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NY Times' Bill Keller Wants To Know When Lying Became So Prevalent

ForaTV April 29, 2011 WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and New York Times executive editor Bill Keller debate Assange's remark that the United States press cares little about events that happen outside its borders. Bill Keller looked

ForaTV April 29, 2011
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and New York Times executive editor Bill Keller debate Assange's remark that the United States press cares little about events that happen outside its borders.

Bill Keller looked around him and found a whole bunch of lying liars:

“We did build that,” has already been established as one of the more dishonest political memes in a campaign season undisturbed by shame. The Republicans took a clumsy phrase from an Obama speech in July, in which the president pointed out that most American business successes have been assisted by infrastructure, education or incentives underwritten by the government. The Republican spin-masters whipped this into a preposterous claim that Obama denied American entrepreneurs any credit for their creations. The fact that this slogan has been thoroughly debunked has not kept it from being the defining theme in Tampa.

Until Tuesday’s opening festivities you could call this a particularly egregious example of the familiar political game of ripping things out of context. (As in, “I like to fire people.”) A little distortion. A bit of oppo jiu-jitsu.

But why stop there? Why not go whole hog and just make stuff up?[..]

In another campaign season, the fact that the opposition edited the president’s voice to say something he didn’t say would be regarded as audacious. This year it’s almost unremarkable.

Goodness gracious! Republicans feel they can lie with complete impunity? Where would they get that idea?

Shall we ask Judith Miller? Jayson Blair? Steven Erlanger? Or your recently departed Public Editor Arthur S. Brisbane? Or maybe Maureen Dowd has an idea about when public ethics took such a nosedive.

Want to know why lying became so prevalent? Look in the mirror.

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