BREAKING: We disagree with Drum's advice!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018

The long, winding road not taken:
We disagree with Kevin Drum's view on the best way to deal with fake news.

Our society has been awash in such news for decades now. It has frequently come from the right. It has also come from the mainstream. Example:

"Al Gore has a problem with the truth" was a two-year campaign of fake news live and direct from the upper-end mainstream press.

That fake news didn't come mainly from the right. Mainly, it came from the Mainstream Press Elite Noise Machine—a noise machine careerist liberals know they must never criticize or even discuss.

At ay rate, we've been swimming in fake news for decades now. At present, gigantic amounts of fake news come from Donald J. Trump and the right-wing pseudo-press.

Here's how Kevin says to deal with this. This advice strikes us as faulty:
DRUM (2/6/18): At the moment, all I can suggest is the Hannity test: If Sean Hannity is going crazy over something, the rest of us should ignore it. He’s an almost perfect barometer of what’s news and what’s nonsense.
We disagree. Liberals have to learn how to talk to the people who get conned by people like Hannity. If Hannity's saying it, Trump is too. Should we just ignore him as well?

We have to learn how to talk to Those People. We have to tell them two things:
1) You're getting conned by people like Hannity.
2) You have a citizen's duty to stop accepting this.
It won't be easy to do this. As all Those People Over There know, we liberals have spent our time, for many years, telling them things like this:
1) You're a gang of racists and homophobes.
2) You are very, very dumb, unlike us very bright liberals.
The definitive example of this approach was the two weeks of dick jokes Rachel Maddow dumped on Tea Party heads in the spring of 2009, courtesy of guest star Ana Marie Cox—with Maddow (falsely) saying, night after night, that she was embarrassed by the off-color things Cox was surprisingly saying.

A tribe which keeps people like that around is a tribe which isn't real honest. Meanwhile, conservatives understand what terrible people we are.

For the most part, they don't understand how terrible Sean Hannity is. We aren't able to tell them because of who and what we are.

We tend to be stupid, unpleasant, dumb. People in the other tribe know this. Only we remain barefoot and clueless with respect to this basic fact.

Speaking very slowly now: No, you won't be able to convince all The Others that Hannity, and Donald J. Trump, are conning them. (Your lizard will quickly tell you this, urging you not to try.)

Persuading all of them isn't the goal. Persuading enough of them is.

20 comments:

  1. And yet, to take one recent example, the Nunes memo, the one that Hannity hyped so much, was being dissected and rebutted point by point on "Our Channels." (Drum did the same thing in a previous post). Our Channels were showing, in a factual manner, why that memo was bullhockey. And to some extent it was helping. Some R's at least were denying the memo's impact on the investigation.

    So, I guess I'm saying, I heard liberals on TV saying exactly the following two things about the memo:

    1) You're getting conned by people like Hannity.
    2) You have a citizen's duty to stop accepting this.

    I did not hear:
    1) You're a gang of racists and homophobes.
    2) You are very, very dumb, unlike us very bright liberals.

    By the way, what might be one strategy to convince a Hannity viewer that that viewer is being conned by Hannity? Saying "Hannity is an evil sob..." or "I'm sure Hannity means well, but let me show you something..."?

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    Replies
    1. It probably can't be done but we have to start by being very straightforward and honest and balanced and we need to be tremendously respectful and also listen and especially empathize as much as possible. All of these things conflict hard with the commercial imperatives of the largest media from our side which depend on emphasizing inbalances and cultural differences between us as has been noted on this site time and time again.

      Plus, it's true. We're flat out assholes. We're dicks. Because of this, it makes it a pleasure for the others to defeat us and it makes it so easy for Hannity to drop those lies on their heads day after day, decade after decade.

      What a business to be in.

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    2. And what Somerby was doing was defending Trump, as usual.

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    3. anon - 4:09, you are brainless if you see TDH defending Trump as usual - he criticizes what he believes are dumb tactics for opposing the prez - and he is usually right. TDH has a different take on things, not the same tired fact deficient narratives - there is a place for that.

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    4. We have no facts concerning what the best way to rebut nonsense might be.

      I don’t think Somerby’s approach works, based on my own interactions with Trump supporters. I don’t think his constant reviling liberals is helpful either. I support GOTV efforts aimed at existing Democrats and likely Dem voters.

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    5. Yup, I saw Somerby's brilliant take on things in his gallant and spirited defense of Moore. The 'dumb' tactics he attacked was what allowed Jones to win.

      The majority of Somerby's attacks aren't even substantive, they are nitpicking driven by his obsession with Maddow. And he ignores facts himself all the time.

      TDH wants liberals to lose, so he can bitch about how this can all be attributted to their failure to defend Gore in 2000. He wants Trump to win, and therefore he is a 'useful' idiot for Trump. But he doesn't really have the audience to be useful to Trump, so perhaps he is better called a useless idiot.

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    6. And Somerby has never road-tested any of his so-called solutions. What about a podcast where he tries to talk to conservatives about liberal issues? Op-ed columns to try to persuade? A YouTube channel where he does that? How about a single post where he shows us how he would do it? Heck, some of the commenters here, including myself, have mentioned their travails dealing with friends, family members, or colleagues, who are Trump supporters. Has Somerby ever related a similar story about himself?

      Instead, he seems content to chide liberals, and like those academics that he so despises, he seems content to remain in his ivory tower while railing at the rest of us to just do something.

      Delete
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  2. That's one crazy post, Bob. Denouncing liberal arrogance while simultaneously exhibiting it, with flying colors.

    So, by the way: what happened to Seth Rich? Was he the leaker of the DNC emails, murdered by their henchmen?

    Or does asking this question amount to conning someone? Is it also racist, misogynistic, and homophobic?

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    Replies
    1. Asking the question implies that someone is either a conspiracy nut, or a brainwashed idiot, or (in your case), a paid Kremlin troll.

      None of those categories fall remotely into the bucket of sensible conservatives one can debate with.

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    2. Mao, what's the evidence that Rich was the leaker or that he was murdered by the DNC's henchmen?

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    3. Google it. It's certainly seems far more likely than the idiotic story concocted by Crowdstrike, paid by the DNC.

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  3. Mao has actually made a valid point. How is telling conservatives they are "being conned" and they should "stop accepting it" any different than saying "you are very dumb, unlike us bright liberals"? Conservatives hear the latter anyway.

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    Replies
    1. Well, just the belief that anyone who's not an admirer of liberal bullshit has to be getting their news from Hannity - that's already a clear sign of a diseased zombie-brain. Quite worrying indeed.

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    2. Even know-nothing Republicans are calling out Hannity's nonsense now.
      We're well on our way to straightening this mess out.

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  4. Here's where I think Bob goes wrong. He keeps saying that liberals don't care and that we're dumb and horrible people. I'm sure that's true of some liberals, just like it's true of any group of humans, but for the most part I think that liberals are really trying their best to do the right thing (just like most people are).

    Unfortunately - again, just like most people - they're not being represented well by the people who speak for them or who give them information. As a citizenry, we all need to demand that the media do a better job. Although "both sides do it" is incredibly destructive, it is in fact true that "both sides" have a tendency to shade facts and events in their favor.

    Again, that's human nature. Collectively, we need to find a way to get people to care more about the truth rather than advancing their tribal interests. I'm not optimistic.

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  5. Bob is an appeaser

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  6. How anyone can look at all the Trump voters protesting at Trump Tower regarding the President's nomination of Wall Streeters to the levers of economic power, and still think Trump voters are bigots is beyond Bob.

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  7. Bob, could you tell us how we should talk to people who believe Obama allowed 3 million illegals to vote in California because he said they could. You tirelessly say that democrats lose voter because they don't know how to talk to them. Are democrats supposed to start showing cultural resentments and other bigoted statements republicans make in order to relate and empathize with these voters? Not this democrayy.

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