Why do the Bushies say these things and why do their friends in the media let them get away with it? I believe it’s this kind of deliberate incompetence that drives their audience and circulation tailspins.
Ed Schultz finally stopped giving air time to the anti immigrant fanatic Tom Tancredo after he walked off the set when Markos Moulitsas called him on his Vietnam War era chickenhawkery [starting at 5:33]. But he still has rightwing Republican shills on his show and, while he usually does a decent job reining them in, he can’t always hold back the tide of lies and misinformation.
Just this week, he left it to Sam Stein to debunk Karen Hanretty’s bald faced lie that Obama took two weeks to respond to the underwear bomber:
The rightwingers and Republicans appear to have made a decision to flat out lie about these things. They may be betting that the rebuttals of their obvious lies will get drowned out in the overflow of information. I’m sure they also believe it will distract and tie up their Democratic opponents and their rivals on the left.
However, it’s not a good strategy. Their brand is not one that is currently known for seriousness and deliberative debate. While, on a daily basis, their lies might get lost in the shuffle for most people, they are building a library of lies that will be replayed, and replayed endlessly, when more voters are paying attention.
In a continuation of their rudderlessness, they are sacrificing long term credibility for very short term — and very questionable — gain.
Update: Think Progress has this from earlier in the week when Giuliani repeated the lie that Obama waited ten days to respond to the underwear bomber and that, apparently, the shoe bomber failed before 9/11:
Update II: Think Progress also has a broader discussion of this with good links.