Fact-checking in a post-fact GOP fantasy world


Might just be a wasted effort:

Add North Carolina’s governor to the list of politicians accused of hiding from the public. During campaign season, Republicans on several occasions accused Democrats of hiding in their basements amid the coronavirus pandemic. That trend continued the Sunday after Christmas, when the North Carolina GOP tweeted about Gov. Roy Cooper.

“Democrat Governor @RoyCooperNC has not left the Governor's Mansion since the start of the #COVID19 crisis,” the party tweeted on Dec. 27.

Okay, this is more extensive than what I posted yesterday, but I wasn't really fact-checking something that was so obviously incorrect. I just wanted to use their own evidence against them (prior Tweet). But since Paul went to the effort:

On Dec. 21, less than a week before the NC GOP’s tweet, Cooper visited Duke Hospital to see health care workers receive COVID-19 vaccinations. He did the same at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill on Dec. 17.

Earlier this month, he toured a factory in Pittsboro that makes personal protective equipment. And in November, he toured a face shield production line.

Cooper met with residents in August, when he visited Windsor in Bertie County after the town was hit by a tornado.

He has held multiple press conferences about the coronavirus pandemic from the Emergency Management building across town from the executive mansion.

Cooper also made a couple of high-profile appearances on the campaign trail in October, debating Forest at a studio in Research Triangle Park and greeting Joe Biden at RDU-International Airport.

We know the NC GOP is aware of Cooper’s trip to the airport because it issued a press release about his conversation with Biden.

Like I said, obviously incorrect. Cooper hasn't been barnstorming, but everybody reading that Tweet knew it was bullshit. But now it's being called a "metaphor":

Party spokesman Tim Wigginton told PolitiFact NC that the tweet is not meant to be taken literally.

“The tweet is meant metaphorically,” Wigginton said, adding that it’s meant to critique the frequency of Cooper’s visits with business owners. He accused Cooper of living “in a bubble … instead of meeting with people devastated by his orders.”

No, it's not a metaphor, it's a direct statement: "...has not left the Governor's Mansion..." A metaphor would be referring to him as a hermit, or some other comparative description. What you're doing is Trumpism, a bold but clearly inaccurate claim, simply because the truth no longer matters. And when somebody calls you on it, it was just a joke. Or a metaphor. Or a parody, or whatever your atrophied brain can slap together.



The media need to learn...

to use the words "lie" and "liar" about any politician that does this sort of thing. It's long past time that they quit giving deference to those who openly and knowingly lie to the public. Call them out for it in unequivocal terms, or they'll never stop doing it. While I know that this won't make any difference to the hardcore MAGAhats, who actually think that it's a good thing when their people lie, it will be important in stripping away all the rest of the GOP's soft support. Most people really don't like being lied to and as long as you can call out the lie before they're invested in it, you can turn them away from the liars who tried to fool them.

A mind-boggling double standard

There's a pattern among most media that goes like this:

Most Democrats try to be somewhat honest, but whenever they stray from reality, they get hammered like all get out.

Most Republicans lie as easily as they breathe, and whenever they do that, their transgressions are essentially ignored. It's so "expected" that it is completely not noteworthy.

Democrats get held to familiar standards of decency because they mostly ARE decent. Republicans get a pass, all day every day, because they're perpetually lying sacks of crap.