“BUSTED!”: another RW media tactic

Based on Breitbart’s story: https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/08/24/nolte-cnns-jim-sciutto-busted-for-two-fake-news-scoops-in-one-week/

Another right wing media tactic is try to *aggressively* debunk and single out a mainstream media reporter for getting a story wrong. In this case, Breitbart on CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

Then, Laura Ingraham, Drudge and other popular right wing sites write their own story, retweet and their story gets retweeted thousands of times and goes viral. This not only fuels #MAGA trolls but, more crucially, it casts doubt in the eyes casual low information “independent” voters. Ideally, these independent voters should do their own research and come to a conclusion, but this is not practical given we are drowning in content.


Breibart’s “debunking” is, of course, bullshit. If one clicks through enough of the links in the story and reads the original reporting, you can see for yourself. On the first story, Breitbart’s source is a Bloomberg reporter’s (Jennifer Jacobs) tweet based on her sources (she was “told”). So, it’s Sciutto against Jacobs, no debunking. On the second story, the article Breitbart links to on CNN has a paragraph that says “Cohen privately testified last year to two Congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. A source familiar with Cohen’s House testimony said he did not testify that Trump had advance knowledge. Cohen’s claims weren’t mentioned in separate reports issued by Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee”

In other words, CNN reported Cohen testified Trump didn’t know. Now, he has information Trump did know. Where is the lie and debunking?

Unpopular Issues? No problem. Thanks RW media!

Remember when we were so curious as how Trump voters and even some independents, Bernie / Jill Stein folks voted against their own economic (and some social) interests?  And we were inundated with think piece / analysis after think piece / analysis? To jog your memory, here was one explanation that got a lot of airtime, and here’s another. People can reasonably blame stuff like apathy, gerrymandering, racial resentment, mistrust for politicians, poor education levels, poor critical thinking and reading comprehension skills, the way bills are written are needlessly obscure and complex. There are even political start-ups dedicated to making it easier for people to read bills. A simpler answer – and one that seems so obvious and overlooked me – lies in the information they are being fed. Let’s start there.

Question: How it possible every hot button issue in the United States polls one way and is legislated another?

Most people, including a significant % of Republicans, generally have favorable views towards stuff like legal immigration (including DACA), the environment, NATO, some gun control, inequality, workers’ rights, ACA, abortion (1st trimester, at least) and special interest money in politics.

And yet, somehow, we keep moving in the opposite direction of what the majority of us want. Something’s up. Quite literally, Every. Single. Issue. Even the much fear-mongered topic of immigration, through which GOP say the “Democrats are destroying this country!”. Amazingly and pathetically, Trump and GOP have managed to pass, try to pass or stall legislation that advances the majority’s interest, including their own party. It’s as if Republican voters are cheering for a team that is throwing the game. They’re like the 1919 Black Sox. Trump is Shoeless Joe.

Answer: RW media. This blog is dedicated to RW media, and I have described many times the effect and reach it has. No need to elaborate. You can read the ‘about’ section and the first two posts to get a sense of how powerful I think it is.

NOTE: I am not even including in the below the negative attitudes towards and conspiracy theories about Barack Obama from him being Muslim born in Kenya to child sex rings to friends with ISIS to being a racist…and on and on and on.

Keep in mind, Trump and Republicans have legislated (or not) in counter to every single one of these issues that were polled by Pew, Fox News even, CBS and other reputable polling companies.

Abortion

Immigration

Gun Control

Environment

Inequality

Healthcare, specifically repealing the Obamacare

NATO

Corruption was more widespread in 2014, than in 2009, really??  At the peak if the financial crisis?? Really??

Labor unions

Fox News take on Democrat’s immigration stance

Based on: Opinion: Here’s the terrible secret about why Democrats did a complete 180 on illegal immigration and border security – Fox News https://apple.news/Alx-gWczdT6Cdo7dPJnsN-Q
The above caught my eye and will be helpful for those who plan to canvass this fall on foot, by phone, letter writing whatever.
 
First, as you’re probably aware, RW media is modern day nationalist propaganda. They quite literally propagate (extremely) biased information for the sake of achieving an objective. Like advertising, except it aggressively attacks, is unregulated and carries severe national consequences. Fox News is the ring leader but there are many many others who serve this purpose. They function effectively as state-sponsored media like that of China, Russia and North Korea (at its worst).
 
This op-ed is a good example. It happens to be the *top trending news piece* on the Apple app this morning. It seeks to denigrate enemies / detractors and covers many of the bogus arguments of the president / GOP / Trump supporters issue about Democrats. To be sure, left wingers would write a piece of hackery – with huge political consequence – like this but it would not appear in the top mainstream media publication and would not be trending at #1.
 
For fun, I went through point by point debunking each. Skip to the conclusion if you are tired of proving Trumpers wrong.
 
– Obama is a “hypocrite” on illegal immigration because…soundbite deliberately / misinterpreted taken out of context from 2006
– Opposing a “big beautiful wall” is somehow pro illegal immigration
– “Abolishing ICE” argument conveniently excludes replacing it with less fantastically corrupt and abusive agency AND **will not** alter the nation’s immigration laws (per WaPo)
– “Secure Fence Act” =/= “big beautiful (expensive) wall”
– The “hard left” (whatever that is) would gladly take universal healthcare…even if it came from Trump. That’s stupid
– Democrats *gave* wall funding in return for DACA path to citizenship. Just lies
– The legislation proposed to “abolish ICE”, again, *will not* alter the nation’s immigration laws
– Class sizes and employment for low income workers are somewhat affected but, let’s be honest, most Trump supporters *don’t* do the jobs of undocumented immigrants because…it’s hard labor. Snowflakes
– Undocumented *do not* receive social benefits unless you count parks, ERs (at risk of being deported) and air. They don’t collect welfare, the don’t have healthcare, they don’t have the same labor protections as citizens, cops arrest them at first sight and they can’t vote.
 
RW media continues to be one of the most dangerous threats to our democracy. More than the politicians who are in most cases the propaganda’s source, RW media has the benefit of reaching millions of people in a variety of formats and styles, packed with entertainment and well-articulated prose sprinkled with, most importantly, bits of facts here and there (key to good propaganda is the presence of grains of truth).
 
They take advantage of our population’s inadequate education levels and relatively poor literacy/critical thinking skills. No wonder most republicans think college is a waste of time (http://thehill.com/homenews/news/341305-poll-most-republicans-say-colleges-have-negative-impact-on-us). Most people – including several intelligent friends of mine – who consume can’t effectively tell the difference between a meaningful statistic and one that’s trotted out to make the argument *seem* stronger (ie any immigration argument a la the above piece)
 
More critically, RW media attacks attacks attacks and tries to poke holes in MSM and Democrats positions. Sometimes they do effectively, but that’s their primary function. They’re perpetually on the offensive. If I constantly attacked my enemy for being wrong, I’d hit the barn once or twice out of 100. They do this, because its nearly impossible to accurately defend *their own* policy positions. They don’t have much to report on stuff like repealing the ACA, tax cuts, the popularity of gun control, 1st trimester abortions and Trump’s bungling and selling out of national security so they instead attack celebrity and Democratic politician gaffes. “LOOK AT THIS CRAZY LEFTY! Is this who want running our country?!” and make it more about culture than policy. It’s much easier to attack than it is support and explain, and it’s impossible to truthfully support the really unpopular.
 
We need to do something about the RW media machine. It’s gotten out of control. “But Billy, it’s always been out of control, though?”. Nope. Remember RW media is really not that old. Fox News *started* in the 1996. Only 20 years ago. The conservative upstarts like Breitbart, Daily Caller, Daily Wire only 5-10 years ago. They are pretty nascent.
 
We need to bring back something that resembles the fairness doctrine. A gov media watchdog. Sorry, staunch free speechers, it has to be done. Police the left too while we are at it.
 

“In every lie, there is a grain of truth (that gets exponentially magnified and manufactured by right-wing media)”

Daily Caller deliberately omits facts about Trump Tower meeting statements prior to this tweet:

http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/05/trump-tower-meeting-tweets/

Grain of truth: Trump tweeted today about the meeting in Trump Tower and said the meeting “went nowhere”

Lies / omissions: Trump and Trump Jr. went on record several times previously deliberately omitting they were out to get political opposition research.  The original statement, in which Trump dictated on behalf of Don Jr. from Air Force One read: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up.”