All Aboard the Right's Misleading 'Humbug Express'

If 'everyone knows' it, no one will question it
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2010 1:14 PM CST
Updated Dec 24, 2010 1:38 PM CST
All Aboard the Right's Misleading 'Humbug Express'
In this Nov. 17, 2010 file photo, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speaks at the Republican Governors Association meeting in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy,)

This Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge would salute the American right wing: its “media infrastructure” has become a “humbug factory,” capable of spreading propaganda so widely that “it becomes part of what ‘everyone knows.’” Take the widespread idea that President Obama has presided over a giant expansion of government jobs. Sure—but those were Census jobs, and they’re almost all completed, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times.

In fact, contrary to a recent op-ed by GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty, “government employment has fallen, not risen, since January 2008.” The “Humbug Express” is a “systematic, even industrial, process,” and the left has no equivalent—so when Krugman tells people the huge government expansion just isn’t real, they “assume that I’m lying.” And while Krugman guesses "we should never assume malice when ignorance remains a possibility" with the dissemination of misinformation, still, “We’d be much better off as a nation if more people had the courage to say ‘Bah!’”
(More Ebenezer Scrooge stories.)

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