Republicans Should Follow Elisabeth Hasselbeck's Example and Say Enough Already

The first part of my Townhall column this week rehashes the Elisabeth-Rosie smackdown from this week, but the second part of the column touches on myths in the making such as the 9/11 truther conspiracies. Here is an excerpt:

It is a shame that it took Hasselbeck to ask O’Donnell to clarify the comment. I have previously written about how ABC has acted irresponsibly in letting O’Donnell spout ridiculous 9/11 conspiracy theories and other misleading and incorrect information to viewers of The View for quite a while now. Unfortunately, many in the media will not point out when untrue statements are made about Republicans. In fact, earlier in the same segment in which the now infamous showdown took place, co-host Joy Behar read a list of reasons President Bush should be impeached, including claiming that he “stole the election in 2000,” “killed the surplus with tax cuts” and “lied to us to get us into war.” It is up to conservatives to set the record straight any opportunity they get and regrettably most of them have been too silent for too long.

Myths are born when an untrue statement is repeated frequently enough, and loudly enough, that many come to believe the statement must be true because they have heard it said over and over again, usually with no refutation. For too long conservatives have allowed statements like Bush “stole the election” and “lied us into war” to be repeated with little if any opposition. When outrageous statements are first made it often seems unnecessary to bother refuting claims that are demonstrably untrue. That was the case with the kooky 9/11 “truther” claims that floated around the internet. The claims that the US government played a role in the 9/11 attacks were treated by most as something only tinfoil hat-wearing Bush haters could possibly believe and most (including me) chose not to dignify them by bothering to respond. Popular Mechanics debunked the various 9/11 conspiracy theories in book form, after all, and to most (again including me) it seemed unnecessary to bother pointing out something so obvious.

The truthers did not stop though. They continued to spread the 9/11 conspiracy theories and even enlisted the support of celebrities like Charlie Sheen and Rosie O’Donnell.

Update: I agree with Mary Katharine Ham’s take on this week’s fireworks on The View.

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