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7 Worst Media Brown-Nosers Who Enable Paul Ryan's Lies

Many pundits describe the vice-presidential nominee as an intellectual heavyweight. He's not -- but you wouldn't know it from the mainstream media reports.

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In other words, here's the same man lauded as being “serious” for being willing to slice and dice social programs, apparently calling for government to bail out manufacturing. Will that be in his next budget proposal, you think?

2. Dan Balz, Washington Post

According to Balz, Romney and Ryan “share an essential geekiness.” He doesn't mean that they're both white men who can't dance—no, he's talking about, you guessed it, policy. “Ryan, like Romney, is a numbers person who likes to break down problems and solve them after digesting reams of data,” he writes.

Funny, I thought the only data Romney liked to digest was how many workers he could lay off. And Ryan's publicly admitted that neither of them have “ run the numbers” on Romney's budget plan even while they trumpet their supposed deficit reductions.

As Peter Hart at FAIR notes, Balz actually does source some of the comments about the choice of Paul Ryan—to an anonymous Romney adviser, who spoke anonymously in order to affirm that other people had called the Ryan pick “bold” and that Romney was “confident.” Because one really needs anonymity to assert the feelings of the candidate. Another anonymous source makes the same comment later in the piece that Balz makes on his own--“Romney and Ryan are both data-driven guys, and there’s no question they will win the intellectual argument about whether we need to reform Medicare.”

Why he needs anonymous sources to say things that he seems perfectly comfortable repeating as conventional wisdom, I can't quite figure out.

3. Michael Crowley, Time Magazine

Possibly the most gratuitous fluffing of Paul Ryan's reputation comes from Time, where senior correspondent Crowley opens the piece with the assertion that “Paul Ryan may be America's most famous budget wonk.”

The reasons? Because Ryan likes to quote his many “intellectual idols.” Including, you guessed it, Ayn Rand!

But as Peter Hart points out at FAIR, where this article really gets weird is when it starts getting excited about Ryan's religion. Catholicism, you see, is where Ryan gets his ideas on “social issues”--which is, as is usual in the mainstream media, code for “gay marriage, abortion, and those pesky rights women and LGBTQ folks keep going on about.” But wait! It's not just social issues Ryan learned about from the church. No, his budget cuts are all Christlike too. Or at least drawn from the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI.

But Ryan says Catholic doctrine informs more than his views on social issues. His mission to reduce spending is partly inspired, he said in April, by the Vatican. "The Holy Father, Pope Benedict, has charged that governments, communities and individuals running up high debt levels are 'living at the expense of future generations' and 'living in untruth,'" he said. In which case the Ryan budget could be interpreted as a play for fairness and honesty, at least in the eyes of its maker.

Right. Except that as we've noted, Ryan's budget—to say nothing of Romney's plans for the economy—doesn't actually reduce the deficit, and Ryan's cuts to Pell Grants would explicitly be at the expense of future generations, saddling college students with massive debt even as earnings for college grads are sinking.

And what do you think the Pope say about the lies in Ryan's convention speech?

4. Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times

This short LA Times piece is a near-perfect example of a reporter sticking to the narrative she's heard, using the descriptions of the candidate that his party would most like to believe are true without ever questioning whether they hold up. “The vice presidential pick has breathed new vigor into the campaign, as conservatives who had expressed lackluster support for Mitt Romney embraced the budget wonk for the No. 2 spot,” Mascaro writes. And then, “Ryan is among the party's sharpest fiscal thinkers and the architect of the GOP's approach to steep budget cuts and the Medicare overhaul that has been attacked by Democrats as ending the social safety net.”