I don't know whether there's a sound when a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, but I do know that when a conservative goes on a television show, deliberately lies and no progressive is invited on the same show to tell the truth, a lie was nonetheless told. And that's exactly what happened on NBC's Meet the Press this Sunday.
I wish I could say I was shocked to see the Meet the Press lineup this Sunday once again skewed to favor conservatives, but I'm not. It's become standard operating procedure in Washington for journalist panels to favor the right, and yesterday was no exception. On the panel, there were three Beltway journalists and Kate O'Beirne, the archconservative editor of the right-wing National Review - and, of course, no progressive voice whastoever. Not surprisingly, this O'Bierne lie went wholly unrefuted:
"Public opinion polls, of course, as Judy said, do show the public enormously frustrated and pessimistic, but they also show that they don't favor denying funds for this surge."
Funny, CNN"s March poll found 52% believe "Congress should vote to block the government from spending money to send additional troops to Iraq." Similarly, CBS News's poll in February found 53% want Congress to either block all funding for the war, or at least block funding for the surge. And a Pew Poll in February found 72% "think Congress should try to block Bush's plan by withholding funding for the additional forces."
Now, it may be true that there are a few polls that ask the question differently that show the public evenly divided on whether to fund the surge. But between those evenly split polls and the ones showing strong support for cutting off funds for the surge, O'Beirne's airtight declaration that polls supposedly show the American people "don't favor denying funds for this surge" is, at best, wildly uninformed, and more likely a deliberate lie.
Conservatives like O'Beirne have gotten used to being on television, making up their own reality, and having no one call them out because - as we saw on Meet the Press - there are often no informed progressive voices represented right there to counter them. Yes, it's true, moderators like host Tim Russert are supposed to inform the audience with facts when lies like this are told - but as we all know, Timmeh is the one who helps make sure the panel is stacked, and he's not about to embarrass his right-wing friends when they use his esteemed show to mislead the public.