Lying to Win

| 9/15/2008 2:05:31 PM

McCain at Rally

Fact checkers have been all over John McCain lately, exposing a bevy of fibs, half-truths, and straight-up lies emanating from his campaign. Even Karl Rove, the king of political dirty tricks, scolded the campaign (and Obama’s) this weekend for going too far. But McCain’s troops have paid their critics little attention.

Why? Because lying works, according to Farhad Manjoo, writing for Slate. Manjoo calls facts “a stock of faltering value.” He says the increasingly fragmented media landscape “lets us consume news that we like and avoid news that we don’t, leading people to perceive reality in a way that conforms to their long-held beliefs.”

Blogging for the Nation, Ari Berman looks back at a 2004 Ron Suskind piece from the New York Times Magazine that noted the irrelevance of facts in the Bush administration:

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

The McCain camp seems to agree. Berman quotes the campaign’s response to stories about their truth-stretching: “We recognize it's not going to be 2000 again. But he lost then. We're running a campaign to win. And we're not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.”

Bennett Gordon
9/24/2008 10:28:33 AM

Interesting report on the "Obama" lies. Too bad the author admits that any connection to Obama or his campaign is "pure conjecture on my part." Explosive!

9/24/2008 9:58:18 AM

@CF: wow, hilarious. Sorry...couldn't find the "about us" section of this Jawa Report site, but it sure doesn't seem very credible, what with its Star Wars references, editor "titles" of Editor in Chief, Sith Master, Admiral, and Pimptastick Blog Overlord (really??) and obvious complete bias. Try finding a credible source for your information before you post here. Additionally, I like that the potential mistruths in a YouTube video (jesus, everyone knows how credible and highly regarded YouTube videos are), with a long and shady alleged connection to the "behind-the-scenes" Obama campaign is compared to OUTRIGHT lies in McCain's own campaign commercials. "I'm John McCain and I approved this message." You don't have to search for that conspiracy!!! There are a lot of posts out there in cyberspace with ridiculous lies about Obama, too. Let's stick to the real issues.

9/22/2008 8:12:04 PM

Let's hold the sanctimony please. Here is a devastating study of how Sen. Obama's troops are lying to win, and it is much more troubling than the usual politics. UTNE and fellow UTNE readers, are you honorable enough to look at yourselves and absorb the ramifications of this investigation? "Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated "Grassroots" Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them"

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