They make up some fact. They repeat said fact over and over. They get mad at you for not believing them.

RC3 points out how this was done on Hardball recently when Chris Matthews interviewed columnist Michelle Malkin. On the show, Malkin accuses Kerry of having shot himself for some reason. Uh huh:

Kerry: I will now take this gun and shoot myself so that someday I can use my Purple Heart as a diabolical weapon against good-thinking Republicans everywhere!


Matthews didn’t buy it either:

MATTHEWS:  I want a statement from you on this program, say to me right, that you believe he shot himself to get credit for a purpose of heart. 

Going to continue because this is long:

In response, Malkin accuses Matthews of not having read some book. Whether Matthews has read this book or no, the damned viewers sure haven’t. This isn’t a book discussion program. The person who claims to have read the thing should tell us what it says (and why it’s credible).

Then she asks Matthews if he’s asked Kerry about this, yet. No, Malkin, because journalists are not expected to ask every possible stupid question.

Even the repubs on the show weren’t happy:

MATTHEWS:  My concern is that if we‘re going to have a serious election in this country and not one about personality like last time, how can we get back to talking about the war that‘s going on now?  We‘re losing almost 1,000 men right now.  6,500 men seriously injured, in some cases worse than Max Cleland, lots of amputations.  We‘ve seen some of them on the program.  How come we‘re talking about a war that‘s 30 years ago? 

GERGEN:  That‘s the point, Chris.  More than whether Kerry gains or Bush gains is the fact that it‘s not good for the country.  To have an argument about the past when we should talk about the future is trivializing what we face as a nation.  How will we come up with a strategy to win this war on terrorism? 

Where will the next president go over the next four years?  To divert attention from that issue is harmful to the process.  I will tell you—the Republicans do not help themselves.  Over time when you have a pattern from—when they went after John McCain in South Carolina when they went after his war record and then went after Max Cleland in 2002 and one of the Republican leaders Ann Coulter said maybe it‘s his own fault that he lost three limbs in Vietnam. 

Now they‘re going after Kerry on his war record.  This is really a mistaken, terribly wrong-heading pattern for the Republicans.  It only drives people away.  These things can work in the short term, but in the long term McCain was helped.  His stature grew after the South Carolina primary and the president‘s stature, while he helped himself in the short-term, he was hurt in the long-term. 

MATTHEWS:  Well said, David.  You are my kind of Republican. 

RC3’s final word on this show is apt:

What this campaign is really teaching us is that if you want to be President, it is better to do nothing in life than to attempt to distinguish yourself in any way before aspiring to higher office. Kerry’s service in the Vietnam war and tenure in the Senate are being used to bludgeon him in ways that I honestly wouldn’t have imagined before the campaign. George W Bush accomplished nothing before he became governor of Texas, and he’s better off for it.

Apparently, accomplishments are merely fodder for more lies and slander.