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Why 'Fact-Checking' Gives Liars a Free Pass


#1

Why 'Fact-Checking' Gives Liars a Free Pass

John Atcheson

Look, let’s face it, the press has been enabling Trump in particular and the conservatives in general by the way it has been addressing the blatant lying, deception, misdirection, and other forms of lying.

The fact that the controlling party in our country consistently lies to the American people, and that it rejects science, facts, and reality? Oh, can’t say that. Wouldn’t be balanced, you know.


#2

This piece brings up an issue that reaches far beyond the Press.
Liberals feel the compulsion to justify what they claim, conservatives don’t. This has to do with the way their brains are wired. Conservatives, especially the White Trash Trumpian variety, don’t feel discomfort asserting something just because it lines up with their ignorant views of reality (far-left folks tend to do the same, by the way, but those aren’t the “liberals” in the piece.)
This distinction in brain wiring is the reason why liberals have a hard time winning over the Blue Collar Trash. It is also the reason why scientists don’t come across as credible in the eyes of the average illiterate American. Scientists, when quoting statistical facts, can’t make absolute statements (like when saying “it is highly probable climate change intensifies hurricanes”) because such statements aren’t statistically correct. This manner of presenting facts doesn’t penetrate the thick skulls of the cultural trash.
What does all this mean? It means that in a poorly-educated, dogmatic society, conservatives have a natural advantage. This appears to be universal.
Crucially important, this asymmetry also explains why in a mobile society like the US, where less intellectually gifted people percolate down and accumulate at the bottom rungs of society, you find the greatest support for Trump (and strongest rejection of science) among the white cultural trash.
By taking a conspiratorial view of the Press, the author of the piece leaves out the psychological issues I just described - you can’t blame quality journalists for behaving like liberal journalists.


#3

Not only don’t Republicans (they ceased resembling anything “conservative” when Saint Ron racked up more debt and deficit than all of his 39 predecessors COMBINED) not “feel compulsion to justify what they claim”, for at least the past half century they have taken great pride in their team getting away with ever more egregious lies and anti-social behavior.

With the political center having moved so far rightward during the past half century, making accusations like “far-left folks ignorant views of reality” may apply to a few on the far left, but the majority of today’s “far left” is most accurately characterized by George Orwell’s observation that “in an era of widespread deceit, telling the truth is considered a radical act”.


#4

An immigrant from Honduras stole my baby the other day. Donald Trump dropped everything to comfort me and shared my pain. It’s the truth, so help me God.


#5

That picture says it all!


#6

Nothing like elevating an economic theory, which performs as invisibility cloak to “externalize- any-and -every-cost-you-do-not-want-to-pay”, to the status of ‘God-with-a-capital G’. Ain’t got a dang thang te do with governance.

This is the increasingly concretized legacy of Thatcher, Reagan and Clinton straight thru 'till Bama.
It is old soft-shoe hand-to-hand emptying of all things of value by a cabal that needs to be taken down. Starting with the material goods, it wraps it’s suction cups around the intangible but linguistic constructions of descriptives to generate false equivalencies. Witness interviews with Milton Friedman and his ilk. Really pay attention and keep the definition of OIKS written down in front of you while you watch.

By the time scum like Cheney came around, the lithium grease was thick as oil.


#7

Like it or not, I will continue to object to the demonization of people which have been systematically victimized for generations, dehumanized and used by truly evil configurations in industry and government. It is an inversion of the genetic superiority clap trap to deflect from generations of adverse policy INTENDED TO KEEP PEOPLE DOWN. Got any history of policies these folk have had to live with or is that absence the fuel to justify scorn?


#8

Dang!


#9

Atcheson sez:
“Oh, I suppose it’s possible that (Paul) Ryan is an idiot, not a liar …”

In Ryan’s case, I am willing to allow this is not an either/or proposition.


#10

White Trash. Blue Collar Trash. Cultural Trash. Bottom rungs of society. White cultural trash.
Maybe you should take a look at your own psychological issues, you pompous fucking twat.


#11

Ray, I agree with you and wouldn’t want to be misunderstood. By far left I don’t mean an Orwellian figure of speech, but an actual extreme ideological segment.
Perhaps the difference, on statistical grounds, between the far-left and the Trumpian trash is the social percolation I mentioned in my comment. Being dogmatically-far-left doesn’t necessarily mean having a low IQ, while the Trumpian trash are, by virtue of social selection, less intellectually gifted. This only applies to societies like the US, where there is ample mobility, obviously.
Many leftists fall into what we call “intelligence trap”, where the individual uses his own intellectual powers to fend off self-criticism that might bring to light errors in his thinking. Karl Marx was probably the best example, and to a lesser extent Joan Robinson, the British economist. Leftists can be very bright and believe the wrong things, folks on the right believe in the wrong things because they are plain stupid.


#12

Old goat, the fact someone has ancestors with a dehumanizing history may explain but it doesn’t justify their own dehumanizing behavior.
The Rubes, who are among the backbone of Trump’s trash, have a horrific history of misery in their past. For many of them, their ancestors came as white slaves (indentured) with aspirations to become slave owners themselves. Those aspirations where rarely fulfilled, but were perpetuated in family culture in the form of extreme (and in many cases murderous) racism. There is a reason why 25% of Trump’s white trash would like to re-enslave the blacks. Those folks have a terrible history behind them, but that doesn’t change the fact they are worthless trash.


#13

This speaks to those so called “independent” fact checking firms. NEWSguard is using connections in Government to promote this platform so that it used by default at libraries and the like. When the mainstream media or outlets such as this use the term “fact checking” , rest assured they are more interested in ensuring the public accepts “alternative facts” as truth.

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”

Attributed to William Casey CIA director in meeting with Ronald reagan


#14

And then there are those who have been acculturated to a mindset that asserts that there is no excuse for any behavioral shortcomings unless such practices are exercised from from a perspective of dominance. The ladder of that self-deluded elevation being the core essence of capitalism: “externalized cost”. That is, as long as one has ONE FREE get-out-of-jail-card, by which any conceptual hypocrisy stated can be denied… well, geee… thats kinda like droppin drawer to moon…
laughable. but achieves nothing.


#15

I am wondering why you seem to focus on "the American trash, " so much. Don’t you think that “trash,” can be found at every level of society? Taking your idea which really is mean and dismissive of many people, I can focus across the great economic divide and see trash in recent presidents, in Congress, in Hollywood, in journalism, in The Wall St. Journal, in sports ------so even Yale and Harvard must be full of trash because of how many trashy presidents have come from them.
Sometimes I think that, as you say, “The less intellectually gifted,” are actually in all levels of society. But still, it makes me sad to think you see so many groups as trash-----are there any “trash free” elements in America ? : )


#16

Stardust, in earlier comments I made it clear that I don’t use the word “trash” in the traditional sense of being economically disadvantaged. As you say, trash exists at almost all levels (it is practically absent in science and most of the arts). Trump epitomizes the idea of trash, and his worshipers are the essence of white trash (even those who are wealthy).
As for my hammering on trash, bear in mind that the downfall of the United States as a republic, which is what we are witnessing, is being lead by the cultural white trash of the US - the racist ignorant blue collars are the majority but by no means the only expression of cultural filth.


#17

Old goat, you realize that you make the value of all behaviors relative? Per your comment, Bach’s Goldberg’s Variations, one of humanity’s greatest musical achievements, are no different than the annoying and very crude barking known as hip hop (I think that is what they call it, not sure.)
That said, I understand where you are coming from, because Capitalism, especially American Capitalism, gave a bad name to Class.
The sacrosanct American White Trash (I remind you that they are over 60% of whites, and that Trash (or Trumpism) is a cultural not an economic concept), devalue human achievement by glorifying their ignorance and foul taste as being Authentically American.


#18

You are here for ugly reasons. Go to hell with your “trash.”


#19

Webwalk, if you are an enlightened person who cares about the environment, social justice and the well-being of the World, those I call “Trash” will be the ones manning the watchtowers of the concentration camps you and people like you will be housed, and they will gladly shove your corpse into ovens. You should read world history and perhaps you might understand why the White Trash (mind you my meaning of trash isn’t the same as yours, please read my earlier comments) is your enemy, not me.


#20

Let’s look at known facts and how we came to this status quo behavior by the media.

Conservatives, generally, are more motivated by fear, having larger amygdala than non-conservatives.

If a person is more easily driven by emotion, then they are more likely less driven by logic/reason.

Religion is highly emotional, with much less room for logic. Essentially, one will never “win” an argument with certain emotionally charged religious people (you all know them–do you not?), because they do not abide by the rules of logic for engagement in the first place.

This is how they were able to use an ad hominem fallacy against Bill Clinton for getting a BJ in the oval office. The entirety of the GOP was behind the effort to impeach, not for any logical reason, but just because of the emotion relating to their moral judgement.

This is how the right fuels the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, the war on countries afar that don’t endanger us one iota: fear.

However, Reagan was the first to really court the right, anti-gay, anti-abortion Christians. He and evangelism became inseparable. Reagan now sits to the right of Jesus in Heaven.

When Christians could cite religion as their excuse to deny scientific facts regarding abortion, or same sex relationships — they were not called liars by the press, because they unfortunately pussy-foot around religion–supposedly “respecting” their right to practice it, and then project it onto the political landscape.

In essence, Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority (1979) is why we now have a presidency that denies science and the unraveling climactic holocaust. They transformed, in the minds of their followers, the concept of science as founded in proven facts to instead a system based upon belief. Therefor, one can then believe in science (not fact but beliefs) or have faith in the one true God — but not both—because they became almost mutually exclusive.

And proving that facts are really not facts, to those who are more motivated by fear/emotion than by logic, is not very hard to accomplish.

“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” said our beloved orange IT clown.

_“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”_George Orwell, 1984.

Our religious fascists paved the way for our political fascists. And media stood by politely while it happened, and they still are.