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Romney Ad Exposes Media's Chronic Inability To Use The Word 'Lie'

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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:43 AM
Original message
Romney Ad Exposes Media's Chronic Inability To Use The Word 'Lie'
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 10:47 AM by Stuart G
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/22/mitt-romney-ca...

Huffington Post
Jason Linkins
First Posted: 11/22/11 06:19 PM ET Updated: 11/23/11 11:33 AM ET

GOP 2012 contender Mitt Romney's recent ad has gotten a ton of attention from the press because it contains a brief clip of President Barack Obama saying these words, consecutively, in order: "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." BOOM! What a clip, right? Why did Barack Obama say such a thing in public? Oh, that's right, he said those words consecutively and in order because back in 2008, an aide to John McCain said those words consecutively and in order, and Obama quoted that aide to use the words against McCain -- whose campaign, if you recall, did not exactly handle the 2008 economic collapse all that well.

As everyone points out, Romney's use of the words out of context is misleading. But it seems that what very few people are willing to say, as Too Much Joy once sang, is: "That's a lie. You're a liar."

I think that accounts for much of what's going on. People in the political media just doesn't take well to calling people liars, probably because if they did, they'd spend so much time doing that that people might get cynical or something! And anyway, a lot of these people will at some point want access to Mitt Romney, and if he's going to hold it against you for pointing out that he lies and is a liar, you may not get that ratings-goosing sit down with a major candidate for office.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:11 PM
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1. the reason is that "lie" implies intent to deceive, and it's very difficult to prove that.
even when it's transparently obvious to the casual observer, technically there's rarely actual proof that a political falsehood is an actual lie.

that's why they stick to describing such statements as "misleading" or "deceptive" because those are properties only of the statement itself; whereas, "lie" is a property about a statement (that it is false) as well as the speaker (that they knew it was false and meant to tell a falsehood).

for similar reasons, when someone kills someone else, they describe it as "homicide" rather than "murder" because prior to a guilty verdict, it's often very difficult for the media to prove the intent part of "murder". the most they will do is use the term "alleged murder", which again sticks to the easily verified facts -- that someone was ACCUSED of murder, without taking a position on whether or not they actually DID commit murder.
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savalez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:46 PM
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2. That's why this video needs to go viral
Mitt endorses Obama.

http://youtu.be/AR4uMW84GkY
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