Paul Ryan Is the Joe McCarthy of Our Era. Maybe the Mainstream Media Finally Will Recognize That. Then Again, Maybe It Won’t.

Paul Ryan is, in effect, the Joe McCarthy of our era.  He consistently spews outlandishly false statements of fact, never offers actual evidence in support of them and never refutes factual challenges using actual and full facts, and tries as a matter of routine to obfuscate his specific and broader objectives and therefore to trick the public.  

He is a serious nutcase.  And yet he has garnered mainstream media attention as though what he puts out is credible.  We have a mainstream media that treats this nutjob as though he were a legitimate policy wonk. And that acts as though facts are legitimately in the eye of the beholder.  

If only Obama were more like Ike. And if only there were an Edward R. Murrow around now, although a Walter Cronkite would do, too. If only.  

Broadcast news, of course, no longer has nearly the power and audience it once had, but we now have the veritable reverse of what this country once had in its highest-profile journalists. and we have a president who cowers in the face of whatever media juggernaut is currently saying “boo.”  

True, Ike was buoyed, not hindered, by the mainstream press when he helped end the McCarthy stranglehold. And McCarthy and Eisenhower were, technically anyway, members of the same political party, so there was no insistence that Eisenhower humor McCarthy in the name of bipartisanship. But there’s also no law that requires the president, this one or any other, to mindlessly do the mainstream media’s bidding if that bidding is in the name of bipartisanship. At least not when bipartisanship means delegating fiscal policy to a rightwing faction of a minority party that a majority of voters recently pretty-darned-clearly rejected.

This is getting really, really scary.  

The links are to two Matthew Yglesias posts in Slate this morning.