Only the truth has been changed to protect the guilty

by: Paul Rosenberg

Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 14:30


On Friday, Rachel Maddow had a segment that ended with a powerful indictment of the rightwing politics of lying--and by implication the media's complicity in assisting them:

This is arguably the central point that Versailles' false "balance" schema dogmatically denies:  the right overwhelming depends on fake arguments based on faked facts.  While any given individual may not realize it, and thus technically not be a liar, the totality of political conservatism today depends upon willfully not knowing the truth.  They lie collectively in order to preserve the fiction that they are not lying individually.

And the false "balance" schema demands that the media ignore what is going on, because telling the truth would mean calling conservatives pathological liars.  Which is why the media is heavily biased toward conservatives: it treats virtually every outlandish claim they make as if it were credible, as if conservatives had never lied before, when in fact they lie constantly.

The challenge is not to find conservatives lies.  The challenge is to find conservatives telling the truth about anything at all that has major political significance.  They flat out just can't seem to do it.  And the M$M is scared shitless to deal with the fact.

Paul Rosenberg :: Only the truth has been changed to protect the guilty

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Yeah well you're just saying that because the liberal media brainwashed you (4.00 / 6)
This is one of my most hated talking points. Whatever one says to counter a RW lie or meme, if it makes any sense, they shoot it down by yelling "Liberal bias!", as if 1 + 1 = 2 was "liberal". As Stephen Colbert once said, reality has a well-known liberal bias. If it makes sense, it's liberal, and if it's liberal, it's biased, and if it's biased, it's wrong. Never mind why. It just IS!

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

As In (4.00 / 5)
ACORN was so nefariously evil that no one could find any crimes they committed.

Unlike the Catholic Church, of course!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
I"m still livid about the (4.00 / 3)
anti-semitism thing from last night.  The only priests that recently have died for their beliefs are the same priests that Benedict decided to openly chastize as Cardinal Ratzinger.  Until actual persecution starts, I can't believe that they would dare to say such a thing.  

[ Parent ]
Me too! (4.00 / 3)
When did the Jews start molesting children? Because that's the first I've ever heard of it.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
A true low point for recent church behavior (4.00 / 1)
Not anywhere in the same league as the actual pedophelia, of course, but in terms of revealing how top church leaders actually feel about these crimes, the world's view of them, and their own profound sense of (undeserved) entitlement, it said everything that we needed to know.

A bunch of pathetic old self-loathing men who hide behind lies and false peity.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
It's just like the devil (4.00 / 1)
The way to tell that you're dealing with him is if he makes perfect sense. Only the devil could pull that off. Who do you think discovered gravity and all that round earth blasphemy stuff? An active mind is the devil's true workshop!

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
People lie (0.00 / 0)
On both ends. Take climategate for example. In that case, there was some obvious deception at worst and willfully bad science at best; in short lying. Does that mean that the whole climate change thing was based on lies or as you put it "depends upon willfully not knowing the truth". No, obviously not. Climate change is still a real problem and it does "overwhelming depends on fake arguments based on faked facts" as you put it.

Instead, what we see is that while people believe things to have great importance, there is some deception among some to help make these things reality. This doesn't mean the thing itself to be dependent on lying. Liberals could be guilty of deception as well. Who knows if the cuts enacted healthcare reform will not be cut out when the time comes? Maybe its just farce to get the bill to pass now and they know it. Was the stimulus really effective? Depends on who you get to interpret the data and what assumptions you decide to impose. Another way for concerned parties to add their layer of deception on board. Are the forcasted deficits/unemployment rates the white house puts out real? Or just deception to paint a rosier picture?


re: lie (4.00 / 2)
Take climategate for example. In that case, there was some obvious deception at worst and willfully bad science at best; in short lying.

what exactly ate you talking about?

what are you referring to as "willfully bad science"?


[ Parent ]
No, he's right (4.00 / 3)
You have to have balance.  They both do it.  You know you're right if both sides are mad at you.  Anyone who believes strongly in something - especially something involving protecting people or the planet - is obviously an extremist.  

Here's what I mean: One side says the earth is flat, the other side says it is round.  So obviously the right answer has to be that the earth is sort of rectangular with rounded edges.

So give Zugzugzug a break.  

--

Seeing The Forest -- Who is our economy FOR, anyway? Twitter: dcjohnson


[ Parent ]
You had me going, Dave. (0.00 / 0)
I thought we'd lost you to Jesus or something.

[ Parent ]
Actually, Not So Much (4.00 / 6)
As Media Matters notes, in post with lins to previous related debunking, the AP reports:

UK 'Climategate' Inquiry Largely Clears Scientists

The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world's leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved.

The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming - two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues.

In their report, the committee said that, as far as it was able to ascertain, "the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact," adding that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mails, or the controversy kicked up by their publication, challenged scientific consensus that "global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity."

Now, will you please give us your best Emily Litella?

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
They're not scared (4.00 / 2)
And the M$M is scared shitless to deal with the fact.

They aren't too scared to deal with that fact.

They're paid not to deal with it. In fact, they are paid not to even see it, or acknowledge that fact's existence.

Saying they are scared is giving them an out. If they are scared, then it's because they are paid to be that way.


So Money & Fear Have Nothing To Do With One Another? (4.00 / 1)
Do tell!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Alright, they are not diametrically opposed... (4.00 / 1)
I suppose that members of the media are afraid of being booted off the gravy train. But I'd go even further, and update that old Upton Sinclair line to read:

"It's hard to get a man to understand something, when he works his whole life to get into a cushy job where his paycheck depends on not understanding it."

Some are born with the fear and it drives their pursuit of the almighty dollar. But it's not fear for their freedom or their lives or their children that keeps them from acknowledging unpleasant facts.


[ Parent ]
It's Not An Either/Or World (4.00 / 1)
We're the ones fighting against that limited way of seeing things, remember?

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
yeah that's kinda what I just said... (0.00 / 0)
although not as clear as I could be, and only in regard to the media.

It's like that old stupid vs. evil debate. As we saw with the Bush/Cheney cabal, it's both. They came into office on a combination of stupid+evil and their stupidity compounded their evilness, and their evilness systematically removed from the administration those who were not stupid.

But with the media, it's a different thing, they are scared of losing prestige and money, not scared of standing up to authority, or scared that their children will suffer because they reported facts that the administration doesn't like.

You could say that certain members of the media choose to be paid to suffer from one kind of fear, so as to save themselves from having to face another kind of fear.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, Maddow's turning things up a notch… (4.00 / 2)
...probably because there's no easy way to deal with that Scott Brown slander, short of threatening to go upside his head or shoot him. Keep it coming, Rachel!!

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

No Surprise, Really (4.00 / 1)
The Wingnuts author used to work for Rudy Guiliani, so he knows a whole lot more about wingnuts than even he realizes... and a whole less, as well.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
yes, not really surprised (4.00 / 1)
it's another media specialty

on the one hand we have a militia arrested for planning to kill police officers and overthrow the government and on the other a leftist heckler. hey, let's slap the same label on both of them and put it on the air...


[ Parent ]
Well, Belief In The Rule Of Law Is CLEARLY Delusional (4.00 / 2)
so I guess he sort of has a point.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
A different challenge (0.00 / 0)
is to figure out how best to respond.  Arguing individual facts alone, as Maddow does here, would not seem to be enough. And the unwillingness of Democratic officials to vigorously fight back on the facts or values compounds the problem.  

I can't foresee any change in the media's behavior absent a change in either the behavior of the Dems or the Republicans.  The latter isn't going to happen anytime soon.  

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


Creative Disruption (4.00 / 1)
Actually, Maddow was doing more than arguing individual facts.  She was reciting a litany. And that's part of a larger process of building structures of opposition.

Too tired now to elaborate further in anything remotely resembling coherent expression.  (I tried.  I deleted.)  But I do think there are ways forward, and I will try to write more about this.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
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