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The media coverage of Paul Ryan's speech: 15 euphemisms for 'lying'
Journalists are going to awkward lengths to avoid the L-word when reviewing Ryan's address — even though the veep candidate told several brazen whoppers
 
As fact-checkers have established, Paul Ryan's GOP convention speech was filled with lies. Or as some members of the media might have it, "disingenuous assertions."
As fact-checkers have established, Paul Ryan's GOP convention speech was filled with lies. Or as some members of the media might have it, "disingenuous assertions."
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Republicans are delighted with Paul Ryan's GOP convention speech, hailing it as an out-of-the-ballpark hit that demolished President Obama's case for re-election. The nation's fact-checkers, however, are not as pleased. Ryan suggested that Obama's policies failed to save a GM plant in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wis. (It closed before Obama was inaugurated.) He accused Obama of raiding Medicare of $716 billion "at the expense of the elderly." (Ryan's own budget includes the same savings, achieved, as in Obama's plan, by cutting reimbursement rates to health care providers, not seniors' benefits.) And Ryan even chastised Obama for ignoring the recommendations of a presidential bipartisan debt commission. (Ryan sat on the commission and voted against its report.) Truly, Ryan was apparently trying to "set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech," says Sally Kohn at Fox News. However, since it's impolitic to accuse a vice presidential candidate of being a liar, most news organizations have tip-toed around the L-word. Here, 15 euphemisms they're employing instead (emphasis added in all cases):

1. "GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took some factual shortcuts during the Republican convention when he attacked President Barack Obama." (Cal Woodward and Jack Gillum at The Associated Press)

2. "It was just one of several striking and demonstrably misleading elements of Ryan's much-anticipated acceptance speech." (Ryan Grim at The Huffington Post)

3. "Ryan misleads on GM plant closing in hometown: Paul Ryan appeared to suggest that President Obama was responsible for the closing of a GM plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisc. That's not true." (Glenn Kessler at The Washington Post)

4. "Ryan's misleading speech... was part introduction of himself and his small-town origins, part testimonial to his running mate and — in largest part — a slashing and, in many elements, misleading indictment of President Obama as both a spent force and a threat to American freedom." (The editorial board at The Washington Post)

5. "Paul Ryan's factually shaky Republican convention speech... is getting slammed for some pretty heavy inaccuracies." (Brett LoGiurato at Business Insider)

6. "Paul Ryan's headlining speech at the GOP convention in Tampa Wednesday night touched on many of the election's defining issues. But it was also filled with prevarications." (Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo)

7. "Paul Ryan is the newest new Nixon, a moocher belied." (Charles P. Pierce at Esquire)

8. "Paul Ryan's Medicare doublespeak." (Brian Fung at The Atlantic)

9. "I'd like to talk, instead, about what Ryan actually said — not because I find Ryan's ideas so objectionable, although I do, but because I thought he was so brazenly willing to twist the truth." (Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic)

10. "Paul Ryan's acceptance speech at the Republican convention contained several false claims and misleading statements." (Robert Farley at USA Today)

11. "Rep. Paul Ryan stretched some truths Wednesday night when he accepted the Republican Party's 2012 vice presidential nomination..." (Mark Memmott at NPR)

12. "Ryan's speech veered from empty rhetoric to outright distortion, with little in between." (Jean MacKenzie at Global Post)

13. "The speech didn't require policy expertise, particularly. Indeed, an expert might feel compelled to avoid the series of inconsistencies and contradictions that were woven through Ryan's jeremiad." (John Dickerson at Slate)

14. "I marked at least seven or eight points I'm sure the fact checkers will have some opportunities to dispute if they want to go forward, I'm sure they will." (Wolf Blitzer at CNN)

15. "We were jotting down points. There will be issues with some of the facts. But it motivated people." (Erin Burnett at CNN)

Sources: The Associated Press, The AtlanticBusiness Insider, EsquireFox News, Global PostThe Huffington PostNational Review, The New Republic, NPRSlate (2), TalkingPointsMemo (2), USA TodayThe Washington Post (2) (3)

 

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