Monday, October 09, 2006

You've got call to call B.S. or it will become historical "fact"

I've written before about the Republican technique of getting the lie out there and letting it become "part of the record" but seldom have I seen a more blatant and quickly assimilated lie than the notion that, as soon as he heard about the IMs, Hastert told Foley to resign or be forced out. I pointed out earlier that this has been unequivocally debunked by ThinkProgress but all weekend, the talking heads kept letting Republicans repeat the lie without calling them on it.

DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel was on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos with Rep. Adam Putnam, who was filling in for RCCC Chairman Thomas Reynolds, who had unexpectedly cancelled on short notice. Crooks and Liars has the video.

Emanuel did an otherwise credible job, but he let Putnam get away with saying "within hours of the explicit e-mails coming to light, they demanded Foley's resignation". What Emanuel (and the other Dems on TV) should have done is jumped up and said: No! That's a lie! He did no such thing and, while I can understand why you now wish he had, the fact is, Foley quit before the IMs became public. In fact, he quit because he couldn't get ABCNews to not release them. Hastert has already said that he only found out about them after ABCNews made them public and that was hours after Foley had resigned. So what you just said is not true and you know it. Why do you persist in lying like this to everyone?

Some things are matters of opinion but time-lines are matters of fact and we've got to call them on it. As Clinton showed, attempts to spread B.S. like this call for finger wagging and frank language and demands that the liars "tell the truth".

This bugs Glenn Greenwald too. As he says about RNC
Chairman, Ken Mehlman and former RNC Chair Ed Gillepse, who were both on TV this weekend spewing this lie with impunity:
Shouldn't it be a huge story in itself that Ken Mehlman went on national television in the middle of one of the largest political scandals and made completely false claims about the key issue -- what Denny Hastert did or did not do about Mark Foley? People who make up stories that aren't true and then repeat them in order to defend themselves are just outright lying. Why is Mehlman able to do so in such a brazen and obvious way without consequences?

[...]

However immune we have become to misleading statements from political officials, however low our standards of behavior and expectations for our political leaders may have sunk -- no matter how cynical one has become -- shouldn't clear, brazen, outright lies of the type which Ken Mehlman told about the Denny Hastert Ultimatum be considered wrong and intolerable and something for which serious consequences are required?

If we have even the most minimally breathing journalistic life force and the most minimal standards left for behavioral requirements from political officials, this just has to become a huge story. Why should Ken Mehlman be able to go on national television and blatantly lie to everyone about what happened last week at the center of this scandal and not only get away with it, but have nobody really notice?

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