Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Breaking News: Lies Work

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Exposing misinformation does squat. 
-- Christopher Hayes.
It's a weird and painful sentiment coming from someone who has chosen a career in journalism, but it's true. It's true because, as every writer knows we understand, explain and predict our world through narrative.  As tribal creatures, we tend to share and adapt the narratives of those around us.  And as tribal creatures living in a mass media culture, "those around us" includes entities like Hate Radio and Fox News.

All of which means that once someone has accepted Roger Ailes or Rush Limbaugh as trusted sources on knowledge of the world around them, and once they have woven Conservative lies deep into their personal Bayeux Tapestry, they will hang onto those beloved lies like grim death.

By Charles P. Pierce on March 11, 2014
This may be the saddest quote I have ever seen in a newspaper.
When advised of the details of her Blues' plan, Boonstra said the idea that it would be cheaper "can't be true." "I personally do not believe that," Boonstra said.
Even granting that the administration did a rotten job selling and/or explaining the Affordable Care Act -- Get Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick started on that sometime -- this quote is immeasurably tragic. It represents a kind of final victory for mean-spirited and uncharitable propaganda over reality, a triumph for misinformation, sabotage, and arrant bullshit in the service of a cruel ideology and faceless oligarchy. It is a measure of the failure of all of our institutions, which definitely includes my own, which allowed charlatans and frauds to hijack too much of the public debate. I pray for this woman's recovery...
Lies work.

And Big Lies -- repeated over and over again -- work best.

So, what is the Biggest Big Lie of all?

"Both Sides Do It".  Hands down.  Not even close.

This is the trap-door through which the Pig People escape accountability for the lies upon which they build their world, and that continue to blow up in their faces, every time, over and over again.

And until this line of retreat -- this lie of retreat -- is destroyed and Conservatives are forced to fight for their horrible ideas on their merits and not on the basis that they are less horrible than the antics of imaginary hippies, we will continue to lose.


Anonymous said...

The myth of only two sides is a bigger lie than "both sides".

There are more perspectives than the two allowed a platform in the mainstream media.

bowtiejack said...

People who style themselves "conservatives" or "good Americans" or whatever, substitute emotion and myth for the reasoning and facts used in the real world. If reality conflicts with the picture in their head, it's reality that's wrong.

It's also part of the Manichean Myth or The Excluded Middle Fallacy. There are only two possibilities : right/wrong (or good/evil, hot/cold, up/down, etc.) Concepts such as "partly right", "not good or evil, just what it is", "warm", "so-so" don't exist.I like to think of it as a kind of Legoland, where life is lived only on the edges.

RoninMichigan said...

Unfortunately i live in Michigan and Mrs. Boonstra exemplifies many of my fellow Michiganders. Not all of us "think" like she does, thankfully, but the anti-anything Obama is strong in these parts. Her strain of "personal belief" is unmoved by facts.

"Don't try to change me", i was told recently while explaining some of the benefits of the ACA to an in-law. Sure, he lost his teaching job about a year ago in what was yet another round of layoffs due solely to spending cuts for education, spending cuts to pay for huge corporate tax cuts i might add. And sure, his unemployment checks abruptly stopped in December after only being out of work since September. But anything Obama related that might help him is "change" he will not accept.

Anonymous said...

"Liberal media bias," a cousin to "both sides do it," isn't that far off. It's something accepted as a state of nature even by NPR liberals. It doesn't help that NPR is considered liberal, when it has been drifting off towards crazytown and giving platforms to Brooks and his filthy ilk to spew their bullshit (albeit in a polite tone of voice) for years and years now.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

@Anonymous 1:16

Keep flogging that horse, maybe someday you can offload that IRV literature.