Neither did Donald J. Trump: To contemplate the gruesome effects of Leaderhip Down, we'll suggest that you take a look at Gene Lyons' syndicated column from last week.
Lyons wrote about an action Facebook had taken. As Lyons wrote, Facebook had "announced that it was banning a bunch of crackpot conspiracy theorists and professional race-baiters from its platform."
One such crackpot was Alex Jones, star of both the Genesis Communications radio network and the crackpot Infowars website. Lyons described Jones' work:
LYONS (5/8/19): Just to remind you, Jones is currently being sued for his bizarre insistence that the 2012 massacre of 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was a hoax—supposedly an Obama-orchestrated theatrical spectacle to promote gun control.Simply put, Alex Jones couldn't hold the truth back any more!
It's not going well for him.
Another of Infowars' greatest hits was a 2016 YouTube posting in which Jones asserted that Hillary Clinton had raped, murdered and dismembered scores of children. "Yeah, you heard me right," he claimed. "Hillary Clinton has personally murdered children. I just can't hold back the truth anymore."
Does Jones believe the claims he makes, or is he merely a con man? We can't answer that question.
But as modern history has made clear, the country is full of people who will believe even the most transparently crazy claims. The leading authority on the "Pizzagate" claim about Hillary Clinton—the claim about all the child abuse—recalls one horrid result:
On December 4, 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch, a 28-year-old man from Salisbury, North Carolina, fired three shots in the restaurant with an AR-15-style rifle, striking walls, a desk, and a door. Welch later told police that he had planned to "self-investigate" the conspiracy theory. Welch saw himself as the potential hero of the story—a rescuer of children. He surrendered after officers surrounded the restaurant and was arrested without incident No one was injured.Presumably, Welch was some version of "mentally ill." He'd heard that Clinton was trafficking children, and he wanted the terrible conduct to stop.
Welch told police he had read online that the Comet restaurant was harboring child sex slaves and that he wanted to see for himself if they were there. In an interview with The New York Times, Welch later said that he regretted how he had handled the situation but did not dismiss the conspiracy theory, and rejected the description of it as "fake news". Some conspiracy theorists speculated that the shooting was a staged attempt to discredit their investigations.
In his column, Lyons noted the fact that Donald J. Trump had been on the record as a ginormous fan of Jones. "In the midst of the 2016 campaign, the candidate gave Jones' radio program a 30-minute telephone interview," Lyons wrote.
"Your reputation is amazing," Trump had admiringly said to his crackpot host.
As for Trump himself, he had spent the previous five years spreading various crackpot claims about President Obama—claims the New York Times was too timid to challenge directly, even in a front-page report about Candidate Trump's "birtherism" in July 2016.
For what it's worth, many major entities have played a role, whether active or passive, in our society's growing spread of crazy ideas. In this morning's New York Times, Michelle Goldberg recalls the role played by Fox News in the spread of Trump's birtherism.
"During Barack Obama’s administration, Trump was a frequent presence on Fox, where he spread conspiracy theories about the president’s birth certificate that had circulated on conservative blogs and far-right websites," Goldberg writes.
In fact, it was Greta van Susteren who served as Trump's host and enabler during his many appearances on Fox. That said, so what? Cable star Rachel Maddow described van Susteren as her drinking buddy and her great friend when Van Susteren was hired by MSNBC in January 2017.
As she promoted her network's newest hire, Maddow praised van Susteren for her brilliant journalism. Unless she was simply lying, Maddow had been drinking with her great pal during the years when van Susteren was taking millions of dollars from Fox to help Trump spread his crazy claims all through the world.
All such parties have played a role in the deeply dangerous, deeply destructive spread of Leadership Down.
When a nation's multimillionaire TV "journalists" behave in these ways, that nation is destined to suffer. That said, it's worth remembering that the modern promulgation of crazy claims didn't start with Alex Jones or with Donald J. Trump.
Our modern politics had been plagued by the spread of crazy claims for at least three decades by the time Donald J. Trump offered his birther claims. During that period, some of the crazy claims actually came from upper-end journalists, in a deadly example of (journalistic) Leadership Down.
Crazy claims didn't enter the bloodstream of modern politics through the work of Trump or Jones. Let's think back to the Reverend Falwell, the unmistakably holy man of God who spent a good chunk of the 1990s peddling a crackpot film around.
There was no Internet at that time. As Crackpot Barbie used to say, selling The Crazy was hard!
Rolling up his sleeves while possibly reaching for his wallet, the Reverend Falwell put his godly virtues to work selling a godly film called The Clinton Chronicles. Many people were unable to see that the film was loaded with crackpot claims. The leading authority on the film describes one part of its influence:
The movie helped perpetuate a conspiracy theory known as the "Clinton Body Count" about a list of associates Clinton was purported to have had killed. The Los Angeles Times reported that Larry Nichols, who appears throughout the film and is the primary source for a number of the murder and mysterious death claims, was fired from his Arkansas state government job and once admitted to an Associated Press reporter to being motivated by spite. The fact checking site TruthOrFiction.com states that "There is no credible evidence that any of the deaths is related or can be attributed to Bill Clinton."By the summer of 1999, press corps favorite Gennifer Flowers was deeply involved in peddling the Clinton Body Count through her pay-to-read, for-profit web site. In a complete and total accident, Chris Matthews invited her to appear on Hardball for a lengthy half-hour interview without having any awareness, knowledge or understanding of this unfortunate fact.
Over Matthews' protests—and plainly, his protests were fully sincere—Flowers repeated her ludicrous claims about all the people Bill and Hillary Clinton had killed. As Flowers did this, Matthews told her how amazingly smokin' hot she was.
Major press critics didn't say boo. This silence was another example of (journalistic) Leadership Down.
Falwell was peddling crackpot claims long before Donald J. Trump began pretending that he'd sent gumshoes to Hawaii to check Obama out. As Falwell spread his crazy claims, major press organs sat on their hands, unwilling to speak too loudly.
In recent years, Jones has been one of the primary sources of the crazy claims which have polluted our culture. Donald J. Trump has spread crazy claims too. But along the way, so have major members of the mainstream press.
When Matthews clowned with Gennifer Flowers, that was Leadership Down. When mainstream journalists averted their gaze, their leadership also went down.
That said, the loss of journalistic leadership had started decades earlier. We refer to matters where crazy or badly disordered claims came live and direct from the mainstream press, not from outside players like Trump, Falwell and Jones.
Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves (TM), a trademarked yet disconsolate group which reports to us from the devastation of the future, tells us we're in the last few years before the start of Mister Trump's Widely Enabled War.
They tell us we're waiting "on the beach," that the die has already been cast.
The crazy claims about Presidents Clinton and Obama largely came from outside sources. But by the time of the White House campaign of Clinton's chosen successor, Candidate Gore, the crazy claims were coming from the mainstream press corps itself.
That said, the weird behavior the press corps displayed had been under construction for years.
Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves tell us there was never any escaping this profoundly destructive history. "It's just the way we humans were wired," they've frequently despondently said. "The wiring was never all that good. Eventually, the journalistic rewards just became too damn high."
That's the way these anthropologists explain the downward spiral which eventually took us to war. Due to their different training, Future Historians of the High Chaparral take a different approach:
As they focus on the era's history, these future scholars frequently point to the role which was played by the mainstream press. They describe the pathetic events of this "end times" era as The Rise of Leadership Down.
Tomorrow: As crazy as Trump, before Trump
"...claims the New York Times was too timid to challenge directly"ReplyDelete
What was there to 'challenge', dear Bob? Some people wanted to see the proof, the complete birth certificate. Can you blame them?
To stop it, all Barry The Demigod and his handlers had to do was to produce the certificate. And yet, apparently they decided that the controversy is beneficial to them (racists! racists! - the usual), decided to milk it for as long as possible, and that's exactly what they did.
If you don't want conspiracy theories, be transparent. Release your mailboxes yourself. Release your speeches, and shit like that. And - most certainly - let your servers be examined. And if don't - you've got no one to blame but yourself.
I, too, will be voting for Elizabeth Warren.
"If you don't want conspiracy theories, be transparent. Release your mailboxes yourself. Release your speeches, and shit like that. And - most certainly - let your servers be examined. And if don't - you've got no one to blame but yourself."Delete
Also, respond to subpoenas and release your tax returns, of course. If not, we'll assume you are admitting you are the racist, grifting loser we always knew you were.
You 'assume' whatever your zombie cult tells you to 'assume', dear psycho-dembots. No one cares. Except for entertainment.Delete
Yes, I can. Do you want to see Trump's birth certificate. Lastly, Obama did produce his full-form birth certificate. Trump claimed that it was a fake and that he was sending investigators to look into that. That, of course, was a lie, as he never sent anyone. The whole thing was a ruse. It's weird narrative to claim that the spurious claim advanced by the right-wingers and demagogues was a left-wing ploy.Delete
"No one cares."Delete
Tell it to Mao Cheng Ji. He cares bigly.
Mao's point is that he's a no one.
Mark your calendar. Today is the day Mao wrote the truth.
"Do you want to see Trump's birth certificate."Delete
No. But Trump didn't print on the covers of his books that he was born in Kenya.
"Trump claimed that it was a fake and that he was sending investigators to look into that."Delete
Yeah? Could you share your source of this story?
"It's weird narrative to claim that the spurious claim advanced by the right-wingers and demagogues was a left-wing ploy."
Some would disagree:
"In that quote, Obama also explained why he had decided at this moment to release a document that both he and most of the press had long deemed unnecessary to release, for good reason. Obama had found a way to turn the birther issue to his own political advantage, to demonstrate to the country that he was the mature, reliable leader they seek. This is the central message of his third year in office, and it will be at the core of his reelection campaign. Obama, too, knows how to use a MacGuffin."
It's good of Mao to remind us all what a miserable failure Donald J Chickenshit is, hiring all those investigators and detectives, flying them out to Hawaii and coming up with ZILCH, nothing but his hollow empty lying promises.Delete
Hilarious! Obama didn't write that pamphlet that listed his birth place as Kenya, did he?Delete
Now, is there *any* evidence that Trump sent investigators to Hawaii? The onus is on you. You have to be obtuse or profoundly dishonest to peddle this story.
"But for all of his fascination with the president’s birth certificate, Mr. Trump apparently never dispatched investigators or made much of an effort to find the documents.
Dr. Alvin Onaka, the Hawaii state registrar who handled queries about Mr. Obama, said recently through a spokeswoman that he had no evidence or recollection of Mr. Trump or any of his representatives ever requesting the records from the Hawaii State Department of Health."
PS: Wasn't Trump's father born in Germany and his mother in Scotland? Maybe Trump himself was born in Trinidad? Have you seen his birth certificate?
"Obama didn't write that pamphlet that listed his birth place as Kenya, did he?"Delete
It's not like someone scratched it on a public bathroom's wall. It's printed on the cover of his book, dembot. Every copy of it.
"Now, is there *any* evidence that Trump sent investigators to Hawaii? The onus is on you."
I was talking about the complete birth certificate that Barry eventually produced, and you said that "Trump claimed that it was a fake and that he was sending investigators to look into that."
So, would you mind sharing your source for this story?
This is so embarrassing for Mao Cheng JiMay 14, 2019 at 4:54 PM:Delete
The bio Mao references was never printed in or on any of Obama's books. Never. It was part of a promotional booklet a literary agency produced showcasing their roster of writers. The incorrect information was an error made by an editor at the agency that had not done due diligence. This booklet was seen by virtually no one until Breitbart posted it on their website.
A 1991 literary promotional booklet identified Barack Obama as having been born in Kenya
Mao says this is printed on the cover of Obama's book, every copy of it. This is completely false.
Sources for Trump claiming he was sending investigators to Hawaii? It was all over the media, here is Fox News covering it:
Trump Sends Investigators to Hawaii, Gains in GOP Presidential Primary Poll
Don't mind at all.
Ah, booklet, not book. Yeah, a UGELY important distinction.Delete
"Sources for Trump claiming he was sending investigators to Hawaii?"
No, the source for the story that "Trump claimed that it [long-form certificate] was a fake and that he was sending investigators to look into that"
So, it's a lie, then. Okay, apologizes accepted.
Mao Cheng JiMay 15, 2019 at 2:30 AMDelete
You continue to embarrass yourself.
The distinction is not that it was a booklet instead of a book, the distinction being that it is not, as you claim, Obama's book, and it is not in or on any Obama book. The booklet was from a literary agency and it merely listed their roster of writers. The distinction is somewhat important in that it completely invalidates your claim.
So you want to move the goal post to the long form, okay apology accepted. Trump's claim that he was sending investigators to Hawaii was after Obama released his birth certificate (live birth version), later Obama released the long form version and here you can see various clips where Trump doubts the authenticity of the long form:
Trump continues to question Obama's birth certificate
"The booklet was from a literary agency and it merely listed their roster of writers"Delete
Yeah, right, Barry's got nothing to do with it. Whatsoever. Obviously.
Because when I hire an agent to sell my house, and they publish information about my house - that I provided - in their booklet, it's got nothing to with me. Got it.
Talk about embarrassing oneself.
"So you want to move the goal post to the long form"
No I don't. The dembot above wrote "Lastly, Obama did produce his full-form birth certificate. Trump claimed that it was a fake and that he was sending investigators to look into that." This is the exact quote.
And then I asked him where he got this story. Do you mind?
It is a UGELY important distinction. I saw the fucking Trump himself flapping his jaws about how he was sending investigators to Hawaii. He never did. Period. Just like he kept on claiming that there were Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey and would not walk that back no matter what. Just like he demanded death penalty for the Central Park 5, and never walked that back when they were proven innocent.Delete
To borrow from Al Franken, Trump's biography: Fucking Liar, and the Fucking Lies That the Motherfucker Tells.
Proven innocent? I've read the wikipedia article, and there's nothing there even in the vicinity of "proven innocent". Quite the opposite, in fact.Delete
As for "celebrating 9/11", it wouldn't surprise me at all if some people did celebrate. Maybe not so much openly in Jersey City, but what's with pedantry?
Look at what you write, when you want to make a point. Do you feel that you're a fucking liar etc.?
I do not mind at all.Delete
Obama was not involved in the booklet of the literary agency that listed their roster of writers. I provided a link that details the bio was written by someone who admits the error is their own.
The booklet was not for the public, it was to promote their writers within the industry. Obama did not even publish anything at the time.
When Obama did finally write and publish years later, his bio indicated his birthplace as Hawaii.
Other bios of Obama before and after the booklet all list his birthplace as Hawaii, making it obvious that the error was not his, as Obama would have had his other bios list his birthplace as Kenya were it to be the case, there would be no reason to say you were born in Hawaii every time except for this one time, in an industry insider booklet you had no idea about. Your claim is risible. Not a single Obama book has what you describe, you simply made a false assertion.
Real estate agents do not use the seller as the source for information in promoting houses for sell, this is incredibly ignorant. And really, you do not own a house.
Obama released his full-form birth certificate in 2008, this is the only one Hawaii issues. Trump did claim he thought it fake, said it was one of the biggest scams in the history of politics, and said he had sent people to Hawaii to investigate it and that people were studying it and cannot believe what they have found. I provided one source out of many for the story, but the actual source is Trump, he made the claims.
For three years Trump went on and on like this, so Obama requested the long form version to quell the conspiracies, but he had to put in a special request for a waiver because Hawaii does not issue this form, Hawaii only officially issues the regular full form birth certificate that Obama released in 2008.
After Obama released the long form version, Trump still questioned it.
To review, your claim about Obama's books is completely false, and the claim you questioned about Obama's birth certificate is correct.
Mao Cheng JiMay 15, 2019 at 4:36 PMDelete
"Proven innocent? I've read the wikipedia article, and there's nothing there even in the vicinity of "proven innocent". Quite the opposite, in fact."
Did you? Did you read the wikipedia article?
Let's quote the wikipedia article:
"the FBI tested the DNA of the rape kit and found it did not match to any of the tested suspects"
"In 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted murderer and serial rapist in prison, confessed to raping the jogger, DNA evidence confirmed his guilt, and he knew facts about the crime that only the offender could have known."
You have once again embarrassed yourself.
Mao, confess, you celebrated 9/11. It was you, right? You and Trump hanging out in Jersey City, except it wasn't Jersey City, right? It was Trump Tower. After all, where were the WTC tenants going to go? The ones left alive anyway.
It wouldn't surprise me much if someone celebrated something somewhere on some date. Sophistry much?Delete
See what the detailed post above said about the Central Park 5; or watch a Ken Burns' documentary on that travesty.
It looks like you sophistry much. Whatever point he wanted to make there by mentioning people "celebrating 9/11", I'm sure it doesn't hang on the celebration happening in New Jersey.Delete
What detailed post, what are you talking about?
Did you see this:
It's perfectly clear that the accused were guilty.
Dembot at 4:56 PM. I'm not going to read pages of drivel; try to restrain yourself.Delete
So, "born in Kenya" was not printed on his book (if only because the book was never written), but on a promotional booklet, printed by the agent representing Barry The Clown. Fine, I stand corrected.
This meaningless detail, however, doesn't affect my point: the doubts were at least somewhat justified, and they were largely dispelled by Barry releasing the original long-form birth certificate, about 3 years after the election.
Stonewalling for 3 years, while actively portraying himself as a victim of 'crazies' and 'racists' is the essence of this story, imo. Just another liberal PSYOP.
The actual perpetrator confessed and DNA proved his confession. The accused had their convictions vacated.Delete
The Armstrong Report only presented a baseless theory that somehow both the actual perpetrator and the accused had been involved, perhaps successively, it weakly proffered. It did not offer any evidence, there was none against the accused. Armstrong just could not believe that the young teenagers could be coerced into confessions by adult professional police and prosecutors, ignorant to the mountains of evidence about false confessions. Frankly the report was a joke, put out by those embittered by racism.
The only evidence in the case was the DNA, the DNA was from the actual perpetrator that had confessed.
There are some "true believers" that can never process information that goes against what they wish reality to be, as is often the case, in this case that inability seems to be a function of racism.
It is perfectly clear the accused were not guilty, not only were their convictions vacated, they were awarded $40 million by the city for falsely convicting them.
Trump's point about the false story of people celebrating 9/11 was to stoke xenophobia against Muslims, one of his few options in generating votes.
Mao Cheng JiMay 16, 2019 at 8:12 AMDelete
It is one page, it does not require much to debunk your nonsense.
You keep walking back on your assertions, fine.
"Born in Kenya" was not printed in any of Obama's books or any other form of media, except in the one case, an industry insider booklet no one read, where the person who wrote it admitted the error was theirs. Obama was not an author at the time, he was merely on a literary agency roster of writers - there was no benefit to him, he was pursuing a different career, he had no knowledge of the booklet, if anything the agency was using him as promotional material.
There was zero justification behind the "doubts" about Obama's birthplace. You have presented zero justification. In reality, you have no point.
Obama was not stonewalling, this is readily apparent. He released the only birth certificate that Hawaii issues in 2008. People in the US have no clue about long form birth certificates because they are not the standard. Hawaii refuses requests to issue long form versions, Obama had to put in a special request to get a waiver for Hawaii to release the long form. That occurred in 2011 when Trump started the false news of sending investigators to Hawaii. Trump had not requested Obama release his long form, in reality, the issue had been revitalized by Trump because in 2011 he was considering a presidential run against Obama. Were it a political advantage to Obama to not release his long form, then he would have never released it! Duh.
Trumpers are just mad the ploy backfired to the extent that it did.
After Obama released his long form in 2011, Trump continued his "doubts". Here are quotes from Trump tweets in the years AFTER Obama released the long form:
"Made in America?"
"Let's take a closer look at that birth certificate."
"Congratulations to @RealSheriffJoe on his successful Cold Case Posse investigation which claims @BarackObama's 'birth certificate' is fake"
"An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."
""@obamafraudulent: @realDonaldTrump @d18mt2 The birth certificate that you forced Obama to show is a computer generated forgery."
"How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived"
"Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama's college records (destroyed?) and check "place of birth""
"@futureicon: @pinksugar61 Obama also fabricated his own birth certificate after being pressured to produce one by @realDonaldTrump"
Hmm. I said: "the doubts were at least somewhat justified, and they were largely dispelled by Barry releasing the original long-form birth certificate, about 3 years after the election"Delete
Which part do you believe you debunked, and what's the basis of that belief?
"Obama had to put in a special request to get a waiver for Hawaii to release the long form. That occurred in 2011 when Trump started the false news of sending investigators to Hawaii."Delete
Yeah. Translated into the human language, this is what happened:
Apr 7, 2011 - Trump threatens to send investigators to Hawaii.
Apr 28, 2011 - Obama releases a copy of the original certificate.
If, as you alleged, the fist event caused the second, 20 days (or less) is what it took to produce it. So, why stonewall for 3 years?
"Whatever point he wanted to make there by mentioning people "celebrating 9/11", I'm sure it doesn't hang on the celebration happening in New Jersey."Delete
It sure did. It was central to his point that Muslims needed to be kept out of the US. This is just indicative of the fucking mish-mash you have in your head in your attempts to somehow justify Trump's pathological lying. Trump said that he was sending investigators after Obama applied for a special waiver to release his birth certificate. It bears repeating: AFTER.
Apparently, Trump's pathology infects people who didn't even come into contact with him (assuming that you hadn't). Trump cult creates vessels who carry Trump's pathological memes.
Consider the irony: you refer to everyone as 'dembots' and 'zombie cult members' -- whereas you display the exact behavior that can be described in these terms.
"It bears repeating: AFTER."Delete
You dembots contradict each other. So, Trump's spies informed him of Obama finally getting the original certificate? Is that it? WTF? And where do you get all this shit anyway? Doncha have better things to do?
"It sure did."
Good. I accept your apologies.
"It was central to his point that Muslims needed to be kept out of the US."
So what? Your zombie cult bombs Muslim countries to no end, ruins them, and keeps telling you how it looooves Muslims - and you swallow all that and ask for more.
And when the guy tells it like it is (not to mention: ends the destruction of Syria), you get all excited and call him a liar. Fucking zombies.
First of all, let me apologize for my earlier comments about embarrassing yourself, clearly this is not the case as you are dealing with a disorder that, more than likely, you played no role in causing. I am terribly terribly sorry for my comments and you have my full sympathies for what you are dealing with.Delete
What was debunked was your claim about Obama promoting the notion that he was born in Kenya through bios printed in his books.
No doubts were justified about Obama's birthplace because he released his birth certificate in 2008. Obama had no role in the booklet that birthers cling to, it was a self-admitted error by the person that wrote it, demonstrated by ample evidence.
Your sequence of events implying cause and effect are not too off, more accurately:
1)Trump, in 2011, decided to run for president against Obama
2)Trump recharged the birthplace issue with false assertions, as Obama had already released his birth certificate in 2008
3)Obama, wanting to not spend time being defensive on the issue, went to the extraordinary step of releasing his long form medical record of his birth in 2011
4)Trump decides not to run for president against Obama
There is clearly no stonewalling on Obama's part. It is an empty assertion with no supporting evidence. Obama did not delay anything, block anything, or be evasive about anything related to his birthplace. Trump did not even ask for Obama's long form record to be released. Clearly Trump was being disingenuous about concern over Obama's birthplace - he thought it might be an effective weapon to damage Obama, increasing the odds for his presidential run, Obama on his part was able to defuse the issue shortly afterwards, and thus Trump quickly dropped the idea of running for president.
Trump's ploy when he tries to stir the pot betrays his corrupt character. He almost never fully asserts an accusation, he will repeat what others have said, in this way he thinks he can avoid responsibility for spreading nonsense.
Contradictions are fine; however, in this case no dembots are contradicting each other. Not sure what is going on in your mind here, and again, my sympathies.
Not only does Trump never "tell it like it is", misleading is his default position. He actually thinks this is clever on his part. The Democratic Party does not bomb Muslim countries or ruin them, or love them. Trump has only increased military action against Muslim countries, civilian deaths in places like Syria have reached all time highs, indeed he is overseeing the death of millions in Yemen. Trump did not end anything in Syria. He claimed he wanted to remove troops from Syria, and then he didn't. Trump won a massive increase in spending for the military.
As Ilya cogently indicated, Trump supporters tend to have blinders on; that said, we have to show compassion and understanding for those suffering from disorders that prohibit proper cognition.
You might want to take care of your own blinders, dembot, before worrying about others'.Delete
The mind is its own place, and in it self can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.ReplyDelete
Who ever heard of a metaphysical rat?Delete
Is it a moose?Delete
Somerby seems to think it is the job of journalists to police each other and keep crackpots off the air, even though the public likes to watch crackpots perform, so it is good for ratings. It has never been the job of journalists to criticize or police other journalists.ReplyDelete
In some sense, it is the viewers fault that they did not protest and boycott stations that presented weirdness and gave a platform to nuts. But this is a country where we defend people's right to express crazy views. So I don't have any idea what could have been done about fringe views even back in the early days of radio and TV.
Now, the internet amplifies such views through repetition and it gives those who are susceptible to them a way to find each other. So fringe groups, especially hate groups, are finding each other and meeting in real life and forming dangerous organizations capable of doing real harm to the targets of their craziness.
I think we are going to discover that the internet, bottom line, has been bad for society. While these people with odd ideas are busy finding each other and validating each other's crazy, the majority of people are spending so much time online that all real life membership groups are seeing their attendance decline, from churches to bowling leagues to Kiwanis to community softball. The less time people spend interacting with each other, the less chance to have balance against the ideas that generate fear and distrust.
Maybe at some point people will realize that screens don't fulfill basic human needs. Our teen suicide rates, mirrored by an increase in adult suicides currently being blamed on opioids but more likely due to screen-related alienation from humanity, may return to normal once we realize that screen time isn't good any of us.
It is hard for me to see how anything Somerby does here is good for his mental health, or ours either. And when the bulk of normal people go back to real life, will that leave an internet largely populated by cranks and will the amount of crazy then go unchecked and become even worse, bursting forth into gun-related incidents more frequently? Or will it make the internet easier to police, so that such acts can be prevented?
It is certain that journalists aren't going to be anyone's salvation. Meanwhile Somerby rants about his future anthropologists, making a bigger fool of himself than Gennifer Flowers.
“I think we are going to discover that the internet, bottom line, has been bad for society. While these people with odd ideas are busy finding each other and validating each other's crazy, the majority of people are spending so much time online that all real life membership groups are seeing their attendance decline, from churches to bowling leagues to Kiwanis to community softball. The less time people spend interacting with each other, the less chance to have balance against the ideas that generate fear and distrust.”Delete
Hm. It may be true that the internet has been bad for society (doubtful in so many ways), and that we need to personally interact more (undoubtful, at least in terms of organizing our fragmented society against corporate hegemony).
But what if the people you personally interact with get their information from Rachel Maddow, or Chris Matthews, or any of any of a dozen mainstream news orgs? Are they any better prepared to argue the merits of reality than Jones? Nope. Like Jones, they make good scratch from their infotainment.
“Our teen suicide rates, mirrored by an increase in adult suicides currently being blamed on opioids but more likely due to screen-related alienation from humanity…”
Screen related? Are you serious? Apparently you are, as you type away at a screen. I could have picked apart other numerous ridiculous assertions made in your screed against Somerby, Elba. But I don’t need to. I’ll just recognize your great slabs of surly text and ignore them going forward. As well as the responses that are clearly yours.
There were no good old days when leaders debunked craziness. The craziness was never put on the air because air time was limited and costly and needed to be what sponsors wouldn't be embarrassed by. The proliferation of stations and cable has made it harder to fill air time, opening the door to crazy as entertainment, except other crazies don't laugh at this stuff, they believe it.ReplyDelete
But none of that is journalists' fault.
Too little too late, and clearly the motive is manipulation so, no thanks.ReplyDelete
As rumors and myths proliferated on the web, it might have been reasonable for the mainstream media to provide particularly reliable news. That's something we can't get on the web. Unfortunately, the media made a different choice. They noticed that the public likes rumors and myths, so the mainstream media decided to report rumors and myths.ReplyDelete
E.g., the New York Times this morning reported
At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.
Trump denied the story:
"I think it's fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that," Trump told reporters at the White House.
There is always a good chance that Trump is lying. OTOH we can't evaluate the Times's report, because their source is anonymous.
To be accurate Trump did not deny the report.Delete
He denied the assertion within a reporter's question which was "are you planning to send 120,000 troops to the middle east?"
Trump made it clear he had not read the report, "Where was that story?" he asked the reporter.
Trump is apparently unaware of the meeting where the plan was presented. Trump generally seems unaware of what is going on with his administration, and unaware of what is going on in the world. This could be dementia setting in, however it is nothing new and is more likely a function of how his brain has always worked since birth, ie it's genetic.
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