Friday, September 19, 2008

Lie Down

In a pushback against my own worries that I raised earlier -- about people's persistent belief in lies, in some cases even reinforced by rebuttals -- consider the rapidly plummeting approval ratings of Sarah Palin.

Some of this decline, almost certainly, has to do with the novelty wearing off, and some more can be explained by people who had no opinion forming one after learning more about her. But I do wonder how much of the drop has to do with the lies that she has told, and contra the reinforcement effect, that have been exposed. Or, maybe it's not so much that people necessarily now disbelieve a specific story, but more the case that when a given source repeatedly gets exposed as unreliable, the general impression changes.

At any rate, Jon Chait has a nice post up recapping most of the major whoppers that, combined, have been crumbling the Palin myth the McCain campaign is trying to project. Well worth a read.

Note also, in Chait's article, the resemblance to the packaging of McCain himself:

In lieu of opening Palin to regular questioning from the press corps, of the sort the other three candidates have all undergone many times before, the McCain campaign is helpfully leaking positive appraisals of her studiousness. "Despite the worries, [Palin] struck many campaign officials as more calm and cerebral than expected," reported Newsweek. "She was quick to ask questions, and to 'engage in a back and forth' with briefers." See, the McCain campaign says she's on the ball. That settles it, right?

That is, as Larison pointed out about McCain (last post), instead of her actually demonstrating any these traits, we are merely assured that she has them.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

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