Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is the future of political commentary at stake?

Several commentators (see here and here) have pointed out that the McCain/Palin campaign is a trailblazer in prevarication. It is quite common for the media to fact-check claims made by political candidates and find that some of them fall short of the truth. Always before when this happened the campaign dropped the statement once it had been widely reported in the media to be untrue. Not this time. The McCain/Palin campaign continues to say that Sarah Palin opposed the bridge-to-nowhere and said "No thanks" to the Congressional earmark for that project even after that was widely reported to be a lie. McCain continues to describe Palin as someone who fought against earmarks as mayor and governor and continues to claim that Obama called Palin a pig – claims that have been widely debunked.

This has caused a number of commentators (see here and here) to wonder what the effect would be if after continuing to repeat things exposed as lies in the media the Republicans went on to win the presidency in November. In addition to all the other negative effects this would have it would conclusively demonstrate that political commentary in the media is totally irrelevant and can safely be ignored.

Have the media political commentators, as well as other political professionals, contemplated the implications of that scenario? Is the future of their profession now at stake in this election?

The conservatives have been claiming for a long time that the media was "liberal" and against them, but up until now that claim was untrue and was just a tactic for intimidating the media. It would be interesting to see the how the conservatives react if the media now really turned against them - (for eample see here and here).

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