The usually reliable Republican shill publication Politico blurred the lines of fact and fiction with a very strange missive written by the usually reliably Republican Roger Simon.  Perhaps Politico’s editors figured that Fox regularly makes shit up and passes it along as fact, they could do it too.

Or perhaps Roger Simon just thought he could combine factual statements with absurd shit he made up and pass it off as satire.  But satire is tricky; there has to be some there there. This piece just left us scratching our heads…

Here’s the problem: The piece, entitled Paul Ryan vs. The Stench starts off as if it’s a news story with a bit of fact:

Paul Ryan has gone rogue. He is unleashed, unchained, off the hook.

“I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday.

Coming from a resident of Iowa, a state where people are polite even to soybeans, this was a powerful condemnation of the Republican nominee.

So, when the next paragraph kicked in, I had no reason to doubt the veracity of the reporting:

Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”

But, really? Was Paul Ryan really uncouth enough to say that on his campaign bus?  Outlandish, but this is a “Political Column” (that’s how it’s billed) in Politico, by Roger Simon.  He couldn’t possibly be making this up, or could he?   Consider this section a little further down in the story (emphasis mine):

Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers, has kept a tight grip on Ryan, traveling with him everywhere and making sure he hews to the directions of the Romney “brain trust” in Boston. (A brain trust, rumor has it, that refers to Ryan as “Gilligan.”)

But on Saturday, the day after he was booed, Ryan broke free. Appearing at a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Ryan showed the glitz, the glamour, the razzle-dazzle that he was supposed to bring to the campaign in the first place.

He did a PowerPoint presentation for the crowd. According to the National Journal, be began thusly: “ ‘I’m kind of a PowerPoint guy, so I hope you’ll bear with me,’ Ryan told the audience as he began clicking through four slides, which showed graphs depicting U.S. debt held by the public from 1940 to present, debt per person in the United States, percentage of debt held by foreign countries and a breakdown of federal spending. He then launched into a 10-minute monologue on the federal debt.”

A word about PowerPoint. PowerPoint was released by Microsoft in 1990 as a way to euthanize cattle using a method less cruel than hitting them over the head with iron mallets. After PETA successfully argued in court that PowerPoint actually was more cruel than iron mallets, the program was adopted by corporations for slide show presentations.

Conducting a PowerPoint presentation is a lot like smoking a cigar. Only the person doing it likes it. The people around him want to hit him with a chair.

PowerPoint is usually restricted to conference rooms where the doors are locked from the outside. It is, therefore, considered unsuited for large rallies, where people have a means of escape and where the purpose is to energize rather than daze.

Ryan’s PowerPoint slides were officially labeled: “Our Unsustainable Debt (U.S. Debt Held by Public as a Share of Economy),” “Your Share of the Debt,” “Who Funds Our Reckless Spending?” and “How the Government Spends Your Money.”

The Romney campaign was furious. But Ryan reportedly said, “Let Ryan be Ryan and let the Stench be the Stench.”

I might be wrong, but after reading this piece a number of times, I’m guessing that the bolded parts were made up and the parts I didn’t highlight were fact.  I’ve tried, unsuccessfully thus far, to get hold of Roger Simon to have him clarify which parts of this mess were real and which were his fantasy.  I’ll update if he ever responds.

But the real take-away here is that IT DOESN’T MATTER. Unwittingly (or not), this meme will stick.  Mitt Romney will now be known as The Stench, and Ryan is his Gilligan.  You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.  So rather than excoriating Simon for his bad writing, perhaps I should just thank him.

On the show today, along with pondering that nonsense, I shared some other news:

Allen West is seriously damaged.  He took to his Facebook page to criticize President Obama’s speech to the UN with the text of the speech he would have delivered if he had been POTUS (God forbid):

“My statement to the United Nations would have been, “The future does not belong to those who attack our Embassies and Consulates and kill our Ambassadors. The Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle will visit you and wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence””

Right Wing Media lives in Opposite World.  A bunch of the worst of the worst on the right signed on to a petition against media bias written by the RWNJ Brent Bozell. From Talkers magazine:

The missive detailing a complaint against ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN for “rigging this election and taking sides in order to pre-determine the outcome,” is penned by the conservative Media Research Center’s L. Brent Bozell III but it is signed by some of the country’s top nationally syndicated talk show hosts. Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh, TRN’s Laura Ingraham and Cumulus Media Networks’ Mark Levin signed the open letter. In it, Bozell writes, in part: “A free and balanced media are crucial to the health of this country. It is your duty as journalists – as outlined in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics – to ‘distinguish between advocacy and news reporting,’ while simultaneously ‘seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.’ There is a reason why the media are viewed with such disdain by the American public, as evidenced by every recent poll on the issue.”

And a follow up to yesterday’s interview with Joe Garcia:  Rep David Rivera is a scumbag.

Today on the show, I spoke with Clyde Coughenour, author of the book Anyone That Works for a Living and Votes Republican is an Idiot, and comedian/pundit/Current TV broadcaster John Fugelsang joined in too!

Tomorrow, we kick off our Call In Hour!  Call in between 10 and 11am ET to 954-889-6410 or via skype at nicolesandler.  I’ll take the calls in the order they come in, live on the air, unscreened, so make them good!!  And Maysoon Zayid joins in as a regular, beginning tomorrow, each Thursday in the second hour!