It’s in vogue on the left, accusations that as often as not are pure fiction (as in somebody made it up), followed by an immediate (pre-planned?) apology. This has the effect of convincing both the stupid and the overly conspiracy-minded that whatever manure was shoveled is the gods honest truth and “the evil Republicans are MAKING who-ever-it-is apologize through their evil influence. (Apparently the fact that their accusers LIED no longer matters at that point.) At any rate, the “apology” for this behavior is worthless. Treat it as such.
Now, my preferred way to deal with lies about how EVIL I am, is to own them completely. (I give small children nightmares? I AM SO COOL!!) But that probably doesn’t work out well for people who are trying to get elected to something.
Expecting the already biased Media to do something about this sort of vilification is a futile hope. The allegedly unbiased MSM chose sides long ago. On the upside that’s the choice that’s doomed them to a slow, lingering, and much deserved death, but until they give up the ghost they will give themselves as much company in oblivion as they can get – sadly, this means anyone on the right they get their hands on will be dragged down as well.
Now New Media (Internet) is buried with fact-checkers all over the place. The victims of these attacks should choose a politically aligned group to help them – others will most likely stand mute. Though there are surprises from time to time, In many cases they are not even needed – see Schultz/Walker. But the victims should absolutely establish their innocence regardless.
Preemption would be ideal, but I’m afraid retaliation is the only way to go after an attack of this sort. The victim HAS taken a hit from this kind of attack, and there’s little to do about it but hit back. SO HIT BACK! The most PC thing to do is to is to forge the lies into a weapon that you can use on the accuser. Remember apologies have no worth in these circumstances so the word “LIAR” needs to figure large in any counterattacks. Don’t soften it – IT’S NOT SOFT. “Con-man/woman” and “Deceiver” could figure large as well. Don’t forget to attack the avenues of dissemination as well – The people who SPREAD the lie should be in trouble as well. Don’t disappoint them, even if there’s no prayer of it working.
Hopefully the victims will be able to link these attacks to a pattern of deceptive behavior that can then be used against the liars. Track records of Liars are public too. They can and should be used, AND ADDED TO. If they are not dead, the liars are still producing a track record of false accusations. That sort of thing can and should be fought.