Here’s how the corporate media works: The well known double-talker Mitt Romney makes dubious statements meant to undermine another candidate. Reporters write stories that leave Mitt’s statements unchallenged. Readers are left with the impression that Mitt is stating facts.
It is often days before the dubious statements are challenged in the publication that ran them, usually in a “he said/she said” analysis piece or a blandly worded editorial that impresses no one.
Then, finally, the dubious statements — lies, that is — are totally refuted by a columnist. But it’s implicit that the columnist is only stating opinions, even when he or she is obviously debunking bald-faced lies.
Here’s Paul Krugman, The New York Times’ designated debunker, responding to lies by Mitt Romney that should have been corrected by reporters and editors:
…Mitt Romney has accused President Obama of taking his inspiration from European “socialist democrats” and asserted that “Europe isn’t working in Europe.” The idea, presumably, is that the crisis countries are in trouble because they’re groaning under the burden of high government spending. But the facts say otherwise.
It’s true that all European countries have more generous social benefits — including universal health care — and higher government spending than America does. But the nations now in crisis don’t have bigger welfare states than the nations doing well — if anything, the correlation runs the other way. Sweden, with its famously high benefits, is a star performer, one of the few countries whose G.D.P. is now higher than it was before the crisis. Meanwhile, before the crisis, “social expenditure” — spending on welfare-state programs — was lower, as a percentage of national income, in all of the nations now in trouble than in Germany, let alone Sweden.
It’s a hell of a way to run a news operation, isn’t it?