Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Patient Zero

Paul Krugman highlights what seems to him the first example of the "repeat a lie until it's taken as conventional wisdom" messaging strategy of the North American right:
I originally got the term “zombie lies” from the healthcare field, specifically Canadian health care, where there are certain stories — like the one about hordes of Canadians crossing the border to seek treatment — that remain part of what everyone, or at least everyone on the right, knows to be true no matter how many times they have been shown to be false. Kill them, and they just keep shambling along.

The reason this happens so much in health economics is clear: the realities of health care — especially the complete absence of free-market success stories and the evident superiority of public systems at cost control — are just not supposed to happen in the conservative world view. Hence the temptation to make stuff up, to seize on stories that are what right-wingers think should be happening and pretend that they are what really happens.
Zombie right-wing lies: a proud part of our Canadian heritage. In fact, Jim Flaherty's announcement of a commemorative wooden nickel is being planned as we speak.

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