Cutting Through The Crap

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Research


A little while back I mentioned, with some surprise, that the far-right Tom Coburn had actually criticized Fox "news." As a result, that most facile of Fox liars, the one that started it all, the guy who might actually believe that anything he says magically becomes true simply because he, himself, is magic and wonderful, had Coburn on his show. And lied, without engaging so much as a single piloerector.

Coburn had stated that Fox "news" claimed that, under insurance reform, people would be jailed if they didn't purchase a policy. Billo said that his team had "researched" it, and had found not a single instance of anyone on Fox saying such a thing. Hmm:

November 13, 2009: Glenn Beck tells Fox News' audience that those without coverage will "go to jail."

November 12, 2009: Beck said "there will be jail time" for those who refuse to participate in the health care system.

November 9, 2009: Dick Morris argues, "One of the provisions in the Pelosi bill is you actually can go to jail for not having health insurance."

November 10, 2009: Sean Hannity tells viewers, "Penalties for people who don't get government-mandated health insurance, uh, jail time, a possibility?"

October 7, 2009: Greta Van Susteren says it's "theoretically possible" that if "you can't afford insurance for whatever reason" the government could "send you to jail."

November 10, 2009: The on-screen graphic during Fox & Friends tells viewers during a segment on the health care debate: "Comply or go to jail."

Remember, O'Reilly promised Coburn, "[W]e researched to find out if anybody [on Fox News] had ever said you are going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody has ever said it."


The point is not that Fox lies: it's entirely obvious to anyone who has half a brain that lying is Fox's modus operandi, its raison d' ĂȘtre. The point is that when I say such a thing, I get (have gotten) comments suggesting I'm some sort of elitist smarter-than-thou. I get questions like, if Fox is so bad, why do you pay so much attention? The point is that Fox is the most watched cable "news" channel, and, as is apparent even in my tiny corner of the www, people actually believe it. Defend it. People who'll be out there complaining about taxes today, when, in fact, 98% of them got a tax cut this year. The point is that otherwise (conceivably) normal people are letting themselves be manipulated, used, and taken for fools.

How is it that so many people are that easily deceived? I don't think they're all dumb, although they don't generally spell so good. I think it's as I've said before, many times, many ways: our problems are so big, and addressing them is so hard, that people just go into tilt mode. They fall back onto belief, facts be damned. Denialism is easier, feels safer, doesn't challenge. Fox "news" is perfect for such times.

Other than the fact that it's lying us all into oblivion, and its viewers totally don't care. Love it, actually.

Oh, since at least one commenter has a problem with facts as factual things, there's this:


[Update, 4/16: Billo addresses the lying BY LYING. And then, in perfect projection and perfidy, he follows that blatant lying, that statement so easily disproved that it proves he lies without even a nibble of regret, with this:

The importance of this is that you, the everyday American, are now being lied to on a regular basis by people working for huge corporations -- and nothing's being done about it. A voter-driven republic -- a voter-driven republic -- cannot survive if lies supersede the truth.
Really. It's simply amazing.]



8 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

98% got a tax cut??
What Tax Cut would that be? Please be specific and cite your sources, and a lame link to "The Daily Show" doesn't count...
I would think if 98% of people got a tax cut I'd have heard about it...
Oh yeah, I'm in the upper 2%,
still, I'd like to know how much to cut my Yard/Pool/Maids pay...

Frank

Sid Schwab said...

Um, Frank? I DID cite my sources. You do have to click a link, though, and then figure out what state you're in. Turn the gas down when you're on line.

Frank Drackman said...

Oh that "Citizens for Tax Justice" link??? I thought maybe your Alzheimers was actin up again...:)
Hate to burst your bubble but "Citizens For Tax Justice" is about as fair and balanced as umm what was that group Senator Byrd(D,WVA) belonged to??? Started with a "K"....
According to the link I got a $4,537 tax cut.... I'll believe it when I see it on a Nice Green Government Check...
Seriously, most of the "Tax Cuts" are just euphamisms for Welfare, which is what the "Earned Income Tax Credit" is...
Thank God the Poor buy lottery tickets and smoke...

Frank

Sid Schwab said...

Perfect response, Frank. Begin with ignoring facts, and, if that fails, claim they're not facts. It's exactly why we're where we are. And, actually to address the point of this post, why Fox is so successful.

You should apply for a job there. I bet they'd happily hook up a hose under your desk.

Anonymous said...

Drekman: (Piss Be Upon Him)
"Cite your sources, cite your facts"

Sid:
"Click the friggn' link Frank!"

Drekman: (Piss Be Upon Him)
Ummm...So, OK, cite some other sources cite some other facts.

Priceless!

Sid, if we could reason with people like Drekman:(Piss Be Upon Him) and the SS Woman, there wouldn't be any people like them.

EugeneInSanDiego

Frank Drackman said...

Your just bein pissy cause you didn't get a tax cut either...
and I only watch Fox for "Glee"..

Frank

Anonymous said...

And there's certainly good news in this:

www.newsweek.com/id/236383mastaxcuts.php

Makes us feel all warm and cozy, knowing our financial future is in Obama's experienced hands.

"By all estimates, the budget outlook is daunting. The latest projections of the Congressional Budget Office reckon the cumulative deficits under President Obama's policies to be $12.7 trillion from 2009 to 2020. In 2020 the estimated annual deficit will be $1.25 trillion, or 5.6 percent of the economy (gross domestic product), despite assumed "full employment" of 5 percent. And the deficits get larger with every succeeding year. Given unavoidable uncertainties, these precise projections are likely to prove wrong. But their basic message seems incontestable: there's a large and growing gap between the government's promises and the existing tax base."

Sid Schwab said...

My comment in the post had to do with the fact that people protesting taxes don't know what they're talking about. Not exactly big news, I'd agree.

I, for one, have never liked the tax cuts that Obama provided as part of the stimulus. They added to deficits while doing much less stimulating than money spent on projects. And no one is denying the deficit numbers; especially not Obama. Which is why he has that commission up and running (you know, the one the Rs are complaining about).

It's an understandable -- if incorrect -- position that Obama's spending is dangerous. But it's like blaming the repair guy for the costs incurred by the driver who crashed the car. I guess we could have ignored the smoking wreckage Bush left, and taken up walking instead of driving.

The question is, what's next? How to address it. Teabaggers and Newt Gingrich would like to go back to Reagan's voodoo economics which started us on the downhill roll. Thoughtful people, on the other hand, agree that the solution will be a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Allowing the Bush cuts to expire is a needed first step. Addressing entitlements and defense spending is next.

There will be plenty for everyone to hate. But, after decades of being told by Republicans that we can have everything we want and not pay for it, the truth needs to be told. Clinton did, and Obama is trying. With Fox "news" and clueless teabaggers, and an even more ideologically petrified Congress than Clinton had, he has a harder job.