Monday, January 11, 2010

Why we listen to Rudy

In the aftermath of Rudy Giuliani's straight-faced claim that there were no terrorist attacks (none!) during Duhbya and Darth's excellent adventure, Joe Conason asks why we listen to such a fact-free buffoon. Giuliani has someone managed to slide over, not just the shoe bomber and the anthrax attacks and the many attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan; he has managed conveniently to forget 9/11 itself, the one news item that pushed him onto the national stage after his career had effectively ended in widely shared disdain for his ugly personality and for every one of his municipal policies except for community policing.

But it's not just Rudy who should have no claim on our credence. Dana Perino had made the same claim. Mary Matalin had, too. Among others.

The reason this goes is that slow-learning Democrats have failed to assert every damn day that there's nothing a Republican says that you can trust. The media are not going to hold these guys accountable for even being in the ballpark of accuracy. The right browbeat them out of their ref job years ago, to the point that they only call penalties on Democrats - or offsetting pox-on-both-their-houses fouls.

This can be funny, but it's also dangerous. A culture that cannot even grapple with what's true and what's false is doomed.

Yet, all these Republicans will be back on TV spouting lies just as soon as some producer's Rolodex needs them...

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