I heard the late MaoTseTung? (ChairmanMao) once said something of this nature:
Rumours told a thousand times becomes the Truth
It appears a fair number of people believe and practice the above principle. The candidates in the 2004 election cycle took it to an art form. U.S.A.?
Mao's aphorism is different (and closer to Rovian politics). Tom refers to the same guy repeatedly saying the same things in different ways. Mao refers to viral memes that you hear from many sources, because the peasants have been taught to feel empowered by repeating it. Example: John McCain? is gay, and has a black love-child.