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Renamed: Peeking Down the Right-Wing Rabbit Holes


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#1 LFC

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 02:43 PM

Tomasky made his first visit to Snopes in a while. He's not pleased with what he's seeing.

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The other day, some rabbit hole I was venturing down online delivered me to Snopes.com, which I’d not visited in a while. In my memory, Snopes was called upon to settle, if such was possible, the occasional political debate; but more often it declaimed on questions of the “is the moon really made of green cheese?” variety.

What I saw staggered me—and somehow made it starkly plain to me how close to the precipice we are as a nation.

As I toggled over the home page, I was flabbergasted by what a high percentage of Snopes articles now are devoted to debunking fake news. And I don’t mean CNN. I mean, if I may use the phrase, real fake news. Garbage. And more specifically, right-wing garbage. Some stuff that’s in the actual news, though completely distorted, and other stuff that’s just totally made up, that who-knows-how-many thousands, or millions, of people are out there believing.

We begin, of course, with Hillary. “Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent of United States’ Uranium to Russia in Exchange for Clinton Foundation Donations?” was the most-searched story on the site Thursday. All week. Probably all month. You know, I trust, the basic allegation, so I won’t repeat it.

Snopes rates this, of course, as “False.” Because it is false. In fact, it’s insane. She had no known role in the decision, and there is no American uranium in Putin’s power-hungry hands. But at least this one is in some sense tethered to planet Earth.

Now let’s move to Thursday’s most shared story. “Starbucks Refused Free Product to Marines Serving in Iraq?” This one dates back to a viral email from 2004 (?!) claiming that “Starbucks had not only refused a request for free product from some U.S. Marines serving in Iraq, but had retorted that ‘they don’t support the war [in Iraq] and anyone in it.’” It’s great and so entirely believable, you see, because Starbucks comes from dark-blue, surrender-monkey Seattle and is run by a guy named Howard Schultz, who is Jewish, and is trying to turn us into a nation of epicene latte-sippers. It is, naturally, “False.”

Let’s see. Here’s a good one. “Was Barack Obama President During Hurricane Katrina?” Stop for a minute and think about what a drooling simian you have to be to believe this. Find out when Obama was president. Find out when Katrina happened. Even for not-very-bright people that can’t possibly be more than 40 seconds’ work. But they can’t even do that! These people may be against evolution, but from the evidence I’d say they’re proof of it.

The hits keep coming. “Was the Texas Church Shooter an Antifa Member Who Vowed to Start a Civil War?” Well, alas, no, he was not. The inchoate lefty antifascist group apparently drives great traffic in these quarters, because there’s another one: “Antifa Member Photographed Beating Police Officer?” Oh, darn it all. Just a digitally manipulated photograph.


He provides this depressing conclusion. Post-reality society, here we come!

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idiculous, yes. Funny, yes. But it’s also something worse. Who knows how many of these things are out there, and who knows how many people are believing them and posting them on Facebook and talking about them at church and the workplace? And then, when someone tells them politely, “Well, you know, that probably isn’t true,” dismissing them as having sold their souls to the liberal media?

Another five or 10 years of this, and we’ll have a class of millions of citizens who get “news” only from fake sources. Some of those fake sources are and will be ideologically committed actors who’ll believe that any tactic is defensible as long as it destroys the secular establishment, and other sources will be pranksters playing these idiots for rubes and making money off of it.

In other words, to think of it more systemically, it’s a perfect marriage of corrupt capitalism (make-a-buck pranksters) and corrupt constitutionalism (people who lie under protection of the First Amendment). Both systems were supposed to self-regulate. So Adam Smith told us about capitalism, and James Madison told us about constitutionalism. But Smith and Madison couldn’t foresee this. The institutions and customs that were supposed to sustain us forever are in danger of sending us down the tubes.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 golden_valley

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:00 PM

Remember when people said TV was the end of intelligence? They were right...TV laid the groundwork for consuming news rather than trying to understand it. As consumption became the key to keeping viewers (and advertisers) information purveyors trained people to expect to be entertained, not informed. If they wanted information they turned to that which confirms what they already believe or think they know. There's nothing more entertaining than being told that you are right and everyone else is wrong and probably evil.

#3 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 03:49 PM

As we all know, Snopes is a leftist disinformation propaganda channel.

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Another five or 10 years of this, and we’ll have a class of millions of citizens who get “news” only from fake sources.

Two words: "Fox News." He's passing history as prophecy.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#4 Bact PhD

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 06:25 PM

Sigh. Daddy Dear was calling this back in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. With this thought in mind, I’ll leave these here:

http://m.youtube.com...h?v=yDJOtgPJ2rc

http://m.youtube.com...h?v=38UQtjhXalk
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384, via LFC, 12/1/2016

Competent people go in one of a few directions. But incompetence is infinite. ~David Brooks, NY Times

#5 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 06:41 PM

And Jackson Browne almost 50 years ago. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

https://www.youtube....h?v=FV678CMjVAA
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#6 LFC

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:53 AM

"Sunday Papers" by Joe Jackson from 1979. The story is that apparently he had a friend call frantically asking him why the hell he did an interview with the National Enquirer. Since he hadn't done one he was taken a bit by surprise. He wrote this song about the tabloids but as we now see the tabloids, satire sites, right-wing news, and right-wing politics have all melded into an indistinguishable mess.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#7 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:58 AM

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Who knows how many of these things are out there, and who knows how many people are believing them and posting them on Facebook and talking about them at church and the workplace?
Facebook knows
Fear Sells!

Cui bono?

"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology." - EO Wilson.

"Hell is truth seen too late" - T Hobbes

#8 LFC

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:06 PM

View PostBeelzebuddy, on 20 November 2017 - 10:58 AM, said:

Facebook knows

Those two words just go so well with your avatar.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#9 LFC

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 02:24 PM

I genericized the subject line a bit since it ties so perfectly with this piece at TDB called I Spent a Week Down the Right-Wing Media Rabbit Hole—and Was Mesmerized by It. Here are a few tidbits:

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Fox’s paid contributors and guests do much of the heavy lifting in terms of injecting vitriol into programming. It is astounding how many times every hour former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee pops up. During my experiment, he seemed to appear more frequently than a field correspondent, but because his role is unencumbered by pesky facts, he is allowed to make statements with an air of authority about the impact to human life while society is closed being more damaging then the actual human toll.

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Sean Hannity’s primetime show is very watchable; Hannity’s daytime radio show is unbearable. On the radio, he speaks far less than Rush, but when he does there’s an air that he’s doing so without fear of being eavesdropped on by his enemies the way he is on his cable show. Suffice to say, he lets the vitriol fly in an even more jarring way than at 9 p.m. on TV.

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While there are instances CNN and MSNBC hosts display glimmers of bias, it’s usually accompanied by hesitancy followed by pangs of guilt. You can call Fox News personalities many things, but tentative is not one of them. The shamelessness in their delivery is uniform up and down the lineup.

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The Gateway Pundit is the least subtle of them all (no easy feat), starting with its headlines: from “15 Questions for Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx Before They Completely Annihilate the US Economy” to “CNN IS A CANCER” to “WTH? Joe Biden Speaks Gibberish.”

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At the end of one segment about Democratic hypocrisy in not believing all accusers, the anchor said: “After the break we will be joined by Jim Jordan to discuss the latest Flynn revelations.” Yes,that Jim Jordan of “allegedly covering up sexual-assault accusations against an OSU team doctor while he coached wrestling there” fame.


This was pretty funny.

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The complete absence of 1-877-Kars-4-Kids commercials, reason enough to become a Republican.


And then there's OAN.

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Fourth, OAN–the newest media outlet to join the fray–is more dangerous than I believed in 2018 when I tweeted that its emergence was not to be ignored. It by far creates the most web content. Between the volume and the steady tenor, it can easily feel like one-stop shopping.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#10 golden_valley

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 12:32 PM

Has anyone heard much about Sinclair Broadcasting recently? What are they up to?

#11 andydp

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 05:00 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 22 May 2020 - 12:32 PM, said:

Has anyone heard much about Sinclair Broadcasting recently? What are they up to?

We have a Sinclair station in our area. For the most part they keep us well informed on the local stuff. They do have Sinclair "feeds" from DC. These tend to be straight facts.

We used to get "Boris" (don't remember the full name but he has a bit of a shady background) Anyhow, he used to give a 5 minute "editorial" spouting the WH lines but I haven't seen him in a while. I used to change stations when he came on. Maybe several thousand others did.

Even after most of the broadcast networks stopped showing the Coronavirus briefings, our Sinclair affiliate was still airing them. I'm assuming enough people were changing stations they finally saw there was no money in watching Pres Trump Self Immolate.

The newest "wrinkle" is the "pillow guy" touting his autobiography. Its like a two or three minute infomercial about his boook, his drug addiction etc etc. Another one I switch channels to avoid.

Question for the smart ones in the room in reference to the "pillow guy" ad above: I'm guessing a two minute national feed likely doesn't pay the affiliates as much as a local ad would.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

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Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp
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Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force. DC Coronata

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” Margaret Thatcher


(Select anyone who gets blind loyalty from followers/voters) "...is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."(Manchurian candidate)



"I can't go out because of the virus" sounds whiny and boring. I'm going with:
"I've sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from the lands."
Sounds more valiant and heroic AND, as a bonus, people might think you're carrying a sword.

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