Facts and Opinions

“I think it’s been very hard for Speaker Boehner and Republican Leader McConnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest Americans should go up a little bit, as part of an overall deficit reduction package.”

This haplessly phrased bit of Obamaspeak is one out of many illustrations of a confusion between fact and opinion that comes about as close to lying as any device known to politicians and journalists.  Pick up any newspaper or watch any news program, and you will find countless examples—and not all of them from the same politician.  In the same interview with David Gregory on Meet the Press, President Obama delivered this masterpiece of obfuscatory illiteracy:

The only thing I would caution against, David, is I think this notion of, “Well, both sides are just kind of unwilling to cooperate.”  And that’s just not true.  I mean if you look at the facts, what you have is a situation here where the Democratic Party, warts and all, and certainly me [sic], warts and all, have consistently done our best to try to put country first.

It would be unfair to wonder why Gregory did not challenge Mr. Obama’s nonsensical assertions.  He is, after all, the journalist who declared he would not “fact-check” his guests, as rival Jake Tapper has taken to doing. ...

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