The Upside-Down World of Paul Ryan

The Upside-Down World of Paul Ryan

Last night, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, accepted the nomination with a speech that took place in a world of his own making. The breathtaking dishonesty of Ryan’s speech seems to have shocked a lot of journalists and observers.

A lot of outlets talked around the “L” word. The Associated Press fact-check used the term “factual shortcuts” and said Ryan “strayed from reality,” while USA Today came closer by saying Ryan’s speech “contained several false claims and misleading statements.” But let’s say it outright: Paul Ryan lied. He lied, deliberately, about a lot of things.

It’s especially galling because Rep. Ryan has acquired an undeserved reputation in Washington as a “serious” guy, a courageous teller of bold truths. One hopes that the straight-shooting Paul Ryan myth will fade away after last night. We’ll see. Continue reading “The Upside-Down World of Paul Ryan”

Fact Checkers Ding Romney On A Few Familiar Points

Fact Checkers Ding Romney On A Few Familiar Points

August 31, 2012; by

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Enlarge Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesRepublican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Among the things the Republican Party’s presidential candidate is hearing this morning about the address he gave Thursday night is that “in a speech heavy on anecdotal history but short on policy details, Mitt Romney avoided major falsehoods.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but that analysis from the nonpartisan FactCheck.org is cheery compared to what the organization said about the acceptance speech that GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan gave to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. It contained “several false claims and misleading statements,” FactCheck concluded. (We rounded up the morning-after fact checks of Ryan’s speech here and here.)

Still, as with nearly all speeches given by candidates from both major parties, the fact checkers are finding fault with some of the things Romney said at the close of the GOP convention in Tampa: Continue reading “Fact Checkers Ding Romney On A Few Familiar Points”

GOP’s ‘We Built It’ Refrain Is Both Puzzling and Telling

August 31, 2012; by

Delegates filled the floor Tuesday during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.
Enlarge Win McNamee/Getty ImagesDelegates filled the floor Tuesday during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.

The 2012 Republican National Convention may have been the first gathering of its kind to take its theme from a gaffe.

Some variation of the phrase “We Built That” was the theme of the first night but, in effect, dominated the stage rhetoric throughout the convention. The phrase was the only one heard as often as “Hurricane Isaac.” Continue reading “GOP’s ‘We Built It’ Refrain Is Both Puzzling and Telling”

Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech Ignites Media War Over Facts

Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech Ignites Media War Over Facts

Posted: 08/30/2012 4:12 pm Updated: 08/30/2012 5:18 pm

Paul Ryan Media

TAMPA, Fla. — Before Rep. Paul Ryan left the stage Wednesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, journalists took to Twitter for some real-time fact-checking.

Soon after, several media outlets, including The Huffington Post, called attention to misleading statements from Ryan’s speech. The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn asked if it was the most dishonest convention speech” ever. New York‘s Dan Amira described it shortly before midnight as “appallingly disingenuous and shamelessly hypocritical,” with his colleague Jonathan Chait — who claims to have “the equivalent of a master’s degree in Ryan lie-ology” — later calling out the Republican candidate for “brazen dishonesty.”

At around 12:15 a.m., the Associated Press hit the wire with a piece detailing “factual shortcuts” on issues like Medicare, economic stimulus, and the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis. Continue reading “Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech Ignites Media War Over Facts”