FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: Live and direct from the general store!


Part 2—What David Jackson said: Without any question, there’s a lot of The Crazy and a lot of The Dumb floating around on “the right.”

As always, Jonathan Capehart went looking. Last week, he was still shrieking about the things one person had said.

Back in September, Capehart spoke with David Jackson of Belmont, North Carolina (or thereabouts) at the Belmont General Store, roughly 15 miles west of Charlotte. (Belmont is located at 35°14′40″N, 81°2′8″W. For pizza prices at Belmont General, kindly please click right here.)

Three weeks later, the things Jackson said were “still ringing in [Capehart’s] ears,” the tortured journalist reported. As a result, Capehart took to the pixels of the Washington Post to shriek about Those People—about People Who Say Things Like This:
CAPEHART (10/16/13): Why are you afraid of [Obama]? He’s taller than I am, but he’s barely bigger than I am.

JACKSON: Size doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in his heart. He does not have the American people’s best interests at heart. He doesn’t respect the American people as a whole. There have been many veterans groups that asked to have meetings with him or come to the White House and have a picnic on the East Lawn and he said no. And at the same time, this was about two years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood had 1,000 of their people come to the East Lawn for a prayer session.

CAPEHART: The Muslim brotherhood had...?

JACKSON: They had a huge gathering. They had prayer on the East Lawn of the White House. It was in the news.

CAPEHART: Where did you hear this? Because if the Muslim Brotherhood were at the White House, that’d be a huge story.

JACKSON: There are so many people within his administration that are part of it. They’re admitted members of the Muslim brotherhood.

CAPEHART: Who? Who exactly?

JACKSON: I don’t know their names. They’re not English. I don’t know their names, but they’re proud of the fact that, you know, “we work for the president.” They know what they’re doing to our country, and that hurts me.

CAPEHART: All right, Mr. Jackson. Thank you.
Rather plainly, David Jackson believes some Crazy Things! Obviously, the Muslim Brotherhood never held a thousand man prayer session on the East Lawn of the White House. Obviously, nothing resembling that could possibly have occurred.

Capehart knew that notion was crazy. Live and direct at the general store, David Jackson did not.

As always, Capehart maintained his cool in the face of this assault from the lower order. Politely, the smooth-as-silk major insider “journalist” thanked Jackson for his time. He then rushed home to Washington, where he continues to shriek about The Things The Crazy Man Said.

Where the heck did David Jackson come up with that crazy idea? We’ll take a wild guess: David Jackson may own a radio! As never before, giant industries are devoted to making people believe a wide range of things which are false, including some which qualify as Crazy. And people have always believed things which aren’t true, down through the annals of time.

Capehart ought to know all about that! But first:

Back on October 1, Capehart had offered his first account of his trip to the general store, “where the ice cream counter is popular with the after-school crowd.” (Like us, he linked to the web site.) He had also visited the Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar (kindly click here), right there on Main Street in Belmont.

On that occasion, Capehart didn’t mention David Jackson or his plainly crazy beliefs. He recorded the views of four other locals, offering pedantic critiques designed to show that, “love it or hate it, no one with whom we spoke was clear on what the [health care] law does or how it would work.”

On that occasion, Capehart recorded the statements of four different people, none of whom seemed to be crazy. (One possible exception: Capehart reported that 87-year-old George Adams was “the inventor of a device for older folks to put their socks on without bending.”)

None of the original Capehart 4 seemed to be crazy. But unlike Capehart, no one in Belmont knew how Obamacare works! In the following passage from that report, we learned that Pastor Ray Hardee (presumably, no relation) was confused about the law in a very familiar way:

Or at least, that’s how Capehart heard it:
CAPEHART (10/1/13): Pastor Ray Hardee told me that he thinks universal health care is “a great idea.” “I’m a Christ follower. I’m a person of faith..I believe it’s our duty to take care of the least of his people that can’t take care of themselves and their health needs,” said Hardee as we talked at Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar on Main Street in Belmont, N.C. “I think so often what has happened is that the church has failed to do what the church is supposed to do, therefore the government has had to take over and come up with some type of program which is not nearly as efficient as if it was run by a local community.” That concern for efficiency makes Hardee believe that Obamacare will “be a nightmare for everybody to try to administer.”

I should point out that the ACA is not a government takeover of health care. As of today, consumers can begin the enrollment process to buy health insurance from private companies through exchanges set up by their states or the federal government.
Pastor Hardee didn’t use the term, “government takeover of health care.” But it was one of Capehart’s talking points, so he pedantically stated it.

Capehart’s initial report on his journey to Belmont was, as usual, journalistically odd. As his premise, he stated that no one he spoke to way down there “was clear on what the law does or how it would work.” But he cited alleged misstatements by only two of the four people he quoted. And one of those alleged errors was created by the pedantry cited above.

Whatever! As it turns out, Capehart spoke to at least five people in Belmont. And at least one of The Belmont 5 believes some Crazy Things. Having said that, we feel sure that many people in Belmont believe a lot of things which aren’t true. That’s because giant industries are now devoted to spreading misinformation around, as Capehart surely knows.

Not long ago, it was Capehart himself who was peddling the piddle! In the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin, the new media industry on “the left” devoted itself to spreading all sorts of bogus facts about the events of that night.

Capehart was right in the middle of that inexcusable process, as was the “cable news channel” which pays him money in addition to his scratch from the Post. Surely, Capehart understands the process by which people like Jackson get false ideas in their heads, including some ideas which qualify as The Crazy.

All was well on October 1 when Capehart filed his initial report about his day at the store. By October 16, storm clouds surrounded the (short-term) operation of the new health care program.

Perhaps as a result, Capehart returned to his notes to report what the crazy guy said. On “the left, many “journalists” have been telling this story about The Crazies in the last week.

In the last three weeks, we’ve had a partial government shutdown. We’ve also had a serious threat of disaster through default. Republican pols have done some very unusual things. They have made some very unusual claims during this ludicrous process.

Out in the country, many people believed those unusual claims, just as many others did when Capehart and his band of brothers spent more than a year spreading disinformation about the killing of Trayvon Martin. But that was done for a very good cause, so it doesn’t count.

As everyone in our tribe can see, our BS wasn’t as bad!

Capehart seems to be a highly civilized, decent person. He’s always been courteous, civil, very well-dressed, polite in groups to a fault.

Plainly, this is one of the ways he has risen. That said, he simply isn’t sharp enough to serve as a major national journalist, not in a nation of this size and influence.

But then, we don’t really have a “press corps” at this point. Increasingly, we have warring collections of overpaid clowns, who serve collections of sillystupid shit to admiring tribal assemblies.

We’ll guess that Jackson owns a radio way down yonder in Belmont. On the left, we now own access to our own collection of circus clowns.

On the morrow, we’ll start to name and quote such folk. We’ll look at the sillystupid comments left by us on “the left.”

Tomorrow: Messing with Texas


  1. I hope Bob doesn't mean it is crazy to have invented a device to help older people put on socks "without bending." Such devices enable self-sufficiency for many people with physical disabilities.

  2. > On the morrow, we’ll start to name and quote such folk. We’ll look at the sillystupid comments left by us on “the left.”

    By all means, let's spin the wheel and begin the "False Equivalency Gotcha Game," in which people on both extremes of the political spectrum can be forgiven for utter stupidity because the "other side" is utterly stupid too.

    Bob, once upon a time, you denounced that game. And now you spin the wheel.

    1. Who is Bob forgiving for their stupidity? He thinks that political discourse based on warring propaganda is harmful to the people's interests, and that such narratives allow plutocrats to work to benefit their own interests, while Team Red argues with Team Blue. If you disagree with that notion, then at least argue against that, but Bob in no way is playing the "False Equivalency Game."

    2. Go to the incomparable archives and read when Bob said that Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a prostitute wasn't so bad because Bill Maher once said bad things about women, too.

      That truly dedicated Bobinistas can't see their fearless leader standing naked before them comes as no surprise.

    3. And now for yet another version of "what Bob really means", this time from Jonny-Scrum-half.

    4. Team Red: "And at the same time, this was about two years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood had 1,000 of their people come to the East Lawn for a prayer session."

      Team Blue: "Zimmerman was told not to get out of his struck"
      Both sides do it. !! Lest move on - isn't it awful that Maddow makes so much money?

      As always note the complete absence of animus towards the right (what the execrable Dinesh DeSouza calls the "indignation gap").

    5. I hear he's stealth Muslim Brotherhood, Anon11:40.

    6. Kevin Drum had an article about paid trolls employed by Fox. I think we have an infestation of paid trolls here, who willfully misunderstand Somerby's points and subvert any discussion of them here. This thread is a good example.

      I think we can disregard anyone preaching the "Bob is a hypocrite" theme as a troll. Based on the increased troll activity, I think Somerby is clearly gaining influence sufficiently to warrant negative attention. Cue Lionel and David in CA who both decided to sleep in this morning.

    7. As a troll it is my paid duty to note that Somerby mentioned putting on socks before Anon. @ 12:17 denounced Somerby critics and promoted Somerby's importance. In case anyone willfully misses the connection.

    8. I am glad to see Mr. Scrum-hyphen has returned to this commentary thread he pronounced almost unreadable yesterday. Not only is he back, but he found a comment worthy of responding to. Anonymous at 9:31 should be proud.

  3. I don't listen to much radio. Just Sinatra on Sirius, and MSNBC when out running the roads, but I think it's just as likely that Mr. Jackson got his WH Muslim Bros picnic info from the Internet.

    There is all sort of craziness there too.

  4. Shit I learned from reading comments at this blog, part 73645:

    Noticing *liberal* nonsense is False Equivalence.