The media have piled on Paul Ryan for his speech at last week's Republican National Convention. While analyses of such a speech are to be expected, a large number of journalists have done everything but use the word liar to describe Ryan. This fact was rammed home as I was driving last Saturday. I happened to tune in to an NPR talk show/roundtable featuring Washington journalists. The host made the statement (paraphrased): "Never has a vice presidential candidate made a speech with so many things that are factually untrue."
I already addressed the Janesville GM plant. The rest of their points centered around nothing that was "factually untrue." Not a single thing. Not one. This is how their arguments went:
RYAN: "You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn't have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama."
NPR: "So does Ryan's plan." (Note: They never disputed the fact that Ryan stated. They merely equated it with Ryan's Medicare proposal.)
RYAN: "He created a new bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way and then did exactly nothing."
NPR: "Paul Ryan was a member of the Simpson-Bowles Commission and he voted no on that report." (Note: They once again don't dispute the fact that Ryan states, but instead mention how he, one member, voted. And his vote would have made no difference.)
RYAN: "The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama's first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government...What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn't just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted."
NPR: "Ryan himself asked for stimulus funds shortly after Congress approved the $800 billion plan." Ryan did write letters requesting stimulus funds for Wisconsin entities. Here's his explanation: "After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled.” One of his aides said it better: “If Congressman Ryan is asked to help a Wisconsin entity applying for existing Federal grant funds, he does not believe flawed policy should get in the way of doing his job and providing a legitimate constituent service to his employers.” (Final note: Once again, NPR indicates no point of Ryan's statement which can be called "factually incorrect.")
The stance of NPR and the rest of the media -- "Well, we can't actually show anywhere that Ryan actually lied, but nonetheless he lied."