Then I find that Mother Jones/AlterNet has an article along similar lines, though more focused on the acceptability of mendacity in today's political discourse. Check out this excerpt:
It takes two things to make a political lie work: a powerful person or institution willing to utter it, and another set of powerful institutions to amplify it. The former has always been with us: Kings, corporate executives, politicians, and ideologues from both sides of the aisle have been entirely willing to bend the truth when they felt it necessary or convenient. So why does it seem as if we're living in a time of overwhelmingly brazen deception? What's changed?
Today's marquee fibs almost always evolve the same way: A tree falls in the forest -- say, the claim that Saddam Hussein has "weapons of mass destruction," or that Barack Obama has an infernal scheme to parade our nation's senior citizens before death panels. But then a network of media enablers helps it to make a sound -- until enough people believe the untruth to make the lie an operative part of our political discourse.
For the past 15 years, I've spent much of my time deeply researching three historic periods -- the birth of the modern conservative movement around the Barry Goldwater campaign, the Nixon era, and the Reagan years -- that together have shaped the modern political lie. Here's how we got to where we are.
If you'd read how we got to this place, here's a link.