Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Martin Bashir and MSNBC - do left-liberals actually know they're lying?

You may recognise Martin Bashir as the BBC reporter who made his name by interviewing Princess Diana, went on to "do" Michael jackson for ITV and then capitalised  by moving to America, where he now hosts his own afternoon show on MSNBC. (I'll admit an interest - I once tried to achieve my own coup by hiring him as a permanent presenter on a show I was editing: he was interested, but my bosses turned down my request).

Bashir is an Obamaphiliac lefty who regularly bashes the hell out of Mitt Romney - often accusing him  of lying. Given that American TV doesn't need to be politically even-handed, this is fair enough. What I do have a problem with is when those attacks depend on lies, as they do in the video above.

To suggest that Romney's plans for the US economy are the ones that have brought Spain and Britain to their knees is a straighforward lie. There have been no spending cuts in this country. The only tax "cuts" so far have consisted of raising the personal allowance, which means a lot of low-income people don't have to pay any tax (just as 50% of all Americans pay no income tax). And the idea that America is enjoying a robustly healthy Obama-created economy which would be threatened by Republicans applying European-style austerity measures is so deranged on so many levels, I can't actually believe that a bright chap like Bashir believes it for a moment.

Which begs the question - do left-liberals actually believe what they say, or do they just have no problem with lying? If, say, Ed Balls believes that the Coalition government is cutting public spending too far too fast, when it's demonstrably increasing, then he's either trying to mislead voters, or he's even more economically illiterate than the last Labour government's policies would suggest. And if he's lying through his teeth, isn't he ashamed of himself? Ken Livingstone has told a series of outrageous lies during his mayoralty campaign (Andrew Gilligan has listed 22 false claims in a blog this morning, which you can read here). Livingstone would obviously like his lying claims to be true - but he surely can't actually believe the things he's been saying.

There's a word for people who are able to lie without shame - they're called psychopaths. Psychopaths are born without a conscience, which allows them to commit crimes without feeling remorse.

Look, I'm not for a moment suggesting that Bashir, Balls and Livingstone are psychopaths who spend their spare time busily converting secret lock-ups into torture chambers. But as they seem happy to look us straight in the eye while they spout garbage they can't possibly believe, what are they? We know - only too well - that a certain type of left-winger (some would say the majority) regard truth as relative: telling a lie in a greater cause is acceptable. Perhaps that's how these people salve their consciences.

If that's the case, and as Bashir is described as a "committed Christian", then, before he next accuses Romney of lying, perhaps he should remember the following words from Matthew 7:5:
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

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