Monday, January 26, 2015

Euros show how to stand up to RW "news"

The Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts Jr. has been one of our better political writers for years, with a way of bringing things into focus in a way that many of us can’t. One of my favorites was in 2005, when he explained that too many people allowed the George W. Bush Administration to try to create its own reality because “ignorance was easier.” Keep that phrase in mind, as I direct you to his latest excellent column on ignorance and lies from right-wing world, where Pitts went over the fallout of Fox News’s claims about Sharia Law and Muslim-run “no-go” zones in Europe, and how people overseas reacted to Fox’s act.

In response, French broadcasters ridiculed the Faux News “report”, and condemnation from Paris’s mayor and British Prime Minister David Cameron got Faux to back down and apologize for its dishonesty. Pitts points out this episode should be a wake-up call for us in Amercia on how we can and should fight the lies and hate of the GOP-aganda machine.
The most important takeaway here is not the admittedly startling news that Fox, contrary to all indications, is capable of shame. Rather, it is what the European response tells us about ourselves and our waning capacity for moral indignation with this sort of garbage.

It’s amazing, the things you can get used to, that can come to seem normal. In America, it has come to seem normal that a major news organization functions as the propaganda arm of an extremist political ideology, that it spews a constant stream of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, paranoia and manufactured outrage, and that it does so with brazen disregard for what is factual, what is right, what is fair, what is balanced — virtues that are supposed to be the sine qua non of anything calling itself a newsroom.

If you live with aberrance long enough, you can forget it’s aberrance. You can forget that facts matter, that logic is important, that science is critical, that he who speaks claptrap loudly still speaks claptrap — and that claptrap has no place in reasoned and informed debate. Sometimes, it takes someone from outside to hold up a mirror and allow you to see more clearly what you have grown accustomed to.
Boy, if that doesn’t sound like the downward slide into “truthiness” for righties and the legitimizing of truthiness by the “legitimate” media over the last 15 years, what does? And Wisconsin has been especially bad at this, with the hate and dishonesty that rule daytime AM radio in this state. Combine that with a star-fucking pro-Walker media that seems determined to make Gov Dropout a legitimate presidential candidate over telling the truth about his damaging policies and the toxic environment he has left behind, and you have the divisive mess we have today.

It is well past time we take the fight to these paid-off hacks and hammer and ridicule them for the lies and filth that they spread on our airwaves and in our newspapers. Being nice and expecting mere reason to win out isn’t enough, not when big-money interests and weak-minded fools don't want to own up to what's really happening to our once-great state.

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