Things Mainstream Reporters Can’t Say: Mitt Romney Is Lying About The Environmental Protection Agency

by Miles Grant, via The Green Miles

It’s not that Mitt Romney doesn’t have his facts straight about the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s not that reasonable people can disagree with the Environmental Protection Agency about the best approach to solving a set of problems.

Mitt Romney is choosing to lie about the Environmental Protection Agency because he thinks that will give him a political advantage.

But as Paul Krugman said on ABC’s This Week, “The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat-out untruths,” so you get articles like this in Politico today:

The GOP presidential nominee is telling voters in Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia that Obama’s EPA is to blame for wiping out the coal industry. Romney and his surrogates are warning Iowans of EPA plans to regulate for farm dust and railing against the agency for flying airplanes over livestock operations to spy for dirty water.

In many instances, Romney’s EPA attacks stretch the boundaries of what the agency actually does or can do. The EPA has repeatedly denied any plans for new farm dust rules, and the planes have been used as a cost-cutting enforcement measure dating back to the George W. Bush administration. Energy experts say the coal industry’s problems are a byproduct of all-time lows in natural gas prices rather than new air pollution requirements that have been subject to legal battles for more than a decade.

Mitt Romney says something that’s not true. Even after widely-available facts to the contrary are pointed out, Mitt Romney keeps saying it anyway. We’ll have to leave it there.

How can you tell Romney’s lies are calculated and deliberate? Because he often shifts between lies and the truth depending on his audience. Talking to the Republican National Convention? Global warming’s a joke. Talking to scientists? Global warming’s serious business. It’s part of the fabric of his campaign, as Romney’s brazen lies in the first presidential debate about his $5 trillion tax cut plan and letting insurance companies deny coverage to sick people showed.

Romney is counting on articles like this to make his clear-cut lies seem debatable. As media critic Jay Rosen writes, “a post-truth campaign for president falls into the category of too big to tell.”

As usual, The Onion can say it, but political reporters can’t. “People are usually too afraid to ask me straight up if I’m lying, because that is apparently not something you ask someone who is running for president.”

Miles Grant covers progressive politics, climate activism, and environmental policy at The Green Miles. This piece was originally published at The Green Miles and was reprinted with permission.

11 Responses to Things Mainstream Reporters Can’t Say: Mitt Romney Is Lying About The Environmental Protection Agency

  1. fj says:

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, maybe . . .

  2. Mark E says:

    The RAPID RATE of Romney’s speech during the debate is one thing I have not heard anyone mention.

    There is a reason they call it “fast-talking”. The combination of gish-gallop logic, assertiveness, and rapid speech can really dazzle the un-thinking. But look out for the ire of the formerly-razzle-dazzled independent voter, once they slow down enough to pick Mitt’s statements apart.

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    There was a time when reporters loved to tell truth to power, and to inform the public about politicians’ lies. Those days are gone, at least in the mainstream media. We have Taibbi and Kunstler nipping at their heels, but even nontraditional blogs are way too deferential. This has to change.

  4. This crippling difficulty in calling a spade a shovel is an example of why I’m promoting the Twitter hashtag #journafail – all too commonly useful in discussing MSM coverage of politically-polarized and/or technical intricate subjects.

  5. This smiling con-artist should never have made it this far into the contest for the Presidency of the United States. The field of candidates put up by the Republican Party held such misfits that Mr. Romney appeared to be the best of them. Him money AND his hunger for the office were his greatest assets, of course. Please make sure he doesn’t win (or steal) the office President of the United States–it must not happen. Make sure some good, old-fashioned journalists come forth, willing to risk losing their jobs as “impartial” presenters of the dissemblance that passes for News these days.

  6. Joan Savage says:

    Voters are all too capable of choosing a confident liar over a careful truth teller. Even children voting for their class president can reveal this propensity.

    Are voters picking someone to ‘front’ for us, one who won’t admit we can mistakes? The classic example is the choice of smooth Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter.

    When I was only listening to the recent Obama-Romney debate I was astonished to realize how Romney’s delivery resembled Reagan’s voice pattern. That was clever.

  7. Joan Savage says:

    apropos mistakes, that should read

    won’t admit we can make mistakes

  8. Chris Winter says:

    In addition to dazzling the un-thinking, it can discommode deep thinkers.

  9. Todd says:

    Reagan was a professional actor before he started in politics, but it was indeed his acting skills that made him an effective political leader. He simply knew how to deliver his lines and script, with the right tone of voice, pauses, rythm, etc., and let the smart speech writers do most of the thinking. It is the ultimate skill of a flip-flopper, and Romney appears to have “the right stuff” in this context. Obama made a polite attempt to expose this with his “never mind” interpretation of the Romney 5 trillion dollar tax cut plan suddenly disappearing, but this did not stick to the Romney teflon. Obama needs a much stickier response next time.

  10. Joan Savage says:

    Todd, All good points!
    Yet, I don’t care what ‘sticks’ to Romney as long as voters (and Obama) stick with the issues and put attentive representatives into Congress.

    PBS ran a background program (The Choice 2012, Frontline) on the presidential candidates. In a debate between Romney and Ted Kennedy, Romney lost unexpectedly. Kennedy didn’t waste much time to refute Romney; instead Kennedy stayed on message about what the people need, and didn’t look directly at Romney. Obama needs to learn that, too.

    P.S. The forthcoming Frontline next week is “Climate of Doubt,” clearly an allusion to Oreske’s “Merchants of Doubt” about the misinformation on climate. A must-watch!

  11. Joan Savage says:

    Next week the presidential debate, replaces Frontline. The Climate of Doubt program is scheduled for October 23.