Morning Ed: Media {2016.12.13.T}

Sometimes creatures from the fever swamps surface. Here’s some background on how it became a “story.” and how our paranoid rescue fantasies played a part.

When the media goes red-baiting and starts talking about blacklists.

Jonah Goldberg warns against bear propoganda.

Huh. The Newsweek people never read the infamous “Madame President” issue of Newsweek. The picture of her signing one is probably going to go alongside “Dewey Beat Truman” in the history books.

I can’t agree with this Current Affairs piece more. The media has given us (right, left, and center) a lot of reason to be skeptical of them and the air of authority with such things as “fact checks” isn’t flying – with reason.

#OscarsSoWhite is uncanceled! It was briefly canceled because the Oscars became less white, but the guy who canceled them was fired. To be fair, he also unapologetically tweeted about it. (And, to be more fair, maybe there was more to it than that.)

How exactly did Macedonia become such an epicenter of Fake News? Is this a job Americans won’t do any more? Will Trump levy tariffs? Inquiring minds want to know!

Never tweet.

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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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222 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Media {2016.12.13.T}

    • How does a college union encouraging adoption of a relatively new and much preferred (by the subject) term rise to the level of thought control, language control, or totalitarianism.

      Also, interesting that the right has apparently ceded “calling people what they like to be called” to the left. Isn’t that a pretty basic form of respect? Is the right anti-respect?


    • I can’t find any cites on this from news sources that aren’t the sort who reprint bad fake news. So anyhow, it appears to come from the “student union,” whatever that is. It appears to be guidance on gender neutral language. No one will follow it, except a few odd balls. It won’t catch on, cuz “ze” is weird.

      Recently, someone I was kinda half-dating (but now not so much) insisted on “ze/zir” pronouns for zirself. It’s really freaking awkward. But whatever. Ze was fun to kiss. But in general — I’ll use a person’s preferred pronouns as best I can. I don’t mind using “they/their” for non-binary people. That’s easy enough to remember. If someone insists on something like “ze/zir” (or whatever), I’ll do my best. If I don’t know someone’s gender, then I’ll go with “they/their,” but if I do not their gender then it’s “he/him” “she/her” as normal. That seems a nice enough compromise.

      At work, when I write up my notes on candidate interviews, I try to stick with “they/their.” Now, the hiring committee will (I assume) know the gender of the candidate. That said, going with “they/their” might diminish the unconscious bias in hiring. Maybe. A bit. In any case, it’s not that hard. What matters is can they code. The code speaks, not their pronouns.

      In my day to day life, however, I very much do not want people to call me “they/their” (never mind “ze/zir”). I fought my ass off to get my “she.” Dammit you better use it.

      Anyway, if encouraging people to use more sensitive language is “controlling how we speak,” well so is telling people not to use the “n-word.” But so what? How badly do you want to use the “n-word”? Similarly, don’t you want to show respect to transgender people? Similarly, it’s probably a bad idea to call your professor “cunt.” Is that “controlling”? If I call everyone with a southern accent a “gap-toothed cracker,” well that’s my choice, but if I did that in a professional environment, I might receive some negative feedback from various sources. I guess I’m being “controlled.”

      Gawd the right-wing is full of dipshits.


  1. One of the wacky things about Obama’s presidency:

    Remember how long it was between Obama’s election and something being due to Obama (rather than being due to Bush)?

    Trump hasn’t even been inaugurated yet and anything that happens is because of Trump. Something could happen in the economy today and it’d be Trump’s fault if it were bad and because of optimism if it were good.

    Another country does something? It’s because of Trump.

    Obama is, like, not there.

    I was going back through a handful of threads and stumbled across this one. One of the things I noticed at the time was that the comments of the essay that Nob links to include comments about how Obama is the greatest president since Roosevelt and how it will be years before we know how to process his presidency.

    I thought then and think now that that attitude is a hair premature.

    Obama doesn’t appear to even *BE* there right now.


    • This is going to make the Bush hate look like a lovers’ quarrel. In fairness, Trump might be that bad… but how will we know? What will be the things that Trump unleashed vs. the things Obama failed to contain vs. the things that just happen?

      Damon Linker just today writes: “America is enduring nothing less than the wholesale transformation of our political culture into a multimedia spectacle.”

      Damon Linker in alternate 2016 writes: “American politics is unleashing the transformative power of social and multimedia platforms to reach more people than ever before; breaking through the barriers of social and bureaucratic convention that have previously held back change.”

      The pre-Presidency hyperventilating makes me long for the commenting equivalent of a brown paper bag.


      • but how will we know?

        This is the big question. If the media responds to Trump tweeting about the actors at Hamilton the same way they respond to Trump talking to the President of Taiwan… well, we won’t be able to use the media as a measuring stick.


        • The funny thing is, we could have adversarial journalism just fine… but that would require (IMO) a little bit more clarity on what a particular media project is advocating for.

          That is, a sharper relief of who’s pushing what would help everyone involved… the reverse-partisanship that is making what was good yesterday bad today is making not just the media but everything mostly incoherent.

          Its like looking back at old Byzantium and trying to figure out why the Green and Red factions spilled blood in the streets. You can try to put a reason to it; but you will fail to understand the why.


          • I’m down with the whole “objectivity is a false god” thing and demanding neutrality from one’s journalism is making a demand that is impossible to meet, and all that crap.

            That said, the whole Five/Six W’s form of journalism that journalism movies hammered on in the 1950’s seemed like it was something worth emulating.

            Or maybe it’s just that I consider myself from the same tribe as Mencken and think that more people should be like us.


      • Folks on both the right and left have said that at different time, so what? This is however, the first time that anyone said that the electors should get an intel brief in a not so subtle attempt to sway them in voting and or attempt to delegitimize Trump as Pres. Either way the Clinton folks are losers.


        • Its also the first time that a foreign dictatorship hacked into our systems and attempted to sway the election to their preferred candidate.

          Some Americans get touchy about that.

          Some don’t.


            • Well, by that logic, white people don’t have any room to complain about innocent people being lynched.

              Seriously, I have seen that comment made elsewhere, and I don’t know what conclusion anyone thinks its supposed to lead to.

              Are we supposed to just hang our heads in shame, and nod passively as Russia infiltrates our government more and more? Thats like a bad Mallard Fillmore parody of liberal thought.

              Maybe I am reverting back to my Reagan conservatism, but my attitude is “Goddamit, a foreign nation attacked us!“.


              • Personally, I think that there was a lot of stuff that needed to be in place for this to happen and that stuff that needed to be in place was in place.

                The Manning leaks. The Snowden leaks. The OPM hack.

                Those are just off the top of my head. There are probably more.

                In any case, the responses to those three bad things have… well, let’s agree that it’s complicated. And those things being complicated allow for the Russian Hack to be complicated.


              • More so than you think. The DCCC was hacked, and the material showed up in local elections — in fact, Guccifer 2.0 leaked it specifically to the GOP in the most contested house race. As one GOP operative noted when getting it, this was information literally worth millions of dollars.

                From Kevin Drum:

                Back during the campaign, I was vaguely aware that the Russians had hacked not just the DNC, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well. For some reason, though, I never put two and two together long enough to think about what this hack might mean. In my defense, no one else seems to have given it much thought either—despite the fact that hacked documents were showing up in local races all over the country.
                But nothing was ever released from any Republican sources—despite the fact that, according to the New York Times, the Russians had hacked the RNC and possibly other Republican accounts as well. If I had to guess, I’d say there’s a good chance they hacked a few people at the Trump Organization too. So here’s where we are:

                The Russians ran a very sophisticated operation designed to hack into both US government servers and the servers of US political organizations.

                They released only hacked documents from Democratic organizations. Republicans were left alone.

                The intelligence community told high-ranking leaders of both parties what was going on, but Republicans flatly opposed any public acknowledgment of what was happening.

                Republicans cheerfully made use of all the hacked material, even though they knew exactly where it came from.


                • morat20,
                  That the Russians did a decent survey sweep would be a decent observation. Hack everything, see what you get. Distribute the data as warranted (note: not through Wikileaks).

                  That’s a lot more sensible (and standard operating procedure) than “let’s just go after democrats.”

                  When they hit the DNC, they found the barn door open, and waltzed in.

                  Now, I’m not sure if Drum is listening to conspiracy theories on what the Russians did, or not (if it really was the russians, who put out the hit on the DNC analyst??). So I’m not willing to credit any of his “what actually got distributed.” Is he saying that the wikileaks stuff is from Russia — because wikileaks disputes that.


                • And then Trump’s circle is thick with lobbyists for Russia like Paul Manafort, and people with deep ties to Russia like Tillerson, and fellow white supremacists like Bannon.

                  But we are supposed to look away, close our eyes and go to sleep.


  2. The Current Affairs article – it should be required reading for people interested in politics and media, except that they should already have realized everything it says. Let’s say it should serve as a foundation for all discussions on these issues.

    The odd thing is that the press seems completely unaware of these issues of credibility. I’ve said before that there were analysts/commentators I dropped after the 2012 election. Michael Barone seems like a decent guy, but his field of expertise has always been local politics, and he blew it in 2012. This cycle, FNC took a hit in terms of credibility on the right. I don’t watch it, but that hit seems justified.

    I’m curious: which left-wing sources lost credibility on that side of the aisle in 2016? It seemed like Mother Jones would print anything. CNN went from being slanted reporters to partisans. But I don’t have a sense of whose reputations have suffered on the left (or if it’s even begun to sort out yet).


    • I’m curious: which left-wing sources lost credibility on that side of the aisle in 2016?

      To be honest, I don’t think that question even makes sense anymore, Pinky. With the collapse of the fact/value distinction and rise of post-modern “subjectivity”, credibility has been reduced to a purely individual contact sport.


        • Dropping a news source because you don’t trust it is a value judgment based on some measure of comparison. I’d guess that most news sources are better than tossing a coin, but some news sources are better than other news sources. So if your general diet of news sources does a pretty good job and there aren’t any obviously better ones, it seems like one would have to make a lot of mistakes before it makes sense to completely abandon it. If there were other better ones available to replace it with, I could see dropping a new source pretty quickly and switching, but I don’t think that’s the case.

          The other problem I see with that line of thought is that a lot of people seem to be saying, “The NYT screwed up these 3 things last year, so I might as well get all of my news from the Worker’s Patriot Eagle Facebook feed, since all news is now equal.” No, it’s not. The much-hated “mainstream” media produces tons and tons of perfectly useful material and screws up a certain percentage of the time. A lot of people seem to be taking that as an excuse to drop it entirely and just suckle on their preferred Internet propaganda feeds, many of which are accurate close to 0% of the time.


          • I guess I’m making a distinction between feeds and content providers (or whatever you want to call sources of original material). If a source provides me with nothing that’s both unique and correct, then it’s off my list. It’s easy to keep clicking on a site that has stories that are accurate and cater to your interests, only to realize later that you’re getting the same material from other sources as well. Or, like the old line, the things that are true aren’t original and the things that are original aren’t true.

            There’s a related issue, that if something isn’t strictly falsifiable then it’s treated as anything-goes. Call this the Tomasky Zone. We all recognize that there should be a distinction between objective reporting and other. But that “other” can include everything from strict analysis to pure hackery. I’m not interested in opinion pieces. I want my analysis pieces to include hard facts, and I’m going to judge its author by his history of prediction.


        • “The odd thing is that the press seems completely unaware of these issues of credibility.”


          Apparently, the majority of the people who lived in 307 Electoral Votes’ worth of notable geography thought so.

          I’m not sure that the best way to address this problem is to get people to see Trump as even less credible than the mainstream media.


            • And how do we go about doing this?

              I would suggest that, without changing anything else, using the mainstream media is a non-starter.

              The main option, by default, becomes “waiting for Trump to ruin things enough so that the mainstream media becomes more credible by comparison.”

              While I am 100% certain that this will work, it has associated costs that make me uncomfortable.

              I’d rather we wrestle with the whole “okay, how did ‘the media’ screw things up and how could ‘the media’ repair things enough so that they could be seen as more credible *WITHOUT* catastrophe?” question.

              Well, not that *WE* can really resolve that. It’ll take “the media” to do it.

              And, in the short term, there are just too many incentives for “the media” to not do that.


          • n a world where Trump is credible, I don’t see the point of following any of the previous;y well-understood rules. Perhaps the mainstream media has to become wilder, more obviously biased, less fact-based, to regain any influence. The success of Breitbart certainly suggests that.


    • The Young Turks had someone blatantly lying on election night.
      Nate Silver and all the quants except the AI lost a lot of cred that they rightly should have lost in 2008 (haven’t had the polling right since 2006).


      • Nate Silver and all the quants except the AI lost a lot of cred that they rightly should have lost in 2008 (haven’t had the polling right since 2006)

        I don’t recall any of them saying a zero percent chance of winning. Here’s the thing, if your model says that X has a 65% chance of happening and 100% of the time X happens, then your model is terrible. To validate your model, you want not X to happen about one in three times. Even Sam Wang could theoretically be right with his 95% prediction if 19 other times he threw that prediction out, the favorite won. As anyone who plays craps or D&D know, sometimes you get a critical hit (5%) and sometimes you roll snake eyes (<3%).


        • When you’ve lost half the people to poll, and you refuse to adjust your confidence intervals… you’re the emperor wearing no clothes.
          Apparently you think it’s okay for people to wander around in the buff with no repercussions.


          • The national polls were off by 1% nationally. That’s well within the margin of error. The Monmouth poll showing Clinton +6 was closer to the final result than the USC one showing Trump +3, despite the latter getting the winner of the EC correct.


      • I doubt Nate SIlver lost any cred; it was the Huffington Post writer and his/her supporters that claimed that SIlver was intentionally making the race look closer than it actually was for clickbait.


          • I don’t visit his site, but he was one of the few people talking about the national polls tightening, and he wasn’t any more inaccurate about individual state results than the average commentator.


          • 538 had Trump w/ 28.6 % chance of winning, which as a baseball fan is an above average chance for a batter to get a hit at any given at bat. Vastly different from the 1.8 % HuffPost gave, but its not about predicting the likely winner, its all the vitriol directed at Nate SIlver for giving Trump such a high probability.


            • Sam Wang’s “If Trump gets more than 240 electoral votes, I’ll eat a bug” is in a different category than 538’s “if the polls are right, this happens, if they’re wrong in this direction by 2 points *THIS* happens, and if they’re wrong by 2 points in that direction Trump wins.”


              • Since I understand Wang has some semi-official status here at OT, I hasten to comment that I don’t recall him piling on. Its one thing to believe in one’s model, and it’s another to call a competing model hackery. HuffoPost writer: “If [Silver]’s right, though, it was just a good guess — a fortunate ‘trend line adjustment’ — not a mathematical forecast. If you want to put your faith in the numbers, you can relax. She’s got this.”


                  • I suppose that means Wang is an example of a left-wing source that lost credibility w/ the election. Looking back at his last pre-election posting, Is 99% a reasonable probability?, (answer: Yes), he does seem overconfident in the numbers and giving bad advise to Democrats:

                    As I said at the top, my motivation in doing these calculations is to help readers allocate their activism properly. Whether the Presidential win probability is 91% or 99%, it is basically settled. Therefore it is a more worthwhile proposition to work in Senate or House campaigns. Get on over to IN/MO/NC/NH/WI, or find a good House district using the District Finder tool in the left sidebar.


                    • The dynamic has all sorts of stuff in there. Sam Wang was not trying to deceive. He honestly believed the information that he was getting was good information and was representative of reality.

                      He was an expert who was able to look at these numbers and explain, more or less, why he believed that it was good information and was 100% confident in his predictions.

                      Well, 99%.

                      Sure, being wrong costs credibility, but an attitude that says “holy crap, did I get that stuff wrong… while my formulae with the numbers were good, the numbers themselves weren’t good and I couldn’t tell that they weren’t good and I’m now trying to figure out why” is a very different attitude that says “I may have been wrong but I was right to have been wrong and my associated who may have been right were wrong to have been right.”

                      The former attitude communicates to me that, hey, maybe he’ll get it right next time. The latter communicates to me that if he gets it right next time, it will be by accident.

                      Which did Sam Wang evidence in the days after the election?

                      WellIt’s complicated


                      • Jay,
                        If Clinton’s supporters were flipping out because Nate was paid and didn’t give enough inevitability to Clinton, Sam Wang was certainly paid off too.
                        Everyone on the left was.
                        (Cenk’s reaction to “loss of expected payday” was hilarious, btw).


                        • Oh, good God. I never thought that either one would have been “paid off”.

                          The only benefit to paying off commentators like these guys is if the election will never be actually held and decisions are made based off of what the elections would say if we did actually hold them.

                          As it is now, let’s say that you’re a gimungous corporation looking to hire the best g-darn numbers guy you can possibly find and pay him waaaay too much and invite him to waaaaay too many corporate parties because you need him to crunch numbers for you that will help you make waaaaaaaaaay too much money for your shareholders.

                          You gonna hire Sam Wang?


                          • Jay,
                            Clinton/DNC had money to BURN. Paying off people to create an aura of inevitability was part of their strategy. (See also the Pied Piper Strategy).

                            No, you don’t hire Sam Wang. You hire my friend, who has better access to numbers to crunch. There’s a reason people don’t use myspace anymore, mmmkay?


                            • That “aura of inevitability” is yet another thing to throw into the pile of “THIS IS WHY TRUMP WON”.

                              It’s a trick that only works if you never actually hold the election or if you hold the election and then win it by enough to prevent arguments over whether you won it decisively.


                              • Jay,
                                yes, but look at Clinton’s backup plans: Trumped Up anti trump protestors (who stole my microwave), and getting people in the electoral college to switch votes.

                                Both of those work decent in a narrow election.


                      • I’ve never read Wang before, but these two articles indicate he put a lot of faith in day-by-day polling and national totals, neither of which indicate he learned the lesson of this election cycle.


            • PD Shaw,
              Compare with a 70% chance of Trump winning, and a perfect record on everything — and not just this election.

              Cat says Nate Silver is obsolete. I’m inclined to believe her.


          • I’m not planning on getting lost in a conspiracy theory here, Kim. I’m just noting that Uygar does a textbook example of misrepresenting his opponents in the interest of his cause. A person who had watched only this way back when would have had no more knowledge than when he started, but think he’d learned something.


    • I’ve seen about roughly equal numbers of men and women do this (shoot, I’ve done it myself, though I tend more to to the “1 of n” designation rather than self-replying).

      I dunno. This seems a bit to me like a person looking for motes and ignoring some giant beams. There are way bigger problems in the world, or even on the internet.


    • Womens’ insights are more of the tweet variety. Perhaps Instagram.

      Men are more long-form blogging.

      It’s not appropriate for these two areas to bleed into each other. We need an internet that is similar to those plates that keep your peas from touching your mashed potatoes.


      • It seems worth pointing out that the person to bring the inanity of this to our attention is someone who likely finds herself labeled an SJW rather often.

        Which is to say, the left seems far more willing to self-police/criticize their own than the right.


        • Welp, social justice culture has been a bit of a train wreck. Much of this can be attributed to the combination of the politics of anger and the shitfest that is Twitter/Tumblr. More specifically, angry, monomaniacal people can be charismatic. Likewise, people fear ostracization. The Twitter social environment multiplied these facts together into a perfect storm of awful. Katherine Cross cuts through the issues quite well, here and here.

          That said, the SJ viewpoint holds important truths. Namely, it takes on directly the nature of social power, and the failure of liberalism to really confront oppression. Its core critique is pretty darn correct. (It doesn’t bother to critique conservatism because conservatism is so obviously terrible.)

          Which, to give a specific example in term of transgender issues: why is my gender debatable?

          Now, I know why, in a historic sense. I understand quite well how gender works in our culture. I also know quite a bit about how it got this way — inasmuch as I read a lot about queer history. But in any case, the fact is, my gender is debatable, where (for most of you) yours is not.

          That is the problem. It’s hard to solve that problem via further debates about my gender.

          I can debate gender. I’m quite good at it. Most of you here have seen me do so. But the SJ critique is simply this: the actual social oppression rests not in the facts about my gender, but instead in the very fact it is debatable.

          White-cis-str8-male-etc people get a brief glimpse of this whenever we center their privilege. Oh gosh they cannot stand that.

          The article I linked above is staggeringly idiotic. So are 99.999% of articles written about trans topics. Yet somehow I carry on. Guys like , however, quiver and stew over the slightest critique of masculinity.

          He is fragile. I am not.

          Read this:

          It is safe to say that most of the people engaging in this ridiculous conversation had barely any knowledge on the subject of transgender children to draw on, or any real knowledge about trans people in general. But they had a lot to say about it, because their reactionary reflex was kicking off and instead of reporting on the subject in any kind of depth, the Mail and the other papers settled on selling outrage to the people who bought it, lapped it up, had sex with it and talked about it in anyway they could to anyone who would listen.


          For the people who already waste all of their time fighting for or against transgender rights on social media – your standard online SJW types, Gender Critical nightmares and Alt-Right assholes – it was Christmas. It was another excuse to go to war in 140 characters or less with their favorite enemy, only this time they had more people to play with. Their pet cause had gone mainstream and they loved every second of it, not knowing that they were being played into becoming walking billboards for the papers and media companies who were selling ‘the conversation’. Every outraged retweet pushed yet more people to donate their time and clicks to the papers and the cycle continued, resulting in me vomiting myself inside out forever.

          That is the dynamic that SJ means to confront. On the other hand, SJ culture — well, these are difficult topics and social power is a minefield, and we haven’t done all that well. On the other hand, mainstream culture is a shitshow of terrible oppression. It is just, mainstream oppression is invisible to comfortable white dudes. So it goes.

          Recently Shanley Kane got in a pique and attacked Laurie Penny for being a “liberal” sell-out, due to her article about Milo Y. It was — well, I think we’re reaching peak social justice. Most of us are fucking exhausted by this kind of crap.

          Which doesn’t mean it will stop. Round and round it goes. Everybody cries. White boys get to cry too.


          • I never thought about it until the concepts were neatly put next to each other for me but:

            “1.That those who advocate for social change, especially if they come from a historically marginalized group, will be told they’re too “angry” to be taken seriously and told, both implicitly and explicitly, that recognition of their humanity is contingent on how nice they can be to their interlocutors.

            2. That intentions have no bearing on the experiential or empirical reality of an outcome. A harmful outcome remains harmful irrespective of any good intentions on the part of those who brought it about, and priority should be placed upon that reality rather than the feelings of the “well-intentioned.””

            Are two directly contridictory ideas. Either the effect of your communications are the only thing that matters, in which case its totally fair game to criticize people’s rage attacks as counterproductive and strategically stupid, or you can’t criticize people’s feelings from their subjective experience, therefore everyone’s subjective reactions are legitimate.

            I don’t think you can come up with a better way to demonstrate the degree current SJ discourse is actually a rigged game of rhetoric, effectively built to privilidge those who had the educations needed to be comfortable navigating these systems. I don’t think the people building up these ideas were of malicious intent, but since they were the ones that directly benefitted from them, they weren’t apt to notice the “tails I win, heads you lose” nature of them.


            • Education is a poor, poor word for the priviledged in this space.
              SJ runs like fashion — you gotta keep on top of what’s in, and what’s out, and it changes day by day.
              Also, it’s a bit of a ratrace where the worst grifters get the mostest attention. Narcissists in other words.

              This is an intentional poisoning of the left.

              Of course, we’ve reached Peak SJ, so *shrugs* bitch while you can.


            • — I wish there was an online summary of the theoretical positions laid out in Serano’s Excluded. The upshot is, being a member of an oppressed, marked identity puts you in a series of “double binds.” One such bind is the “get angry” versus “be conciliatory.” The point is, both strategies have big problems, and finding the right mix is pretty much impossible.

              The reason for this is simple: the problem is not the behavior of the oppressed group. The problem is the oppression under which they live.

              She lays out a long list of such “double binds.” Should I be “out and proud” or should I “blend in”? There is no good answer. In an ideal world, it would not matter. This is not an ideal world. That said, putting the lens on my choice is to remove the lens from the oppression that makes the choice suck.

              Once you turn the lens of the subtle uses of social power, well then, a whole world of shit becomes visible.

              These are strong analytical tools. However, “social justice” culture spaces end up manifesting the same bullshit, cuz we’re people.

              This is not a new problem. But we do have a better vocabulary to talk about it.


              • As an aside, I came across this link today. I expect I’ll be posting it more.


                Identity politics at its best, in other words, isn’t just a matter of being on some group’s side. It’s about fighting for political justice by drawing on the commitment that arises out of targeted injustice, and about having the intellectual resources to let us diagnose that targeted injustice. It lets us spot the majority group’s identity politics rather than treating it as the normal background state of affairs, and to recognize the oppression and injustice that it generates.

                On the latter point, the author argues,

                …But there was never any reason to believe the Old Left’s story in the first place, least of all in the United States where a large proportion of the country had almost always been governed by a political coalition defined by white identity politics.

                There is something particularly absurd in the post-election morality plays that say “whites [or white Christians, or white Christian men] have now learned how to do identity politics and how to vote like an aggrieved ethnic group, because that’s what other groups have been doing all these years.” White identity politics is a constitutive fact of American politics, and if an election in which the Republican got the normal share of the white vote counts as white identity politics in action, well, that suggests a deep problem, but it doesn’t suggest a new problem.

                White identity politics has moreover been a constitutive fact of the illiberal expansion of state power…


    • Golly, its good we all remember 2001-2008. It would be embarrassing to yell about emails when the hallowed bush admin ran its email through an rnc server.

      Yep sure would be embarrassing, if shame was not dead.


      • So your answer is the grade school “he did it too?” Two wrongs don’t make a right, not then and not now.

        We won’t even discuss promising the most transparent admin ever and failing miserably.


        • Im just saying, you seem to think obama appointee does thing judge asks them to do, due to a lawsuit is groundbreaking stuff man, and will really hurt our liberal fee-fees and make us forget how shrouded in shadows bush, bush, regan-contra, and tricky dick were. Apples to apples at least we know who obama has met with. Who was on the sekret Cheney energy task force?

          Forget bush pardoning off the iran contra horribles.?

          Forget regan starting the deal to get around us law?

          Forget the utterly obsessive need for secrets, slush funds, and outright burglary of nixon?

          Nah bro, keep pissing up that rope. It still wont be true.


  3. McMegan gave her opinion and it was not on whether people should thread tweets.

    The paragraph that made me grimace because it was correct follows:

    But that’s not what is being alleged, as far as I can tell. What is alleged is that Russia hacked the DNC and released information intended to make Clinton look bad. That’s a criminal act, and we should prosecute anyone we can get onto U.S. soil. On the other hand, it’s poor grounds for invalidating an election. “The American voter had too much information about the Democrats” is not a ringing slogan with which to argue that their party should really have won.


    • Anyone who uses email should know that a context-free dump of private communication is not “information” in any meaningful way. I love the work that I do, but if you released all of my emails to the public you’d find a whole lot of message along the lines of “I can’t stand this job, I’m going to open a vein”. The conversations about how awesome the job is would be happening in person at the bar after work. This especially true in a campaign where the opposition lies tirelessly about the content and context of those emails (including straight-up pretending that they were classified); and the media is motivated to find controversy in them. I mean, we just saw a dude show up packing heat at a ping pong arcade because he thought John Podesta was running a pedophile sex ring there. I guess he just got too much information about the Democrats.


      • trizz,
        Have you no context for the Pied Piper Strategy memo?
        Okay, some of the stuff (like the spirit cooking) makes more sense in context (which I have, because I know someone who got to create one of these “interesting” (and very very expensive) meals — he was not invited back).

        And the Israelis, the Russians and the Sauds apparently think that you can extract some useful data from “context free” dumps of e-mails.


        • : Honestly, I could not think of anything more pedestrian than this

          Point 1 called for forcing “all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.”

          I have no idea why you think the Pied Piper memo is sensational.


          • It’s Kim. She lives and breathes conspiracy theories, especially that involve her burning hatred of Satan — sorry, I mean Clinton.

            The colors everything she reads, so an ordinary strategy memo laying out potential pathways against the possible opponent lists becomes some complex plan to rig the GOP primary.

            Meanwhile, she ignores athe actual complex plan to ratf*ck the election, because the target was Clinton and Clinton/Satan runs the whole world and is the root of all evil, so it couldn’t happen. Also, she’d start a nuclear war with Russia.


            • morat20,
              Yeah, you live and breathe conspiracy theories.
              Me? I believe in Occams razor.
              Clinton claims that Russia got the data (they did. way to leave the barn door open, guys?)
              Clinton claims that Russia gave the data to wikileaks — wikileaks claims otherwise, and is willing to discuss which insider really did the leak. Clinton’s claim is remarkably selfserving — and you can see the damage control spiralling out of control — two days before the election, when Clinton’s camp was claiming that Wikileaks might have a “whopper” before the election.

              SUUUURE. This from the people that needed days to understand that they couldn’t just deny the e-mails were true. (seriously, you think Russia Did It was their first idea???)

              You want to talk actual plans to ratfuck the election? Well, dude, you aren’t even scraping the surface of who the players are, let alone what they want.

              The “antitrump” protestors might have worked if the election was closer.
              Do you care about Clinton’s prearranged plans to ratfuck the election??

              [And it is NOT MY FAULT that Clinton has gotten so many people to sign onto her conspiracy theory. This one is a lot saner than her Vast Rightwing Conspiracy that turned out to be just Richard Mellon Scaife.]


          • trizz,
            First, because Clinton’s own strategists are telling her — in the primary, that the only way she can win is by getting Trump as a general election candidate (or a badly wounded Jeb!). You can contrast this with Bernie Sanders, who did not need such drastic measures to win.

            Second, because a key component of this strategy is getting the media to do her dirty work for her (note: I’m not complaining that there is dirty work.). What’s the quid pro quo there? How much money was Clinton/DNC willing to give to certain media outlets to get them to play ball? (note: I’m not claiming the DNC paid Cenk enough to get someone to lie on air on election night.) I’m not the only one who’s documented the sheer lack of discussion of policy on the liberal blogs/news — it was all Trump, all the time — and that was a Clinton strategy implemented by the liberal media.


            • Kim, every candidate tries to weaken their potential opposition in the primary. This is not a sign of weakness. It is an understanding that you want the weakest possible fight you can get, so you can best promote your agenda. This may be a flawed understanding – perhaps we’d all be better served by two very strong, detail-oriented opponent honestly discussing policy – but it is not unusual or conspiratorial.

              You say you believe in Occam’s Razor, but then you take a milk toast email about opposition campaigning and see it as proof of a massive buy-off of the media…


              • trizz,
                Clinton internal polls showed her weakness. She could beat trump, they felt, and maybe Jeb Bush, on a really good day.

                Yes, everyone tries to get the best possible fight they can. *shrugs* As I’ve stated repeatedly around here, I don’t particularly MIND Clinton’s corruption either. I’d still have voted for her even knowing that.

                It is indicative of a prepared campaign that the “liberal media” (note: this means actual liberals, dudes! not all media!!) was willing to cosign, and not particularly vet for “is this a good idea.”

                Would you like me to explain to you exactly how many reporters simply stamp their names to bylines, and don’t bother with actually vetting the press releases they publish? This is not precisely a new story (though political reporters are generally a hell of a lot better than business/puff reporters).

                Clinton’s strategists don’t propose things they can’t implement.
                And, really, how much payola do you think it takes to pay off a guy like Cenk? (listen to his election night coverage before you take a go at this.)


      • Sure, but when I was a kid, one of the really cool “man, spies do this!” pieces of info floating around involved the different kinds of lies:

        White Lies were deliberate withholding of pertinent information
        Grey Lies were deliberate falsehoods
        Black Lies were deliberate falsehoods attributed to another source

        So is this some weird sub-category of White Lies? Yes, the emails were not faked. These were actual emails sent by actual people to other actual people.

        BUT! You don’t have the context!

        As psyops go, this is some pretty clever stuff.


        • The psyops is on the Wikileaks side. “Look a big distraction, and we’ve got better stuff coming!!”
          Got clinton to release a press release saying that Wikileaks had “whoppers” coming in the runup to the election. (she can’t say they’re lies, because they aren’t, but she can use slang for lies and get away with it).

          Clinton’s got plenty of stuff that Wikileaks doesn’t have. That’s why clinton’s camp was panicking so hard — they didn’t know if Wikileaks had the really damaging crap.


        • “If you’re explaining, you’re losing” goes back to at least Reagan, right?

          I remember when the East Anglia climate change emails were leaked and I saw a bunch of benign but seemingly smoking gun terms like “I used a trick” or “I hacked this” etc. that I myself use all the time in informal emails and thought ….. thank God I don’t study climate change.


          • “Never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want read to a jury.”

            We’ve all heard that one, right?

            Well, here’s some advice for the Democrats as they prepare to figure out how they’re going to have Chuck Schumer run against Trump in 2020:

            Never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want the Russians giving to Republican Strategists.

            Also: rethink the Chuck Schumer gambit.


        • Selective leaks are just another form of deceptive editing. Which itself can be used to lie quite effectively. (Ask ACORN, if they were still around, for a modern example).

          It’s not a new-fangled concept invented just for this election, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.

          Heck, Iraq 2.0 was sold with heavy use of that trick.


            • I meant it falls clearly into “black” or “grey” lies categories. After all, deceptive editing both conveys a deliberate falsehood — it attempts to misrepresent the source as well.

              After all, deceptive editing is an attempt to change the words coming out of someone’s mouth (or fingers, as it were). You’re not just telling a lie, you’re attributing the lie to someone else.


              • A prosecutor in a trial would ask the witness “did you write this?” and the guy behind the stand would hem and haw and the prosecutor would ask, again, “did you write this?” and the guy, under oath, would say “yes, but” and the prosecutor would then turn to the judge and say “no further questions”.

                Which makes it a very interesting kind of falsehood attributed to another source.

                Because it presents identically to something that the witness in question actually said and would testify in court, under oath, to it being something that he actually said.


                • You know how it works — you pick and choose what words you allow to be heard, to take one spoken (or written) statement into another one — even the polar opposite.

                  You’ve lied about what someone said, and to add insult to injury, you’ve made them “speak” the lie themselves.

                  If that’s not a damned lie, then there are no lies.

                  It’s a very old, very effective form of lie. So why you’re straining at gnats is beyond me. It’s as old as print, at least.

                  Frankly, that kind of thing is probably the worst sort of lie for exactly the reason you stated — because it’s so easy to do, and so hard to explain. Doesn’t make it any less a lie, any less false. And doesn’t make the person who did it any less of a liar.


                  • I don’t believe that we are arguing over whether it was a lie, Morat.

                    Our disagreement is over how to categorize the lie.

                    You seem to be arguing that it was grey or black.

                    I’m disagreeing with that assessment.


                    • Calling deceptive editing a “lie of omission” is like calling Stage 4 lymphoma a “small cell division problem”.

                      To the pedantic, it might be accurate. In reality, it’s so wrong as to be laughable.


                      • Calling deceptive editing a “lie of omission” is like…

                        It’s an instance of “make em deny it”, which is a test of how well a politician/political team can respond to inflammatory accusations. Whether the accusations have factual (as opposed to tactical) merit is entirely beside the point in terms of campaign strategy.


                        • Btw, the only person who could’ve teflon-deflected these types of accusations was Hillary herself. But her attempts usually invoked the exact same type of behavior she was initially accused of. So, boom goes the dynamite.

                          It’s a nice little trap, actually. (even tho she won the popular vote and all…)


                      • The problem is that, while people respond to unfair attacks by claiming deceptive editing, they respond to legitimate attacks in the same way. Claims of deceptive editing are becoming more common, too, due to the ease with which a person can find an out-of-context quote online. These claims are a staple of the non-apology apology (“I regret that my statements have been misinterpreted…”).

                        There was a recent linked article about the distortion caused by fact-checking sites. A lot of it lies in this question of context. If someone claimed that Jaybird said that Democrats should keep accusing Republicans of racism, I could fact-check that as true or false, depending on my mood or laziness or ideology.

                        Anyone who’s persuaded by the response “he took me out of context” was just looking for a reason to be persuaded.


                          • So, what am I getting at….The cancer analogy would be apt, if at least 50% of cancer diagnoses were made by unscrupulous doctors who’d just been caught billing patients for treatments they didn’t receive. And if were nearly impossible for the patient to prove whether the doctor was lying or not.


                            • Which reminds me of my comment to you the other day about credibility being an individual contact sport. Facts don’t mean s*** anymore. We’ve turned the corner into “fact as text” territory (post-modernism won!), where there is no such thing as an ideology-independent fact.

                              Which is a really weird intellectual inversion, I can tell ya. I get vertigo just thinking about the vertigo it gives me.


                              • I dunno. I’m not crazy about this past election cycle (in other words, I’m not crazy), but can we really say that these 100k people not turning out to vote reveal that facts no longer matter? This wasn’t a referendum on honesty. I mean, Hillary Clinton was running. And you can’t underestimate how much distortion is caused by the context game.


                                • And you can’t underestimate how much distortion is caused by the context game.

                                  She lost to a guy who bragged about grabbing women by the cat!!

                                  What if the context is nation-wide? Bigger than any one of us can possible get our minds around right now and can only be hinted at by future historians writing about these times from the perch of a new reality?

                                  What does context mean in the midst of a tectonic shift?


                                    • A tectonic shift doesn’t destroy, it just reorganizes.

                                      And yeah, I think what we’re experiencing is a tectonic shift. Hell, if you want facts, how bout this: Don J Trump is the president elect.

                                      More than that, I think we’re going to see some radical changes in how America conducts its domestic and international business politically, in addition to changes in our culture. Not fatal, I hope. But pretty radical.


                                      • This article describes about where I think we are.


                                        I’m not sure there’s a benefit to linking to it, because it doesn’t try to persuade, and it covers half a dozen issues at once, but it just nicely sums up my frame of mind.

                                        For those of us who see Trump as a continuation of Obama, the tectonic shift theory doesn’t carry much weight. An unqualified, imperial president who stokes racial tension doesn’t seem like a tectonic shift. I’m fearful that people on the center-right may have bought into the identity politics that dominates the left. I’d rather see 50% of the population unjust than 100%. They say that politics is downstream from culture – I hope that the country hasn’t shifted to something contrary to our founding – but I’d consider that separately from my concerns about where the next administration is heading.


                                        • No offense Pinky, but the thesis of that article is simplistic pandering nonsense and makes me even more committed to the “credibility as a contact sport” view of our media.


                    • Sometimes they provided the necessary context. But that’s like explaining a joke, it never works.

                      They also sometimes lied, or obfuscated, or misdirected. Which is probably worse than the original statement out of context.


                      • They also sometimes lied, or obfuscated, or misdirected. Which is probably worse than the original statement out of context.

                        This. The fact that HRC and her staff persisted in lying, obfuscating, misdirecting about EVERYTHING controversial, even the most mundane stuff reinforced folks belief in what their own lying eyes were telling them.


                        • What email content did they lie about? My recollection is that at this point the public had conflated the email server, the DNC hack, and the Podesta leak to such an extent that most attacks were just Trump saying “EMAILS. THOUSANDS OF EMAILS! NATIONAL SECURITY” to rapturous applause and “Lock Her Up!” chants. I don’t remember a single bombshell. Just people seeing BAD THING that somehow related to that other BAD THING in the headlines again. Which sorta goes back to the point about whether this was actually a release of new information or just more opportunity for spin.


                          • Off the top of my head, when the FBI report came out she said it vindicated her use of private email (or some such) as it was a common practice, the report specifically said the private email server was unique.


                          • trizz,
                            When you say two days before the election that Wikileaks is going to put out a “whopper” that they don’t put out? That’s lying.
                            It’s also spinning a “oh, shit, they haven’t released the bad stuff” into a “we can just say they lied about that one part, right????”


                    • Remember when Hillary Clinton’s greatest strength was her lifetime of experience fighting against the right wing smear brigades and the media noise machine that amplified them?


                            • To anyone not administering purity tests, the fact that she was friendly with the number 1 business of the state she represented in the Senate was….not surprising.

                              What WAS surprising was that the speech contents actually weren’t that flattering to the banks. What was leaked was….pretty much exactly what she said in public about them.


                              • Egad.

                                Personally, I don’t know why anyone would spend time defending her at this point*. The party? Maybe.

                                *”My vote for the Iraq war was a mistake, but I blame the Bush Admin’s “bad” intel”, etc ad nauseum with every bad decision she’s ever made.


                                • When I do, it’s largely because so many of the attacks against her have been insane nonsense and because she’s become the designated receptacle for everybody’s anger as they move through the five stages of Trump grief. I’m not going to die on this hill, but it does bother me when the recriminations are so far out of proportion to the scale of her mistakes or ignore the very significant things that were completely beyond her control.


                                  • I just saw this and I admit I do the same. But when I do it, it doesn’t feel like I’m defending Hillary as much as fighting a rear-guard action to defend the last shreds of a publicly shared conception of the truth.


                                  • Don,
                                    What very significant things were completely beyond her control???
                                    The economy tanking? Okay, maybe.
                                    She had control of the DNC for eight years.
                                    They took that as “you have one job, get Hillary elected”

                                    She had such damning stuff on Trump too


                            • Her double standard with Wall Street

                              Thats it?
                              Thats your fastball, your killer app, your best Hillary beatdown?

                              I’ve heard of damning by faint praise, but this is praising by faint damns.


                          • Chip,
                            What, the idea that the Clinton Campaign entirely decided to discredit the press isn’t enough for you?
                            Quid Pro Quo payments to media to do exactly what the Clinton machine wanted (okay, so the Pied Piper Memo doesn’t exactly detail the payments. the documents on the payments exist, even if wikileaks does’t have them… yet).


                          • Chip,
                            We have a presidential candidate who deliberately manipulated or paid the media into giving a Republican (donald trump) free air time.
                            But that’s not the problem.
                            The problem is that Clinton knew she couldn’t win against anyone other than Trump.
                            And chose to keep running.

                            It’s apparent to anyone with a lick of sense that Wikileaks didn’t get the incriminating e-mails (other than that Pied Piper Strategy memo). It’s also apparent that the Clintons thought that Wikileaks had really fucking damaging shit.

                            Does the fact that we have a DNC analyst (the leaker) who got fucking assassinated not alarm you?


        • It occurred to me late yesterday that the real problem is your definition of “white lie”.

          White lies, in the common parlance, don’t mean “lies of omission”. They mean benign lies or minor lies. The most common usage is shielding someone from a hurtful truth that hearing would do them no good.

          It’s a slippery and somewhat difficult slope, as the teller of a white lie is having to judge for someone else whether hearing the truth will help them or hurt them in the long run.

          So hearing stuff like Project Veritas videos called “white lies” runs into the fundamental contradiction of “that’s not what a white lie means”. In common parlance, a white lie is benign or harmless and….the examples we’re talking about here are anything but.

          Lies of omission are particular pernicious, especially in an age of video editing software. Lies of omission with text alone have managed to start wars and get people killed, it’s worse when you have selectively edited video because we’ve got fewer mental antibodies to deal with that.

          (I mean Jesus, do you see how many people believe clearly photoshopped images? )


          • morat20,
            A well-done video forgery is incredibly difficult to produce (I happen to know a world expert in the field — which means you’ve seen his work, I guarantee it.). Of course, it takes a decent visual analyst to notice a forgery.

            [This means I get to sit through “spot the CGI” training.]

            Besides, would you rather forge the video, or the person in the video?


          • The terms for white, grey, and black are actual terms.



            The Bad Actors took the emails, said “look at what the DNC is saying!” and then presented the emails.

            The DNC was not able to say “THAT’S A BALD-FACED LIE!!! WE NEVER SAID THOSE THINGS!!!”

            The DNC, instead, said “you have to understand the context in which we said those things!”

            We knew exactly who said the things in question and there was no question that these things were said.

            We just didn’t understand the greater context.
            Which, for whatever reason, was never provided.


            • Jay,
              Please keep calling them “white propaganda” etc. rather than white lies.

              I think the whole categorization is in need of some motherfucking updating. SJ’s have been used as a tool to destroy the left, but the actual corruption comes from organizational changes, rather than the propaganda itself.

              After all, constantly generating propaganda is a bore, and requires working with the dirty fucking hippies.


              • greg,
                *blink* Which fucking espionage are we talking about today?
                Because, I gotta say, there’s a lot going on.

                And do you count someone as an outside actor if he’s working for the Clintons? The Bushes? Wikileaks?

                If the point of the hacking was to get someone dead, I’d say it worked phenomenally well. Not that anyone’s going to bother prosecuting over one dead DNC dude.


                • And even worse so many people are just fine with it all. Sure Putin is a not nice guy and tampering with the election is wrong but you gotta understand…….. isn’t that how it goes.

                  Because the “but Hillary” thing doesn’t make it right. You can be correct about the problems with the D’s and hillary and that doesn’t make the tampering right.

                  You are fine with the lies and the theft/hacking and propaganda and a foreign power, likely russia, messing with the election. But i guess it isn’t …ummm….PC to admit that.


                    • Jay,
                      cosign on the gross negligence. What’s worse is that they didn’t realize they were even getting hacked. (Russia bothered to leave fingerprints, because they didn’t care if America found out they had been probing. The “in before Russia” folks, well, they don’t have nuclear weapons).


                  • And even worse so many people are just fine with it all.

                    Deligitimizers to the left of me, deniers to the right.

                    Here’s the worry I have: that we’ve reached peak partisan, where the deeper issues of the hack (and what it says about the apparently fragile state of our democracy) are completely glossed over. For most folks anyway.

                    Cynicism is winning won, ya know? Putin and Trump saw it before anyone else did. (Well, that Dilbert guy…)


                    • When someone starts leaking stuff about Trump, what response am I suppose to feel again?

                      Is it “YEAH! TAKE THAT GUY DOWN!!!!” or is it “How dare this nefarious actor try to discredit the President of the United States of America?!? THIS IS EITHER AN ACT OF WAR OR IT IS AN ACT OF TREASON!!!”?


                    • and what it says about the apparently fragile state of our democracy

                      I was starting to think I was the only one who has the distinct impression we are sounding like a place like Venezuela, where the recent bad thing that happened is all because of a big bad outside country putting it’s thumb on the scales.

                      I mean, the hack is a bad thing, but the fact that Russia was able to use the data pretty much as is to embarrass a presidential candidate and their party says bad things not only about the quality of the candidate and the party, but also about us, that we are so easily manipulated through partisan attacks.


                      • that we are so easily manipulated through partisan attacks.

                        As evidence of this, can anyone here say clearly and specifically what was embarrassing, without Googling?

                        I think most Americans can’t.
                        Most have simply internalized the conventional wisdom bullshit and nod along unthinking to the Clinton Corruption meme.


                        • Given that, to date, except for the people’s she’s supposedly killed, every corruption aimed at Clinton has actually been proven about Trump.

                          And of course, to combat that people voted for a guy whose corruption is so obvious and well-documented that he’d be considered “too cliche” to play a corrupt plutocrat in a film.


                        • As evidence of this, can anyone here say clearly and specifically what was embarrassing, without Googling?

                          In before Kim!

                          Without googling. Donna brazille passing questions, Goldman speaches, Bernie dislike\massive corruption by DNC (depending on your point of view). Then I’m sure people confuse Russian hacked emails with the ones that came to light as part of the FBI investigation.

                          None of it handled very well. See for escape the Goldman speeches, which should have been released at the start of the campaign.


                        • Admittedly, I can’t (because frankly I don’t care), but much of what I hear from the left is that the hack exposed information that hurt her campaign somehow.

                          So the reality doesn’t matter, does it, if the narrative is dominating?


                          • You realize that you personally are a part of framing that narrative, right?

                            That it depends on you, and millions like you, nodding and agreeing to lies, or staying silent when you should be speaking the truth?


                            • You may have noticed, throughout all the various & sundry discussions hereabouts leading up to, and after, the election, I have remained largely absent (some comments here & there, but mostly not part of it).

                              The reason is because I don’t know what the truth is. I know the GOP is selling one truth, and ardent Hillary supporters are selling another, and Bernie fans are selling a third. I have neither the time, nor the desire, to parse those narratives for their lies, when all three entities were already highly unappealing to me.

                              So what lies did I agree to? What truth did I fail to speak?

                              I have no interest in defending the truth for parties that are happy to spin lies of their own, or obfuscate the truth that doesn’t serve them. But that seems to be the message you are sending, that I should be spending my time and effort speaking truth and disarming lies to support HRC? Why, because she is your favored candidate? Because she is better than Trump? Doesn’t she supposedly have a small army of people who are supposed to do that for her?

                              People told a lot of lies about Bernie, and Trump. Should I expend more of my precious time disarming those lies as well, and speaking those truths, because that is the greater good? Do these people not also have small armies of professionals doing the same damn thing, with a much larger platform from which to do it?

                              Face it, HRC lost not because of the hack, but because she played a safe campaign and ceded ground to Trump that she probably shouldn’t have. If the hack hurt her at all, it wasn’t because of the information from it nearly as much as she had already allowed (by failing to counter in a way that convinced borderline voters) a narrative to be created about her that she had damning secrets that could be exposed by a hack.

                              And yes, it’s possible that there was nothing she could do to counter the narrative effectively, but if that is the case, then the problem isn’t a hack, or a gullible public, but that she got outplayed in the game.


                              • The biggest lie currently is that Hillary is as corrupt as Trump.

                                That’s a lie on the scale of the Czar was corrupt, so Stalin wasn’t really any worse.

                                The lie depends on smaller lies, like “Donna Brazile warning Hilary that she would be asked about the death penalty” is no different than Trump asserting that he saw Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after 9-11.

                                It relies on false equivalence, of abstracted detachment where all things are equal and unimportant where “optics” are the same as truth.

                                All of this demands your compliance and acquiescence.

                                If you ever wondered how it is that a majority of Americans believe that something on the order of 90% of the federal budget is spent on welfare and foreign aid, this is how that happened.
                                Years and years of lies and spin, and slowly people kept nodding and shrugging, even when the lies were easily disproved.

                                Lies and propaganda don’t work in isolation; they usually work in concert with pre-existing prejudices, our dark fears and anxieties.
                                So its easier to get people to believe a lie when it harmonizes with what they already want to believe.
                                Trump’s lies are inseparable from his racism and misogyny- they feed off each other.

                                So right now the Big Lie is “The bitch is lying/ Anything Trump does is justified”.


                      • Oscar,
                        Except that wikileaks didn’t get the data from Russia. They got the data straight from an inside source at the DNC.
                        And russia wasn’t the first hackers in, anyway.
                        (America’s got better hackers than Russia)


                    • Stillwater,
                      Well, all’s the same to you, I’d rather talk about Hillary Clinton deliberately and legally fixing the primary.

                      Or we could talk about the actual hacking of electronic votes (and why it wasn’t more widespread).

                      Cynicism ain’t nearly what you think it is. Cynicism is India. No matter how fucked up they make the world, the powers that be will make certain what they want to happen will actually happen.
                      **they aren’t that competent, really.


                  • I’m old enough to remember a President got re elected by mocking the idea that we needed to take the threat posed by Putin’s Russia a lot more seriously. And who had a Secretary of State that pressed a big red button to make relations between the USA and Russia all better. (Not sure what ever happened to her after that, though).


                  • greg,
                    I’m not fine with Clinton putting out a hit on a Democratic analyst at the DNC.
                    I’m really not fucking fine with that.

                    I’m not fucking fine with her saying that Russia did it, when russia didn’t do anything more than walk in after someone else raided the damn server.

                    Russia didn’t leak it to wikileaks.


            • That’s propaganda, not lies. I mean it says it in the link you just gave. “White, grey, and black propaganda” not “white, grey, and black lies”.

              You’re using them interchangeably and they’re not interchangeable. Propaganda and lies are not synonyms.

              And by those definitions, deceptive editing would be black propaganda.

              Black propaganda is false information and material that purports to be from a source on one side of a conflict, but is actually from the opposing side. It is typically used to vilify, embarrass, or misrepresent the enemy.

              After all, the entire point of deceptive editing is to make someone look like they’re saying something they’re not.

              Planned Parenthood, in the full video, was denying ever selling fetal tissue. At no point did they say they did. But the released video was a claim that Planned Parenthood said something they didn’t.

              It’s literally purporting that Planned Parenthood said something they didn’t, which fits the exact definition of black propaganda. It’s false information attributed to a the wrong source — and designed to vilify, embarrass, or misrepresent the enemy.

              People claimed their enemies said something they didn’t. They used lies (deceptive video) as “proof”. How is this anything but black propaganda?


  4. #OscarsSoWhite is uncanceled! It was briefly canceled because the Oscars became less white, but the guy who canceled them was fired.

    I think it’s important to keep in mind, since stories like this might cause some confusion, that “political correctness” just means not being a bigot.


  5. It turns out that, just as I’ve been saying all along, police sometimes make mistakes when acting under pressure with limited information, occasionally with tragic consequences, even for white people.

    It seems to me that an underappreciated common factor in many (most?) of these totally unjustified shootings, aside from the fact that the victims are almost all male (#MaleLivesMatter), is that the police are primed to see the victim as a threat because they’re going in after having been fed bad information.


    • What’s interesting is that you have the same pattern of selective leaks about the victim:

      Bakersfield police had visited Francisco Serna’s home at least two times before because his father would become confused and activate a medical alarm, Rogelio Serna said.

      A police spokesman confirmed officers had visited Francisco Serna’s home, but he could not provide any details.

      About eight hours before the shooting, police said, there was a separate incident involving Serna in which a neighbor also believed the man may have been armed, Martin said.

      Serna had reportedly banged on doors and windows and attempted to drag the neighbor outside for a fight. The neighbor said Serna also kept a hand in his pocket and acted as though he had a gun, police said. The neighbor did not report it to police.

      See, even though the officers were not aware of this incident and shot the victim within 30 seconds of arriving on scene, we get some pretty detailed insights into this other random event that’s not at all meant to cloud our judgement. Oh, and about the times the police *did* show up and saw that the victim was suffering from dementia – well, we could not possibly provide any details.

      I can at least envision how to reform a system where a few bad apples show up to a call half-cocked. But I can’t even begin to tell you how to reform a system which actively and repeatedly uses it’s unique access to evidence and the press to manipulate the public into a false narrative. Officer Slager is tractable. It’s those other three guys who show up, watch him plant evidence, and say nothing in their reports. Those guys are the challenge.


  6. Okay, Julia Ioffe.

    She worked at Politico and gave her two weeks’ notice and is jumping to the Atlantic.

    She tweeted a tasteless tweet about Trump and Politico said “you know what? That’s tasteless enough that we’re going to terminate the relationship right freaking now” when there were only five days more on her contract.

    Right Wing twitter is currently tweeting The Atlantic and screaming for Ioffe’s head.

    Firing people over tweets is… something that is going to happen a lot more.


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