Lies, Damned Lies and Politics

My husband regularly listens to right-wing radio. He enjoys regaling me with the latest in what passes for wing-nut argumentation; when I express annoyance, he generally reminds me that it is important to know what all manner of people are saying.

This morning, he presented me with the latest gem being used to defend Republicans against charges that they are waging war on women. Right-wing pundits are insisting that it was bad for women when Obama signed¬†the Lily Ledbetter Act because–wait for it–requiring employers to pay men and women equal wages for equal work cost 500,000 women their jobs. Employers simply couldn’t afford equality.

To the best of my knowledge, there is zero¬†evidence of job losses attributable to the passage of the Lily Ledbetter Act. This accusation thus joins the growing number of fact-free assertions–okay, flat-out lies–that increasingly constitute American political discourse. Partisans of all stripes have gone well beyond spin, and are deep into “making shit up” territory.

We all know that facts have been taking a real beating, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise when I came across Fact’s obituary.

Read it and weep.



  1. I listen to rightwing radio too. It’s entertaining. Until my heart and my head can’t take itk any more. Usually in small doses.

    Then my brain needs a shower. Their hatred for this president is unrivaled. And you won’t find consistency.

    Other than that, it’s fine.

  2. I’ve come to the conclusion that political radio and television are mental toxins. Like alcohol, it can be fun and even healthy in moderate doses. But don’t binge daily. Probably a good idea to dry out completely from time to time.

  3. This sort of “fact” became acceptable when what passes for news turned into panels of “he said, she said,” with the tag line, “you decide.”

  4. We’re so fortunate to have Sheila and the sites/folks she follows! Hate radio is more than I can do. NPR works for me. Fox Noise is now in “blocked” mode for me. I do a little mental victory dance when I zip right past the plaguey thing and don’t have to spend even a split-second looking at Coulter, O’Reilly, or Geraldo!

    Bad news for the r’s: He’s still black (bi-racial, actually) and still the President of the United States, and still doing a heckuva job with what he was handed by the post turtle from Crawford!

  5. Betty rocks, Sheila. You hang out with cool people. Post turtle…lol.

    As for radio, I’ve fallen in love with XM. Every possible viewpoint is available. OutQ Radio in general, and Michaelangelo Signorile (aft. drive time) in particular. Outstanding, probing, contemplative.

  6. With the fear of opening an unwanted can of worms, the “Fact’s obituary” contains some of the reasons for the demise. The authors felt it necessary to point out one made up fact on the left with each made up fact on the right. I think an objective assessment comparing Fox the MSNBC would find neither innocent, but the tally of “made up shit” would be lopsided with Fox way ahead.

    Similarly, the debate on global warming is only a 50-50 split in the eyes of opponents of the view of anthropogenic global warming. The science there is likewise rather lopsided. Many arguments on the “con” side have been tested and found wanting.

    Equivocation and the need for a false “balance” have greatly contributed to the demise of Facts.

  7. I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh almost exclusively when I was in the car. (That was before I became aware of NPR). I think I got some primal satisfaction over actually experiencing theatrical irrationality. Sheila, there may be medication available for your household. Call me.

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