Saturday, November 26, 2011


They're Still At It

In my last post I banged on a bit about the republican tendency to lie and think it's OK to do so. The border between truth and falsehood has become so porous for the US right that they slip to and fro without any twinge of conscience. Chris McGreal's recent report reveals how blatant doctoring of Obama's filmed speeches are being used in TV ads to make it seem like he is saying outrageously self damaging things.

Romney's campaign ad is airing on TV stations in New Hampshire, which holds its primary in January. It shows the president saying: "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose."

The ad appears to have the president admitting he is vulnerable on the economy. But Obama's words were from his 2008 campaign, and he was quoting a statement by a strategist for his Republican opponent, John McCain, who was the one on the back foot over the economy.

Perry's ad shows a short soundbite of Obama saying: "We've been a little bit lazy I think over the last couple of decades."

The ad switches to Perry saying: "Can you believe that? That's what our president thinks is wrong with America – that Americans are lazy. That's pathetic."

But a viewing of Obama's full statement shows that he was saying the US government had been lazy in attracting foreign investment.

When challenged on Fox news, itself not above distorting the facts, Perry defended his ad saying : "I think he's talking about Americans … I think that's exactly what he's talking about,"

Darrell West, Director of the respected Brookings Institution gave his explanation why rightwing politicians are apparently ignoring the difference between truth and falsehood:

politicians are less concerned about being exposed by reporters. "Politicians think that the news media have completely collapsed, based on the financial crisis, and so they are acting as if there's no accountability and they can say whatever they want," he said.

"They know the news media don't have the same credibility as they had in the past. They think they can say whatever they want and get away with it."

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