There was once a time when lying in a political speech--and getting called out on it by the media--was shameful or embarrassing.
Now, says Jeff Greenfield, the veteran political analyst and Yahoo! News columnist, the media is held in such low regard by Americans that getting called out for lying merely serves to confirm a widespread belief that the "liberal media" has an axe to grind against conservative politicians.
As a result, the whoppers that dominated Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan's convention speech last night will likely not hurt the candidate's standing with Republican voters, says Greenfield. Rather, they'll reinforce the right-wing view that the media is "in the tank" for President Obama.
What facts in particular were observers and fact-checkers up in arms about?
Well, for starters, there were once again the claims that Obamacare cuts $716 billion of benefits from Medicare and that Paul Ryan wants to preserve Medicare. The truth is that Obamacare reduces payments to hospitals and doctors by $716 billion, not benefits. Also, far from preserving Medicare, after a 10-year grace period, Romney and Ryan want to radically change it.
Then Ryan blamed S&P's downgrade of U.S. debt on Obama, when S&P explained explicitly that its downgrade was the result of Congressional Republicans--Ryan included--threatening to cause the country to default.
Then Ryan accused Obama of lying to voters in his home state by promising to keep a GM plant open for "hundreds of years" after he was elected, only to have it closed in the first year. The truth is that GM closed the plant before Obama took office.
And so on.
Jeff Greenfield says that none of this will matter to voters, who will just blame the media and its silly "fact-checkers." And he's presumably right.
Tell us what you think!
- Politics & Government
- Paul Ryan
- Jeff Greenfield
- President Obama