) won't tune in until well into the primary season. That said, THAT's when the DNC should prepare a TV ad campaign (perhaps similar to Dave Letterman's top 10?) of the top 10 Republican lies of the week and beat it like a drum week after week. By then there will be so much amunition in the RNC lying coffers voters might finally get a clearer picture of the political fog that turns them off from getting involved sooner. Forget the detail. Just accurately list the facts as to their LIES - not "falsehoods". But for now, let the right expend their energy and money on their silly arguments. It simply doesn't matter a whole lot right now.

  • Rob on September 23, 2011 3:51 PM:

    What happened to the MSM reporters that so roundly mocked Al Gore for inventing the internet? The current crop of Republican candidates should be a goldmine for those guys?

  • jjm on September 23, 2011 3:53 PM:

    Well, when you get media 'fact checks' like the AP's ludicrous 'checking' on Obama's jobs plan (it had to issue a correction, but by then...), then you have to realize the media is so up to its neck in political partisanship on the GOP side that that avenue of checking is hopeless.

    Goebbels Gossip, that's what I call it. A malicious repeated often enough becomes the 'truth.' That part about repetition is what people tend to forget about the theory of the big lie.

    The Democrats need a point man or woman who is both famous (like Bill Clinton) who will get up and say, a la Joe Wilson, "You Lie!" to EVERYTHING a member of the GOP says, whether it's actually a lie or not.

    Chances are he or she'd be right 99% of the time.

  • AMS on September 23, 2011 4:00 PM:

    The media are too cowed by constant conservative accusations of liberal bias to call out lies for what they are. They are worried about losing (even more) readership/viewership and (probably more to the point) advertising dollars. So they equivocate, euphemize and engage in the infamous "false equivalency" stuff. Like Candy Crowley noted above, they may not think it's their job to make value judgments about claims, but merely to report them. This, of course, gives a huge advantage to those willing to lie through their teeth---just put it out there and the media will do the rest! Steve is right---if it's reported on "the news"---especially repeatedly---people will naturally think there's some truth to it.

    And Steve hit the nail on the head when he said that calling out lies won't matter much anyway because the right has been trained to disbelieve anything not from their own sources. But I think commentators (as opposed to mere reporters of the "facts") have to keep at it---to give up is to abandon any counterweight to the untruths.

    I just read on the Politico website that public distrust of the media is at an all-time high and that the vast majority of people surveyed still think the media has a liberal bias. So there you have it.

    Personally, I think the current economic malaise has scared so many people on such a fundamental level that they can't think straight. They're hurting, they don't see things getting better, they're looking for identifiable groups/individuals to blame, and they are very vulnerable to appeals to their emotions. This is an especially fertile environment for demagoguery, distortion and outright lying. If we ever pull out of this, I hope there will be a collective brain-clearing headshake and a mass utterance of King Theoden's line from Lord of the Rings: "Dark have been my dreams of late." We can only hope....

  • Mitch on September 23, 2011 4:04 PM:

    "Its awfully hard to fight stuff this brazen."

    No, it is not. It may be hard to WIN; but it is easy to fight.

    If Dems (and, especially Obama) repeatedly pointed out the lies (and CALL THEM LIES NOT DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, NOT POINTS OF VIEW: LIES. L.I.E.S.) then the media would latch onto the controversy. Even if the media took the Republican's side, the controversy would help to shine a light on it. The facts are on our side but elected Dems seem nearly unable to state them.

    Call out the lies. Call them lies. State the Facts. Over and over, every time a camera is on you, until you are blue in the face. Until the media has no choice but at least acknowledge that Dems say the Repugs lie.

    That is how you fight Lies.

    Yes, you might not win, but at least you are standing for something, at least you are putting up a fight. It is impossible to win if you do not fight.

    After all, the Repugs have no problem being confrontational, vile and insulting when they speak of us. Why should we restrain ourselves to being polite to them. Especially with so much at stake.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 23, 2011 4:22 PM:

    There is CLEARLY only ONE solution. Democrats have to use the media as it exists. Note that when Obama made his AJA and debt reduction proposals, he commanded the headlines. For days. The media will give the space to those that are making noise. It's that simple. Democrats don't need to -- and shouldn't -- lie to get headlines like the Republicans; what they need to do is repeatedly call the Republicans out. Let no lie go unnoticed, uncommented, and unrenounced. Do it shrilly. Every one. Hell, everyday just get up and list the Republican lies. Every one of them.

    Make Republicans the party of stupid. They are. Make them the party of lies. They are. Make them the party of the rich. They are. It's not that difficult.

    Will it happen? No. We're talking about Democrats, here. Milquetoasts. Walter Middy's. Neville Chamberlain's. No hormone Democrats.

  • Dennis on September 23, 2011 4:29 PM:

    What should we do? We need to consistently call out the Republicans and call them liars. Every day. We can't expect the press to do that for us. The press won't cover the GOP lies unless we relentlessly point them out. In addition, we need to aggressively point out the radical GOP agenda on such core issues as Social Security, Medicare and taxes. We need to let the voters know how dangerous a Republican President would be. Once again, we can't count on the press to do this.

  • Pea on September 23, 2011 4:30 PM:

    Get jon stewart et al to promote Kessler,s pinocchio scale so it becomes as familiar as siskel and ebert,s thumbs up/down rating for movie and use it constantly. Also liked idea of using terms LIE and LIAR instead of euphamisms that seem to excuse the behavior and fail to nail the evil intent. Call it what it is --over and over and over til public and journalists begin ti use it themselves.

  • s9 on September 23, 2011 4:40 PM:

    "What�s to be done when the discourse is broken? I don�t know, but I�m open to suggestion."

    No, Steve... I don't believe you are.

    What you are observing here is a force that cannot be opposed by reasonable application of incremental liberal reforms. To do something about this problem will require a radical action, which you are obviously not constitutionally able to contemplate as a serious alternative to the usual liberal approach to politics. You are only open to suggestions that fit with your liberal paradigm, and there aren't going to be any that make any practical sense.

    It's a problem that you should, at least, accept that you are powerless to address. Until you do that, you're going to keep coming across like you're fooling yourself about what you're up against.

  • Anon on September 23, 2011 4:45 PM:

    Again, this is why is must just be a blast to be a Republican. Say whatever you want, make stuff up. You have an army of fellow senators, representatives, an entire news network, and talk radio ready to back you up and repeat it until it becomes true. How liberating! Nothing you say ever has consequence or repercussions. And if you do get called on it you get to rear back, feign outrage, and bemoan the lack of civility in modern politics, and then THAT becomes the story.

    And of course the media plays a role in it by not calling them out. And if Dems do call them out, then it's just "partisan bickering" and "who can tell who's right?".

  • Anonymous on September 23, 2011 4:54 PM:

    Well, Mary Landrieu just read Darrell Issa's letter begging Energy Secretary Chu for two clean energy loans.

    The newspapers I read, one of which is the NYT, somehow overlooked that fact as did my other local paper, headlining the "Obama" Solyndra 'scandal' and falling in lockstep with Issa's argument that the loan program is a scandal.

    Where is Joe Wilson for the Democrats?

    Well, we do have God, in the form of Morgan Freeman, calling out the Tea Party's racism, saying that Obama's presidency stirred the muddy waters where racism had been lurking beneath the surface....

  • Chris - IL on September 23, 2011 4:57 PM:

    Most of these liars are also patting themselves on the back for being more religious than the rest of us. Using the 'L' word is a step in the right direction, but I still want to hear someone use the phrase "false witness" when discussing Michelle Bachmann. It's a phrase her followers can't ignore.

  • jjm on September 23, 2011 5:00 PM:

    I meant to say Landrieu read Issa's begging letters out loud on the Senate floor and for the record.

  • AnonymousCog on September 23, 2011 5:01 PM:

    The answer to defeating Republican lies is not in correcting each lie individually. That's what rational, talking-head bloggers and pundits on the left believe, as well as how they make their living. As can now be seen in bald relief, reason is literally beside the point to both for Republican electorate and the candidates pandering to same.

    The correct answer is to obliterate the Republican brand in a non-stop, scorched earth siege that never, ever relents. That such things can be done has been ably demonstrated by the Republicans in compelling liberals to rebrand themselves as progressives.

    What's particularly disappointing to me is that the Republican party has been teed up for just this kind of committed, long-term attack, yet Democrats have failed at it utterly. Start with Obama's idiotic attempts to seek reasonable compromise with people who have foam coming out of their mouths and work your way back and you'll see how much time has been wasted.

    Where are the adds pointing out that the economy almost always does better under Democrats? Where are the ads talking about how Democrats believe in a fair playing field for everyone? Coherence surrenders to a sea of blather belched forth by a cadre of observers who want to be the smartest in the room.

    You couldn't draw up a plan against a weaker enemy, and yet the Democrats still can't do it. It's pathetic. The word Republican should, by any measure, be synonymous with failure, and yet they still stand proud.

    Obama -- a Democrat, and a black one to boot -- was made commander-in-chief by the American people. He was given the task of national security when that had largely been a Republican strong point until Bush/Cheney abused that power. What other signal do Democrats need? What other obvious goading must they have in order to take the collective fight to the very people who gave us the mess we're not trying to get out of?

    Like I said: it's pathetic.

  • Peter C on September 23, 2011 5:10 PM:

    I think we need to express outrage when we are lied to, i.e. "HOW DARE YOU LIE TO ME LIKE THAT!"

    Sadly, most public events are so staged and managed that ordinary people don't get to confront politicians or news celebrities. I think they need to be put on the spot and forced to face our righteous indignation at their disrespect.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 23, 2011 5:17 PM:

    I wish everyone would send what they just wrote to the DNCC. Here's the e-address:

    http://www.dccc.org/page/s/contact

  • Rob S. on September 23, 2011 6:14 PM:

    My thought -- and no one will go for this -- is use the words "bullshit" and "horseshit" in a very calculated, not off-the-cuff manner. There will be a *huge* outcry for coarsening the discourse, but at least part of the coverage will cover the claim... and say yes, it's a coarse assessment, but it's not wrong. At a time when everyone's paying attention because someone said a naughty word.

  • JD on September 23, 2011 6:23 PM:

    Steve, you've put your finger on what is, at bottom, the central political issue we face. My hope and prayer is that there will be some dramatic moment that illustrates the shameless dishonesty of the Republican party, kind of like when Gingrich had his hissy fit about Air Force One.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 23, 2011 6:30 PM:

    @Rob S.: I'm for it. But we need to get the limp-wristed Democrats from being afraid of their shadows.

  • Schtick on September 23, 2011 6:34 PM:

    worcestergirl, you nailed it. If a dem makes an incorrect remark, even if they correct themselves before they finish their sentence, it's plastered all over the media 24/7 for the rest of time.
    I would suggest to hit them in the pocketbook, but that's a big order when those with the money are controlling the whole slant on every single thing being said.
    The "Top Ten Lies of the Debates" would be good because every single person in the debates would be listed. Then "Top Ten Lies of the Week From the Party of No" when there isn't a debate and as it gets closer to the election, it could be "Lie of the Day From the Party of No".
    I think the media would have to be included with "Media Lie of the Week for the Party of No". When they can print or report any lie they want and make a lame effort to correct just to say they did, they need to be called out on their partisanship, too.


    crapcha....contains seduste....it does

  • s9 on September 23, 2011 9:22 PM:

    Rob S., actually, as small incremental moves go, that one is better than most. Most of what the GOP does is better described as "bullshit" than lies anyway, and the good news is that you can haul out Harry Frankfurter's scholarly treatise on the subject as a defense when people whine about coarsening the discourse.

    Still, it's not a substitute for deploying a campaign of massive civil disobedience around the corporate headquarters of all the major news media corporations and demanding a thorough cleansing of their entire editorial staff.

  • Doug on September 23, 2011 10:18 PM:

    There's a slight problem. Should If Democrats start referring to statements by Republicans as lies, the debate will no longer be over WHAT was said, but over the allegation.
    While Republicans revel in headlines, Democrats worry about content and I can't see anyway to change that without causing more harm to Democrats than the Republicans. Remember, WE don't have propaganda outlets available that Republicans do; ie, Fox, the MSM, "conventional wisdom" quoting "pundits", or complaiscent (or is it complicit?) Sunday interviewers.
    Digs at the factual basis of statements by Republicans could be done safely. Something on the order of "Sen. X's staff should check out his statement better", perhaps? Let the viewer decide whether Sen. X is lying or just stupid. If the viewer isn't already a rabid partisan, that discovery will be all the greater in its' immpact.
    Direct accusations of deliberately lying should be left to those who practice it - Republicans...

  • Keeping Track on September 23, 2011 11:28 PM:

    Someone quite influential on the right has closely studied German history and the lesson has not been lost on them. Goebbel's Big Lie method of propaganda had three ingredients: 1.The source of the Lie must be someone or some group viewed as having authority by the Targets (in this case, American voters). The Right has established this by kidnapping a major American party with a distinguished history of service and many traditional supporters. 2. The Lie HAS TO BE BIG, so outrageous, outlandish and over-the-top that your average person seeing an authority figure saying the Lie again and again begins to think, "it sounds illogical but they must know something I don't. They simply wouldn't lie so blatantly." 3. The Lie has to be mass propagated synchronously, so the entire population is blanketed with the Big Lie at the same time. They hear it coming at them from every direction including their neighbors. Control of the mass media is essential for this. Goebbels had control of every word on the airwaves or in print. The Right directly controls Fox and many radio sources, and indirectly controls most of the MSM, through unspoken editorial policies, and clearly biased hiring and firing practices, cowing potential media criticism. It's obvious that the Lies are synchronized, with many examples of diverse rightwing media personalities spouting exactly the same Lie on the same day, word-for-word. The mechanism for instant propagation is not clear, but there are many possibilities, everything from mass-faxing to text messages. The implication is that Republican talking points have a single source with lots of clout, good word-smiths and lots of focus groups. It's probably a clandestine committee of political operatives, working for a tight-knit group of extremely wealthy people with an agenda of shared, self-interested goals, i.e. money. Such an organization is the very definition of anti-small d-democracy. What is now a plaything of the very wealthy may easily and swiftly fall into the hands of some truly evil people, with disastrous consequences for the US and the world. May God help us, and shine a light upon this darkness.

  • David V. on September 24, 2011 12:01 AM:

    Santorum declared on Fox that he didn't hear the "couple of boos" during last night's "debate." He added, that if he had, he would have said something. What a lying coward.

  • Varecia on September 24, 2011 12:30 AM:

    Prominently post here on this blog a 'Spineless Media Wimps' list, and every media person who allows a lie to go unchallenged gets their mug and network posted on the list. Kind of like a Rogues Gallery of the media.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 24, 2011 10:31 AM:

    @Schtick: the "party of NO" would be taken by the Tea-hadists as a badge of honor. I humbly suggest "the party of debt." And that can be proven:

    "http://www.offthechartsblog.org/what’s-driving-projected-debt/"

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3490

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 24, 2011 10:33 AM:

    @Varecia: that idea has a lot of promise. Perhaps it would add to make the Wimps list mirrored on scores of sympathetic liberal/progressive sites so that wuss Dems would confidently feel the public scorn would be fairly sure to tar them.

  • Patango on September 24, 2011 1:43 PM:


    @Varecia & DisgustedWithItAll , I say we do that and make a petition and target one media out let at a time , not only shaming them , but targeting their money source , I want to contact Wash Monthly and Think Progress and see if they are interested in getting something like that off the ground

    donovan_445@hotmail.com

  • Anonymous on September 24, 2011 2:03 PM:


    "" DisgustedWithItAll on September 23, 2011 5:17 PM:

    I wish everyone would send what they just wrote to the DNCC. Here's the e-address:

    http://www.dccc.org/page/s/contact ""


    Great idea , just did exactly that ...

  • Peter Pitchford on September 24, 2011 6:03 PM:

    The obvious answer is that anyone who thinks they are lying should say so. So Obama, for example, should say so. And as long as he and other leaders like him refuse to speak that truth, we will be stuck with the lies.

    I forsee two objections, A) It won't do any good because obviously Obama is not a neutral party, so it becomes he said she said, and B)it would lead to a collapse of bipartisanship.

    Both objections are not valid, A) because the truth speaks for itself, no matter who says it, but someone needs to say it, and B) what biparisanship?

    The practice of lying so much its hard to believe anyone would lie that much is of course, the modus operandi of Hitlers big lie, and while Obama is telling the truth, he should also point that out.

    And columnists and commentators should be pointing out the lies, and the refusal of leaders to point them out. Until that happens, the lies will continue to grow and to be more and more successful.

    I thing we are just beginning down that long road. It is only in the past year that the campaigns of lies are described for what they are, by writers like Steve, but usually all to politely. We need to be confrontational, and we need to be loud and angry. These are Nazis we are dealing with. They are not "like" Nazis. They are Nazis.

  • JM917 on September 24, 2011 8:52 PM:

    The problem is the mainstream media.

    Please tell me, someone, what prominent TV personality whom the public perceives as "fair," "impartial," and "wise" exists today who could step into the role of Edward R. Murrow, Eric Severeid, Walter Cronkeit, or Huntley/Brinkley and call out the new Joe McCarthys who proliferate all over the landscape.

    And please don't say Maddow or Matthews or their kin, because the general public simply dismisses these truth-tellers as "biased" liberals.

    Not a one of the should-be Murrows, Severeids, Cronkeits, or H/Bs holds forth today on CNN or the other mainstream TV outlets. Nary a one. Crooley and Blitzer are what pass for "impartial," and these phonies are utterly incpable of speaking truth to power.

    One more reason why the USA is hurtling toward its doom.

  • Jim Keating on September 24, 2011 9:38 PM:

    I consider myself a problem solver and you gave me a problem so I did not take it lightly. I know how the Conservatives lie continuously on talk radio. I listen to them every day in order to know what they are up to; therefore, I am very in tune to the problem. I would first look at who we want to convince; there constituents will believe everything they say; therefore, it is contingent on us not to care what they think. It is really a bad idea to try and counter it with the truth because we will spend all of our time in a defensive mode. That is what they want us to do.
    I have a solution. We need to concentrate on their techniques not any individual lie. At every opportunity we must make this technique know. What is their technique? They take situations that are hard to refute, situations that would take research, they
    lie about them daring us to refute them because they are to complicated to refute. We need to study their techniques, then, make them know to the public in an attempt to convince the independents. They are the group that we need to convince. The independents already have a clue to these techniques; however, these techniques must be reinforced, when ever a media
    opportunity is available. In conclusion, make their techniques public knowledge; this will make their lies suspect. Never try to refute the individual lies, this puts us on the defensive and the defensive is exactly where they want us to be. Well that is my solution.

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