Paul Ryan told a number of falsehoods in his convention speech last night. But you'd never know that to listen to the "fair and balanced" analysts on Fox News last night who came on to discuss it. They seemed to be vying for who could be his biggest fan.
The first round of analysis came immediately following Ryan’s speech. Host Bret Baier said, “The hall was energized throughout his speech.”
Brit Hume suggested “Obama had his skin ripped off.” He added, “The tricky thing (Ryan) faced was could he deliver an eloquent speech, and a powerful speech in which he came across as a likeable and trustworthy young man that the American people can have confidence in and still deliver a devastating indictment of President Obama’s administration. My sense of that is… that he probably did that job pretty well in the eyes of a great many people… His speech was interesting, it was compelling, it had humor and the moment when he mentioned his mother and his pride in her and her being his role model, and you got that amazing picture of the little granddaughter snuggling up to her, that was worth a lot too in terms of the sense that this is a nice young man. A nice young man who delivered nonetheless a lethal shot tonight.”
Host Megyn Kelly then turned to Karl Rove and everyone pretended as usual that Rove was a mere analyst instead of a very active and powerful player in the party. Rove said Ryan “expertly” made a “sober” critique of Obama.
Charles Krauthammer called Ryan’s speech “bold, very strong, and very large in the sense that he went way beyond just the attacks which have been extremely effective – like stiletto attacks. Each one a short jab that left a mark… It cleverly reminded people… of the fact that Obama had disappointed them.”
Chris Wallace was the biggest cheerleader of the group: “This was really a tour de force by a very brilliant and very thoughtful man… This was as cogent, as coherent, as searing an indictment of the Obama record as you have heard from the critics… It was an indictment with a bill of particulars.”
Wallace even cited some of those “partcular indictments,” including Ryan’s accusation, as Wallace recounted it, that “the real threat to Medicare comes from the Obamacare and the fact that they’re raiding $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.” Yet somehow Wallace neglected to point out that’s one of the falsehoods that fact checkers caught. The Washington Post ran AP’s piece:
THE FACTS: Ryan’s claim ignores the fact that Ryan himself incorporated the same cuts into budgets he steered through the House in the past two years as chairman of its Budget Committee, using the money for deficit reduction. And (Obama's) cuts do not affect Medicare recipients directly, but rather reduce payments to hospitals, health insurance plans and other service providers.
In addition, Ryan’s own plan to remake Medicare would squeeze the program’s spending even more than the changes Obama made, shifting future retirees into a system in which they would get a fixed payment to shop for coverage among private insurance plans. Critics charge that would expose the elderly to more out-of-pocket costs.
Another falsehood picked up by the fact checkers was that Obama broke his promise to keep a GM plant open in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. In fact, the plant was closed while President Bush was still in office.
Wallace treated that as a minor detail. “I’m sure the Democrats are going to point out it was the president who bailed out GM,” he said quickly, near the end of the segment. No mention of that pesky little date that had the plant closing before Obama became president. Wallace did, however, note that Ryan criticized Obama “for doing nothing” about the Bowles Simpson deficit commission when Ryan voted against the plan himself.
But those weren’t the only distortions in Ryan’s speech. From AP again:
RYAN: “The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.”
THE FACTS: Ryan himself asked for stimulus funds shortly after Congress approved the $800 billion plan, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Ryan’s pleas to federal agencies included letters to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis seeking stimulus grant money for two Wisconsin energy conservation companies.
One of them, the nonprofit Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., received $20.3 million from the Energy Department to help homes and businesses improve energy efficiency, according to federal records. That company, he said in his letter, would build “sustainable demand for green jobs.” Another eventual recipient, the Energy Center of Wisconsin, received about $365,000.
You might say Ryan was for the stimulus before he was against it.
Later, Hume came back to visit with Greta Van Susteren. He now said Ryan’s speech was “tough but it wasn’t mean… so I think it was very effective.” Hume reiterated the anecdote about the little girl snuggling with her grandmother. Hume called that “dynamite” and Van Susteren agreed.
“Liberal” Van Susteren commented on how “earnest” Ryan was.
But the one who really took the cake was ABC News’ "senior Washington editor," "senior Washington editor" and "on-air political analyst" Rick Klein. He could hardly contain his own excitement as he described the speech to Van Susteren as follows:
“Energy! Enthusiasm! Excitement! I think there was a good story that was told there! …A lot of zingers against Obama.”
Not a word from the “liberal media's” Klein about the falsehoods.
UPDATE: Liberal Fox contributor Sally Kohn called the speech, dazzling, deceptive and distracting. She did a fine job of detecting and dissecting even more dissembling. We'll see if she makes it to prime time Fox tonight. Meanwhile, Kohn wrote on FoxNews.com:
Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.
The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.
Maybe other media outlets are hiring legions of new fact checkers but I seriously doubt Fox News is.
Ryan told many outright lies!!! Hannity — who earned in black belt in lying as a youngster — must have been beaming with pride last night!
Nope. they’ve already hired extra people to revamp the old lies and invent new ones.
I don’t as yet know all the tricks of the new system so will now go and try and print Ellen’s post.
@Anne-Claire. I had the same feeling … like wanting to barf but knowing that it wouldn’t give relief.