From this Wednesday evening's coverage of the Republican National Convention on MSNBC, Chris Matthews talks to Lawrence O'Donnell, Michael Steele and Howard Fineman following Paul Ryan's speech to get their opinion of it. Both Lawrence O'Donnell and Howard Fineman heap praise on Ryan's political skills and O'Donnell proclaims that the fact checking on Ryan's lie filled speech won't matter to swing voters.
The analysis from all of them was basically that facts don't matter if people like what they hear and don't know the difference on whether they're being lied to or not and that the Democrats had better get busy with rebutting this stuff. While I agree with them as far as low information voters and whether it's even possible to get through to them and that the Democrats do indeed need to rebut this stuff, here's my beef.
Isn't that exactly O'Donnell and Fineman's job to be pointing out the lies along with the rest of their cohorts in the media? Aren't they supposed to be a backstop against the politicians being allowed to just lie to us constantly and the voters not knowing the difference? I think it's an indictment on what's left of our fourth estate that they didn't even consider the possibility that if we had enough "fact checkers," and accurate ones and not those that are too often making a mockery of that term, but if we had enough push back from a media that did its job instead of always playing the Fox "fair and balanced" game, maybe we wouldn't have so many low information voters and so many swing voters who are easily duped by the likes of Ryan.
What killed me is they did spend some time fact checking a few of Ryan's lies during the segment, but I left some of that out of the clip for the sake of brevity, but basically they were pointing out Ryan's lies and at the very same time claiming that it was somehow a useless endeavor. If anyone wants to check out a very long list of the better part of Ryan's lies during his speech, you can find those at Think Progress' live blog from this Wednesday: ThinkProgress Live Blogs The Republican National Convention. The list is so long, it's staggering.
Ryan and Romney should not be given a pass by our media for lying. The entire Romney campaign has been based on one lie after another, as Steve Benen has taken the time to document in his series, the latest of which you can read here: Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXXI. They've gotten away with it so far. The question is whether they're going to be allowed to continue to do so through the rest of the campaign. I'd say the answer is yes after listening to O'Donnell and Fineman pretend their hands are collectively tied to do anything to stop it. Instead they played the same "fair and balanced" game we see on Fox where they bother to point out the lies and for "balance" Michael Steele sits there and muddies the waters with bulls**t.
And this from that so-called "liberal" network, which is not liberal but the right wingers will constantly pretend it is, MSNBC.