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Friday, November 30, 2007

 
You Say Plain Wrong, We Say Basically True

by digby

So today the NY Times did some good reporting and published a story exposing Rudy Giuliani's pompous, megalomaniacal braggadocio on the stump for what it is:

All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong . . . .An examination of many of his statements by The New York Times, other news organizations and independent groups have turned up a variety of misstatements, virtually all of which cast Mr. Giuliani or his arguments in a better light.


Now that strikes me as pretty straightforward.

Here's the MSNBC chyron about this story:

Newspaper finds some figures wrong, but basic claims still true.


I'm not kidding. It's like something from The Onion. It's long been obvious that Rudy is a puffed-up blowhard --- the only things he doesn't take credit for in his speeches is writing the score for "Les Mis" and inventing the IPod. He's a superhero in his own mind. But the NY Times did the actual spade work and proved that his claims are "incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong." Apparently MSNBC considers that to be "true."

But that wasn't the worst of it. While that chyron was up, they had a guest named Craig Gordon who explained that since New York improved during Rudy's tenure, "people have a gut sense that things got better so the fine print doesn't matter."

Setting aside the fact that in a compulsive desire to reveal the "character flaws" of certain politicians, the press spilled warehouses full of ink "explaining" the tedious details of an ancient Arkansas land deal and devoted an entire presidential campaign to exploring the supposed pathology of a man who (never) lied about inventing the internet, by what measure does this person make the broad based assumption that people don't care how leaders "make things better?" This authoritarian mind set may be in vogue among this fellow and his fearful incontinent friends but I don't believe this is a settled case among all Americans. And in any case, it's likely that people do care if their president is corrupt or a little bit nuts.

The revelations about Rudy coming out just this week --- his secretive big money ties to middle eastern players, his alleged accounting machinations to hide his affair with his then-mistress, his detailing a police driver for her at taxpayers expense and now this investigation into his claims on the stump should be enough to at least get the breathless, tabloid cable news media a little excited --- particularly the so-called "liberal skewing" MSNBC, which has made a fetish out of "character coverage" for years. Apparently not. Unless Giuliani shows some cleavage or offends Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson with his laugh or his clapping, this isn't going to be a story.


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