Archive for Media

Spin: a lexical analysis

John Hinderaker decomposes an AP spin effort the illustrates how either bias or propaganda is expressed and truth becomes fiction.

The Associated Press reports on Donald Trump’s talking about Hillary Clinton’s role in her husband’s rape and sexual harassment scandals. Perhaps recognizing that some people might consider being an accessory to rape and sexual assault more serious failings than talking crudely about women, the AP doesn’t take any chances. You almost have to read between the lines to extract the story from the spin:

When eleven-year-old video of Trump talking crudely was released, was it a “personal attack”? No. But Trump’s criticism of Hillary Clinton is.

Got that? No substance to Trump’s claims, he is simply trying to “deflect” attention from his own “predatory comments.” And note what a strange phrase that is. How can a comment be predatory? Actual predatory behavior (not comments) was shown by Bill Clinton when he raped Juanita Broaddrick, grabbed Kathleen Willey’s breast, and sexually harassed Paula Jones. But the AP wants you to think that such criminal conduct is minor (and in any event “unproven”), whereas Donald Trump’s crude bluster is “predatory.”

There is much more, but you get the point. I would continue, but the spin is making me dizzy.

Along the way, the use of terms such as “defiant”, “dangerous”, “seizing”, “unsubstantiated”, “charge”, and other loaded terms are highlighted and their insidiousness explained. What you have here is a lesson in how to detect when you being fed a load of nonsense by using specific and objective criteria. The sad thing is that such spin may be more a representation of bias (unintentional) rather than propaganda (intentional) and that a large part of the populace buys it.

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The State Propaganda Machine Discussed

It’s the Washington Times pundits, again. This time the theme is the MSM, mainstream media, or the State Propaganda Machine. The fact that major media have earned a ‘propaganda’ title is becoming more clear to more people and undergoing some examination and discussion. Here are a few examples from today’s edition

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. on how The media make history — “The anti-Trump frenzy signals the collapse of American journalism.”

The MSM is aroused by Mr. Trump’s words but unbothered about actions that Mrs. Clinton has actually taken. They seem to think that Mr. Trump’s misfired jokes or loosely formulated statements are more dangerous to the commonweal than Mrs. Clinton’s decisions with her emails and her mendacious cover-ups.

Michael Goodwin has drawn our attention to an important historical development. With the trashing of Donald Trump and the celebration of a career criminal, the mainstream media have become passe.

Clifford D. May on The Soros smear effect — “Rather than debate his opponents, the billionaire arbiter defames all of them.”

About five years ago, it became clear that a concerted effort was underway to defame me and the national security policy institute I founded just after the Sept. 11 attacks, along with other individuals and groups focusing on the toxic ideologies that had been gaining ground in what we now call the Muslim world. The activists’ goal was to brand us as “Islamophobes” — haters, racists and bigots who should be shunned, drummed out of the public square, made to shut the hell up.

What I didn’t know then was that this smear campaign was being financed by world-famous billionaire and leftist philanthropist George Soros. Recently, a website called DCLeaks purloined and published online more than 2,500 files from Mr. Soros‘ Open Society Foundations (OSF).

“Progressive counterterrorism policies.” “The anti-hate movement.” “An appreciation.” Don’t you just love it? Investor’s Business Daily observed that Mr. Soros‘ practice is to spend “money to delegitimize governments and others with whom he disagrees. It’s not about debate, and certainly not ‘open,’ as his groups’ names all suggest. It’s political subterfuge in service of a far-left agenda.”

Shockingly but not surprisingly, editors and producers at liberal-progressive media outlets have seen nothing worth reporting in these revelations about how a man of enormous wealth and power uses such methods to shape public opinion and government policy.

Tammy Bruce The legacy media meltdown over Donald Trump — “Panicked and muddled, anti-Trump forces ignore Americans’ concerns.”

The editorial is the hallmark of projection, or the assignment of your intentions and beliefs to others. They complain about “hatred” from Mr. Trump, yet how about The New York Times editorial opening with an idiotic and vile comparison of Mr. Trump to the Hindenberg (I can hear it now in the editorial board room, “Yeah, great idea! It’s a Nazi thing and people died!”) to going after his supporters in a vein that would make Mr. McCarthy quite proud.

Over the top, overboard, hyperbolic and such attributes are becoming more common in line with the idea that the reason must be desperation. Perhaps people will notice. Perhaps they do notice which is why circulation is down. “The MSM is aroused by Mr. Trump’s words but unbothered about actions that Mrs. Clinton has actually taken.”  This is not just the NYT but also the American public if the polls are saying anything. That is an effect of the propaganda and it is an example of the corrosive and destructive forces at work. We can hope those forces are overcome with reason and integrity.

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Grok Trump?

The IBD claims that Establishment Republicans Shoot At Trump — And Hit Themselves In The Foot

many of the examples these erstwhile Republicans provide to back up their decision apply as much to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as to Trump.

Trump has serious character flaws, to be sure, but Clinton has an actual record of failure in just about everything she did as secretary of state. And that’s to say nothing of the cavalier disregard for national security with her use of an unsecured private email server while at State. Even the head of Obama’s FBI admitted that Clinton’s recklessness likely put classified information in the hands of our enemies.

Constructive criticism of any candidate is important. But there’s a difference between constructive criticism and the tawdry political opportunism on display this week by Republicans who ought to know better.

There are other groups that are making fools of themselves, too. Thomas Lifson takes up the case where Trump successfully baits media into hysteria. Again.

The anti-Trump media (another name for the mainstream media) have resumed their frenzied claims that Donald Trump is out to unleash indescribable horror in the American people. The current version of doom is that he is calling for NRA assassins to kill either Hillary Clinton or her Supreme Court nominees, or both. What he actually said was this:

“By the way if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Within thirty minutes, according to Rudy Giuliani interviewed on Fox News this morning, the Clinton spin machine had shaped the media narrative. Trump was not calling for electoral activism (at a rally of electoral activists!). No, he was calling on “Second Amendment People” to use their evil guns to kill someone or other.

Given these conditions, it would make sense for Trump to capitalize on the media’s inability to be fair, and get them to anger his base to turn out. And also to discredit themselves in the eyes of persuadables in the general public. People who despise him are going to write bad things about him anyway, so why not push them over the edge into revealing more than they intend about their own prejudices?

And Howard Kurtz explains how the Media justify anti-Trump bias, claim he’s too ‘dangerous’ for normal rules,

The media’s legions of Trump-bashers are finally acknowledging the obvious.

And trying their best to justify it.

But there’s one problem: Tilting against one candidate in a presidential election can’t be justified.

This is about the mainstream media’s reporters, editors and producers, whose credo is supposed to be fairness.

And now some of them are flat-out making the case for unfairness—an unprecedented approach for an unprecedented campaign.

Many of the reporters who feel compelled to stop Trump are undoubtedly comfortable because all their friends feel the same way.

But they are deluding themselves if they think that going after one candidate in a two-candidate race is what journalism is about.

Deluding themselves, indeed. Jim Rutenberg of the NYT refers to “coded appeals to racism or nationalism” which is the kind of language used when you are not able to find a reality to support your perceptions.

This is the establishment under the microscope. Establishment has been an ugly word since the 60’s, Those who made it an ugly word were successful and became ‘establishment’ themselves. Now they are trying to defend themselves because they have become the worst of what they railed against in the past. Trump is the one who brought to microscope to the table and what he is making visible is not pretty. But the ‘people’ knew that. That is why Trump is getting traction. Some of the ‘establishment’ get this, they Grok Trump. Others don’t and they are suffering dissonance.

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Tactics. Propaganda.

Robert Knight on The truth about lies — “Lies are embraced when the truth plays second fiddle.”

Omitting key details is one way to lie. We still hear about the shooting of the “unarmed teen Michael Brown” in Ferguson, Missouri with no mention that he was attacking a police officer. Adding adjectives is another. In supposedly objective news stories about voter ID laws, the writers keep inserting “restrictive” in front of them in order to make them sound onerous. All laws are “restrictive” in some sense. They never do this with gun laws, by the way.

Even when the press gets caught red-handed, they just move on as if nothing had happened. Much of the ease in which so many in the media embrace dishonesty can be traced to their formative years on campus, where leftist academics taught them that truth is in the eye of the beholder.

A former newspaper editor who has seen it all, Mr. Duigon said that a lie of this magnitude “takes your breath away.”

If past is prologue, we’d better break out the oxygen masks.

Why do so many seem to feel ‘at this point, what difference does it make?’ Something strange is happening.

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the State Propaganda Machine vs. Trump

Jeffrey Lord on the Media vs. America.

Monday night at that Trump rally here in Pennsylvania, a rally I have described here in The American Spectator, Trump drew what was unarguably his most sustained applause when he said of his campaign:“the biggest problem is the media.” The audience erupted, applauding and cheering, with many turning – unasked by Trump – to the back of the room where the television cameras were perched on risers and booing repeatedly.

Frank Miele on ‘Mediagate,’ the scandal you won’t hear about on cable news.

In the last two weeks, it has become obvious that a political scandal is unfolding which exceeds in scope anything seen previously in our country’s 240-year history.

I’m talking about “Mediagate” — the attempted coup d’etat by the talking heads at CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, who aimed salvo after salvo of Trumped-up stories at the GOP nominee as soon as he appeared to be closing in on Hillary Clinton following the Republican National Convention.

Then there’s Reena Flores on a Report: Donald Trump never threw a baby out of a rally.

On Friday, Trump charged the media with being “dishonest” about his handling of a crying baby at an Ashburn, Virginia, rally earlier in the week.

That same day, Trump’s general election opponent, Hillary Clinton, came out with a mocking video of Trump’s own words from that memorable Virginia campaign stop, circulating it on social media:

The enterprising fact-checkers at the Washington Post tracked down two sources — an eyewitness to the proceedings and the mother of said baby — and determined that Trump was, in fact, telling the truth Friday about how he treated the bawling infant.

“The media did in fact blow this entire situation out of proportion,” Ebert, from Virginia, wrote in an email. “I’m not looking to make it into anything bigger. All I’m hoping is that Trump personally is aware that I am in agreement with him and stand by the fact that I was never kicked out of the rally.”

Then there’s Scott Johnson: “If you read the story like Russians used to read Pravda, looking for the nugget of truth that might be buried in an article, you will find this

A while back it was a concern that Trump leveraged celebrity for favorable media coverage to win primaries. At least that was honest. Now the wheel has turned, honesty has gone down the tubes and the State Propaganda Machine is in full spin mode to destroy what it created. People do notice. We will see if if matters to the public at large.

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The State Propaganda Machine gets some notice

Thomas Lifson note that there is Fifty times more TV network coverage for Khizr Khan than Pat Smith

Media bias has entered new territory in the United States with the nomination of Donald Trump. Somethig approaching scared moral duty to defeat him permeates newsrooms across the country. So it is no surprise that news judgments are ridiculously skewed, to the point where comparisons with totalitarian regimes are becoming thinkable.

Jim Waurishuk picks it up with The Left’s Anti-Trump Political Media Show

What went on last weekend mainly on CNN and Sunday News/Talk shows is an outrage. The liberal media is in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and they know it. First of all the Khans stood on the stage of the DNC Convention and not only told their story, but savagely attacked Mr. Trump. They said two things that were way out of bounds; The First, that Mr. Trump has made no sacrifice, and the Second, that Mr. Trump never read the Constitution.

Then there’s Matthew Boyle on Khizr Khan: ‘I Was Just Joking’: Media Apoplectic as Khizr Khan Attack on Donald Trump Goes Down in Flames.

Over the weekend and for the past few days since Khan spoke alongside his wife Ghazala Khan about their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, media-wide reporters, editors, producers, and anchors have tried to lay criticism on Trump over the matter. They thought they had a good one, a specific line of attack that pitted Trump against the military—and supposedly showed him as a big meanie racist in the process.

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

Meanwhile, hours after Breitbart News presented this information publicly in a coherent report on Monday, others in media engaged in willful distortion of the story’s origins.

But, facts be damned, the entire mainstream is on a warpath to try to stop Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. It’s also worth noting that each and every one of them is in their own right working to undermine Trump and elect Clinton.

Much can be gleaned from the moral preening seen as a faux outrage filled with judgment and prognostication that reveals the propaganda. One problem is that many of those ‘neverTrump’ camp followers do not notice the “faux” in their outrage and nobody ever thinks they are engaging in moral preening. This tends to lead to hyperbole and sometimes that goes astray. It appears that the Gold Star episode is yet another of those. One wonders how many and how often for these reveals is needed to make a dent.

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Diagnosing tactics: the AP

John Hinderaker: The Association Press Plays the Race Card.

The Associated Press was once a straightforward, relatively nonpolitical news source, but those days are long gone. Now some of the most hard-core Democratic Party advocacy comes from the AP. Thus, it is no surprise that the AP is trying to advance the Democrats’ narrative that Trump is a bigot.

Is that assertion true? The AP takes no responsibility, it is just what “some observers say.”

“Coded racial language” is big on the left, but note that so far, the AP hasn’t quoted a single word that Donald Trump actually said. Not one. The AP goes on in the same vein, quoting Trump’s far-left critics, but never citing any of Trump’s own words.

And tomorrow, the AP will run a story on how Communists and Socialists are cheering for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They won’t do that, of course, because fringe people are of interest only if they support Republicans. It’s just another day in the lives of liberal journalists who are devoted to advancing the interests of their party.

At least the propaganda is being dissected and exposed. There is still a significant gullible market for propaganda and that means that there will be those to serve the market. There is a lot of work to be done to shrink that market and education about tactics, techniques, and methods may help promote better integrity.

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Political fact checking: tool of the trade

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. calls is a Fact checker fandango — “Research of the record fails to trip Trump.”

Mr. Potato Head was working with CNN’s posse comitatus to bring down Mr. Trump for his revelations about Crooked Hillary, but it is they — the so-called fact checkers at CNN — who were brought down.

After last week’s speech, it appears Donald Trump’s charges against Hillary Clinton are absolutely copper bottom. CNN’s “fact checkers” should be retired. Like all politicians, Mr. Trump might occasionally exaggerate a trivial matter. Hillary lies repeatedly on things that matter.

It is an interesting use of “copper bottom.” That comes from efforts to keep the hull of wooden sailing ships free of barnacles and other sea creatures that destroyed the hull and reduced sailing efficiency. Here, the implications are that the ‘fact checkers’ are analogous to the barnacles and other destructive creatures.

The tragedy is that so many are willing to go so far in trying to defend the indefensible. Calling themselves “fact checkers” is doing a disservice both to facts and to checking for integrity and honesty.

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The state propaganda machine interpreting court rulings

The case was about religious freedom but The press tries its best to downplay a serious defeat for the Obama administration.

Anyone still naïve enough to rely on the legacy media for unvarnished news will have gone to bed Monday evening believing that the Supreme Court evaded its duty regarding Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell. Countless headlines had declared that the Court decided to “punt,” “skirt,” or otherwise dodge any meaningful action concerning the challenge to the HHS contraception mandate. In reality, SCOTUS handed the Little Sisters and the other petitioners with whom the Court consolidated their case a major victory in their protracted battle to defend religious liberties against the depredations of the Obama administration’s bureaucrats and lawyers.

In a unanimous opinion, the justices vacated all lower court rulings against the Little Sisters and the other petitioners. The term “vacated,” in this context, means that the Court has rendered those adverse decisions legally void. And the justices didn’t stop there. In order to protect the petitioners from further financial harm, they informed the Obama administration that it “may not impose taxes or penalties on petitioners” pursuant to their continued refusal to abide by the contraception mandate or the so-called accommodation. Finally, the Court remanded the cases back to the relevant lower courts “for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

All the Court had to do, then, was remand the cases to the lower courts with the following admonition, “Both parties agree that there is enough flexibility in the law and the regulation to find a compromise, so fix it!” And that’s what the Court did on Monday. Despite the dishonest reporting of the “news” media, the Court hasn’t punted, skirted, dodged, or passed on anything. The Obama administration was forced to admit that it has wasted the Supreme Court’s time on something that could have been resolved at the district court level. But the government doesn’t want resolution. It wants obedience. And it certainly gets that from the media.

This is on top of media interviews with guffaws about how the Administration used lies to sell its position on Obamacare and Iran Nuclear Programs, lies that the Democrats are opposing investigating in a solid block much as they have been blocking investigations into the Benghazi lies and deceit. Propaganda is one thing. Partisan political support for it as we are seeing now does not bode well.

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Persistence: new propaganda efforts

A new movie is out. Monica Crowley describes it as a part of The left’s long war against Clarence Thomas — “A new HBO drama reprises the left’s ‘high-tech lynching’.”

In its war for America, the left never rests, sometimes falters but rarely allows itself to fail. It works tirelessly to “fundamentally transform the nation” and smashes anyone and anything that gets in its way.

Consider the pitched battle it has waged against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over the past quarter-century.

The leftists lost the battle over Justice Thomas, but they wasted little time before they regrouped and planned for future orchestrated clashes. The Thomas spectacle would presage their relentless battles against President George W. Bush, support for the fierce leftism of President Obama, and the radical activism of groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.

They fight a ceaseless war against the Constitution, free-market economic principles, traditional values, limited government and individual freedom. It is a war to destroy the very pillars of American exceptionalism and replace them with those of collectivism, command economics and rule by the privileged vanguard.

Justice Thomas happened to be caught in the ideological crossfire. The fact that leftists continue to attack him reminds us that their memories are long, their political ammunition is always fresh, and their battle never ends.

The latest attack is a “dramatization” in the movie Confirmation. Of course, the actors and director don’t see the dishonesty and proclaim innocent motive. Of course.

25 years and here we go again. It is an effort to re-write history to suit a political ideology. The persistence on speaks to the separation from reality and refusal to accept it.

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13 hours for denial in the State Propaganda Machine

Ed takes a look at a WaPo columnist: Say, this 13 Hours actually is political and observes:

The real objection is when a film becomes partisan, not political. The American President would have been a fine comedy if it had not been ruined by its harsh partisan bent. My Fellow Americans was a much better film because it poked fun at the partisan divide. Both were political, but only one was dishonest about its intent. That’s the issue, and Hornaday admits smack in the middle that she doesn’t have a case; she just wants to gripe about the narrative.

Honesty adds to the story. Even when fiction, honesty to intent can make or break the story. A good story builds trust in the story teller as a story teller and not as a propagandist trying to scam you. The Benghazi movie is in the tradition of heroes who are telling their own story. By all (honest) accounts, it is well done and a good action thriller. Compare and contrast to that movie about Rathergate to see the kind of difference that Ed is talking about between partisan and political.

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Observing tactics: free speech tropes

Ken White has this one: How To Spot And Critique Censorship Tropes In The Media’s Coverage Of Free Speech Controversies.

American journalists and pundits rely upon vigorous free speech, but are not reliable supporters of it. They both instruct and reflect their fickle audience.

it’s harder to detect the subtle pro-censorship assumptions and rhetorical devices that permeate media coverage of free speech controversies. In discussing our First Amendment rights, the media routinely begs the question — it adopts stock phrases and concepts that presume that censorship is desirable or constitutional, and then tries to pass the result off as neutral analysis. This promotes civic ignorance and empowers deliberate censors.

Fortunately, this ain’t rocket science. Americans can train themselves to detect and question the media’s pro-censorship tropes. I’ve collected some of the most pervasive and familiar ones. This post is designed as a resource, and I’ll add to it as people point out more examples and more tropes.

When you see the media using these tropes, ask yourself: what normative message is the author advancing, and does it have any basis in law?

Nine “tropes” are listed and described. The key lesson is to not swallow what you are given without some thought as to its presentation, its support, and a proper amount of skepticism.

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Gotcha! – but really bad as a source of information

Austin Bay on how Media Gotcha Distorts National Security Challenges:

The worst gotchas are framed to elicit a simplistic answer that reinforces or advances a political narrative. To do this, the talking head must either drastically simplify the past (a relatively benign act) or erase the inconvenient past (a deceitful act).

False premises shape the gotchas I’m deploring. Decision-makers in the past cannot know what we know now. These gotchas usually imply that an alternative decision would have produced a more benign alternative history. They may also presume a shared “enlightened crowd” viewpoint of current knowledge — which may indicate political or social bias.

That’s only about the latest attempt to reinforce the Bush hate syndrome and bring new candidates around to the Leftist view via intimidation

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Maybe the steaming pile is getting a bit more notice?

Naomi Schaefer Riley notes that Facts matter: Left sticks to ‘narratives,’ evidence be damned. There are some indications that this particular observation is becoming a bit more widespread than it used to be. We can hope.

The stimulus on this one is the campus rape epidemic hoax. The reporting still asserts that the claimant was a traumatic rape victim despite a lack of any support for the claim. That doesn’t matter (the reality, that is). What matters is the message. And that isn’t the only item on the list.

But who cares about the facts as long as awareness has been raised? Take the case of Ellen Pao, who filed suit against her former employer, venture capital group Kleiner Perkins, for gender ­discrimination. … Two weeks ago, a jury decided her claims were completely without merit. And yet from the media coverage, you’d think Ellen Pao successfully exposed a Silicon Valley rife with discrimination. … There was no merit to her claims. If Silicon Valley is so filled with sexist pigs acting illegally, perhaps we could find a case where they actually did that.

and another case related only in correlation to the leanings of the ideologues making allegations:

This is not unlike what happened after the Justice Department released its report on the shooting of Michael Brown last summer.

The only “lesson” that could really be drawn from the DOJ report and the grand jury’s non-indictment was that you shouldn’t knock over convenience stores, but if you do and a police officer catches you, it’s probably not a good idea to ­resist arrest.

But that was not the lesson that others wanted to emphasize. Which is why the Ferguson police now have to try to change the composition of their staff and ticketing policies — though they have no bearing on the case at hand.

as to the message?

Actually, yes, it does diminish the importance because it calls into question whether those were real issues at all. … Not everything has to be a teachable moment. And if we do need a moral to every story, it would be useful to find one based on the facts.

That teachable moment is for the other guy since those trying to do the teaching know it all already. The uncomfortable part is that they are trying to teach the masses that that stinking pile is really good eats when anyone with a sense of smell and some level of intellectual integrity can see it for what it really is. Some things are best for fertilizing the fields and buried in the topsoil.

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Fact Checking

Some media outlets started ‘fact checking’ columns to determine whether statements of politicians were true or false. In part, this effort was an outcome of the Left being caught in so many lies and distortions of fact that ‘balance’ was needed by ‘proving’ both sides do it. David Rutz illustrates just how this fact checking effort is severely biased by describing 5 Times the Washington Post Failed At Fact-Checking. What makes the field ripe for ‘interpretation’ is that the expression of opinion can use allegory, example, satire, and other rhetorical methods to make a point. Trying to determine the veracity of this expression can be a matter of opinion and interpretation about what is critical to the argument and what is not and even what the argument really is.

“Goldfarb got super-serious and dissected such details as executive orders versus executive actions and the constitutionality of Obama’s endeavor. He didn’t get into how Obama had said for years that his executive amnesty actions were outside his authority.

Also, it doesn’t appear the Washington Post ever checked for sure that Will Ferrell’s Bush wanted to put Germany, the economy and math into his “Axis of Evil.” That, of course, would have been absurd since this was a silly comedy show. They did get around, four years later, to debunking the idea that Sarah Palin had actually said “I can see Russia from my house,” as made famous by Tina Fey’s impersonation.

We give these blunders double double Pinocchios.”

There are many ways to avoid intellectual integrity. Sometimes, observing behavior yields better results – if intellectual integrity has any value – in determining veracity and truthfulness.

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Cronkite to Williams: a sad tale of deception

Alicia Colon describes When Network Lies Kill.

“Whether Williams is a fabulist, an incestuous voyeur who bragged about his daughter’s soft porn role on HBO’s ‘Girls’ or simply your average liberal is less compelling to me than wondering if a more dangerous anchor will ever be exposed for his lies.

Unfortunately, Walter Cronkite is still revered as the most trusted man in America even though his lies about the Vietnam War caused countless military deaths by prolonging the conflict.”

Cronkite is becoming known for his false assessment regarding the outcome of the Tet offensive and military success in Vietnam. But he was only a starting point for the sad saga of the modern era’s news anchor. Williams is just the latest. The propaganda machine exists. It is not a machine of the state but rather of an ideology backed by a lack of intellectual integrity in a band of brothers leading the major media. Death and destruction as its effect is becoming more obvious.

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The year when the facts died?

First up is Lamont Colucci who describes what he calls the Red Puritans and concludes:

“The crackup is coming, and it won’t be the rapture the Red Puritans have prepared for. The new Garden of Eden, which would have a smaller human population living in harmony with an untamed wilderness, is not on the horizon. The paradox they preach by using absolute terms to worship at the altar of relativism cannot endure. The Orwellian nature of their totalitarian dream is beginning to crumble, but they won’t go without a fight. They will continue their crusade until it becomes abundantly clear how morally bankrupt they are, but the beginning of the end is looming.”

Then Maureen Dowd is used as the poster child by Tammy Bruce.

“Facts do tend to be pesky things, as Ms. Dowd and the rest of The New York Times crew found in 2014. After years of morally superior, self-righteous preening, they had a problem: Judith Miller was proven right about WMD in Iraq. Revealed in a 2010 Wikileaks document dump, The New York Times finally wrote a 10,000 word story on “abandoned chemical weapons” in Iraq as it became evident our troops continued to be injured by them and their existence could no longer be denied.”

The premise is the same, “the crackup is coming” in those “Red Puritans” as the defense crumbles and extreme tactics must be used to maintain the facade.

“The now-consumed 2014 has been perfectly described by some commentators as the year when facts died. Politicians, mobs in the streets and their willing accomplices in the media swamped us with lies, obfuscations or riots manifest because, as author Thomas Sowell has noted, “What matters today is how well you can concoct a story that fits people’s preconceptions and arouses their emotions. Politicians like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, professional demagogues like Al Sharpton and innumerable irresponsible people in the media have shown that they have great talent in promoting a lynch mob.”

For some, the facts have never lived so how can they die? How do the rest of us protect ourselves from these ‘Red Puritans’ when they do not share even a value such as a need for intellectual integrity with us?

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Myth propagating

Slate, of course: Amanda Marcotte says Let’s Stop Idealizing the Home-Cooked Family Dinner.

Money is also a problem. Low-income women often don’t have the money for fresh produce and, in many cases, can’t afford to pay for even a basic kitchen setup.

Well, yes, being poor does usually mean money is a problem but what is at note here is the denial of reality. The ‘poor’ in the U.S. would be considered ‘middle class’ in most of the rest of the world. You can see this in the fact that the targets for dinner aren’t exactly suffering. See Census: Americans in ‘Poverty’ Typically Have Cell Phones, Computers, TVs, VCRS, AC, Washers, Dryers and Microwaves (and 96% have stoves).

Beyond just the time and money constraints, women find that their very own families present a major obstacle to their desire to provide diverse, home-cooked meals. The women interviewed faced not just children but grown adults who are whiny, picky, and ungrateful for their efforts.

and then the bias

the main reason that people see cooking mostly as a burden is because it is a burden. It’s expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway. If we want women—or gosh, men, too—to see cooking as fun, then these obstacles need to be fixed first. And whatever burden is left needs to be shared.

ya’ see? It’s the war on women! When it comes to such ideologies picked for mainstream promotion by those on the left, facts and reality just don’t matter. They are made up to support the fantasy. What used to be a service for loved ones now becomes a burden for ingrates. The fix isn’t to control the ingrates but rather to re-assess values and attitudes of the burdened.

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Net Neutrality

J.C. Dvorak takes on the The Net Neutrality Hysteria, one of those appealing labels applied to a questionable effort for government control at the expense of those ‘greedy, evil’ corporations.

“It stems from a belief that without some sort of law or government edict, the evil ISPs—mainly Comcast—will go out of their way to screw customers by practicing all sorts of devilment.”

“So … why hasn’t it done this already? Nobody can really answer that, except to say some unenforceable FCC principles, suggested years ago, are being used to stem any corrupt practices.”

“After years of fear that the government will take control of the Internet, now everyone is begging them to do it. The two liberal commissioners on the FCC pretty much said that problems are coming and rules need to be put in place. This pre-crime thinking will result in regulation that will encroach on everything.”

“The public can find a lot of ways to punish a corporation that abuses its privileges. This situation should not be escalated to the point that the FCC has anything to do with it.”

The Snowden episode is used as an example to illustrate why the government cannot be trusted. That illustrates a bias on its own that tends to detract from the case made. Fundamentally, it conflates the matter of knowing with that of doing. The net neutrality effort isn’t just a listening issue, it is a control and doing issue. It is about having the government regulate the internet service business to control content and how it is handled. It is being done with an unwarranted suspicion of the targets involved and an anticipation of something that might happen but hasn’t yet – notice how that same set of tactics is used by the climate alarmists?

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Piety in Tinseltown

It’s the context, he says. Michael White is a student of early nineteenth century Americ and wonders Was 12 Years a Slave the best film of the year?

“It is not just the lovely clothes the Northups wear, but a lack of contextual information that might guide the unwary about how slavery operated in the America of 1841: the battle between slave and free states; freedom roads heading north; kidnappers like Northup’s assailants heading south with “runaways”, real or not. Steven Spielberg’s earnest Lincoln, with which it has been compared, makes the same mistake: lack of context meant you needed a degree in the period (I have one) to understand all that was going on.”… “we learn, McQueen and his writer, John Ridley, felt the need to embellish the text to reinforce their point.” … “You do not throw $1,000-worth of property at 1841 prices over the side of the boat simply because he has annoyed you.” … “The film’s depiction of relationships between classes, genders and spouses, as well as between races, also seemed a little out of kilter, too informal, too candid, too egalitarian; in other words, too modern.” … “what convinced me that the film diminished itself needlessly was in its depiction of Christianity simply as a hypocritical instrument of suppression, the Bible routinely cited as justification for enslavement in sermons to the enslaved. It was all that, but it was also much more.”

The modern propaganda recipe is all there. That is why “best film of the year? That smacks of piety in Tinseltown.”

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