Truth vs. Truthiness

I alluded in the last entry to a problem in modern “journalism:” the apparent need to balance a story about party A lying with a story about party B lying, in order to preserve the superficial appearance of impartiality. Even if Party A does lie more than B, we’ve reached a point where this can’t be pointed out without claims of bias surfacing from party A, and being echoed by party A’s loyal mouthpieces, which is enough to muddy the water and prevent any real discussion of the mendacity.

This approach has allowed one party — the GOP — to basically say and do whatever they wanted, knowing full well their lapdogs at Fox would protect them, and knowing mainstream journalists NOT owned by major donors would be too timid to point out that “hey, these guys lie WAY more than the Democrats!”

A logical outgrowth of this is something like the Politifact Lie-of-the-Year thing, where a factually true statement (the GOP sought to end Medicare as we know it) is instead presented as a massive falsehood precisely because the ledger at previously-trustworthy Politifact is so full of Republican lies already that people were claiming Politifact itself was biased.

And, as Krugman points out, this is par for the course today.

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