Why Paul Ryan can’t be a liar: In our view, Alex Pareene is slightly wrong concerning Paul Ryan’s speech.
The Kid wants people to say the word “lie.” We think that’s a fairly dumb thing to do—and a good way to lose a debate.
That said, Pareene is almost surely right concerning the press corps’ reticence. Will the corps be willing to say that Ryan’s speech was grossly dishonest?
So far, Pareene thinks he sees the press corps holding back:
PAREENE (8/30/12): [Ryan’s dishonesty] was an attempt to break the mainstream political press. CNN is constitutionally unable to say “that was a load of tendentious bullshit.”...According to the AP, Ryan took “factual shortcuts!”
Every actual non-idiot reporter present made note of how shameless the entire thing was, but only some feel comfortable saying so. Jim Rutenberg’s New York Times write-up of the speech is the driest and straightest report possible. The AP, which is a bit more tenacious than it used to be, went with “factual shortcuts.”
Ryan’s GM plant story was the most blatant outright lie. The Simpson-Bowles bit—where Ryan blamed Obama for not acting on the debt reduction plan Ryan himself torpedoed—was more a lie of omission, but it was perhaps the one that led the Beltway press to finally note how much this asshole lies. In politics, you can lie about a lot of things with the implicit permission of the political press. You can go around the nation repeating racial dog-whistles about welfare and barely raise an eyebrow. But you do not lie about Simpson-Bowles. Simpson-Bowles is sacred to these people.
That’s why the Washington Post editorial board found themselves sadly forced to sorta call Ryan a liar.
For ourselves, we’d say the Washington Post was fairly tough, especially since they worked on short notice. But the press corps will have a very hard time telling the truth about Ryan’s speech, thanks to a hard master narrative.
To what narrative do we refer? For at least the last twenty years, every Big Liar has been a Democrat—and almost all the big straight-talkers have been major Republicans. This constitutes a deeply engrained press corps master narrative.
Career pundits have refused to challenge this deeply stupid narrative. This includes our “liberal” pundits, who have broken their backs to avoid challenging this proclivity among their mainstream colleagues.
Dearest darlings! Careers are at stake!
Go ahead! Tote it up! Starting with Bill Clinton, all the Big Liars have been Democrats—within the press corps’ novel.
Clinton was novelized as the world’s biggest liar. They even invented a term, “Clintonesque,” to show us how slippery he was.
In 1999, the press handed the title of world’s biggest liar to Clinton’s successor, Vile Gore. When Candidate Gore wouldn’t tell any lies, the press corps invented lies for him.
Kerry was a feckless flip-flopper, even when he wasn't flip-flopping. Hillary was slippery too.
Obama has never been slimed with the Big Liar novel. But who have the truth-tellers been in this era? From which party have the straight-talkers hailed?
John McCain was the world’s most honest man. But so was Colin Powell! He has received a total pass for that bullshit at the UN.
George W. Bush was a plain-spoken fellow who said what he thought. And oh by the way: In recent years, Paul Ryan has emerged as one of the heirs to the truth-teller fortune.
Within the press corps’ disordered brains, has there been a Republican liar since Nixon? If so, we’re not sure who it was.
(Democrats are allowed to be truth-tellers, as long as they challenge their party from the right concerning budget matters. The Democratic truth-tellers have been at least four: Tsongas, Bradley, Kerrey, Moynihan. No matter what these giants said, these giants were telling the truth.)
This stupid narrative is deeply engrained—and liberal intellectual leaders have enabled it every step of the way. A personal note:
Here at THE HOWLER, we have spent many years developing and presenting information about the way Candidate Gore got scammed as the world’s biggest liar. It's an amazing story. Plainly, the press corps' misconduct changed world history.
But so what? With the recent exception of Kevin Drum (more later), you can’t get liberals to talk about that, right to the present day.
People, it simply isn’t done! Do not tell the truth to the public!
For ourselves, we would never have dreamed that any group would behave in the way “career liberals” have done. We would never have thought that you could develop so much information about some subject and have it be so widely ignored—by the very people whose political interests would gain if the information gained currency!
It has been astounding to see the way these very bad people have kept the truth under wraps. And as they’ve kept the truth under wraps, the press corps’ master narrative has hardened.
Slowly but surely, Ryan emerged in recent years as the latest most honest person in the press corps’ serial novel. Ezra was kissing Ryan’s ass just one year ago!
(So smart! So focused on policy!)
Paul Ryan has been the press corps’ most recent Most Honest Person. And uh-oh! When Most Honest People conduct major scams, the press corps has a very hard time saying so. (See Bradley's absurd misconduct during Campaign 2000, including the Willie Horton scam.)
A master narrative is locked in place. The character roles are assigned.
Journalists haven’t been challenged about this ridiculous novel. The public hasn’t been warned about it. It will be hard to paint Ryan as he is. Decades of preconception stand in the way of the truth.
So far, Pareene sees the press corps withholding the truth. They’re caught in the grip of a very bad novel. They’ve been typing their tale a long time.