- A candidate for vice-president tells the nation so many lies that even Fox "News" acknowledges some of them.
- Truth doesn't matter, says the head of Mitt Romney's campaign for the presidency. "We're not going to let fact-checkers run our campaign."
- Never mind the peccadillos, writes a so-called journalist for a once-reputable newspaper, Paul Ryan's speech last night was about "big ideas."
Right. His big ideas include the notion that rape is just one more "form of conception." That if we let children go without education, sick people go without treatment, hungry people starve to death and aged people die quickly, and continue to spend trillions on imperial wars that violate international law and our own Constitution, we will, in 28 years, have a balanced budget. That we must not collect taxes from the very wealthy or from the richest corporations in the history of the world because then they will only cut a few hundred thousand jobs a year rather than, say, millions. That we must put up with millions of cases of disease and death from pollution of our air, water and soil because restrictions on what corporations can or cannot do are, well, a nuisance and a burden to the free market economy. That guns are every citizen's right, even children, and the occasional mass slaying in schools, synagogues, churches and mosques are the price of being free. That planetary climate change is a myth dreamed up by overpaid scientists whose jobs ought to be outsourced, maybe to Mars. And that's just a sampler.
Tonight, as I recall, is the night that Mr. Ryan's running mate, Mitt Romney, will address the nation with still more lies.
Ah, but this is an equal opportunity country! Next week the Democrats seeking to retain the offices to which Messrs. Romney and Ryan aspire will have their turn to lie to the nation on national TV. Being wont to temper their untruths with soupcons of veracity, they will admit that everything isn't entirely hunky-dory in the U.S. of A., but insist that we're making progress because Barack and Joe are in office and not those nasty Republicans. They will say they have tried and tried to compromise and will try and try again but, you know, Republicans just don't play fair.
Mainstream media performers will continue to treat everything that's said as worthy of serious consideration by voters.
But in fact, the game metaphor implicit in "play fair" is apt. All of this is a game, a giant charade permitted for our amusement by the rich and powerful few who actually run things.
The better the show the more likely it is to perpetuate the myth that we are a free people, exceptional in our national virtue and blessed with the quadrennial opportunity to choose our own leadership. Love it or leave it!
As long as we're playing fast and loose with truth, I'll let you in on a little secret: I never did commit journalism for a living. I really did play the piano in a whorehouse. I and Harry Truman.
You could look it up.