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The Emperor’s (Or At Least the Villagers’) New Talking Points

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In a post that he admits is “probably not career-enhancing,” Michael Grunwald can’t stop himself from ranting about his journalistic colleagues at Time‘s Swampland blog:

It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully … pass along Republican outrage that Obama isn’t cutting Medicare enough, in the same matter-of-fact tone they used during the campaign to pass along Republican outrage that Obama was cutting Medicare.

… I’m old enough to remember when Republicans insisted that anyone who said they wanted to cut Medicare was a demagogue, because I’m more than three weeks old.

The press can’t figure out how to weave those facts into the current narrative without sounding like it’s taking sides, so it simply pretends that yesterday never happened.

… But we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.

I wrote back in August that we were nearing a possible climax in the GOP’s genuinely Orwellian quest to make telling the truth an inherently partisan (and hence disreputable act).  This would have happened if the Republicans had added the White House and the Senate to their control of the House — leaving the press as the only significant “opponent” in defining reality.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  However, the results from November also let the media continue to sidestep any responsibility for holding the GOP accountable, since they can simply insist that the Democrats (and that guy with the so-called bully pulpit) are able to speak for themselves, and should do so if they don’t think Republicans are being honest.  So I fear Michael Grunwald’s plea for resistance will fall on many, many deaf ears in D.C.

Not only that, I suspect Grunwald is about to find out what actually happened to that little boy who called out the naked emperor in that old fairy tale.  (You didn’t think the courtiers who invested so much effort in fooling the public really just shrugged and let the kid get away with it, did you?)

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Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (