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November 30, 2007

Pattern Recognition

By Ankush Khardori

Kudos to the Times' Michael Cooper for coming as close as the conventions of newspaper reporting allow to calling Rudy Giuliani a serial liar. Kicking things off with just a couple misstatements of fact, Cooper writes:

All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong. And while, to be sure, all candidates use misleading statistics from time to time, Mr. Giuliani has made statistics a central part of his candidacy as he campaigns on his record.

That's exactly right. In many ways, Giuliani is selling himself as the Compstat President. Even if he weren't, though, the pattern would be troubling; this mangling of facts is the sort of thing that only a few pundits, like Paul Krugman, were worrying about during the 2000 election, and we know how that turned out. And, of course, it's very convenient that "virtually all of [Giuliani's misstatements] cast Mr. Giuliani or his arguments in a better light." As the Times notes in one of the more damning episodes, involving Giuliani's use of blatantly false prostate cancer statistics, he persisted in making claims even after he, his staff, and everyone else paying attention knew they were false. That, of course, is the very definition of a lie.

In the hilarious-if-it-weren't-true department, the Times notes elsewhere that Giuliani's latest ad features a claim about other people lying that "does not appear to be based on any evidence."

November 30, 2007 | Permalink


The difference comes in "incidence" -- there are many more diagnoses of prostate cancer in America, as we have an aggressive screening process:

So you call someone out as a liar for misrepresenting facts and support it with your own lie you refuse to acknowledge? America has more “incidence” because we get cancer more frequently, most likely caused by poor diet and other measurable variables.

Posted by: Nate O | Nov 30, 2007 11:38:46 AM

i am not too concerned about giuliani or paul...both of them bear such strong resemblance to rumpelstilstkin. we cant have a rumpelstiltskin-esque president. it just cant happen.
on the other hand, a good "christian leader" like huckabee...affable nature, sincere warm eyes like two big,huckleberries and comforting pastoral manner, guiding his flock with The Word....this is something to consider.

Posted by: jacqueline | Nov 30, 2007 12:39:02 PM

jacqueline, I'd worry about Huckabee... except his proposals are pretty much nuts, no matter how friendly a puppy he looks or sounds. I think Giuliani and/or Romney have what it takes (mostly money) to beat him... and as you note, Giuliani's damaged goods long before the fall, and I think Romney is as well. The major point is I think all these guys are beatable. We know it... and so do they.

Posted by: weboy | Nov 30, 2007 4:09:56 PM


that is comforting to know. watching him in the debate, i could hardly believe the things he was saying.
in fact, i could hardly believe so many of the things all of the candidates were saying. it was a cuckoo's nest.
that is why i feel when the democratic candidate is chosen, it will be important to come into alignment.
the stakes are so high.

Posted by: jacqueline | Nov 30, 2007 4:23:55 PM

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