Politico, in the middle of an absurdly “even-handed” story treating Republican race-baiting and Democratic complaints about Republican race-baiting as morally equivalent, shows how real journalists should deal with the Romney campaign’s veracity-challenged operating style:

Many Democrats believe Romney’s decision to inject welfare into the campaign — with a factually inaccurate ad claiming Obama had reversed Clinton-era work requirements — was an unmistakable, if coded, effort to imply that the first black president stands for handouts for lazy people.

Right! Mention the claim in the Romney ad and state as fact that the claim is false.

If this gets to be a media habit – something I hope for, but don’t expect – that would make the Romney strategy non-viable, which would be good for the country.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

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Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.