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How the media made this summer's political insanity inevitable

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In fact, it is the media's behavior that has made this summer's madness inevitable. When they let the loudest yellers and most audacious liars drive the discourse, they guarantee that people who can't win on the merits will yell and lie. When they focus on politics rather than policy, they guarantee the public will remain in the dark about basic facts. When they repeat false claims, or treat them as he-said, she-said situations, they guarantee that those false claims will sway confused citizens. When they continue to give a platform to people who have a history of lying -- and assume those people are telling the truth this time -- they guarantee those people will continue to lie.

As long as the media approach their jobs this way, we're going to see the same thing play out over and over again. And each time, the media will be shocked -- shocked -- that some people lie, and other people believe lies.

Or they could do things differently: They could set aside the punditry and the "analysis" and the polls and the freak show and dedicate themselves to explaining the facts about health care. And explaining the facts means more than calling a lie a lie -- though that is hugely important. It also means proactively telling people how the health care system works, and what the proposed reforms are, how they would work, and what the likely effects would be.

If they won't do that, at least they could stop telling us how shocked they are at the inevitable results of their behavior. It's getting old.

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www.mediamatters.org

Executive Vice President at Media Matters for America, a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. (more...)
 

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in terms of viewership, listenership and circulati... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 1:27:14 PM
Stupid is as stupid does. The prevalence of a stu... by John Lorenz on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 8:29:36 PM
You said, "I think that all one agree that this is... by John Lorenz on Monday, Aug 24, 2009 at 3:41:00 AM
And what, precisely, would you say explains why Ob... by lenngray on Monday, Aug 24, 2009 at 10:37:17 AM