Karl Rove Embodies Post-Truth Politics (And Journalism)
By ADAM SHAH
Karl Rove, whose pro-Republican political groups have been repeatedly called out for spreading falsehoods, used his latest Wall Street Journal column to claim that President Obama will damage his campaign by pointing out the many falsehoods that Mitt Romney tells.
In the Journal, Rove claimed that “alleging that Mr. Romney is a serial deceiver — as the president and top advisers are doing — is a hard sell. Mr. Romney came across last week as practical and thoughtful, authentic and a straight shooter.”
It’s not a surprise that Rove would join his colleagues in the right-wing media in trying to deflect attention from the many falsehoods Romney uttered in the debate and elsewhere. After all, conservative political figures have fully embraced a post-truth political landscape. But it takes particular nerve for Rove to suggest that Democrats should ignore falsehoods lobbed at them by Republicans.
One of the groups Rove co-founded, Crossroads GPS, has put out 10 ads that the independent fact-checker PolitiFact has rated false, mostly false, or pants-on-fire false. By contrast, PolitiFact has rated only three of the Crossroads GPS ads as true or mostly true.
Among Crossroads GPS’ false charges: a claim that under the Affordable Care Act, “millions could lose their health care coverage and be forced into a government pool”; a claim that the health care law raised “18 different taxes” on people making less than $250,000; and a claim that unions don’t have to comply with the Affordable Care Act, a claim that PolitiFact rated “pants on fire” false.
Another group Rove co-founded, American Crossroads, has not fared any better. PolitiFact has rated nine American Crossroads ads false or mostly false. It has not rated a single one true or mostly true.
Among American Crossroads’ false charges: a claim that 85 percent of recent college graduates are moving back in with their parents; a claim that Bill Clinton opposes Obama’s “Buffet Rule” to ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes; and a claim that Obama broke his promise about the effect that his stimulus plan would have on the unemployment rate.
No wonder Rove doesn’t want anyone calling out conservatives’ false claims.