Mitt Romney recently told Time magazine that “25 million people are out of work because of Barack Obama. And so I’ll compare my experience in the private sector where, net-net, we created over 100,000 jobs.”
Both statements are flat-out lies, but Time won’t tell you that, nor will any other corporate media outlet, as Paul Krugman pointed out in his op-ed last Friday:
Over all, Mr. Obama’s positions on economic policy resemble those that moderate Republicans used to espouse. Yet Mr. Romney portrays the president as the second coming of Fidel Castro and seems confident that he will pay no price for making stuff up.
Welcome to post-truth politics…
But won’t there be some blowback? Won’t Mr. Romney pay a price for running a campaign based entirely on falsehoods? He obviously thinks not, and I’m afraid he may be right.
Oh, Mr. Romney will probably be called on some falsehoods. But, if past experience is any guide, most of the news media will feel as though their reporting must be “balanced,” which means that every time they point out that a Republican lied they have to match it with a comparable accusation against a Democrat — even if what the Democrat said was actually true or, at worst, a minor misstatement.
Obama is far from an FDR — don’t get me started — but the main reason 25 million or so people are out of work is because the economy imploded during the Bush administration, and because Republicans in Congress are doing everything they can to block passage of jobs programs because the 2012 elections are close.
Romney is lying about Obama not creating any jobs, just as he lies about Obama cutting the defense budget.
I mention these facts not because they’re news, but rather because I continue to find it odd that Krugman, alone among mainstream columnists, has repeatedly argued that the notion of balanced reporting — also called “unbiased” or “objective” reporting — is total bunk, a fabrication of the corporate machine that dictates what Americans are supposed to believe.
Krugman uses facts to skewer the myth of balanced reporting every chance he gets, but do you think NYT‘s reporters and editors — or Time, or Politico, and so on — will ever come up with a story headlined “Romney campaign based on falsehoods”? That’ll be the day.
Clarification: This is not to say the NYT decision makers support Romney. The point is that the mainstream media adhere to a narrow set of rules that is, to some extent, supportive of all candidates who embrace the status quo.
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“Romney campaign based on falsehoods”
I have to think that none of the reporters or editors of the various media would have any idea how to write such a story. And why hasn’t Dr Krugman asked any of the NYT editors why they don’t have such stories?
They’d know how to write such stories, but it would mean they’d have to discard all the bullshit they were taught in journalism school and on the job. They’d have to get used to using their heads and work a bit harder, to the point where they would have the facts at hand and print them when lowlife politicians issue lying statements… Many if not most mainstream columnists are former reporters, and therefore refrain from pointing out that the rules of the game forbid reporters from writing anything but “he said/she said” stories — “balanced” stories — which are often worse than no stories at all. Krugman is different partly because of his background. He was and is an academic, and is used to drawing conclusions from facts. (Which, of course, is not to say that all academics can evaluate and write well.)
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