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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:15 PM

So a month after the election the truth can finally be told.

Last edited Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:52 PM - Edit history (1)

I've been gone for the past few days and just saw this over on Huffington Post so forgive me if this has already been discussed. (I did do a quick search, two pages on DU and saw nothing). Finally a pair of journalists exposes what we all already knew, that the Repugnants were willing to say anything to win this election, and the main stream media were content to sit on the sidelines and let it happen because 1) they didn't want to be accused of the liberal bias, and 2) in many cases their livelihood depended on it, and 3) their networks and show producers wanted to see horserace with a winner by a nose and not by a mile.

"...The Apostasy

Ornstein and Mann's big coming out took place in late April, when the Washington Post's Outlook section published their essay "Admit it. The Republicans are worse", adapted from their book It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, which went on sale a few days later.

Political journalists had no doubt heard similar arguments many times before, mostly from left wing bloggers. But this time the charge was coming from two of the most consistent purveyors of conventional wisdom in town, bipartisan to a fault. ...

..."Post-mortems of contemporary election coverage typically include regrets about horserace journalism, he-said-she-said stenography, and the lack of enlightening stories about the issues.

But according to longtime political observers Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, campaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth.

Mann and Ornstein are two longtime centrist Washington fixtures who earlier this year dramatically rejected the strictures of false equivalency that bind so much of the capital's media elite and publicly concluded that GOP leaders have become "ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."

The 2012 campaign further proved their point, they both said in recent interviews. It also exposed how fabulists and liars can exploit the elite media's fear of being seen as taking sides.

"The mainstream press really has such a difficult time trying to cope with asymmetry between the two parties' agendas and connections to facts and truth," said Mann, who has spent nearly three decades as a congressional scholar at the centrist Brookings Institution.

"I saw some journalists struggling to avoid the trap of balance and I knew they were struggling with it -- and with their editors," said Mann. "But in general, I think overall it was a pretty disappointing performance."

"I can't recall a campaign where I've seen more lying going on -- and it wasn't symmetric," said Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who's been tracking Congress with Mann since 1978. Democrats were hardly innocent, he said, "but it seemed pretty clear to me that the Republican campaign was just far more over the top."

Lies from Republicans generally and standardbearer Mitt Romney in particular weren't limited to the occasional TV ads, either; the party's most central campaign principles -- that federal spending doesn't create jobs, that reducing taxes on the rich could create jobs and lower the deficit -- willfully disregarded the truth.

"It's the great unreported big story of American politics," Ornstein said.

"If voters are going to be able to hold accountable political figures, they've got to know what's going on," Ornstein said. "And if the story that you're telling repeatedly is that they're all to blame -- they're all equally to blame -- then you're really doing a disservice to voters, and not doing what journalism is supposed to do."

Ornstein said the media's failure led him to conclude: "If you want to use a strategy of 'I'm just going to lie all the time', when you have the false equivalence meme adopted by a mainstream press and the other side lies a quarter of the time, you get away with it." ... see link below for rest of the story


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-froomkin/republican-lies-2012-election_b_2258586.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

38 replies, 7536 views

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply So a month after the election the truth can finally be told. (Original post)
politicaljunkie41910 Dec 2012 OP
AldoLeopold Dec 2012 #1
CTyankee Dec 2012 #4
Sugarcoated Dec 2012 #37
Ikonoklast Dec 2012 #10
AldoLeopold Dec 2012 #12
Mojorabbit Dec 2012 #2
Laurian Dec 2012 #3
indepat Dec 2012 #5
CTyankee Dec 2012 #6
Gidney N Cloyd Dec 2012 #8
CTyankee Dec 2012 #16
butterfly77 Dec 2012 #32
CTyankee Dec 2012 #33
MichiganVote Dec 2012 #7
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #22
MichiganVote Dec 2012 #28
WillyT Dec 2012 #9
Unknown Beatle Dec 2012 #11
JaneyVee Dec 2012 #13
Joe Bacon Dec 2012 #19
Martin Eden Dec 2012 #14
2naSalit Dec 2012 #15
Scurrilous Dec 2012 #17
jimmy the one Dec 2012 #18
Gidney N Cloyd Dec 2012 #20
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #25
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #21
jimmy the one Dec 2012 #23
Jennicut Dec 2012 #24
CTyankee Dec 2012 #35
Liberal_Stalwart71 Dec 2012 #26
Coyotl Dec 2012 #27
Bernardo de La Paz Dec 2012 #29
lindysalsagal Dec 2012 #30
Berlum Dec 2012 #31
patrice Dec 2012 #34
Cha Dec 2012 #36
Sugarcoated Dec 2012 #38

Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:23 PM

1. I heard Ornstein interviewed on Terry Gross

He's freaking brilliant and my new hero. What's amazing is that he works for AEI - though he claims he's never been harassed over there.

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Response to AldoLeopold (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:32 PM

4. Ornstein used to be a regular on Al Franken's AirAmerica radio show back in 2005. Al used to

intro him by singing (badly) "NORM in the USA!" until Ornstein told him to knock it off. Al said he thought Norm had the best mind in Washington. It gave me food for thought...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:14 AM

37. I always looked forward to and enjoyed Ornstein's commentary

And I still miss Al's show. Every time Rmoney changed a position on something I could hear his 'Flip.....Flop' bit in my head

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Response to AldoLeopold (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:01 PM

10. Heard that, too. As to being harassed at AEI...

Would *you* want to be the person trying to give Ornstein a hard time?

The guy isn't just a smart guy, he's pretty much smarter that most people, period.

He'd make you beg him to stop making you look foolish.


I'd never want to try, I can make a fool of myself without any help.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:14 PM

12. No. No I would not

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:24 PM

2. This attitude by the press has caused untold damage to this country. IMO nt

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:31 PM

3. The press reporting during the campaign was dismal.

The credibility of the media dropped several notches this cycle. They were basically mouthpieces for the campaigns and did little/nothing to analyze and compare the candidates or their positions. Their quest to find equivalencies for everything was pathetic.

Any Tom, Dick or Hariette could have done as well. Apparently, no knowledge or critical thinking skills are required to report on elections anymore.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:38 PM

5. Considering the above, for der Mittens to have gotten 47% of the vote is

inexplicable, a damning general indictment of the ignorance, lack of cognitive reasoning, and prejudice of a significant portion of the electorate.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:43 PM

6. I have seen almost a sea change in the way the press is handling things these days than back in

2008. The "both sides do it" rhetoric has calmed considerably from what it was, altho it is still there to some extent. Fox is losing its lustre fast. We have some nice liberal shows on msnbc. Ornstein and Mann are just telling the truth. Simple, isn't it?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:26 PM

8. Have to disagree. And maybe it's just my sensitivity that's gone up, but >>>

>>>to me the "both sides do it" stuff this election cycle was beyond the cautious, polite, don't piss off the crazies attitude of past years.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:25 AM

16. It became pretty obvious and laughable. Morning Joe was among the most humorous, what with

Mika being set up as a "liberal" who was just tellin' the truth and backing up Joe at every turn. It didn't take long for people to catch on to the real game.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:29 PM

32. Today.Scar began trotting out..

the so called good republiCONS. The both sides do no matter what the issue,this had me so angry during the campaign.


I had the take a break because I couldn't take all of the lies by the so called liberal media,and this has been going on for decades.

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Response to butterfly77 (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:09 PM

33. well, what do you expect from republicans? Of course they will make the best case they can!

Joe is trying to put lipstick on the pig here. He probably knows it and if he doesn't he's more stupid than I think he is.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:10 PM

7. Not just the press.Since Citizens United-all of TV viewing is a soapox of ads

for some republican political thing or another. None of this is relegated to Fox news alone anymore. Big money is paying big bucks to convince the population of all kinds of things. The sale of the US continues....

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:10 AM

22. We had fewer ads on TV this cycle than in any election I can remember.

We are not a 'swing State' so we don't get that 'soap box of ads'.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:04 PM

28. When they want you, you'll see it too. Ugly here.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:53 PM

9. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!


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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:06 PM

11. What do you expect...

Most of the media in the US is owned by right-wing conservatives.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:42 PM

13. The media has been an abject failure since at least the year 2001. And they've only gotten worse.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:44 AM

19. It's been an abject failure since 1980.

I still remember how most of our corporate controlled conservative press kissed Reagan's ass and worshipped the ground he walked on.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:07 PM

14. Shape of Earth: Views Differ

In their misguided effort to appear balanced, journalists give equal weight to both sides -- even when one side is seriously detached from reality.

Paul Krugman pointed this out in the 2000 election when he said that if GW Bush asserted the Earth was flat, the headline the next day would read (refer to the reply title of this post).

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:13 AM

17. K & R

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:59 AM

18. rate violations by frequency & severity

ornstein: "If you want to use a strategy of 'I'm just going to lie all the time', when you have the false equivalence meme adopted by a mainstream press and the other side lies a quarter of the time, you get away with it."

Similar to what I've been saying for years, that there are two ways to compare violations & offenses: 1) frequency of offenses, and 2) severity of offense.
When you rank offenses by severity (say a scale of light, middlin', heavy), republicans generally have a higher frequency, more offenses compared to democrats, within each category of light, middling, & heavy.

.. campaign violations warrant fines imposed by federal election commission I think it is, and several years back repubs had about double the fines than democrats in campaign violations. Then moveon-dotorg committed some grand (national not local iirc) violation & was fined one of the largest fines ever meted out*, & simply brought the two sides to parity (altho it did remove a good talking point from democrat vocabulary).

Ornstein, in his sentence above, cites the frequency of violations when he notes 'the other side lies a quarter of the time', which would leave 3 quarters of lies by the 'other side', or a 3 to 1 ratio of lies. He doesn't actually say repubs lied 3 times more than dems, but that sounds about right. Then repubs twist this into 'false equivalence' ornstein mentions, bleating 'democrats lie too nyahh nyahh'.
To listen to limbaugh tho, he'd rename democrats the pinocchio party.

* about a million dollarios iirc.

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Response to jimmy the one (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:46 AM

20. Math's not my thing but if 1 side lies all the time and the other side lies a quarter of the time...

...isn't that actually a 4:1 ratio?

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:00 PM

25. I agree. Just because one side lies 1/4 of the time it doesnt restrict the other side to only 3/4 of

the time. They still can lie 100% of the time.

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Response to jimmy the one (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:05 AM

21. Snopes

Go to snopes. They have a whole section on politically based myths. The ratio of democratic/liberal/left myths to wing nut myths is AT LEAST 4 to one.

The "big lie" that absolutely no one is talking about is how for months this year leading up to the election, ALL of the media kept talking about how "close" the race was, and how much of a "toss up" it was. Problem is the math just doesn't support that. First of all, even the campaigns had it all down to about 8 states by June. Second, both campaigns virtually agreed on all the other states and that left Obama with a VERY large lead in the EC. Almost any rational analysis would have it approaching "insurmountable" by all but the most extrodinary events. By late summer, Nate had Obama winning by a 75% chance and it only ever dipped into the mid '60s, and not for very long. Any rational, balance, honest, story on the election would have had to discuss it in these terms. Any rational discussion would have been about what Romney would have to do to "catch up" or "get in the race" or any other bit of boiler plate. Any honest analysis would have discussed Romney TOTAL lack of progress AT ALL over the summer to make any progress. But week after week I would watch practically EVERYONE talk about how close, about minor changes in national polls, and nary a word about the FACT that the race wasn't anywhere CLOSE at all.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:37 AM

23. I think we're both wrong, gidney

gidney: isn't that actually a 4:1 ratio?

You have a point that my 3 to 1 ratio is likely not what ornstein implied. I took it, possibly errantly, that if dems lied 1/4 the time then the remaining time was 3/4, which would indeed be 3 to 1. But that's not what ornstein meant (mea culpa), and since he didn't note how often 'repubs' lied, I don't think we can say for sure what ornstein thinks the proportion is.
I doubt ornstein meant repubs lied 'all the time' which would make your 4-1 ratio correct, but alas I doubt we'll ever know. But if he meant dems lied 1/4 the time compared with repubs, then you'd be correct.

that's a new name for me, gidney, never come across it before. Btw, I'm not an egotist nor some grandiose 'one' savior. Jimmy the one is an english naval term for the executive officer on board RMS ships of size, there's a 'jimmy' on board who is second in command behind their captain. We call USN captains 'the old man' similarly. Developed from King James-I, king james the first, somehow, jimmy the first etc.
I just adopted it as appropo to an english msg bd I frequent, & held on to it, you know how screennames stick sometimes.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:44 AM

24. Mittens ran a campaign so full of lies it was laughable.

And sad that many in the media did not call them out. We had Big Ed, Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell calling out the lies. Maybe a few more liberal pundits. But on CNN? Pitiful. The big 3 broadcast nightly news was all false equivalence. Faux became a parody of itself on election night. Abysmal performance and that was just on tv. Online and in newspapers was not much better.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:41 AM

35. while in the earlier hours Morning Joe was telling us all that "this thing is really close."

Joe would get that serious look on his face and say it over and over again. He tried SO hard. But the election reality really bit him in the ass, didn't it?

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:24 PM

26. The Corporate Media isn't even making the point that Mittens only got 47% of the vote.

It would ruin their narrative than the race is/was "close".

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:58 PM

27. Truth be told, they couldn't find two wise men in the Republican party

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:59 PM

29. Thanks for posting. I almost posted yesterday but assumed it already had been since days old. nt

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:05 PM

30. THanks. Glad I didn't miss this.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:28 PM

31. the k

and the r

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:13 PM

34. Media's failure includes "entertainment" that in most instances is either infantalized or

gratuitously and extremely violent.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:02 AM

36. Yeah, I think we noticed, lol!

Ornstein said the media's failure led him to conclude: "If you want to use a strategy of 'I'm just going to lie all the time', when you have the false equivalence meme adopted by a mainstream press and the other side lies a quarter of the time, you get away with it."


The Miracle is .. we beat the Koch Party and the US corporatemediawhore Plutocrats WITH FACTS! Thank Goodness for Social Media.. Twitter, The Net, Etc, Etc, Etc~

But, I want the US corporate media to be held accountable. We have some truths getting through but they all should be clamoring to get the REAL NEWS FIRST.. Not, the celebrity rag route like the Globe(who can tell the ugliest LIES).

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:19 AM

38. It's become

Infotainment.

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