...it pays to lie, blatantly and repeatedly, when launching a campaign against a policy initiative. If proponents ignore your bogus claims, they go uncontested, making it easier to persuade uninformed voters. If proponents challenge your bogus claims, the media will say they've "lost control of the message."
The self-conscious media notion of "fake balance" has largely created this dynamic. And it's absolutely a victory for the disingenuous wingnut right. They managed to convince the media that they're biased and thus fomented this guilt complex which, in turn, prompted an effort to air all sides, irrespective of who's accurate and who's lying.
As Gibbs said yesterday:
"[L]et's be honest, you all, the media, tend to cover 'X said this, Y said this,' but some of you, but not everyone, does an investigation about whether what X said is actually true."
Gibbs absolutely nailed the core of what's wrong with the media right now.
So liberals and the Obama administration ultimately have to run triple-duty. Pushing a message, pushing an agenda, while also debunking the crazy. Meantime, the Republicans only need to make up more crazy, and their job is made even easier when cable news is so willing to thrust every screeching, gun-toting wingnut yokel in front of a camera to further repeat this crap.