Here we go again with the talking heads on Fox, defending Mitt Romney's dishonest "you didn't build that" ad. Context doesn't matter. Lies don't matter. Policy doesn't matter. Reality doesn't matter. You can say anything and all that matters is how the voters "feel" and there is never any penalty with the media for lying every time your lips are moving. Juan Williams tried pushing back at the nonsense from Wallace and the other panel members, but he may as well have been talking to himself.
And on the topic of lying, here's the latest from Steve Benen, who's been tracking the sheer volume of Romney's lies week after week: Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXVII:
Paul Krugman, who's been nearly as frustrated by Mitt Romney's habitual dishonesty as I've been, noted this week that political observers should pause to appreciate "this remarkable spectacle." Krugman added, "I really don't think there's been anything like this in American political history: a presidential campaign, with a pretty good chance of winning, that is based entirely on cynical lies about what the sitting president has said."
I agree. Mitt Romney is, at a minimum, unique.
What's especially striking, in addition to the volume and frequency of the falsehoods, is how often the dishonesty is obvious. Jonathan Bernstein has labeled this "lazy mendacity" -- untruths based on "the indifference to any fact-checking," and "the insistence on continuing to use a lie long after it's been definitively debunked."
Add to that the cable yappers saying the lies don't matter, which the clip above is just one example of and it's sadly by no means limited to Fox. All of the networks have run similar segments. Go read the rest of Steve's post for the latest list of Romney's lies. There are twenty six new ones just for this week.
Transcript of the Fox News Sunday segment below the fold.
WALLACE: And in fact, speaking of the private sector, there are, Chip, those four words that the president said you didn't build that, which continues to resonate. And let's take a look at how this week the Romney and Obama campaigns played that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: When you have a business -- that, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
TERRI: I am an owner of the small business. And this is how I built up from nothing without any help from anyone.
OBAMA: Those ads, taking my words about small business out of context, they are flat out wrong. Of course Americans build his own businesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Chip, how big of a deal you didn't build that. How potent of a weapon is it for the Romney campaign? And how significant is it that Obama -- because that's a big deal when the president, instead of just showing things, talks directly to camera. You can only do that so many times in ads, that they pulled out the big gun, the president himself.
SALTSMAN: This is a huge issue. And as I have been out working in Tennessee and some other states on some campaigns, this is what everybody is talking about, because the blood, sweat and tears from these small business owners -- I have heard more time than once, the president said something like that because he has never signed the front of a paycheck. He doesn't know what it's like to start from nothing and start a mom and pop business and work from the ground up. Whereas that's Mitt Romney's strongest suit and that's where he's really got to drive it home.
Whether it was out of context or not, 100 days, there's nothing out of context. Everything is in context. And this is the one issue that really, really hurts Obama as the unemployment is still at 8.2 percent, GDP going down. They feel like there's a double dip recession coming. This is the one that every day average voters understand that the president just doesn't get it.
WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think that's right. I think that what people know is a matter of policy is the president has cut taxes for small business in this country, that going back to 2010 in the small business tax act. But it goes beyond that in my mind, Chris, because the president in the Saturday radio address went on to say, he said, you know, the Republican position is taken in terms of the tax cuts that were voted on this week on Capitol Hill is that if you cut taxes for the rich it's going to produce jobs. It will create jobs.
But in fact, what he said was that you know, it's not going to produce jobs if you then go on to cut education, training plans, if you go about hiking taxes on the middle class. And that is a winning argument for the president, because overwhelmingly polls show the American people think.
WALLACE: They're not going to hike taxes for the middle class. What they're saying is extend all the tax cuts.
WILLIAMS: They would say go ahead and raise -- the Republican -- raise -- do not raise taxes on the rich. And therefore block tax cuts for the middle class. And if you do that, the Democrats were.
WALLACE: No, no. They're saying extend...
WILLIAMS: They're saying extend all the Bush tax cuts.
WALLACE: Right, but they're -- but Chris the reality is, that if you don't buy into this package that allows for tax hikes on the very rich you will get tax hikes for everybody, because the Democrats will block it.
WILLIAMS: Well, is that the Republicans fault?
WALLACE: Yeah, because they are blocking the plan that would allow tax cuts to into place for 98 percent of Americans.
STRASSEL: I think the problem here is -- I mean, Juan is very sensibly talking about policy. The problem for the president on this issue is that it goes beyond politics, it goes beyond academics, it is about a gut feeling people have. This is why he is out there responding is because this is about identifying. And there are people who look. And it is on context, it's not just four little words, it's also the demeaning comments he made about, oh, a lot of people work hard, a lot of people are smart.
People see this and they go, is this the kind of guy who won the White House? Does he understand what I do every day? That's the problem that the administration has...
WILLIAMS: You know, I just -- I just think what's going on this country when I hear things like on the gun control thing, there are all these suspicions, oh, you know, he really wants to take your guns. Or Michele Bachmann talking about, oh, you know what, there are Muslims who are infiltrating the government and sabotaging. And on this one, they take his words, and they really are out of context, he really was talking about bridges and about building roads, and they say, oh, this is evidence that he hates small business when the policies, Kimberly -- you know, he has cut taxes for small business.
STRASSEL: It is more about world vision. It's about do you think government creates jobs, do you think government does this? Or do you think the private sector does. That's why people are reacting to this.
SALTSMAN: I was about to say I have poured concrete and tied steel. I built those bridges. I know I did that.
WALLACE: But that doesn't mean you built Apple.
SALTSMAN: No, but somebody had an idea out of a garage and two people put their life into it. And they built Apple.
WALLACE: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. Thank you, panel. See you next week.