Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On The Internets 07.13.2010: Sex, Lies, and Videotape

  • Enjoy Andrew Napolitano on Fox News while you can. The conservative former judge from New Jersey spoke a little too much truth the other day and will likely find himself booted off the air for it. In a discussion on C-Span, Napolitano argued that former Pres. Bush and former VP Cheney should have been indicted for authorizing torture while in office (among other things). "They should have been indicted. They absolutely should have been indicted for torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrants. I’d like to say they should be indicted for lying but believe it or not, unless you’re under oath, lying is not a crime. At least not an indictable crime. It’s a moral crime....George W. Bush as President and Dick Cheney as Vice President participated in criminal conspiracies to violate the federal law and the guaranteed civil liberties of hundreds, maybe thousands of human beings."
  • The Boston Globe has a fascinating article where they discuss how facts are becoming almost irrelevant in today's politics. Even when proven wrong, most Americans stick to the opinions they had before being corrected...and believe it even stronger. "Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger." I think this explains the ratings at Fox News. It is truly a dangerous time to be living in America.
  • Perhaps the greatest of the numerous right wing, made-up scandals of the Obama era involves James O'Keefe and ACORN. O'Keefe claimed in 2009 that he went undercover and "exposed" the community activists of (among other things) promoting child prostitution. Fox News and the rest of the media ran with the story, despite the obviousness of the doctored video. Bringing down ACORN became a cause celeb of the right, especially for Sean Hannity who gave O'Keefe the most air time. At the time, the "evidence" looked pretty damning. However, over the last year, a lot of new information has come to light. For one, the video was heavily edited -- edited to the point of distorting what actually happened in the San Diego ACORN office. In fact, the man depicted in the video, who was supposedly offering to help O'Keefe with his child prostitutes, was in fact gathering intel for the police, which he turned over to them the second O'Keefe and his ho, Hanna Giles, left the building. The ACORN employee, Juan Carlos Vera, was fired after the bad publicity of the doctored video, but he is now suing O'Keefe for violating California law which requires two party consent to record someone. He is suing for $75K. A number of O'Keefe's other ACORN videos have also been shown to be doctored. Will Sean Hannity, Fox News, Andrew Breitbart, and the rest of the right wing blogosphere apologize to ACORN and admit they were wrong? That would require them being decent, honest people, so obviously they won't. Rachel Maddow is one of the few on TV who are still following this story and reporting on the scam that brought down a very important community organizing organization.

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  • I guess this is a problem for some people. A new survey has revealed that 20% of Britons have sent a racy text message to the wrong person. Oops. Men and women were equally guilty. Fortunately, I am not guilty of this new cyber-screw-up.
  • New York City rockers Interpol have severed their ties with Capitol Records after only one album and are returning to their original label, Matador. Their new, self-titled album is set to be released in August.


T. Paine said...

Splash, I find it amusing how you post comments stating how more and more people hold to their beliefs despite being presented with facts to the contrary, and then turn around and proclaim how ACORN was wronged and is an altruistic caring organization.

The facts are that some of their people did indeed turn a blind eye to the hypothetical abuses the pimp presented or actually tried to assist him. Further they have been found guilty of voter registration fraud all over the country in the past too.

I don't expect you to change your opinion, however.

Dave Splash said...

Every single incident of supposed "wrongdoing" by ACORN depicted by O'Keefe has been disproven. Andrew Breitbart and Sean Hannity proclaimed that the tapes were absolutely not edited, yet they clearly were - edited to the point of actually creating a very false impression. I believe it is you who is guilty of gripping tighter to their opinions even when actual facts prove you are wrong. This incident in the San Diego ACORN office is proof of that.

But this has been a pattern on the right - to exist in an alternate world - for a long time. You have plenty of company in your bizarro world. You guys can sit around and talk about the successful conservative presidents like Herbert Hoover and George W Bush and pretend that collecting less tax revenue will magically become more revenue, just by saying so.

I'm more interested in the fact based community.