There has been an impressive amount of angry liberal commentary, which has spilled over into the mainstream press coverage (or do I repeat myself?) of the issue, about how in the last Republican presidential debate Carly Fiorina allegedly cited an entirely imaginary video in order to make a crazy claim about Planned Parenthood’s brain-harvesting ghoulishness that’s totally unsupported by the facts. Here’s Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, in a representative rant, attacking Fiorina’s “big fib,” the sheer “enormity” of which has shaken Lithwick’s faith in honesty in politics and journalism:

Nobody—not even Fiorina’s staunchest defenders—can say that these videos that clearly don’t exist are real. Even one of the most brazen defenders of the imaginary videos, Jonah Goldberg, opens with this concession to the petty, mewling fact-checkers: “[T]hey have a point. The exact scene, exactly as Fiorina describes it, is not on the videos.” (The article could felicitously end there, but Goldberg goes on to defend the statement under the theory that since “[m]ost Americans are morally appalled by late-term abortions,” Fiorina might as well supply them with pretend images to go with their preconceptions.)