Perception vs. reality

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Or, how the McCain camp has gone all in trying to eliminated the press from the campaign process. Jonathan Chait at TNR in "Liar's Poker":

After years of portraying him as a uniquely honorable figure in American politics, the national press corps has started to take note of his brazen distortions, a development that may threaten his most precious asset. But we should consider an alternate possibility. Suppose that McCain has committed himself, with the Palin pick, to running a campaign centered around mobilizing the Republican base. He has enjoyed clear success with this since the Palin pick, attracting larger crowds, drawing higher fund-raising totals, and even seeing dramatically higher numbers of voters identifying themselves as Republicans in polls.

If this is McCain's strategy, then a bunch of news reports debunking his claims isn't going to hurt. Indeed it may even help.

P.S. Chait asserts, "McCain's untruths, in their frequency and their audacity, defy any modern historical precedent."

Really? We're pretty sure we could make a compelling case that in 2004 and 2000 George Bush was just as liberal with his campaign trail lies. But for some reason back then, the press didn't think it was its job to fact-check the GOP falsehoods.

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