This article from the Daily Telegraph shows how two complete lies against US talkback radio host, Rush Limbaugh, are now openly expressed in mainstream media as true, even though they have been proven to be false.
He was said to say "I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark." except there is no recording of this, no one can testify to hearing it, it is hearsay and damning it is.
Now Limbaugh can be entertaining, but he is a Christian conservative who openly rejects the separation of church and state, so my time for him is limited. However, such a smear is atrocious and should result in an enormous lawsuit. It is tantamount to the wished for falsehood of those on the left than anyone who is a Republican must really be racist, for only those on the left have good intentions and treat everyone as equal (except foreigners, the wealthy and everyone who indirectly loses due to affirmative action).
However, it's important to remember that mainstream US politics is at this level - a level of venal hatred for the other. It is tribalist, and abandons reason. Democrats and Republicans have little between them in terms of embracing small secular government, and wanting to reduce the role of the state. Both speak with forked tongues, but for now the Democrats are embarking on a socialist big government spending spree and regulatory binge. The Republicans will criticise it, and do not much better, with their own agenda of pork and protection (although John McCain had a good record opposing this). Nothing will fundamentally change. Obama has just been a change to the left, with little sign he is much more than a co-leader of the Congressional Democrats.
There is a gap in the US electorate, for a politician who embraces small government without embracing the finger pointing of the Christian evangelical right. If only.