Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Back in 2010 I posted about a new political science term that has come to define our era, "post truth politics." See, for example David Roberts at Grist, Democrats should stop trying to change politics with policy concessions (March 31, 2010).
Paul Waldman writes at the American Prospect, Lies Are the New Truth: How you defend the indefensible:
Newt [Gingrich] went on Anderson Cooper 360 to talk about Mitt Romney's new welfare attack ad, which falsely accuses Obama of ending work requirements in welfare, and what he said was truly remarkable, even for him. Now, let me be absolutely clear about something. I've been paying very, very close attention to political ads for a long time. In my former career as an academic I did a lot of research on political ads. I've watched literally every single presidential general election campaign ad ever aired since the first ones in 1952. I've seen ads that were more inflammatory than this one, and ads that were in various ways more reprehensible than this one (not many, but some). But I cannot recall a single presidential campaign ad in the history of American politics that lied more blatantly than this one.
You can get the details on those lies here or here, but it's something quite rare in politics. Usually candidates deceive voters by taking something their opponent says out of context, or giving a tendentious reading to facts, or distorting the effects of policies. But in this case, Romney and his people looked at a policy of the Obama administration to allow states to pursue alternative means of placing welfare recipients in jobs, and said, "Well, how about if we just say that they're eliminating all work requirements and just sending people checks?" I have no idea if someone in the room said, "We could say that, but it's not even remotely true," and then someone else said, "Who gives a crap?", or if nobody ever suggested in the first place that this might be problematic. But either way, they decided that they don't even have to pretend to be telling the truth anymore.
"We accept a lot of ridiculous spin in politics, but this is something entirely different."
Ryan Cooper at the Political Animal blog adds, Will Mitt Romney’s Bet on Lying Pay Off?:
Romney’s straight-up bald-faced lying pushes the Republican ability to strong-arm mainstream journalists to the very limit. It’s a slap in the face whose arrogant contempt couldn’t be more obvious. Romney is saying to the press, “You’re stupid, and gullible, and I dare you to call a spade a spade.”
Now, someone betting on journalistic integrity in this country would lose a lot of money. But ... it seems to me that we have a decent shot of getting these lies covered for what they are.
Or not. See the both sides do it false equivalency reporting from the AP (All Propaganda) in the Arizona Daily Star today. Romney, Obama blame each other for attack ads.