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« Clay Aiken's RNC bashing -- blame MSNBC? | Main | Boy do I miss "24" »

September 01, 2012



"First of all, speaking as a hardcore runner, I find it pretty hard to believe that Ryan just misremembered his finishing time, especially when he ran only one marathon." This didn't make sense; it's backwards. You're a hardcore runner, so you know which times are which. Three hours and four hours are very different in your mind. To those of us who've run once in our lives (I ran in the SF Bay to Breakers once, on a lark), the times mean little, and are therefore hard to remember. If you asked me to guess what my time was, I'd be lucky to get it within 50%.


He missed by a digit, not by 60 minutes. I am a fairly clever person myself (engineer, Lean Six Sigma, finishing my MS Degree in my mid-40's, read at a HS grad level when I was 11) and I can misplace a decimal on occasion as well. If 3:45 was in the back of his head, unscripted he could easily mentally grab the 3 and jump over the 45, or round up in his head and miss the "now subtract one".

This is different than being named after a guy who wasn't famous yet (Hillary Clinton), or quoting having been to 57 states, or associated with numerous known criminal associats.


A better comparison is the way Clinton routinely cheated at golf and lied about his score when bragging about it. Bubba reportedly used multiple mulligans on most holes, took a lower score on holes than he really shot (even with mulligans) and then had the gall to brag about his golf scores.


So they're looking into every detail of Ryan's life, including such minutiae as this? I see this in leftists comments to blog posts; if they can find anything, misspellings, off by a day on a date, well then, obviously the entire premise of the post can't be trusted and they can therefore ignore the arguments of the author.

Yet it is now established fact that Obama pretty much lied about everything in both his autohagiographies (assuming he actually wrote them at all), and it's even verified by an Obama supporter, David Maraniss, in his book. Lies about who he dated, what they were like, about the racial discrimination he never actually faced, about the insurance coverage for his dying mother, and everything else in them. He lied about not being a member of a socialist party.

He lies about everything he claims about his past four years' record, the phony jobs statistics, that Bush was the one who granted the Solyndra loan and started Fast and Furious, that he killed bin Laden, that because of his policies, not despite them, we are producing more oil now than when he was Coronated, that the Democrats and their Progressive(sic) policies of spreading the real estate wealth had nothing to do the 2008 meltdown, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.

Yet the media and all his sycophants and adorers defend him in all his lies by acting like they're the truth.

George Turner

sounds like the defenses are: (1) honest mistake, and (2)lots of people do it and/or there are worse lies or worse liars.

let's assume (1) is not true. then, is (2) really a defense? sounds like everyone above agrees that lies do matter. (at least if the other guy does it)

I think so to. If a politician is a repeated liar, that's one legit factor against voting for the person b/c I can't trust they really mean what they represent they'll do.

so, then we're back to (1). I'm a runner too, and so it seemed impossible to make that kind of mistake, but ... the point that a non serious runner may not realize or remember his time seems like a fair one.

So, sounds like we all agree it's fair game for political coverage to try to uncover lying liars and the lies they tell. (and you can't for a second believe that Fox News wouldn't jump on it if this had happened re: Obama, can you?) so, seems to me it's just more 2012 politics & journalism & partisanship as usual.

Tung Yin

Thanks for the comments!

1) I take the point about being a hardcore runner now, versus starting out. But I don't think it's just "misplacing" the digit. He actually ran 4 hours and something, but he claimed 2 hours and 50something. That's actually TWO digits in the hours place. It's not simply mixing up 4:02 and 3:02.

2) The New Yorker article points out that Ryan was slightly below average in the actual race. Yet in the interview, he accepted the interviewer's "wow" and added that he (Ryan) used to be quite fast when he was younger. That's like getting a 3.0 in a class, claiming you got a 4.0, and then agreeing that you aced the course.

3) George -- my point isn't that other people lie, so it's okay for Ryan to lie about his marathon time. Rather, it's that, to me, the marathon time lie is fairly trivial (though not totally irrelevant), but for people who are making a big deal out of it, did they also think that Bill Clinton's lies were a big deal? If not, why not?

Mike Brat

One thing to keep in mind is that 20 years ago they didn't do "chip timing" so the official times were according to the official clock of the race. a 4:0X marathon could easily have been a 3:5X time on the runner's own watch. If that is the case here, I guess it'd be easier to understand thinking 2:5X instead of 3:5X.

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