The Boston Globe reports: Mitt Romney stayed at Bain 3 years longer than he stated. ”Firm’s 2002 filings identify him as CEO, though he said he left in 1999.”
Un-templated: Suppose a major party candidate for president believed we were in a “post-truth” era and actually campaigned that way. Would political reporters in the mainstream press figure it out and tell us?
I say no. They would not tell us. Not in any clear way.
Instead, they would do what the Globe did here: try to nail the candidate on specific misstatements that can be documented. Which is good and necessary and difficult and contentious and honorable. Keep going, Boston Globe! And don’t forget to credit others who have done similar work.
What template is there for reporting on a strategy that incorporates…
1.) Key lesson of the climate change debate: you can run a political campaign against verifiable facts, and thereby weaken those facts in the public’s mind.
2.) The Palin-ator: you can invent stuff and stick with it when it is shown to be false because culture war politics feeds off the noise and friction when fictional claims are fact-checked by the mainstream media.
3.) David Frum’s observation from within the Republican tent: “Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics.”
4.) Old-fashioned secrecy, as in: don’t release information, don’t explain.