How Do You Say Something You Know Isn't True And Avoid Getting Called On It?

Discussion in 'Media' started by Capitalist, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Capitalist
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    Capitalist Jeffersonian Liberal

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    Let The Media Show You!


    Suppose I want to say "Jared Loughner was inspired by a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh, episodes of Sarah Palin's Alaska, and Tea Party rallies."
    What is the defect in that? Well, if you're a leftist, it's perfect in every single way: It connects a shooting to your political enemies and gives you an advantage you can't get via your policies. But the one problem with it -- which isn't a problem so much as an obstacle -- is that it's simply not true.
    But it's so wonderful! It should be true; the fact that is not is more of a defect of reality than a defect of this wonderful sentence you've written in your head. Your ideology is perfect in its precision; it's reality that's messy, disordered, and off-message.
    So there's this sentence. Gorgeous, really. It deserves to be written. It deserves to be carved in ten foot tall white marble megaliths.
    But you can't write it. Because of that one little problem obstacle. If you write it, you will immediately have it fact-checked, and facts being stupid things, you will be forced to state it is not, in fact, true.
    This is a symptom of what I mentioned yesterday, the lack of any "Phase 2" (in South Park Gnome terminology) to connect Phase 1, steal underpants/complain about rhetoric of violence from the right, with Phase 3, Profit!!! Two out of three ain't bad, liberals figure, and so what if there is nothing to connect 1 to 3? We'll just talk up 1 and 3 until we're blue in the face and assume 2.
    See, assumptions and implications can't be fact-checked. You didn't actually say them, so no one can claim you said something untrue. You didn't say it; you just implied the living fuck out of it. But there's no such thing as an implication-check, now is there?
    Watch Newsweek do this. Look at the headline, then look at the picture.
    The Missed Warning Signs A 2009 study warned that the rise of right-wing extremism could spur violent attacks. But the report was attacked by Republicans, including now-Speaker John Boehner.
    [​IMG]
    Now-- having headlined the story about "right wing extremism" and shown a picture of Jared Lee Loughner to illustrate it, you'd think they'd go on to explain how it is Jared Lee Loughner is connected to the right, or even read a single right-leaning website at all. You'd be wrong.
    Because they have no evidence of that, and if they claimed they did, they'd be fact-checked. So they don't say it. They just imply it so strongly it's as if they said it -- but better, because they didn't say it, so there's no fact-check, and no need for retraction or correction!
    This is what American liberal journalism is reduced to -- lying by implication.
    Here's as close as Newsweek's editors will permit this author to imply a connection:
    In the wake of last weekend’s attempted assassination of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, which left six dead and 14 wounded, the report’s warning of a lone wolf attack from someone with extremist tendencies seems prescient.​
    Note the headline spoke of "right wing" violence, but here, in connecting Loughner to the report, they will only say "someone with extremist tendencies." Which, by the way, is a lie, because we usually do not discuss psychopaths as "extremists," which implies a political orthodoxy.
    Which Loughner didn't have -- though, to the extent he did, it was more left than right.
    But they resort to that because they need to connect this up with "right wing extremists," but can't say "right wing." That is not proven. Not only is that not proven, there is no evidence at all to suggest it and a fair amount to suggest against it! So instead, they say one thing in the headline -- so you know what they mean -- and put the image of Loughner right below it, without writing a single sentence that actually links the two.
    When they have the chance to write such a sentence -- they don't. Because they know it's untrue, they know it will be fact-checked. So they just continue implying it, this time by shifting the terms of discussion from the headline's "right wing extremism" to a general description of a maniac, "person with extremist tendencies."
    And, at the end, their method of implying a connection is to report... that no one has found a connection. Yet, would be the operative but unstated word here.
    While discussion has swirled around possible ties between accused gunman Jared Loughner and right-wing extremists, DHS on Monday said department officials “have not established any such possible link.” Levin doesn’t believe extremism was the sole driving factor. “This guy is a mentally deranged person first,” he said, and noted that the mentally ill often latch on to conspiracy theories to layer over their already “obsessive and aggressive template.”​
    Note how deftly the lie was there -- they admit that there is no connection to the political extremism they're talking about here, none at all, but then follow thyat up Levin doesn't believe extremism was the sole driving factor, implying that it was a factor, just not the "sole driving" one. There may be other factors; but this one, extremism, was most important.
    That sentence following the last one which stated there had been NO ESTABLISHED CONNECTION to politcal extremism of any kind, left right or center.
    In just ten short words, without an actual positive sentence affirming that Loughner was driven by political extremism of a recognizable sort (such as the type outlined in this Homeland Security report), the article states that he was in fact driven by just that political extremism -- by implication, of course.
    Again, they can't say, so they imply it. They cannot say "Loughner was driven by political extremism of the right" -- not true -- so they say no link has been made as of yet, but political extremism was not the sole driving factor behind the crime. There may have been other factors, other than the political extremism that was the main factor.
    A factor so main that Newsweek cannot cite a single person declaring that affirmatively in a positive sentence.
    The rest of the article is about that Homeland Security article saying veterans will come home and murder people and how smart a report it was. There is no connection to Loughner within the article other than what I have sketched for you.
    Read the rest here......
     

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