FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2021
But also, Cooper and Borger: Have questions of basic honesty ever been so near at hand?
How about questions concerning basic intellectual competence? How about questions of possible or apparent mental illness?
Dishonesty leads to bogus claims—but so do various forms of mental illness, and so does intellectual incompetence. That said, our world is awash in bogus claims, coming from many directions.
The western world has long tended to claim that "man [sic] is the rational animal." Has there ever been a time when this traditional claim was being undermined by human behavior coming from so many different directions?
We cite a few recent examples:
For starters, consider Tucker Carlson's recent assessment of Alex Jones. At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake's report starts like this:
BLAKE (12/2/21): Two weeks ago, Infowars founder Alex Jones lost yet another defamation suit brought by the families of victims massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School—a shooting rampage that Jones spuriously claimed was a “hoax” and a “false flag” exercise, allegations that the families said compounded their personal tragedies.
On Wednesday night, the most prominent conservative pundit in the country hailed Jones as “one of the most popular journalists on the right” and often a more reputable journalist than mainstream media figures who reported on the Russia investigation.
“Yes, journalist,” Tucker Carlson said after using that term to describe Jones. “Jones is often mocked for his flamboyance, but the truth is, he has been a far better guide to reality in recent years—in other words a far better journalist—than, say, NBC News national security correspondent Ken Dilanian or Margaret Brennan of CBS.”
It’s difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement. It’s also difficult to imagine a better microcosm of the American right’s descent into its current post-truth era than this.
Earlier this week, Carlson did offer that assessment of Jones. You can see his fuller remarks in the transcript of Wednesday night's Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Does Carlson really believe what he said? Forced to guess, we would guess that he possibly does, or possibly something like that. We would guess that he possibly does, despite such downsides as these:
BLAKE: To be clear, one can take issue with how media outlets covered a given story...But that’s different from elevating a guy who has done the following:
Claimed the federal government has turned “weather weapons” on its citizens.
Claimed the government has used chemicals to turn people gay — and that “the majority of frogs in most areas of the United States are now gay” because of the experiments.
Said people would “let [Robert] Mueller rape kids in front of people, which he did,” before walking back the assertion.
Promoted the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and top aides were running a satanic sex-trafficking ring out of a D.C. pizza restaurant, then backtracked and apologized.
Suggested the following were inside jobs and/or false flag operations: 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, Charlottesville, the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the Brussels terrorist attack and the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Falsely connected the Chobani yogurt company and its employment of refugees to child sexual assault and a rise in tuberculosis. (Jones later settled a defamation suit brought by Chobani.)
Was sued after Infowars falsely identified the shooter in the Parkland massacre.
Is Alex Jones mentally competent? What does it mean if we suggest the possibility that he possibly isn't?
How about Tucker Carlson? Does he believe what he said about Jones? What would he say if hewas challenged concerning the various points Blake cited?
Regarding that last question, we will never learn what Carlson would say if challenged. The reason for that is obvious:
Our "news channels" have moved from the old left/right "Crossfire" warfare model to a model based on complete tribal segregation. To wit:
You will never see any competent person challenge Carlson on his own show (or anywhere else). On MSNBC, you will essentially never see anyone who disagrees, in whatever way, with the prevailing tribal line on any prevailing issue.
We've gone from the old "Crossfire" model to the current "segregation" model. At present, it's all about selling the Storyline, no matter which channel you watch.
There's one last point to mention:
Our major "cable news" journalists seem to have almost no intellectual or analytical skills—essentially none at all. Routinely, their apparent lack of sophistication is simply astounding.
Carlson's comments on Jones seem to be insane. That said, we keep seeing pseudo-discussions on CNN and MSNBC which strike us as barely sane, though in a different way.
Tomorrow, we're going to look at last night's discussion on CNN concerning Trump and Covid. Our question would be this:
At this point in time, do Anderson Cooper and Gloria Borger have any intellectual competence at all? Their discussion last night was stunningly bogus, as was the earlier discussion of the same topic on yesterday's Morning Joe.
Simply put, our corporate elites are in shambles. Whichever tribe you happen to be in, you can probably see this about The Others—but about Your Own, not so much.
(Your lizard is shouting, Moral equivalence. We'll suggest that you fire your lizard.)
"Is Alex Jones mentally competent?"ReplyDelete
Judging by his income, counted, we'd guess, in millions of dollars annually, Mr Jones is far more mentally competent than you are, dear Bob.
...and so are your favorite dembots at MSNBC, CNN, etc.
And that's all there is to it.
...as for the change of model, why don't you check Matt Taibbi's site, dear Bob. He described this phenomenon months ago. Read this one, for example:
I love Tucker.ReplyDelete
Is it possible that despite all of Jones's falsehoods and nonsense, that NBC News is even less accurate?ReplyDelete
No, David. And the question isn't what is possible but what is likely. As Somerby says, anything is possible, which means nothing is possible too.Delete
To begin with, how many defamation lawsuits has NBC lost because it said that the parents at Sandy Hook were actors who staged their children's deaths? Then ask yourself how many inaccurate statements about covid NBC has made compared to Jones.
Meanwhile, I am asking myself why I am bothering to respond to such obvious trolling.
Tucker revealed a huge lack of judgment in his characterization of Alex Jones.Delete
The level of professionalism between Jones and the MSM is equivalent.
The MSM are business people.Delete
You know, the people who voted for Trump because he's a smart businessman who stiffs his contractors.
Alex Jones is just a typical Right-wing asshole.
"The western world has long tended to claim that "man [sic] is the rational animal." Has there ever been a time when this traditional claim was being undermined by human behavior coming from so many different directions?"ReplyDelete
The word "man" refers to mankind or humanity, not to any individual person. Of course, there are not only many mentally deficient people, but also many outright liars. Neither is the norm. Somerby probably doesn't know what the word "norm" means, given his lack of training in statistics.
The minute someone on the right becomes an outright embarrassment, Somerby declares him insane, so that the right's pundits can escape being held accountable for their statements -- and the rest of the right held accountable for giving them a platform.ReplyDelete
If Tucker is mentally ill, then so is the entire Fox channel, right?
Meanwhile, Somerby keeps urging readers here to go over and watch more Fox News, because you will find out many more FACTS (he says) there that are being suppressed by the mainstream media. And that makes Somerby just like all of the other nutcases who watch these guys and believe everything they say. And does it make them any better people if they believe tripe? No, it makes them idiots and just as insane as Tucker and Alex. And someone needs to stop pretending they are normal, and especially stop equating what happens over on Fox with actual news reporting.
That is such a stupid interpretation.Delete
And this is such an incoherent response. Can you do nothing but call names?Delete
There's no point further engaging with someone capable of making a misreading as stupid as this one.Delete
Can't equate MSNBC with FOX. Incompetence is not the same as malicious intent.ReplyDelete
I would suggest that Bob is a lizard. But only because he wants to be. Whatever. Obviously an intelligent person can see no such odious list of transgressions, like the one Bob assembled on Jones, could be assembled on the worst MSNBC blather puss. And Bob doesn’t get into the ugly stuff Jones has been sued for.ReplyDelete
You are correct, Bob accepts the insanity defense and quickly gets back to slamming Maddow.ReplyDelete
What do think, dear Bob, about the recent performance of one Alec Demigod Baldwin, who once publicly fantasized about killing the Others, their wives and their children?
Any thoughts on his shooting a woman dead and now playing the victim? Delicious, ain't it?
ma0 ma0 * ,!, ,!,Delete
Good morning! Nice to see that Mama Magat and Papa Magat have been apprehended in Detroit and will be joining Baby Magat in jail. Cheers.Delete
Ah, Detroit. Liberal Paradise.Delete
How many more have to die before the whole country becomes as safe, pleasant, and beautiful as liberal-run Detroit?
As always, thank you for your timely confession, dear psycho-dembot.Delete
Psych dembot Mao is a HUGE Establishment ass-kisser.Delete
Whoa, another one.Delete
...and can we have more confessions today, dear psycho-dembot?
I haven't seen Mao this happy since Trump gave his Establishment pals a gigantic tax break.Delete
Psycho-dembot confessions always put a smile on our face.Delete
Hey, psycho-dembot Mao.Delete
Remember when you used to pretend you weren't a HUGE Establishment ass-kisser?
Thanks, dear psycho-dembot, but you already confessed that one today.Delete
Anyhow, have a great day in Liberal-Pwogwessive Paradise of Detroit. Love and Kisses.
You'd have to be a Right-winger to be so stupid you didn't know Mao loves the Establishment.Delete
It's no wonder the poor dear is so confused.
There is nothing better in the world than Joe Biden taxing the fuck out of the Establishment to give black people everything they need.Delete
I think i speak for each and every American, when I say this makes me sleep more peacefully.
After all, we're not assholes.
As someone who is not at all a media critic, have you ever wondered why the media doesn't present the 75+% of the country that is happy to get the vaccine, and instead focuses on the dumbfuck minority who think they know better than epidemiologists?
You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the best websites on the net.ReplyDelete
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