Monday, August 01, 2005

Dishonesty is the Best Campaigning Policy

Veteran White House correspondent Adam Clymer recently gave a talk, now published, on dishonesty in the 2004 presidential election. His analysis of the biggest, worst lies - relating to Social Security and Kerry's Vietnam service, for instance - is insightful and cutting, but the best (worst) thing about his talk is that it implies that the only people who are lazier and dumber than our politicians are our journalists. Read the piece and see if you agree. Here's a representative bit:

I have no way to prove it statistically, but the 2004 Presidential campaign sounded to me like the most dishonest in memory.
One question I am asked is which side was worse. I think the answer is that the Bush campaign was worse. Understand this is not a zero-sum game, in that the Kerry people told a variety of lies that in some past elections would have been remarkable, but the Bush campaign's lies were more fundamental, and more central, whereas Kerry's were more exaggerations and sloppy.