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History of political lying - Rick Perlstein - fascinating

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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:13 PM
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History of political lying - Rick Perlstein - fascinating

Inside the GOP's Fact-Free Nation
From Nixon's plumbers to James O'Keefe's video smears: How political lying became normal.

IT TAKES TWO THINGS to make a political lie work: a powerful person or institution willing to utter it, and another set of powerful institutions to amplify it. The former has always been with us: Kings, corporate executives, politicians, and ideologues from both sides of the aisle have been entirely willing to bend the truth when they felt it necessary or convenient. So why does it seem as if we're living in a time of overwhelmingly brazen deception? What's changed?

Today's marquee fibs almost always evolve the same way: A tree falls in the forestsay, the claim that Saddam Hussein has "weapons of mass destruction," or that Barack Obama has an infernal scheme to parade our nation's senior citizens before death panels. But then a network of media enablers helps it to make a sounduntil enough people believe the untruth to make the lie an operative part of our political discourse.



CONSERVATIVES hardly have a monopoly on dissembling, of courseconsider "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Progressives' response has always been that right-wing mendacitycover-ups of constitutional violations like Iran-Contra; institutionalized truth-corroding tactics like when the Republican National Committee circulates fliers claiming that Democrats seek to outlaw the Bibleis more systematic. But the deeper problem is a fundamental redefinition of the morality involved: Rather than being celebrated, calling out a lie is now classified as "uncivil." How did that happen?

There evolved a new media definition of civility that privileged "balance" over truth-tellingeven when one side was lying. It's a real and profound changeone stunningly obvious when you review a 1973 PBS news panel hosted by Bill Moyers and featuring National Review editor George Will, both excoriating the administration's "Watergate morality." Such a panel today on, say, global warming would not be complete without a complement of conservatives, one of them probably George Will, lambasting the "liberal" contention that scientific facts are factsand anyone daring to call them out for lying would be instantly censured. It's happened to me more than onceon public radio, no less.

In the same vein, when the Obama administration accused Fox News of not being a legitimate news source, the DC journalism elite rushed to admonish the White House. Granted, they were partly defending Major Garrett, the network's since-departed White House correspondent and a solid journalistbut in the process, few acknowledged that under Roger Ailes, another Nixon veteran, management has enforced an ideological line top to bottom.
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pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:34 PM
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1. lies imprison...
'conservative' means, simply, to 'stop change', or 'conserve' status and the biggest lie extant is that the reactionary right is 'conservative' or indeed ever have been 'conservative! Since regan's time, the reactionary right has schemed to destroy the 'liberal democracy' that the USA once was. (see 'gulf of tonkin' conjob and 58000 dead US soldiers!) And they've succeeded. Beyond the wildest dreams! The real 'conservatives' since 1980 regan selection has been the leftwing socialists- who've been trying to preserve what once was, it's universally agreed, a fabulous, FUN and free society! All the big tough men, however, starting with john wayne and dirty harry and rambo and so on ad nazism didn't even know they were KILLING for the worst enemy the USA ever had ie the racist/fascast reactionary rightwing! The Nazis, in effect....
Lookit all those big tough police officers and soldiers nowadays FIGHTING LIKE HELL/killing with pleasure, for society's true enemy, the rightwing liars& thieves. Wow
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:45 PM
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2. Same formula works in reverse to cover the truth.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:51 PM
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3. knr nt
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Keith Bee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 01:24 AM
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4. 'twas ever thus
Adam was told that he would die on the day he bit the apple. :shrug:
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