The Lie Factory

Well surprise, surprise.  It turns out that yet another Fox/Breitbart story about pigs flying, or rather, white victims of black racism, has been thoroughly exploded, as usual only after the damage has been done.   As usual, the excuse for the shamefully handled Shirley Sherrod story was that “everyone else” saw the porcine flyover, or at least knew someone who did, so they did the only natural thing and assumed that the improbable but nonetheless narrative-building story from the right’s new “media” must be correct, and another public servant was thrown to the wolves for the crime of serving in government while black.  As Rachel Maddow pointed out, the fact that this is about the eighth time this has happened reflects, if nothing else, that the media and administration are either adorably trusting or contemptibly stupid.

Admittedly, the race-based stuff is new, and is a stark enough reminder that the Republicans, having failed so dismally in their attempts to govern, are reduced to yelling “nigger” in trailer parks to avoid discussing what alternative they might provide to Democratic government.  But seriously, for many years nothing the Republicans have said, no matter how loudly, has been true, and if Democrats and the mainstream media were able to put two and two together, they’d have long ago moved from Ronald Reagan’s “trust, but verify” to Harry Reid’s “whatever they say, you can believe the opposite.”

From Nixon’s “secret plan” to end the war, Reagan’s “Welfare queens,” Bush Sr.’s “out of the loop,” to George W. Bush’s “mushroom clouds,” the lies this bunch has told, and the undue credulity they’ve received, is the story of America’s descent into the fascistic oligarchy in which we find ourselves today.  No lie is too big or small to be used for rank, usually unrelated, political gain, and lies are routinely told even if the truth would sound better.  Before the Right had Fox News, virtually the entire AM dial, and a swarm of fake “think tanks” to push its propaganda, lies had to be used sparingly, and couldn’t be too easily or quickly proven incorrect to work.  Now, lies can work their magic in days, allowing politicians to be besmirched, careers to be ruined, and most importantly, false but nonetheless enduring and damaging narratives can be nurtured and built upon before anybody figures out that the whole thing was horseshit.  Worse, when the story inevitably explodes, the liars’ reputation is often advanced, in the fact-averse world created by the lies that conveniently preceded it.  In this absurd environment the truth can’t get its boots on because it’s already wearing cement shoes, and the lies now have an army of intrepid film editors and “reporters” which can cook up a fake story and disseminate it on any topic, any day.

Think of the people who, against all evidence, thought that the big banks ought to be deregulated–  have their careers, or even reputations, suffered?  What about those who touted the Iraq war as necessary, urgent, and the best thing for all concerned?  Or those who though Sarah Palin was brilliant?  Drill, Baby Drill?   In a just world, they’d all be getting rejection letters from WalMart and selling plasma, but instead they have television shows and multiple houses.  Then there are those who disagreed…  Joe Wilson, Paul O’Neill, Al Gore, Howard Dean, Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield, Dan Rather; the list is long of those who had the audacity to be correct, prematurely, and suffer greatly for it.

Correctness, it seems, is a dish best served cold as far as the beltway establishment is concerned, a phenomenon that is neither new nor uniquely American: author and admitted Communist Jessica Mitford was tagged for harassment by the Mc Carthyites here and in her native Britain for  her obviously sordid “premature antifascism.”  Somehow, what the Obama Administration has evidently “learned” from this boringly repetitive history is that, maybe this time, the right wing noise machine is onto something, so we had better capitulate pronto.  (Harvard must take anybody these days….)

What this story shows is that the right wing isn’t nearly as racist, deep down, as it pretends to be for its “base.”  They know where to find the people who are most likely to be progressive, smart, and potentially damaging to their worldview in any Democratic administration: amongst its women and minorities, and they thus seek to eliminate and/or marginalize them any way they can.  If the Obama administration had any brains, they would know that Republican smears are the sincerest form of flattery, and act accordingly.  The Republicans would be a little more apoplectic than usual, perhaps, but the Administration would make asses of themselves less frequently.

33 Comments

  1. cocktailhag says:

    Oh, for Pete’s sake. Doing the same thing and calling it news is lame enough; doubling down at this moment is the kind of demented that can only be suicidal. I worry about you and yours, Tom.

  2. Ché Pasa says:

    If the Obama administration had any brains…

    If only.

    This incident was another demonstration that a single individual can paralyze and control the Government itself as well as the entire media complex, including the blogosphere. And it’s not just any individual. It is this particular individual, who is able at this point to compel instant action.

    And then they wake up the next day wondering what the hell just happened. What did they just do, ferchrissake?

    Then they do it again. On automatic. It’s like there’s an incubus in the operating system that once triggered cannot be stopped.

    I’m not sure at this point a brain would help.

    An intervention and exorcism might be better.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Yeah like the other “Inquisitions” about torture, etc. Guess what, Tom? High-level impunity is completely bipartisan, only you can’t see it because of your extreme partisanship. You define the seriousness of a crime by whether a Republican committed it or not, period. This makes your “research” a lot less interesting, much less convincing.

          • dirigo says:

            Add the just-published series on the gigantic surveillance system now in place, published by WaPo, and, regular commentary which does not acknowledge we are “at war,” and you have a real pile.

            As an example of the latter problem, Niall Ferguson, writing this week in the Financial Times – ostensibly about the economy and as a foil to the “liberal” Paul Krugman – denies we are “at war.”

            Way to go, Niall. A nice fib that.

          • cocktailhag says:

            You mean ol’ Niall “White Man’s Burden” Ferguson said that? Sheesh. Is his picture in the dictionary under “shameless?”

          • dirigo says:

            Would I lie to you (don’t answer that)?

          • dirigo says:

            For me right now, top nominees in the Total Bullshit Punditry category are: Ferguson and Marc Thiessen.

            It’s a toss up.

          • nailheadtom says:

            That’s rich. You two intellectual Lilliputians casting pebbles at Niall Ferguson. He’s intelligent, articulate, well-rewarded, actually almost famous. Adjectives that will never be applied to you losers. If you can marshal the brain cells, go read his article on the impending demise of the EMU in the March/April 2000 Edition of “Foreign Affairs” where he predicts just what has been happening in Europe, the socialist wonderland that is for all intents and purposes bankrupt.

          • cocktailhag says:

            I would like to point out, Tom, that you don’t appear to be too bright yourself; then there’s the personality…..

          • dirigo says:

            Tom, you ignorant slut, you missed my point, small as it was.

            I give Niall all the credit for his brains and influence. I wish I could be a courtier like him. Just think of the perks? Still and all, I refuse to kiss his ring or his ass.

            Ah, my point! – He said in a recent piece the west was not at war. That is true insofar as there hasn’t been a “formal declaration.” You know, like the Big One, a declared war, compared to skirmishes like Korea and Vietnam.

            But it is a social lie to say we are not at war, and really, an official one too, because scribblers like Niall are applauded by those in power who want the mass of Lilliputians like Hag and me to believe it. The country’s always “at war,” often in fact and most of the time metaphorically.

            NOW THE LATEST ON THE WAR AGAINST LADY GAGA!

            YOU sound like your spoiling for a fight most of the time, Tom. Well. climb that flagpole, son! I’ll hold your coat.

            Since I’m a dissenting veteran, I call it for what it is: bullshit.

          • dirigo says:

            Oh, and the U.S. is in clover, solvency-wise?

          • dirigo says:

            Keep climbing, Tom. We’re right behind yer … ?

            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/23/opinion/23krugman.html?ref=opinion

          • dirigo says:

            Something to be proud of. But hey! – since we’re not “at war,” don’t worry, be happy.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/toxic-legacy-of-us-assault-on-fallujah-worse-than-hiroshima-2034065.html

          • dirigo says:

            What Niall Ferguson said:

            “When Franklin Roosevelt became president in 1933, the deficit was already running at 4.7 percent of GDP. It rose to a peak of 5.6 percent in 1934. The federal debt burden rose only slightly – from 40 to 45 percent of GDP – prior to the outbreak of the second world war. It was the war that saw the US (and all the other combatants) embark on fiscal expansions of the sort we have seen since 2007. So what we are witnessing today has less to do with the 1930s than with the 1940s: it is world finance without the war.”

            – “TODAY’S KEYNESIANS HAVE LEARNT NOTHING”
            – By Niall Ferguson
            – Financial Times, 7/19/10

            Without the war, Niall?

            What planet are you living on?

            Oh, sorry, I just gagged on my crumpet, and so I do see in mid-heave that I keep missing your point: we can take comfort that no war has been “declared.” That’s it.

            More tea, please.

  3. mikeinportc says:

    that the media and administration are either adorably trusting or contemptibly stupid.

    The latter, for the former, & how ’bout mendacious, unprincipled, politically opportunistic cowards , for TeamObama?

    I think Arthur Silber has good explanation, for this , and other incidents :
    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2010/07/you-go-ms-sherrod.html
    The most salient point (IMHO)

    Very interestingly, however, [Uri] Avnery neglects to mention a further critical reason for Obama’s identification with “American whites,” although he hints at it. That reason is one I discussed in the first part of my “Triumph” series, and it must never be forgotten. It’s a simple and terrible reason: Obama wants power. This is not a secondary or related, tangential issue: we are talking about politics here, so it is the reason. He wants power. In America, if you want power, you must be white — or you must adopt all the trappings of the white rulers. That’s it, that’s the whole thing. Power accrues to the white, male ruling class. Period.

    Breitbart & Fox are getting their deserved scorn, but the one who seems most deserving, and seems to be getting off relatively easily, is Vilsack. He’s the one that committed the most harmful act. If he’s not a (schizophrenic?* TM)racist, then he did a good job playing one. That is, he assumed the worst , and fired her, no questions asked. Would that happen with somebody else ?

    Washington Times, Tom ? Are you a Moonie? ( I’m not interested in a subscription, if you’re askin’.)

    No, of course, the federal prosecutor scandal(or what should be a scandal) doesn’t matter.( The ones that kept their jobs, is the source of the worst parts.)
    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/041807K.shtml
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Breakins_plague_Justice_Department_whistleblowers_0430.html
    http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/20070809_inside_the_data_mine/
    ( Trumped-up conviction since overturned)
    etc,etc,etc

    My guess, those two stories are related. Like other areas of BushCo crime, Obama & Co. want to at least have the option of doing likewise.

    * I’ve explained that before, will do so again,if needed . ;)

  4. I was talking about this elsewhere…but what really allows this level of mendacity, is a servile echo chamber in the establishment media. None of these lies would get off the ground, if there was no teflon faced anchor to intone the lies under several gallons of hairspray. Breitbart would be considered a clown, and would be the butt of late-night jokes, with his hair-brained schemes.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’ve often though that there ought to be a “lie buzzer” on TV News, since the anchors wouldn’t know the truth if it dropped on their heads. Better yet, trap doors beneath, say, Liz Cheney, and all you’d see of her is her fake blond hair flying as she whooshed away the first time she opened her mouth.

      • There’d have to be a flushing sound, followed by a rim-shot, a wah-wah and a laugh track.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Ed Schultz used to have a thing like that on his radio show, and I loved it. Every time he mentioned Tom Delay, you’d hear Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road, Jack,” followed by a toilet flushing. I’m sure you’d love Stephanie Miller… She has every favorite cartoon soundtrack, too.
          You’re giving me an idea for a blog post… Maybe tomorrow; it’s hot and I’m thirsty.

      • nailheadtom says:

        According to the Washington Post: “But for all the chatter — some of it from Sherrod herself — that she was done in by Fox News, the network didn’t touch the story until her forced resignation was made public Monday evening, with the exception of brief comments by O’Reilly. After a news meeting Monday afternoon, an e-mail directive was sent to the news staff in which Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: “Let’s take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let’s make sure we do this right.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/21/AR2010072106708.html

        • cocktailhag says:

          Yeah, they have to send out those memos to keep Megyn Kelly from screaming, “Kill the darkies” on the air, again. You fail to note that Glenn Beck was mentioned by querulous Obama flunkies even as they fired Sherrod, and of course that Fox has been building this narrative for years.
          Sherrod is right, you are wrong, and the WaPoo is just kissing righty ass as usual; in other words, “Nothing to see here, folks.”

    • dirigo says:

      Tell us, oh wizard, are Democratic lies always bigger, fatter, and smellier than Republican lies?

      Do Republicans, being among the chosen, never lie?