THE ‘L’ WORD…. We talked the other day about a surprising Washington Post editorial, which criticized John McCain’s demonstrably false claims about Barack Obama’s tax policies. Hiatt & Co., hardly a reliably liberal bunch, didn’t pull any punches, concluding that “McCain’s ads on taxes are just plain false,” and noting his campaign’s message is peddling a “phony, misleading and at times outright dishonest” line. The Post indirectly noted that candidates shouldn’t “outright lie” about each other’s policy positions.

How transparent are McCain’s bogus claims? Even Fox News has noticed. Consider this report from Major Garrett:

Based on the crowd reaction to recent attacks from Barack Obama and Joe Biden about John McCain’s tax policy, the Republican nominee may have something to worry about. […]

The crowds roar with approval when Obama and Biden describe their plans for a middle class tax cut and boo loudly at statistics showing how McCain’s continuation of the Bush tax cuts favor the wealthy. Of course, these are partisan Obama crowds. But it would be unwise for anyone seriously backing McCain to dismiss their full-throated roars for Obama-Biden on an issue that historically has favored the GOP nominee. […]

Add to this the mounting evidence that McCain’s TV commercials assailing Obama’s tax policy contain serious distortions, if not out-right lies.

Wait, is that a Fox News report accusing John McCain of blatant dishonesty? Yep, I think it is.

When Fox News is slamming the Republican nominee for lying, you know McCain has gone too far.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.