THE CENTER-RIGHT MYTH…. And the Observation of the Day award goes to the estimable David Sirota.

As the graph shows, the use of the exact term “center-right nation” spiked [in the major media] immediately after election day (point “0” is the day my column published, point “1” is election day).

While it’s true — this trend study doesn’t tell us how many of the “center-right nation” references are saying this is “not a center-right nation.” But a look through Lexis-Nexis shows it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of these references are asserting this is a “center-right nation.”

So we’re not talking about theory anymore — we’re talking about empirical fact. The media has exponentially increased the amount of times it claims that this country is a “center-right nation” — at the very same time public opinion data shows the country is a decidedly center-left nation.

I feel like Newsweek’s cover story the week before the election, insisting in advance of the results that no matter what happens when voters actually express a preference, everyone should remember that it’s still a “center-right” country.

Keep in mind, this has proven surprisingly pervasive. We’ve had Republican officials making the claim at every opportunity, and conservative voices like that of Joe Scarborough and Karl Rove, but we’ve also seen less predictable figures like Tom Brokaw repeating the same claim, without evidence or support.

They have no reason to believe their lying eyes.

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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.