hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
‘Alternative facts’? Journalists from Venezuela to Turkey have ‘seen this movie before’
The early months of the Trump presidency will involve fierce battles about such policy matters as health care, trade and immigration. As its very first fight, though, his administration chose a target that has alarmed observers of authoritarian leaders: verifiable facts.

In a monologue at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency on the first full day of his presidency, Trump blasted the media for correctly reporting on the size of his inauguration crowd, falsely claiming it was actually much bigger. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, then did the same from a podium at the White House, making five provably false claims and walking out.

Spicer’s words were not lies, Trump counsellor Kellyanne Conway said on NBC the next morning. They were, she said, “alternative facts.”

The instantly immortal piece of spin triggered another round of mockery on social media and beyond. For watchdogs in countries that have slid away from democracy, it was not a laughing matter in the slightest. Phillip Gunson, an International Crisis Group senior analyst in Caracas, wrote on Twitter: “This is how it begins: casting doubt on the veracity of things you can see with your own eyes. After a while, you start to doubt your eyes.”


Fomenting doubt about the traditional providers of facts helps inoculate politicians such as Erdogan and Trump against future stories about their wrongdoing, Zeynalov said. He said they are especially sensitive to truths that call into question the supposed popular support they use to justify their governing.

“Crowd sizes, how many people applauded me, how many people voted for me — this is the essence of populist leaders: to make sure that the people who love them, who applaud them, are ‘bigger.’ Whenever you challenge that notion, you’re assaulting the crux of their argument,” he said.

Read the whole thing.

And as reporter Daniel Dale said on Twitter: It's kind of perfect that the administration supported by the white supremacist "alt-right" is now calling lies "alt-facts."

I'm glad the NYT is giving us stories like White House Pushes 'Alternative Facts.' Here Are the Real Ones. Here's hoping that journalists will do more of that, because we certainly need it for however long the current administration has any power at all.

And at this point, the explanation here might some obvious, but maybe we're going to need the reminders that constant, brazen lying is a strategy and it isn't a strategy used by the Good Guys.

(no subject)

Saturday, August 9th, 2008 12:23 pm
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
Via [ profile] bad_science: Bill Nelson wins the internet. You know, I've put up with doctors who stuck Q-tips up my nose and called it therapeutic, but if anyone ever started singing his career history to the tune of "Simple Gifts," I do believe I would run away screaming.

[Edit: biography. A must-read. (Well, read it for as long as you can stand it, anyway.)]

It seems somehow appropriate that the one other video I've watched today is this one: play Crazy for me.
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
Do not visit this link if you are easily offended by bad propaganda from people who oppose your views on abortion. Do not visit this link if you are easily offended by bad propaganda from people who share your views on abortion. Do not visit this link if you are disturbed by anything related to abortion at all. Do not visit this link if you are offended by bad stereotypes, either. Probably the only people who should visit the blog post linked to below are people with perverse senses of humor, which I know some of you have:

Super Happy Fun Abortion Time (image-heavy).
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
The Snopes Urban Legends Reference pages have confirmed that certain pictures floating around the internet are authentic photographs of Muslim protesters in London during this year's unrest over the Mohammed cartoons. Behold the face of the Religion of Peace! This is the harsh reality, people. We're so much better than they are: They have placards urging the faithful to "BUTCHER THOSE WHO MOCK ISLAM"; We have Left Behind: The Videogame.
Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.

I have to admit, after reading more about the game here, here, and here, it sounds very well-done, very entertaining. It may not be so good at providing spiritual clarity, however, judging from this article (Edit: if that link won't work, same column here, or use a search engine to find the Left Behind column by Joel Stein):
By the end, [Left Behind Games President Jeffery] Frichner had 24 soldiers and I had three. Defeated, I asked him if the game had accomplished its objective of making him feel invigorated about the believers' role in the end of the world. "I thought I was playing the devil," he said with a confused look. I took that as a no.

Personally, I think players of the game should be required to read all of [ profile] slacktivist's Left Behind posts (latest one here).

In other news: "Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products."

The problem here isn't that the Bush administration is Evil: the Clinton administration and all your favorite lobbying firms have produced the same kinds of "news" and sent them to all the same television stations for years. The problem is that the major TV news organizations all pass this stuff off as real news. Look, the Republicans hate the MainStream Media because they think it's biased in favor of the liberals, the Democrats hate the MSM because they think it's biased in favor of the Eeevil Bush administration, and what they all fail to recognize is that the media are, quite simply, biased in favor of whoever will do their work for them. If you're not willing to do something to change that fact, maybe you should quit complaining and go back to playing your videogames.


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