Maddow on mendacity

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Last Friday night, I missed a great Rachel Maddow piece about the epidemic of manufactured news:

So which did you hear more about, that climate change deniers have uncovered some huge scam about some climate data being faked? Or that when responsible, uninterested parties looked into the supposed scandal, they found that no one was faking anything?

Did you hear more about there being some scandal about ACORN giving prostitution advice to a right-wing activist dressed up like a pimp? Or did you hear more about the fact that when responsible, uninterested people looked into it, they found it was all made-up, down to the part where the guy wasn't actually even dressed up as a pimp?

What we're dealing with here is the unmooring of politics from facts. The activists pushing the ACORN scandal knew it was fake. After all, they faked it. But it made a political impact anyway, so they win, right?

Maddow went on to ask "has there ever been a time when we shared so few political facts?"

Let's argue. Let's have the great American debate about the role of government and the best policies for the country. It's fun. It's citizenship. It's activism. It makes the country better when we have those debates. And your country needs you. It needs all of us.

But two things disqualify you from this process: You can't threaten to shoot people and you have to stop making stuff up.

That's where the problem lies. Bill in Portland Maine at Daily Kos observed that "Republicans too often think that 'beliefs' and 'facts' are interchangeable and therefore they don't have to accept reality:"

It makes 'em easy pickings for right-wing politicians, talk radio hosts and Fox News talking heads, whose reason for being is to "fake and rake." Fake 'em into a lather, and rake in the bucks from campaign contributors and advertisers.

Conservatives are upset that reality has a well-known liberal bias, but I'll get to that in more depth tomorrow.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 7, 2010 10:28 PM.

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