Everybody says the same things!


That's just the way humans work: Is our latest Storyline accurate? On January 6, did Hannity and Ingraham betray their genuine concern in private texts to Mark Meadows, then play a different game on the air that night?

Everybody has voiced some version of the latest hot claim, including the Post's Jeremy Barr. When we fact-checked Barr's specific complaints, we didn't think they held up real well.

Having said that, so what? The basic rule of the journalism game has been clear for decades. The basic rule goes like this:

Once a script has been put in place, everyone simply recites it. For example, this is the way Zack Beauchamp began his report on this topic for Vox:

BEAUCHAMP (12/14/21): As the Capitol riot unfolded on January 6, Fox News hosts knew exactly how bad things were.

“The president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Laura Ingraham texted to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. “Please, get him on TV—[the riot is] destroying everything you accomplished,” Brian Kilmeade wrote to Meadows. “Can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?” wrote Sean Hannity in yet another Meadows text.

The texts, revealed during a Monday hearing of the House January 6 Commission, were at odds with the hosts’ on-air comments on the night of the attack. Ingraham suggested that “antifa supporters” may have been responsible for the violence. Kilmeade took a similar line: “I do not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence that I know of in a big situation.” Hannity, for his part, asserted that “the majority of them were peaceful.”

This is tangible proof that some of Fox’s marquee personalities knowingly lied to their audience about January. The lying began basically immediately, in the direct aftermath of a national tragedy.

Beauchamp offered one link in support of those claims—he linked to Barr's report. Basically, he simply paraphrased / copied what Barr had written, making things a bit more exciting by excitingly saying that Hannity and Ingraham had "knowingly lied to their audience."

Beauchamp took his mandated claims live and direct from Barr. Raise your hand if you think, for even one minute, that he did any fact-checking at all.

It was done this same way in 1999. Once the script had been established, the children all stood in line to say it:

 Al Gore said he invented the Internet! 

Many other mandated statements followed. George Bush ended up in the White House. The army ended up in Iraq.

It's the same familiar game in the present day. Today, though, the script tells us this:

The texts they sent to Meadows that day were at odds with their comments that night.

It doesn't much look that way to us. But this is a copying game.

For the record, we're offering pure anthropology here. This is pure anthro, all the way down. According to legions of major top experts, this is the way humans work!

Beauchamp offers one link, to Barr. Raise your hand if you think, for even one instant, that he did any fact-checking at all!

The other mandated statements: Memories crowd the corners of our minds! These were (a few of) the other mandated statements. The children all rushed to recite them:
Al Gore said he inspired Love Story.
Al Gore said he discovered Love Canal.
Al Gore hired a woman to teach him how to be a man.
Al Gore doesn't know who he is.
Al Gore has a problem with the truth, just like his boss, Bill Clinton.
There were many others, of course, right up through October 2000. Everybody rushed to repeat them. That's just the way humans work!


  1. "That's just the way humans work"

    No, dear Bob, humyns don't work this way. Humyns are endowed with critical thinking. That's the way totalitarian cults work.

  2. "Manafort gave polling data to the Kremlin" is another one. They all just repeat it and claim it's a "fact" without doing any research.

    1. Yes indeed he did. Andy why shouldn't he have? After all he was the orange abomination's campaign manager and fellow colluder.

    2. 3:24,
      How about calling pants-pissing police, who fear for their lives anytime they confront a black person, "brave" first responders?
      Or calling business owners "job creators", without any research at all?

    3. "They hate us for our freedom."

  3. When Somerby says that everyone says the same thing, he is ignoring the way the right engages in message discipline. Everyone goes silent and then comes back telling the party line, the talking points that have been disseminated to all on the right. So all the talking heads and party members are singing the same song, on the same page.

    There was a lapse during and immediately after 1/6, then the discipline settled back in and everyone was saying the same thing on the right.

    Somerby today is criticizing the left for pointing out the inconsistencies in what was said immediately after the riot and what was said later and today, which is party dictated talking points.

    Somerby is not actually addressing what the right said and did, but critiquing the left's efforts to show the discrepancies. He blames the left for going after the hypocrisy and posturing on the right, as if that were the same thing as happened with Al Gore, who really did say stupid things which were greeted without linguistic charity because the press disliked Gore. Somerby never talks about why the press disliked Gore, something that may be more Gore's fault than the fault of the press corps. That was a personal problem for Gore's campaign, whereas what is happening now on the right is something entirely different, despite Somerby's attempts to equate things.

    Somerby nearly always glosses differences in order to find a spurious similarity, without realizing that the differences distinguish one thing from another in important ways, whereas the similarities are usually irrelevant.

    Somerby, for example, doesn't think about why these right-wing hosts are recanting what they said during and immediately after 1/6. And he is being excessively literal again, ignoring meaning and focusing on nitpicks over wording. It is tiresome, but the main point, as always, is to excuse the right wing cable hosts and attack the left by saying they are "copying" when they quote another source, instead of dealing with what that source has said.

    1. You have to remember not everyone is as stupid as you are. So there's going to be a very wide range of responses that are different from yours.

    2. 10:00 I'm going to have to agree that you do need to keep in mind how stupid you are when trying to form conclusions about these matters. It often leads to incomprehensively illogical and monotonously boring responses such as the one you have made here.

  4. "Kyle Rittenhouse is set to speak at the conservative Turning Point USA conference starting on Saturday.

    "There's a lot of people that want to hear what he has to say and there's a tremendous amount of interest," Turning Point spokesman Andrew Kolvet said, AZ Central reported."

  5. This 1/6 response is named as PolitiFact's lie of the year:


    And yet Somerby defends the liars and blames the press for trying to expose them! Somerby is once again on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of an important issue.

  6. The entire controversy is complete crap anyway. Why don’t we check all the media’s texts or off-camera comments about a story they’re covering?

    Can you imagine the MSM saying that it was dishonest not to say or to text a Minneapolis official/source over how their mayor’s actions looked weak or asinine, because they did not express that opinion while interviewing or discussing the mayoral response on tv?

    How about if a journo had ventured the opinion via text that it looked like the crowd was al] Antifa, but then voiced on air the thought that the crowd could be fairly mixed?

    How is it that this behavior is suddenly hypocrisy for media members?

    This ridiculous- dialing it up to 100- over all things Trump, will never stop. Not until there’s a new, popular, and therefore inevitably “worse than Trump” potential Republican presidential candidate, anyway.

    1. And what if Trump were not insane?

      Meanwhile, on planet Earth, it is Fox News *ahem*”journos”*ahem* whose text messages to Trump and his chief of staff have been discovered.

      Can you imagine if such texts existed from Maddow to Obama’s chief of staff, or Hillary’s campaign manager? It would have been burning up Fox News and the right wing media 24/7, and Somerby would have pounced on it to further denounce her, perhaps even rightly.

      So, yeah, can you imagine the MSM doing that?

      But they didn’t.

      Fox “News” did, showing themselves to be completely partisan hacks.

      No, worse.

      They are trying to normalize Jan 6, which was an attempt to subvert our government led by Trump and members of the GOP.

      They are traitors.

    2. Oh, and kudos, for the umpteenth time, for pretending that Fox News isn’t part of the corporate MSM.

      What bullcrap.

    3. Cecelia,
      I agree that Republican voters will find a MUCH bigger piece of shit than Trump, the RINO, to nominate for President in 2024.

    4. mh, you’re so adorable when you play naive.


    5. Anonymouse 9:40am, I appreciate your assurance that there will always be a new monster, worse than the old monster.

      Everyone knows that and it puts all the ginned-up hysteria into perspective.

    6. 10:04,
      It puts the the Republican voters and Republican Party in perspective.

    7. Ronald Reagan was hands-down the worst President in the history of the United States.

    8. Way to miss the point, Cecelia. The issue isn't the liars who parade around on Fox Noise pretending to be journalists.

      The issue is what this proves about the orange abomination sitting on his corrupt fat criminal ass in the WH enjoying the show and not lifting a finger to stop his treasonous gang.

      As the onion gets slowly pealed each day we learn more and more of the multilayered efforts and plans to subvert the election and all the republican actors involved, it is impossible for me to believe how anyone could continue to vote for this party of traitors and criminals until this party is wiped and root and branch and replaced with honorable men and women who understand that they have to play by the same rules as everyone else.

    9. Bob's contention is that even a tiny bit of criticism towards the snowflakes will keep them voting for fascists (AKA Republican Party).
      What Bob doesn't explain is why these snowflakes are voting for fascists in the first place.

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