The great John Leo wrote and excellent column about the tendency of liberals to write fiction, The Left promotes assertions that turn out to be false
Writing in Rolling Stone, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. assures us that the 2004 presidential election was stolen. This popular conspiracy theory has attracted many Democrats, from the clearly unbalanced to John Kerry himself. (Professor and activist Mark Crispin Miller of NYU says Kerry told him he believes the election was stolen.)...
Kennedy thinks it's fishy that the recorded vote didn't match the exit polls in four battleground states where Kerry was supposedly ahead. He also thinks the Republicans discouraged voters by creating long lines at voting stations in heavily Democratic areas. But bitter surmise isn't proof. And according to a long and detailed analysis on Salon.com -- no hotbed of Republican thought -- the evidence Kennedy cites isn't new, and his argument is filled with distortions and the deliberate omission of key data.
Why would Kennedy damage his credibility this way? This may not be breaking news, but if an assertion reflects a widely shared emotion, it can make great headway in this culture without any need to prove its truth. We have been through this many times. The 2000 election was allegedly stolen, though no credible investigation backed up the claim, not even the one by the Civil Rights Commission, which was then firmly in Democratic hands.
Assertion doesn't always beat facts, but it happens a lot. For example, many of President Bush's detractors are saying that his argument for keeping troops in Iraq -- to achieve a democratic transformation -- is a new rationale meant to distract from the missing WMDs. The New York Times made that charge in an editorial on April 27. But it isn't true. Bush listed democratic transformation in Iraq as one of his aims before the war, as the Times acknowledged in an editorial on Feb. 27, 2003. Distilling the president's various arguments on Iraq down to the one on which a lot of people think they were snookered -- the WMDs -- is a distortion, but it accurately expresses a popular feeling, so who cares if it isn't so? Not the Times, apparently.Read it all.
One area that Mr. Leo did not cover in this piece, but has discussed before is another technique that the liberal press has for slanting and distorting the news - story selection. There are many stories that simply do not get reported because they do not fit the political agenda of most of the liberal press. I will cover that in a later post. And, think about how polling data is published. For instance, the majority of Iraqis want the U.S. out of their country. No doubt that that is true. You are not told that they want us out after they are strong enough to govern without us. THAT is a big secret. Also, most Americans want us out of Iraq. Of course they do, I do to, after Iraq is secure. We don't want to stay any longer than necessary, but we need to finish what we are doing. You won't hear that angle from the press either.
Now, how about that Rove indictment?