One of the big lies Mitt Romney insists on retelling as he runs for president of the United States is that the man he wants to succeed in the White House embarked on an “apology tour” of the Middle East not long after he took office in 2009.
President Barack Obama, as fact checkers have noted, did travel abroad and along the way made speeches in which he pointed out mistakes the nation has made in the past. He did not apologize, let alone apologize – as Romney keeps saying – “for American values.”
This is a canard that has gained all kinds of traction in the conservative media. It’s also an outright lie that the fact cops are trying to counter. But with individuals’ minds already made up, it’s a difficult notion to disprove. The Obama-haters already have crystalized their view of the president and their feelings about him have hardened.
It’s a sad consequence of these times. Opinions take shape without all the facts. They’re reinforced by commentators who echo the innuendo. They give life to the innuendo instead of snuffing it out.
Then we see heavily edited videos designed to put words into the president’s mouth. Any video producer knows how the tactic achieves that end. Some of this stuff is quite clever. It’s also false.
And then candidates such as Mitt Romney seize on these falsehoods, mold them into snappy stump speech zingers and perpetuate these lies.