Friday Grab Bag is BACK!

After several years on hiatus we’re back. 4 or 5 articles that we hope highlight an issue we’re interested in. This week: The Media and the GOP nomination.

In our first article Media Matters calls out the Grey Lady, the Paper of Record for falsely equating the Clinton campaign’s tempest in a teapot problem with Mrs Clinton’s grandparents’ origins and the fairly universal absence of anything approximating truth from anyone in the GOP primary scrum. For the record, Ms. Fiorino, Dr. Carson and Mr Trump in particular are either genuinely delusional or they suffer from a form of lying Turrets syndrome that produces a sort of explosive expulsion of blatant, checkable falsehoods whenever they approach a microphone. You may not completely trust Mrs. Clinton, but the differences are obvious and extreme and our media papers them over with he said, she said banalities. And as for Senator Bernie Sanders, he apparently doesn’t lie … so there’s that.

“I think that as the GOP continues to dissolve into its component parts, racist nativists, corporate shills and religious nags, and as the pure nonsense that drives these groups becomes more clear, the media will struggle more and more for credibility when deploying the “both sides do it” rubric that has served them for a generation.” Scott Price, APV President

Rather than report on the phenomenon of falsehoods from Republican candidates and how those campaigns are responding to reporting and fact checking of those stories, the Times instead chose to create a false equivalence and pretend that the problem is “bipartisan.”
NY Times Stretches To Turn GOP Candidate Lies Into “Bipartisan” Problem

It’s called “Working the Refs” and the GOP and the boys at FOX have a long history of this sort of thing: Seething GOP candidates escalate their CNBC grievances

Eric Alterman at the Nation notes in reference to the CNN debates in October: ’ It would take an entire issue of this magazine merely to catalog the falsehoods Tapper and Hewitt let slide that night. They ran the gamut from national security to economics to vaccination to climate change to immigration. George W. Bush did not “keep us safe,” and it was his administration, not Obama’s, that ensured both the US exit from Iraq and the growth of ISIS. The Iran deal does not rest on self-inspection, and Iran did not invite Russia into Syria. Vaccinations do not cause autism. Climate change is not in doubt, and attempting to address it would not “destroy” the economy. Undocumented immigrants do not cost taxpayers $200 billion a year. Social Security is not going insolvent. Hillary Clinton is not being investigated because she “destroyed government records.”

Believe me, I could go on (and on). These lies, half-truths, and outright crazy statements were so stupid as to be offensive to common sense. And yet because Tapper and Hewitt chose not to challenge them, CNN was not only not supporting democratic debate but actively undermining it.
How the Media Gave Carly Fiorina a Free Pass to Lie About Planned Parenthood

Here’s the wonderful Charlie Pierce: ” I have come to the conclusion that it is very easy to be a Republican presidential candidate. First of all, to paraphrase J.R. Ewing, once you give up truth, the rest is a piece of cake. Second, and most important, you really only have to memorize one answer.”
I Have Come to the Conclusion That It’s Very Easy to Be a Republican Candidate

The problem of course is that people like Pierce and Alterman are on the so called liberal side of things and so must of course be marginalized as partisans while shams like Drudge and Breitbart, sources so prone to lying in their own right that no self-respecting journalist would site them as sources … and yet as everything from the Swift boaters to ACORN to the Planned Parenthood hoax shows, the MSM is deeply complicit in spreading lies that once would have remained on the conservative fringe but now sweep through the internet and cable news like wild fires.

So far no one calls the GOP candidates on their lies. They mention that so and so may have misspoken or have made controversial statements, heavens forbid that Donald Trump is a liar or that Ben Carson or Carly Fiorino are demonstrably delusional or else lying … instead we hear the tired old saw that “both sides do it”. It’s just this type of valueless, conservative relativism taught in ivory towers like Liberty and Regent Universities and spread by FOX and the intertubes that encourages a consequence-free attitude to the truth in the hacks currently running for the most powerful office in the world (how’s that for turning conservative rhetorical tropes on their heads). And PS, if you need a spare Pyramid to store your grain in … I know a guy.

See you next week:)

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