Thus the campaign manager of the New York Republican candidate for governor, Carl Paladino, denounced it a "smear" by the "liberal elite" when reports surfaced that he had a habit of sending a long list of e-mail friends revolting pornographic videos and racist "jokes"; likewise the camps of other far-out GOP candidates have termed as "smears" the (completely true) facts that have emerged about their promotion of a pornographic website (Ben Quayle), their trail of unpaid bills, a mortgage default, and an IRS lien (Christine O'Donnell), and the various simply bizarre things they themselves were caught saying on camera just a few months earlier (Sharron Angle).
Once again Ambrose Bierce comes to the rescue to explain this:
Defame, v.t. To lie about another. To tell the truth about another.