If the ramblings of crazy people didn’t in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV

Jon Stewart on blame and toxic political rhetoric:

Boy would it be nice to be able to draw a straight line of causation from this horror to something tangible, because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stopped this, the horrors would end. To have the feeling, however fleeting, that this type of event can be prevented, forever. But it’s hard not to feel like it can’t. You know, you cannot outsmart crazy. You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on. Crazy always seems to find a way, it always has…

I do think it’s important for us to watch our rhetoric. I do think it’s a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies – if for no other reason than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid madmen, and what passes for acceptable political and pundit speak. You know, it would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV. Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot.

Well, sure – if they didn’t apparently make irresistible viewing…

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125 responses to “If the ramblings of crazy people didn’t in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV

  1. SB countdown commencing…

    I thought Colbert’s response showed unusual restraint, as well…

  2. Splatterbottom

    I can’t view the video, but Stewart’s comments quoted above are eminently sensible. He hasn’t joined the blame Palin crazies and he definitely isn’t trying to exploit this tragedy for political point-scoring purposes. Rather he is making basically the same appeal he made a couple of months ago and which I quoted on the other thread as a good idea:

    There’s a difference between disagreeing with people, like newscasters on Fox News that I think are incorrect in their analysis of the days events, and people that threaten to kill you for putting a cartoon image of Mohammad in a bear suit [which is what “South Park” did]. And that’s a line that we too often forget. And it’s very easy to dehumanize — and I will say in this room, I would imagine [Glenn] Beck and [Sarah] Palin are easier punching bags — and we think of it as, ‘Oh, my God, I’m so scared if they take over.’ . . . And you know what, we will be fine. . . .

    And he also said this in relation to the Giffords tragedy:

    “You know we live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations, and I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric anymore than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine.”

    which is a point I was making on the other thread.

    As usual, Stewart has shown himself to be head and shoulders above the professional leftists in the US media. I’ll save my invective for the dumb scum who feasted like vultures on this tragedy for their own partisan purposes.

  3. I’ll save my invective for the dumb scum who feasted like vultures on this tragedy for their own partisan purposes.

    Will there be any of your invective left for anti-democracy scum like Sharron Angle, who endorse “2nd Amendment remedies” in certain political situations i.e. taking up arms against the government?

    If you can’t even accept that Sharron Angle’s statement that there are situations where it is reasonable to take up arms against a democratically elected government in the USA makes it more likely that people will actually do just that, as occurred in Arizona last weekend, then you really have no business accusing others of being partisan.

  4. Listening to Obama making awful jokes about predator drones is just another example of how the vocabulary used in US politics is reinforcing this culture of violence and death. Palin or Obama, Democrats, Republicans, same dog, different heads.

  5. Splatterbottom

    Angle is clearly a nutter. Her statement is contemptible. I have not said otherwise.

  6. More crazies exploiting the tragedy for political purposes. Less contemptible here, though, given in this instance it’s not being done by leftards:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2011/01/11/tea-party-express-calls-jared-lee-loughner-liberal-fundraises-off-of-media-slander.aspx

  7. Okay, I’ve been regaling myself on the sunny south coast of SA so not totally up with this issue, but it’s fairly clear that Jared Loughner has some severe mental health issues and any “side” trying to score political points from this tragedy can go and royally fuck themselves.

    I resume holidays now….

  8. I get the impression that a majority of politicians aren’t attracted to careers in politics because they feel the need to “serve” their fellow citizens, but mainly because they have their own ideas about how others should live and behave and want the power to impose their views via state authority. And if need be, exercise the state’s monopoly on violence to bring society into line.

    One has to ask oneself just how much brain does it take to join the dots? Politicians in a nation of gun lovers, using phrases such as reload, aim, shoot, look all surprised when nutcases go out and aim, shoot and reload. Palin is just one example, and the case against her using crosshairs and violent rhetoric is not, as SB claims, lefty hysteria in response to the Tucson shooting, but a point of concern and criticised ever since the day she published the map last year March.

    Giffords’ GOP opponent in the last election, Jesse Kelly, also didn’t mince his words:

    […] Jesse Kelly, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to be bothered in the least by the Sarah Palin controversy earlier this year, when she released a list of targeted races in crosshairs, urging followers to “reload” and “aim” for Democrats. Critics said she was inciting violence.

    He seems to be embracing his fellow tea partier’s idea. Kelly’s campaign event website has a stern-looking photo of the former Marine in military garb holding his weapon. It includes the headline: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.” […]

    Unless Loughner openly admits in court to having shot those people because he saw Palin’s or Kelly’s websites and understood them as instructions to go on a rampage taking out Giffords, it will always be anyone’s guess if their language was a contributing factor in Loughner going ape. But seeing how commercial advertising works largely on a subliminal level, as in people buying a brand today as a result of having heard or seen an ad for it the week before without actually consciously having focused on it and possibly not even remembering the ad, the question has to be asked to what extend aggressive language by politicians and shock jocks does increase the likelihood of some mental dwarf “getting the message” and shooting up political opponents.

    With high ranking US pols like Palin and Huckabee calling for the execution of Julian Assange, and media personalities like ignoramus Limbaugh requesting for Assange to be assassinated, (see also WL’s press release on the Tucson shooting), is it possible to argue in all seriousness that in the event someone does kill Assange, those public calls for his murder had nothing to do with it?

  9. “is it possible to argue in all seriousness that in the event someone does kill Assange, those public calls for his murder had nothing to do with it?”

    It’s a dense argument you propose above juanmoment, and I’m on holidays so I’ll just address this last bit. Surely a “sane” assassin motivated by web based calls for murder would target the “target” and not randomly shoot innocent bystanders, including a 9 year old girl. As I stated above, Loughner was clearly off the planet.

  10. Wow you guys rock.

  11. I partially agree with Stweart, but think it was all a bit ‘what can you do – some people are crazy’.

    But I don’t think it’s too hard to indientify causal factors. Sure, there are genuinely disturbed people out there – but that is true everywhere.

    What is clear is that those disturbed individuals will reflect the culture and circumstances of their society.

    By way of comparison, a politician was murdered in Sweden 8 years ago. The perosn responsible, psychiarically disturbed, carried a knife and cliamed the voices in his head told him to do it.

    In Arizona, where the gun laws allow pretty much any one to cary a concealed weapon anytime, anywhere, chose to take a semi-automatic pistol with him.

    But it’s not just the availability of guns that is the issue, it is the propensity for violence in combination with the availability of weapons and and culture around them that is an issue. And that propensity for violence, is, with a fair degree of evidence, due to the high level of inequality in US society. That isn’t due to polititical culture, so much as a general cultural attittude.

    So Stewart is partially right, but ignores the substantial issue which is what kind of society do poeple want in the US.

  12. The good news is that this incident, and the media response, will hopefully cause the nutters like Angle, Palin and Beck to pull back from their inflammatory, violent and extremist rhetoric.

    Regardless of whether there is any link between the shooting and the climate of fear and hate that’s been fostered by these idiots this can only be a good result for the health of US politics and society.

  13. “Angle is clearly a nutter. Her statement is contemptible. I have not said otherwise.”

    True, you haven’t said otherwise. Trouble is, you haven’t said that either, not until you were prompted to do so. You never do.

  14. Splatterbottom

    What a weird comment bloods. Sharon Angle wasn’t previously mentioned in this thread at all. Was I supposed to anticipate that buns was going to come up with some particular example and pre-emptively comment on it?

  15. The issue of violent rhetoric has been extensively canvassed, but your focus has been entirely on attacking those who see a connection between it and this particular act of violence. You have had nothing to say by way of criticism of those who, like Palin and Angle and the Tea Party idiots, use metaphors of force and violence in the context of political debate. I’m sure you don’t see yourself as partisan – your commitment to pragmatic, open-minded centrism is entirely sincere – but you are.

  16. Splatterbottom

    Bloods, you criticsed me on this thread for not responding to a comment that hadn’t even been made. You completely screwed up with that line of attack, and now you are twisting in the wind.

  17. It’s interesting how a few here conclude in such a cock-sure way that there can be no possible connection between the action of a disturbed person and violence of this time and the hate filled violent rhetoric of – in this instance – the red neck right. I have already pointed to a psychiatrists view in another thread that it can.

    mond rock, as for the red neck right lowering the hateful tone, I’ll believe it when I see it. Most of those discussed here are zealots with a religious like fanaticism. Limbaugh is as red neck as ever post the tragedy.

    Just as a side issue, has anyone noted that gun sales in Arizona have gone up dramatically post the tragedy. What is the matter with that country?

    Link

  18. Just noted the link is showing an error. If you remove the ” in the address bar it will take you there.

  19. Splatterbottom

    Autonomy all the links in this thread have worked for me. Which one are you referring to?

  20. There is a preceding post of mine that is still “awaiting moderation” SB. Not sure why.

  21. Splatterbottom

    Ah, now I see it.

    I have seen stories about the sorts of things that may trigger violence in loonies, and I can understand psychiatrists talking about the effect of violent video games and the like (which I think is BS anyway) but I haven’t seen anything about political rhetoric being a likely trigger. further, is there any point in taking action unless we go the whole way and get rid of all cultural endorsements or depictions of violence?

    And why do you keep on with this as though it is a one-sided issue? Can’t you find anything other than conservative rhetoric?

  22. Can’t you find anything other than conservative rhetoric?

    He probably could, but it would be fairly old and therefore of questionable significance to the current tragedy we’ve been discussing, which involved a Democrat being shot in the context of numerous instances of violent rhetoric by conservative politicians and their fans in the media and generally over the last two/three years.

    More importantly, as you documented in the other thread, one metaphor from Obama aside (“we bring guns”), Democrats – politicians, that is – don’t tend to do violent rhetoric like Republicans. Just off the top of my head, from Republican politicans there’s Angle’s “2nd Amendment remedies/take Harry Reid out”, Jesse Kelly’s “shoot an M16 and get on target to remove Giffords”, the crosshairs map, Palin’s “don’t retreat – reload”, etc. I’m sure I could find more examples easily. What have Democrat politicians done and said to compare to that? If it is just the “we bring guns” metaphor from Obama, you are going to be pushing it uphill with your attempts at false equivalency, except among people who share your obvious pro-conservative bias. It is one thing to cite examples of poor-taste gags by a few comedians, but it is laughable to suggest they’re comparable to the rhetoric of politicians.

  23. And why do you keep on with this as though it is a one-sided issue? Can’t you find anything other than conservative rhetoric?

    There is, of course, violent and inappropriate rhetoric from both sides, however the examples from the Left seem to be little more than one-off and isolated outbursts as opposed to the deliberate and ongoing campaign to frame the public debate in militaristic terms being waged by the Tea Party crowd.

    I think people are generally willing to forgive an emotional outburst, but less so to forgive what appears to be a deliberate campaign to frame modern-day political discourse in the language of violent revolution.

  24. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “What have Democrat politicians done and said to compare to that? “

    This is from a Democrat politician in October 2010:

    That [Republican candidate Rick Scott] down there that’s running for governor of Florida, instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him

    Mondo, you shouldn’t use the word “campaign” it has militaristic overtones. Seriously, you are grasping at straws here. Both sides in politics use militaristic terms, they both use target maps, and one Dem even claimed to have invented them.

    I support Stewart’s call for more civility in politics. Personally I think it makes SFA difference when it comes to crazies with guns, and I don’t think we should ban free speech to accommodate crazies. Better manners would be nice but ultimately the voters will get the behaviour they demand of their representatives.

  25. “… now you are twisting in the wind”

    Yeah, whatever you reckon SB. Your own position vis-a-vis the breeze would seem to be open to a similar interpretation. This one is priceless: “further, is there any point in taking action unless we go the whole way and get rid of all cultural endorsements or depictions of violence?”

    What we are discussing here is the connection between harsh, violent metaphors in political speech and actual violence and viciousness in political discourse. I don’t see anybody talking about “taking action”. You seem to be hinting at the idea that people are proposing to limit free speech. No-one here is suggesting that, and I haven’t heard it from any of the critics of the Palin crowd. What I have heard is people questioning the wisdom of this kind of political “debate”, this take-no-prisoners style of campaigning. You seem to have a problem with that.

    You seem intent on denying any connection between what people say and what they do. If anyone is trying to stifle debate, it’s the Rush Limbaughs and Andrew Bolts who are trying, laughably, to depict Palin & co as victims of a cruel campaign of vilification.

  26. “Better manners would be nice but ultimately the voters will get the behaviour they demand of their representatives.”

    So let’s fucking demand it and stop justifying their appalling behaviour as you appear intent on doing! And furthermore, it’s far more than manners, it’s the thinking, the ideas behind what they say and do. Stop trivilaising it.

  27. Both sides in politics use militaristic terms, they both use target maps, and one Dem even claimed to have invented them.

    You’re ignoring (deliberately?) the distinction I’ve drawn between one-off uses of militaristic and violent language and those with a clear agenda to deliberately inject violent revolutionary language into the political discourse. This distinction explains why Palin/Angle/Beck are criticised while other politicians (both GOP and Democrat alike) who have done this only occasionally are not.

    Obviously it suits your ideological purposes to ignore this distinction. I think you’re doing yourself a disservice there, but self-deception is your prerogative.

    I support Stewart’s call for more civility in politics.

    Clearly you therefore agree that the Tea Party’s use of violent revolutionary language to frame domestic political disagreement should be both criticised and discouraged.

    Great to hear that we’re back on the same page.

  28. Splatterbottom

    So tell me bloods what was the “the thinking, the ideas” behind the attempts to connect Palin to the murder?

  29. Splatterbottom wrote:
    “Ah, now I see it.

    I have seen stories about the sorts of things that may trigger violence in loonies, and I can understand psychiatrists talking about the effect of violent video games and the like (which I think is BS anyway) but I haven’t seen anything about political rhetoric being a likely trigger. further, is there any point in taking action unless we go the whole way and get rid of all cultural endorsements or depictions of violence?

    And why do you keep on with this as though it is a one-sided issue? Can’t you find anything other than conservative rhetoric?

    I’ve recently spent some time in the States and I couldn’t find a current day left commentator of the ilk of Angle, Hannity, Beck, Palin, Limbaugh, O’Reilly et al. Commentators who day-in-day-out use the media to spread vitriol, liberally sprinkled with unfounded claims. We all have our biases so maybe I’ve missed them. You source them for me. Not cherry picking a quote as some have from Obama. People who make a living spreading hyperbole and vitriol day-in-day-out.

    The psychiatrist I referred to wasn’t talking about video games, he specifically referred to “language”. You really are a past master at misrepresenting and cherry picking. The person I quoted is a qualified medical practitioner who specialises in the trauma field. Yet you cock-sure amateurs continue to suggest there is no plausible evidence of a connection between a troubled mind and hate filled rhetoric. Truth is, as Jon Stewart put it, “You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on”.

  30. “So tell me bloods what was the “the thinking, the ideas” behind the attempts to connect Palin to the murder?”

    Too general a question to answer specifically because you haven’t pointed to a specific allegation.

    So to offer a general answer to a very general question, my reading of the overall commentary on this was that people were responding to a very genuine concern about the dreadful polarisation that has occurred in US politics, especially since the election of Obama, and suggesting that this tragedy had to be seen, at least in part, in the context of the violent language and imagery that had become commonplace in recent times.

    Palin is a prominent exponent of this style of politics, her website used gun imagery in reference to Giffords among others, Giffords herself referred some months ago to the need to think about the “consequences” of such imagery, so the connection with Palin was a pretty obvious one, and her refusal and the refusal of her supporters to accept any share of the responsibility seems to me quite reprehensible, especially coming from conservatives who place personal responsibility at the centre of their moral system.

  31. People who make a living spreading hyperbole and vitriol day-in-day-out.

    That is (of course) the very real distinction between the isolated examples of left-wing figures making ill-advised public calls to violence, and the protracted and deliberate campaign by Fox commentators to frame modern-day politics as a battle potentially requiring a violent revolutionary response.

    But it’s not a distinction SB will be willing to recognise. It better suits his political priorities to insist on a false equivalence where none exists.

  32. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “You’re ignoring (deliberately?) the distinction I’ve drawn between one-off uses of militaristic and violent language and those with a clear agenda to deliberately inject violent revolutionary language into the political discourse.”

    That is because the distinction is specious. The fact that you make it is merely evidence of your partisan view of the world.

    Autonomy: “The psychiatrist I referred to wasn’t talking about video games, he specifically referred to “language”. “

    That isn’t what you said in your post on the other thread. There you referred to “the themes, language and images of popular culture.” What studies has your much vaunted psychiatrist done on political language and its effect on psycho-killers?

    Beck is not so bad, but you forgot to mention my favourite conservative nutcase Ann Coulter. But if you want to see hateful demented leftists in the US just watch Olbermann or Matthews or MSNBC generally.

    “The person I quoted is a qualified medical practitioner who specialises in the trauma field. “

    Very unimpressive. Lots of doctors have lots of opinions on issues, and they are not all the same opinions. And you also referred to Bruce Shapiro who is so stupid and so leftist that he gets a regular spot on LNL, Phil Adams’ publicly-funded leftist propaganda show on the ABC.

    Bloods: “Palin was a pretty obvious one, and her refusal and the refusal of her supporters to accept any share of the responsibility seems to me quite reprehensible, especially coming from conservatives who place personal responsibility at the centre of their moral system.”

    What responsibility? There is no evidence of any connection between anything Palin has said or done and Loughner’s actions. None. By peddling this vile lie you are playing partisan politics with a tragic situation. It’s sickening to see you sink so low.

  33. Before everyone attributes connections between the mainstream right and this kids actions is it worth wondering whether or not burning the flag and calling America a terrorist country was a big fuck you to the right? (And/or the left and for that matter the centre.)

  34. That is because the distinction is specious.

    Then you will, of course, be able to provide examples of a similar protracted campaign to frame modern poltical disagreement in violent revolutionary language. Such an example would support your assertion that this sort of behaviour is not limited to the current Fox News crop, and would demonstrate my partisan blindness.

    Failure to provide such an example would, of course, demonstrate that you’re talking out your arse again.

  35. My dear Splatter,
    So my challenge was to name left leaning commentators who day-in-day-out spew hateful vitriol and the best you can come up with is Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. You’re kidding! Neither fits the hateful or dangerous category. In fact Keith Olbermann regularly talks of violence and threats as having no place in a democracy ‘F’

    You query my use of ‘language’ as a possible issue in relation to the affect on a troubled mind, yet include it in the quote. ‘F’

    I challenge your pop psychological assertion of there being no possible connection between the actions of a person with a troubled mind and the political and cultural environment of the times by quoting someone who is actually qualified in the trauma field and you – as someone who isn’t – follow the usual pattern of the person with no substantive case by pressing the “discredit” button. ’F’

    Of course doctors have varying opinions on the impact of the environment in these matters. That’s my point. You and your rank amateurs assert there is no plausible evidence of a connection. I’m saying it’s not black and white. We can’t be sure. There are areas of grey. Sheesh! ’F’

    And you’ve really given yourself up. Beck is “not so bad”. He’s a four star moron who only red necks with a closed mind or those who don’t have a full set of functioning neurones would do other than laugh at. ’F’

  36. That is because the distinction is specious. The fact that you make it is merely evidence of your partisan view of the world.

    You skipped over the reasoning that led you to this conclusion.

  37. You can always tell SB is losing it when the anti-ABC hyperbole starts flowing. Beck is not so bad. You are peddling vile lies. Blah blah blah. It’s fucking pointless talking to you, I don’t know why I bother.

  38. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, the point is that you have adduced no evidence to support your premise of a “campaign”. All I’ve seen is a few quotes ranging from the disgusting to the spurious, coming from both sides. I haven’t seen anything that amounts to a ‘campaign’. All you are doing is giving your biased opinion and playing partisan politics.

    Autonomy: “In fact Keith Olbermann regularly talks of violence and threats as having no place in a democracy “

    That is merely evidence that he is a hypocrite.

    “You query my use of ‘language’ as a possible issue in relation to the affect on a troubled mind, yet include it in the quote.”

    I didn’t query your use of language. You asserted that I was wrong to answer you with a reference to video games when you were talking about language. I gave you the full quote back which referred to “ the themes, language and images of popular culture” which certainly includes video games. Don’t make stuff up. Just admit it when you are wrong.

    “your pop psychological assertion of there being no possible connection between the actions of a person with a troubled mind and the political and cultural environment of the times “

    I didn’t say that. I have consistently said that in this case there is no evidence of a connection between what Palin (or Angle or Beck) said and Loughner’s actions.

    “You and your rank amateurs assert there is no plausible evidence of a connection .. “

    What I said is that there is no evidence of a connection between between Palin and Loughner’s actions. Are you saying that is assertion is wrong? Or are you claiming that I said that there is no plausible evidence of a connection between “the themes, language and images of popular culture” and the actions of psycho-killers? In which case you are wrong again.

    Buns see my reply to Mondo above.

  39. Splatterbottom

    Bloods I don’t understand on what basis you expect Palin to take any responsibility for Giffords’ shooting. There just isn’t a logical argument for that. Am I misunderstanding you here?

  40. “Am I misunderstanding you here?”

    No, you’re misunderstanding the logic of the argument. Good night.

  41. re: Palin

    The crosshairs on the democratic seats is forgiveably metaphorical.

    “Don’t retreat, re-load.” as a slogan/sound bite?

    I think that is crossing a line.

  42. Splatterbottom

    What logic?

  43. My dear Splatter,

    Rather than once again picking through another of your posts that shifts ground, misrepresents and reaches odd conclusions – Keith Olbermann being a hypocrite for sustaining a non-violent stance for instance – I thought I’d drag some responses from today in relation to your position positions. Note the common theme.

    buns3000 wrote:

    You skipped over the reasoning that led you to this conclusion

    bloods05 wrote:

    No, you’re misunderstanding the logic of the argument. Good night.
    mondo rock wrote:

    You’re ignoring (deliberately?) the distinction I’ve drawn between one-off uses of militaristic and violent …….

  44. I don’t think you can make a clear link between Palin and this event, despite the fact that it intuitively seems there should be one given what she and others on the right say.

    America and violence are two strangely intertwined things. What was that post about again? Oh yeah:

    –>Boy would it be nice to be able to draw a straight line of causation from this horror to something tangible, because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stopped this, the horrors would end.

    There’s too much searching for premature certainty in this. Cos of what Stewart said above.

  45. Forgive me if I’m off topic, but I’ve only skimmed this thread (I can’t be arsed reading swathes of Splat’s stuff, it’s too predictable).
    However, to test the “both sides do it” hypothesis, can anybody point to incidents of leftards openly wearing their weapons to public meetings in the manner of the teapots?
    It’s probably a failing on my part, but I can’t think of any.

  46. Splatterbottom

    Zoot, have a look at Obama supporter and former terrorist Bill Ayers. He was a leftist who described himself as “guilty as hell, free as a bird”.

  47. To be fair to you SB, the reason you have failed to produce any examples of mainstream or left-of-centre commenters or politicians drenching their day to day rhetoric with references to guns, the military and ‘enemies’ trying to destroy the republic (like your favoured Fox news crowd does day in and day out) is because it’s an impossible task.

    The mainstream press and politicians just don’t do it, and they don’t do it for a very simple and logical reason: such language doesn’t appeal to their target audience. They’d be crazy to soak their language in violent gun-based imagery because anyone not of the lunatic Right doesn’t react well to that sort of thing. It really is as simple as that, and I apologise for setting you what is, on reflection, a clearly unobtainable target.

    The brilliance of Fox News is that it is a business venture specifically targeted to fill a niche market in news opinion: the market of the (previously neglected) insane Right. Say what you will about the moral or social sensibilities of doing this, but in the end it’s all irrelevant because Fox makes money on this model – lots of money.

    But don’t deny the reality of this model and the politicians that feed off it. That just makes you look like a recalcitrant fool.

  48. Splatterbottom

    Autonomy, Olbermann said of Hilary Clinton that the Democrats need someone “who can take her into a room and only he comes out.” Perhaps you might tell me if that is not hypocritical, given Olbermann’s condemnation of violent rhetoric. Also, I quoted Matthews cheer-leading violence on the other thread.

    But don’t worry old chap. Your selective outrage on this issue won’t diminish you in leftist circles. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.

  49. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, the examples of violent leftist rhetoric punctuate this and the other thread. It is pointless reiterating them if you just ignore them.

    The reason Fox comprehensively outrates its rivals is indeed because it serves a demographic ignored by the MSM – the middle ground who want fair and balanced reporting.

  50. Jules,

    The thing is we can’t be sure there’s no connection between tipping a troubled mind over the edge when he/she is subjected to an unrelenting stream of hate filled hysteria. Best to err on the side of caution and reduce that sort of fanaticism, don’t you think?

  51. “fair and balanced reporting.”

    Are you insane or dishonest? I’m picking both.

    On Obama’s recent trip to India Fox News repeated, over and over that two carrier groups had been diverted to protect him and the trip was costing $120 million per day. This was utterly false. However you maintain that Fox are fair and balanced.

    I guess you’re a Sun Reader and a Fox watcher.. LOL

  52. “MSM”

    You sound just like the Boltards… “The MSM is BAD” and everything Bolt rails against, even though he writes for the biggest selling newspaper (the MSM)

    What is you’re warped, rightard definition of the MSM SB?

  53. “MSM”

    You sound just like the idiotic, frothing Boltards… “The MSM is BAD” and everything Bolt rails against is the MSM, even though he writes for the biggest selling newspaper (the MSM)

    What is your warped, rightard definition of the MSM SB?

  54. RobJ,

    You need to keep in mind that 99% of what SB writes is simply to provoke.
    And I’m not saying that he doesn’t believe such drivel, just pointing out why he says it.

  55. It’d be foolish to try to compare the scale of the rhetoric cos obviously the crazy scumfucks win on that count. No one can deny the stuff they say is dangerous and odious and far far more extreme than the voices on the left.

    Not if they have a hard look at it.

    There are some voices on the right that are moderate, but the overwhelming chorus at the moments is one of aggro and metaphors that are directly related to political violence. But if you don’t think Obama joking about predator drones and the Jonas brothers (one of whom was 17 btw,) “you’ll never see it coming.”

    Sure it was a joke. And recently a dude in pakistan was shot for suggesting people shouldn’t die for having an opinion and the temerity to speak it.

    No doubt people think there is no link between that and there probably isn’t a “direct” one, after all Obama made that joke nearly a year ago.

    Anyway offensive violent language isn’t the exclusive territory of the right. They just spend alot more time there.

    BTW There is an example of that sort of language directly inspiring actual murder in the US tho. Exactly that language used by the Beckists and their ilk, and murder – carried out by agents of the state. In the context of AS’s second amendment solutions.

    Anyone interested?

    Probably not.

  56. “Best to err on the side of caution and reduce that sort of fanaticism, don’t you think?”

    Best to err on the side of caution when the last message the said “troubled mind” left was one that included burning a flag, calling America a terrorist country and playing the sort of music that would drive anyone to murder. Especially if you are trying to link him to the political right.

    Bit of an elephant in the room that one. Hard to get around.

    I mean if people want to use this to attack Palin and the other twits regardless of the facts thats their choice. I won’t tho. No political outcome is worth that. That what progressive politics and social justice and all the rest are actually about. (Whatever people use them wrt their personal agendas.)

    Stopping that sort of behaviour dead in its tracks, cos its an abuse of power and its actually what the fascists do.

    You know – the “bad guys.”

    This is a matter of principle that is so important I don’t think people realise the implications for ALL sides of politics.

    Besides this shit has been happening for a while now. Actually. There’s a murder trial going on now that deals with something thats more appropriate to the claim being made, and stands a greater chance of actually showing a link between the words of arseholes and the actions of other (not crazy) dangerous violent arseholes.

    But hey it didn’t involve a privileged politician and a conservative judge (who helped destroy the Clinton law that might have actually kept him alive last week,) so no one actually gives a fuck.

    Pardon me if I’m cynical about all of this but where was the outcry when John Williams was murdered on the street in full view of the public?

    (Who? says everyone.)

  57. Why canm’t these clownish nihilistic nutjobs listen to something good, like Godflesh.

  58. Splatterbottom

    Or Carcass for their guitar virtuosity. Nothing better than a good refreshing blast of metal to improve the mood.

  59. Mondo, the examples of violent leftist rhetoric punctuate this and the other thread. It is pointless reiterating them if you just ignore them.

    Stop being deliberately stupid SB.

    It has been pointed out to you over and over again that the examples you provide (while objectionable in their own right) are neither evidence of a prolonged pattern of such language, nor a deliberate and ongoing attempt to inject gun-culture and violent revolutionary language into mainstream political discourse.

    You have failed to identify anything like this emanating from the mainstream press, and will continue to do so for the reasons noted above. But I’ve long ago given up on forcing you to face reality so feel free to just go on asserting a false equivalence.

    And as for your deluded assertion that Fox’s target audience is “the middle ground” – well, you’ve spun off into la la land now.

  60. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, you haven’t provided any evidence that distinguishes the comments from one side to those of the other.

    “We bring guns” or “put him against the wall and shoot him” are as bad as gets. Further, a lot of the examples I gave earlier were criticised as invalid because they happened some years ago so there goes your ‘prolonged’ excuse.

    And you have absolutely no evidence that any group planned in any organised way to use militaristic or revolutionary language which has been used by all sides of politics for as long as I can remember.

  61. Jules,

    We are all well aware of your black and white view on the Arizona tragedy. If only it were that simple. My question was more general in nature. If we aren’t sure of the affect violent rhetoric has on a troubled mind, don’t you think it’s better to err on the side of caution and work toward lowering the volume?

    There are more right wing para military groups in America now than at any time in its history. Is that of concern to you?

    Have a gander at the story in the following link. Is that of any concern to you?
    http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/2815/

    Try and raise your sights above the shocking Gabrielle Gifford assassination attempt as no one yet knows the full story as to why he snapped when he did.

  62. Further, a lot of the examples I gave earlier were criticised as invalid because they happened some years ago so there goes your ‘prolonged’ excuse.

    Prolonged does not mean “happened some years ago”, it means of extended duration. I have no idea why you’re being so dense on this but what has been repeatedly asked of you is evidence of an ongoing pattern of incendiary rhetoric using gun/military imagery and ‘defence of the republic from its enemies’ language from Left-wing commentators or polititians.

    The best you can provide is one-offs, followed by total evasion when this is pointed out to you. This is yet another fail on your part.

    But as I noted above, it’s an unfair request on you because Left-wing commentators and politicians clearly would not benefit from prolonged use of the ‘go get your guns’ rhetoric of Palin and the Fox News nuts. Their target audience is generally opposed to gun rights and military adventure and everybody knows it.

    Common sense dictates that I have set you an impossible task. Again, my apologies for that.

  63. SB personally I think the predator drone was about as callous as it gets, but to lay that at the feet of Obama alone is probably not accurate.

    Honestly, if you can’t see the danger of that rhetoric then thats you. Its one thing to try and separate the rhetoric of the right from the general background noise of American violence. Thats not an accurate assessment at all. At least Olbermann acknowledged that, tho I’m cynical about him. many others have too.

    What is a seperate issue is the way the nature of violence to bring about political change appears to be a meme thats is being pushed hard by the mainstreamish right in the US. Now that may be symbolic for most people, but I personally think Palin and her crew are sitting there wondering how far they can push it, and if they take their time, if they can push it all the way.

    That may be extreme, but no more extreme in the than Palin and Co in the context of US politics.

  64. Do we? autonomy1.

    OK? You might cos you read one blog, and in particular one thread, but the rest of the world does too? I doubt that.

    “If we aren’t sure of the affect violent rhetoric has on a troubled mind, don’t you think it’s better to err on the side of caution and work toward lowering the volume?”

    D’uh, if you’re so aware of my views on this how come you haven’t processed that piece of info. I did think I’d made that clear many times from the very first comment I ever made on this issue anywhere.

    There were bucketloads of rhetoric (and demonstrably false claims) coming from the so called left on this issue from moment one, and I have been objecting to it from moment one for precisely that reason. And now you are throwing it back in my face cos of your perception that whats “violent” is somehow separate from all the rest?

    Isn’t that what I just hassled SB about?

    (Well no its the complete opposite actually but anyway – think about it and you might make the connection.)

    Anyway autonomy1 wrt the shooting in Tuscon, perhaps can you answer me a question, since autonomy seems to be important to you and since you are obviously so aware of my views.

    You must know about a certain police officer being tried for a certain murder charge in a certain US city? (As we “speak” if the courts open.)

    Whats the difference?

    Cheers.

  65. What is a seperate issue is the way the nature of violence to bring about political change appears to be a meme thats is being pushed hard by the mainstreamish right in the US.

    Don’t waste your breath jules. SB refuses to see that meme.

  66. Cheers mondo. I got another comment that you mightn’t have seen yet, and it kind of argues something that might be seen as similar to what SB is sayng, if you looked at a few words and didn’t put them together right.

    I think the implications of that violent rhetoric aren’t as serious as most people here think they are.

    I think they are far worse and can can make a fairly sound argument for it actually.

  67. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Prolonged does not mean “happened some years ago”, it means of extended duration. “

    Nice debating point. The fact is that the Dems have said egregious things over a long period of time. You still haven’t listed any facts to back up your contention, just vague generalisations. To do the analysis you would have had to look hard at all relevant statements of both sides and draw some conclusion from that. There is no evidence that you have did anything like that before joining the braying back of donkeys. If you have actually compiled all relevant statements from the left, I’d like to see it. If not you are just making shit up.

    Jules: “What is a seperate issue is the way the nature of violence to bring about political change appears to be a meme thats is being pushed hard by the mainstreamish right in the US.”

    About the only thing along those lines was the Angle quote, which was a disgusting comment whether she was being serious or not.

    And you should remember that the left has a long history of promoting revolutionary violence – like the now respectable Bill Ayers, or Obama appointee Van Jones and his calls to revolution or Obama appointee Anita Dunn naming the mass-murderer Mao as her favourite philosopher, or frequent White House visitor Andy Stern’s who said “we prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work we use the persuasion of power”.

    What we have so far in this debate is an attempt to pin Lughner’s actions to Palin. That was discredited along with the disgusting turds who made the allegation. Then it was suggested that the wider climate of violent political rhetoric was the cause. That thesis was also discredited by a total lack of evidence. Then there was a wider discussion about violent political rhetoric with the rusted ideologues on the left unable to see any fault on their side. And when clearly violent statements of leftist politicians were rubbed in their faces we have the Mondo spin of “when we do it it is one off but when they do it it is a conspiracy” without presenting a shred of evidence.

  68. “The reason Fox comprehensively outrates its rivals is indeed because it serves a demographic ignored by the MSM – the middle ground who want fair and balanced reporting.”

    Honestly, why do any of us bother to discuss politics with someone so out of touch with reality as to claim that FoxNews is “fair and balanced”? Complete laughable. Whatever credibility you might’ve had you just gave up with that one sentence, SB. And you have the temerity to accuse others of being partisan. What a joke you are.

  69. Jules – as a bit of a libertarian I actually don’t have a problem with violent rhetoric per-se, although I do hold those who would seek to inject it into day-to-day political speech purely as a political or corporate marketing technique in very low regard.

    It gives me some satisfaction to see them now scrambling to distance themselves from their own idiotic words.

  70. Buns,
    And don’t forget that the loony tune Beck is “not so bad”. It’s no bad thing to get opposing opinions though even if they are more amusing than credible.

  71. Now that Caribou Barbie has spectacularly flamed-out, time to buy a t-shirt

    And although slightly of topic, hate speech is not just a problem in US politics.

  72. Mondo,
    What exactly is the upside of personally directed violent rhetoric?

  73. For SB, a classic Beck original:

    Hang on, let me just tell you what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus — band — Do, and I’ve lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, “Yeah, I’d kill Michael Moore,” and then I’d see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I’d realize, “Oh, you wouldn’t kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn’t choke him to death.” And you know, well, I’m not sure.

    Have a fabulous weekend people.

  74. Don’t start with van Jones again Watermelon man. 😛 Lets not go there.

    I’m not just talking about her. I have “friends”, online entities I assume are people, with whom I’ve maintained relationships over many years. Some of these people are Americans, some who were involved with the Tea party at times, tho no longer want anything to do with it. We don’t always agree on politics. The idea of violent poltical action, the sort that once belonged to the militia fantasies, is something that can be openly talked about at a tea party meeting and people won’t shout it down. Once it was a disparate movement.

    Some people from the psycho militia side of US politics have found a place in that movement and its not a good thing. They are gettin their volent fantasies legitimised and pushing the rhetoric further in the process.

    You’ll have to take this on trust tho. There is a guy I know in Texas who claims the original tea party started there, as a libertarian, left and right, and far left movement concerned with ending the war on drugs and the corporate power that held Washington in its grip. Round Austin of course, which is different to many parts of Texas. For example/. And I dunno if you remember the “guns and drugs” party from about 10 years ago. It was a Californian libertarian movement. US politics is pretty far out on the fringes.

    Anyway, I’d be willing to bet that there are many more examples of tea party associated violent political talk than just hers.

    autonomy1

    I have an answer to these completely false allegations but its stuck in moderation. In case you were wondering. This is actually smearing me and attributing things to me that I haven’t done. Its the complete opposite of what I have done and its totally inaccurate. Thanks for that.

    “We are all well aware of your black and white view on the Arizona tragedy. If only it were that simple.”

    “Try and raise your sights above the shocking Gabrielle Gifford assassination attempt as no one yet knows the full story as to why he snapped when he did.”

  75. What exactly is the upside of personally directed violent rhetoric?

    Only the satisfaction of knowing that, in a free country, you can say whatever you want so long as it doesn’t infringe on another’s rights.

    Inciting violence towards someone, however, crosses an obvious line.

  76. Thanks Mondo,
    As someone who’s supportive of Liberty Victoria I note they are showing some concern about the increase in the use of offensive language in public – if I’m reading their position correctly.

    Jules,
    I’m not sure what you’re on about. I wasn’t attributing anything to you if you’re referring to the general questions I posed. Merely seeking your views.

  77. I wasn’t attributing anything to you if you’re referring to the general questions I posed. Merely seeking your views.

    Well you are either aware “of my black and white views” or you aren’t. And since they are not tho you claim they are, well obviously you are not.

    Therefore saying they are “black and white” is false, and not just accidently false cos if you were aware of my actual views you’d be aware that there is one thing I am “black and white” about and thats one aspect of the way people interpreted this event.

    It was in fact that the rhetoric on the left that was raising the volume in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and I objected to that. I have never kept this at the level of what happened in Arizona but in fact constantly tried to place it in a variety of wider of contexts.

    If you aren’t sure what I’m on about then you should have a careful think about what you type. I answered your questions at 12.45 but you can’t see the answer yet. I dunno or care if you ever do but twice now you’ve made inaccurate comments about my attitude and I’m over it.

    Telling me to “try and raise my sights” in the context of a mass shooting where a nine year old child was killed is particularly offensive.

  78. Jules,

    Talk about overreaction.

    What I meant by black and white was your opinion that there was no connection between cause and effect in the Arizona tragedy and that the criticism of Palin was unreasonable. My reading of those comments and others along the way was that you saw no reason to connect the violence perpetrated in Arizona with the fear and vitriol of the extreme right that currently pervades the political scene in the States.

    My point was that there are huge areas of grey when considering what happened in Arizona and why it happened. Furthermore, in considering that tragedy it would be instructive to look at the wider picture which would include what is occurring politically in the States presently.

    As the latest edition of The Atlantic put it:

    We don’t know why the Tucson killer did what he did. If he is like Sirhan, we’ll never “understand.” But we know that it has been a time of extreme, implicitly violent political rhetoric and imagery, including SarahPac’s famous bulls-eye map of 20 Congressional targets to be removed — including Rep. Giffords. It is legitimate to discuss whether there is a connection between that tone and actual outbursts of violence, whatever the motivations of this killer turn out to be.

    I don’t like seeing anyone as upset as you seem to be. So if my reading of your position is not correct. Or the way I put it offended your sensibility I regret that.

  79. “It’s interesting how a few here conclude in such a cock-sure way that there can be no possible connection between the action of a disturbed person and violence of this time and the hate filled violent rhetoric of – in this instance – the red neck right.”

    I’m not a redneck from the right and all I’m pointing out is that someone who leaves their … well I’ve said it all before. This is the sort of dishonest crap I expect from Bolt or Ackerman after the floods.

    “Try and raise your sights above the shocking Gabrielle Gifford assassination attempt…”

    I didn’t type that.

  80. And I find it rather unsettling that someone who would call for the moderation of language especially cos it may have led to said shooting did.

  81. Perhaps you have taken some of my general comments personally. Not to mention misinterpreted many. Anyhooo, I’m comfortable with the position I’ve taken on this tragedy. If you’re not, well…….

  82. Did you actually read you typed?

    Talk about off.

    “Not to mention misinterpreted many.”

    Perhaps we both misinterpreted each other, cos I feel the same way. In future I’ll try not to do that cos it obviously doesn’t help a productive discussion.

  83. “RobJ,

    You need to keep in mind that 99% of what SB writes is simply to provoke.
    And I’m not saying that he doesn’t believe such drivel, just pointing out why he says it”

    nawagad, regardless, on the one hand he reckons he’s a centrist yet he’s now on the record here telling us he believes Fox’s bullshit tag line that they’re ‘fair and balanced’? All the while slagging off the MSM (LOL – Just like a Boltard!)

    He claims to be open minded yet he subscribes to Catholicism and ALL the nonsense, bigotry and narrow mindedness that entails.

    Then again it is entertaining to watch the rightard continually embarrass himself.

  84. “What I meant by black and white was your opinion that there was no connection between cause and effect in the Arizona tragedy and that the criticism of Palin was unreasonable.” – Autonomy1

    Ok that may be a good place to start. I offer this in the interests of us understanding each other and not wasting calories on useless aggro when we probably agree on the fundamental points.

    Criticism of Palin and her Tea Party is one thing. I’m all for doing that vocally and as often as possible. Provided we don’t make the mistake of drawing an inaccurate or potentially questionable link and using that as the basis for what would otherwise be valid criticism.

    I don’t think you can say there was no connection between JLLs actions and the Rhetoric of Palin and Co. But I think it is unsafe at this moment to raise that connection as the definitive driver of his actions.

    I wonder if both the rhetoric of the likes of Angle and the actions of the Tuscon killer are more likely to stem from the same place (ie the craziness of 21st century US culture,) and branch out in different directions. I don’t think there is a linear pathway from the general violence of American society (the way it manifests so many of its desires through violence) thru the current Tea Party rhetoric to JLLs actions that would fall apart without Palin and Co. Tea Party are not a vital node in the process.

    They are more a redundant one (in network theory terms and IMO).

    I think this unsafe connection is being made in the case of the killing of Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy “Dot” Morris, John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, 76, and Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman, 30. And the associated shooting of another 13 people. (The Tuscon shooting if you don’t know what I’m referring to.)

    Honestly I see this as a case of white leftist privilege going “what – this isn’t sposed to happen to us”. I’m cynical tho so don’t mind me. This isn’t the only shooting in the states, nor the only political one. And they didn’t start with the Obama election.

    “Teh left” especially outside the US tends to see the entirety of “the right” as one homogeneous mass when its clearly not. Some people see no difference between PJ O’Rourke, Scalia, PalinCO p/l, and the sovereign citizen movement despite the fact that some these people/groups are further apart from each other than we on the left are from them.

    Because “the left” sees “the right” as a single entity and worldview, when in fact the right is so many different, and in many cases opposing, viewpoints it often misunderstands whats actually happening, its trying to fit the data to map instead of mapping the data. Of course the right does the same thing too, as SB constantly shows us. But motes and beams and all that. SB shows us that aspect of the right by his actions, but he also points out when the left does it, and often people ignore that.

    So he speaks a lot of crap too, but it isn’t all crap.

    And this dumping on libertarians is quite dangerous, because the political opposite of a libertarian is an authoritarian and no one on this discussion thread, even SB I’ll wager, wants our society to be dominated by authoritarianism. No matter what side of politics it comes from.

    Anyway…

    Its because of this tendency, which is no different to thinking all black or east asian people look the same when you look at it closely, that the left confuses the sovereign citizen ideologies that JLL seemed to be espousing with the vile bile of the Palin Crew.

    Not a good look I’m afraid, and not one I want to be associated with. And of course its not “the whole left” doing that obviously, cos its a wide disparate (almost meaningless) definition. A bit like the whole “right”.

    (And yes I use those terms all the time so I am aware of the ironing.)

    Anyway I posted a blog about the way I see the issue. If you think that was drawn out have a look at this:

    http://coldestmonster.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/what-in-the-hell-has-come-over-you/

  85. RobJ my mum is a Catholic and she is the opposite of the “nonsense, bigotry and narrow mindedness” you associate with her religion. Quite the opposite.

    Not all Catholics are like that. Thats kind of like saying all Americans support Bush, or All Australians supported the War in Iraq.

    Then again not all Catholics are like her either, however the ones that are have been battling the bigotry and narrow-mindedness the likes of Pell embody for years. Some of them still get excommunicated, but I’ll bet they consiider themselves Catholics.

    Catholicism is like any religion or belief system, people with more than half a brain and some heart will use it to try and improve themselves. Arseholes will use it to justify being arseholes.

  86. Love the pithy post, RobJ

    You’re right on the money with SB. I too reckon he gets his jollies from nettling lefties and that he’s full of contradictions. But I’ve always thought he actually believes what he puts forward here.

  87. “RobJ my mum is a Catholic and she is the opposite of the “nonsense, bigotry and narrow mindedness” you associate with her religion. Quite the opposite.”

    She must be doing it wrong then.

    Was she raised ‘Catholic’ therefore identifies with Catholicism or did she make a conversion in adulthood?

  88. Splatterbottom

    The vultures who dived in to blame the Tucson tragedy on Palin or right-wing rhetoric were not only wrong but rotten human beings prepared to exploit a tragedy to advance their politics agenda on the basis of precisely no evidence. This type of behaviour is a particularly grubby type of incivility.

    Slightly, but only slightly, better are those like Mondo who claim that conservatives are running a ‘campaign’ while examples on the other side are merely isolated incidents. Of course they presented no basis for this other than their own assertion. It takes a blind ideologue to mistake their own prejudices for fact.

    The best comments came from Barack Obama, who noted that incivility did not cause this tragedy, and John Stewart, who called for more civility from all sides. Both points are worth taking on board.

  89. “It takes a blind ideologue to mistake their own prejudices for fact.”

    LOL!

    Like the kind person who claims Fox News is “fair and balanced”

  90. http://www.spitefulcritic.com/home/10-most-ridiculous-fox-news-lies-creative-edits-and-half-truths

    I like the opening paragraph:

    Unless you’re a bit brain-damaged, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that Fox News occasionally plays fast and loose with the truth. Occasionally they will distort, creatively edit, or even fabricate evidence to support their narrative. But don’t worry, you’re not the only one screaming at your television.

    ‘Fair and Balanced’ – LOL

  91. Splatterbottom

    I didn’t claim that Fox was fair and balanced. Having said that, it seems to me that Fox reports the news fairly straight down the middle. They usually have a leftist talking head for major stories. From what I’ve seen it is no more biased than MSNBC or CNN or the BBC or our own ABC with Philip Adams’ LNL being no less biased than Glenn Beck. Both of them are entertaining and informative if you are prepared to calibrate for the inherent bias.

  92. “I didn’t claim that Fox was fair and balanced.”

    No?

    “The reason Fox comprehensively outrates its rivals is indeed because it serves a demographic ignored by the MSM – the middle ground who want fair and balanced reporting.”

    “Having said that, it seems to me that Fox reports the news fairly straight down the middle.”

    If lies and fabrications is straight down the middle then I guess you’re right.

    “From what I’ve seen it is no more biased than MSNBC or CNN or the BBC”

    LOL – You’re full of shit and you demonstrate this over and over.

  93. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, Saying that the middle ground want fair and balanced reporting is not the same as saying that Fox actually succeeds in this, although it does appear to try.

    As I said their news reporting, as opposed to their opinion shows, seems fairly straight down the line on what I’ve seen.

  94. “I didn’t claim that Fox was fair and balanced.”

    You sort of did SB.

    “The reason Fox comprehensively outrates its rivals is indeed because it serves a demographic ignored by the MSM – the middle ground who want fair and balanced reporting.”

    SB @ 14 January, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Agree with you re LNL btw.

    I enjoy Philip Adams, he’s a great entertainer, as is Glen Beck. Quite enjoy Alex Jones’ show too.

    One difference though…Glen Beck and Alex Jones are batshit crazy. 🙂

  95. She must be doing it wrong then. 😀

    Actually I think she is doing it right and the Vatican are doing it wrong but there you go. She was raised a Catholic. Alaways been one, tho I doubt she has just accepted stuff blindly. She got a PhD in Botany way back in the 60s in Tassie. And taught science, HSC biol in a Catholic High School for boys (and stuff like where to get condoms, even tho you should wait till you’re married, you probably won’t so … got here into a lot of trouble with the Melb Hierarchy (Bell for one) back in the 80s but she persevered.)

    I might have mentioned all this at some point.

    Anyway she’s one of the most non judgmental and good hearted people you could meet. She had input into the national curriculum, specifically wrt to science teaching, (and she teaches evolution, considers creation stories to be mythological things with important lessons for people BUT THATS IT.)

    Never mentions here religion to people unless they bring it up or its a Catholic thing about Catholic stuff.

    I used to give her so much shit for it, especially as the vatican repeatedly did dumb stuff, and its only got worse.

    She used to say: “Thats the institution, not the people.” And make a whole series of really good arguments as to why if you don’t like an institution you don’t tear it down or walk away, you work to improve it and make it something you can be proud of.

    Whatever the institution. I didn’t enrol to vote for used and poured scorn it, and often she’d bring the two together in an argument and … well she must had some clue cos one day it clicked, and I enrolled to vote not long after. (Didn’t help with Howard tho… well for over a decade anyway.)

    I’ll never be a Catholic again, cept in some crazy version like RAWilson used to be a member of tho. That shit stopped when I was a kid.

    But its interesting to see that with the benefit of hindsight the old girl lives up to everything she says and really every criticism I have about the dodgy side of catholicism doesn’t apply to her even if it does to the institution. If anything the opposite applies.

    Its the same as “Australia” really. Some people identiify with the state, the govt the flag and the associated power.

    Some people identify with the people, the place itself and whatever good culture comes out of those two things meeting.

    But yeah. Its my mum, man, so I have to stick up for her, especially after she made so much effort to patiently state her case. Cos in her case it entails sweet FA of that:

    “He claims to be open minded yet he subscribes to Catholicism and ALL the nonsense, bigotry and narrow mindedness that entails.”

    I do agree tho that the public voice of the institution swims in this shit, and uses it to divide people and strengthen its own power. But thats one of the things institutions do if they aren’t kept under control. All Institutions.

    PS I’m not a Catholic. Pell would probably consider me a Satanist or a heretic tho.

  96. Splatterbottom wrote:
    “……..with Philip Adams’ LNL being no less biased than Glenn Beck.”

    Yeah right! One is a paranoid theatrical fearmongerer whose idea of democracy is to establish The 912 Project specifically designed to disrupt the public meetings of those who oppose his views. The other is Philip Adams.

    Keep up the humour SB. We really are getting big laughs here.

  97. Duncan @1978. I dunn about AJones.

    I don’t think he is crazy at all. I don’t think he believes his schtick, just does it for the crowd. He makes a living peddling fear and a little bigotry (little compared to some, too much for me tho).

    I think he thought Bill Hicks had a certain style and adapted it for people w/o the critical thinking skills of a Hicks fan.

    This is in Texas, so whatever followed is just an evolutionary progression.

  98. Ps D78, I can actually understand how it works with Fox too.

    I saw their piece on a flag burner at a Nader anti war protest recently and it was quite amazing the way they made their argument.

    SB is right. There is a large chunk of the US population who feel their views are the middle. (They are wrong but self obsessed so they can’t tell they are wrong.)

    Doesn’t matter that their views are not the middle, its how they feel about it that Fox appeals to, and it does it very well. I duuno, but I wonder if it works cos it appeals to people who are suffering a form of Future Shock.

  99. “I don’t think he is crazy at all. I don’t think he believes his schtick, just does it for the crowd.”

    You are probably right Jules.

  100. TO put it less clearly, fox draw an arbitrary line to the “right” of the “middle”, and call it the “middle.” Implying its the “real centre” culturally and politically and there is currently a false one that is actually “Liberal” or to the left. (As if there is a “centre” at all.) They do this in an attempt to shift what some people might call the Overton Window to the right, and this is because the further the debate is to the right the more it suits rich bastards like Murdoch.

  101. I enjoy Philip Adams, he’s a great entertainer, as is Glen Beck.

    The difference, of course, being that Adams’ commentary is far less riddled with paranoid conspiracy nonsense, and has not (to my knowledge) inspired political violence like Beck’s show appears to have done.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201101130002

    But I guess if you keep feeding your audience utter insanity about how the government is out to get them then this sort of thing is the obvious consequence.

    I wonder who will be the next innocent person to suffer because of the Right’s idiotic promotion of fanatics like Beck?

  102. Phillip Adams is alright, he makes no bones about his political leanings and seems to be able to get along fine with those from the right, Hitchins for example. Beck on the other hand:

    There’s just no comparison. Again SB kicks an own goal….. Before you attempt to wriggle out of it SB you wrote earlier:

    “Philip Adams’ LNL being no less biased than Glenn Beck. “

  103. From Wiki:

    “Spiritually, Beck has credited God for saving him from drug and alcohol abuse, professional obscurity”

    Thanks a bunch God! Thanks for giving us this lying, hate monger. 😉

  104. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, you are just being a silly partisan. Distrust of government is a healthy thing. Governments, including leftists governments, have a history of oppression, and citizens of all political stripes need to be vigilant against government encroachment of civil liberties.

    I’m not trying to wriggle out of the comparison RobJ, just making the point that both are biased when it comes to politics.

  105. Glenn Beck is an out and out liar who rants like an idiot. There’s NO COMPARISON.

    “both are biased”

    Yes I acknowledged that but you said:

    “Philip Adams’ LNL being no less biased than Glenn Beck.

    “I’m not trying to wriggle out of the comparison ”

    LOL – Priceless, keep them comin SB, I love it when rightards make twats of themselves 🙂

  106. Mondo, you are just being a silly partisan.

    Did you follow the link SB? Do you have any similar examples of Philip Adams’ audience being regularly driven to political violence?

    Indeed, is there any commentator ‘of the Left’ whose audience has so consistently been influenced towards political violence in such a short timeframe?

    You may be willing to accept that reality is “partisan” towards Left-wing opinion, but I tend to see it the other way around.

    Philip Adams’ LNL being no less biased than Glenn Beck.

    To be fair to SB, I’m not sure that there is conclusive evidence that Beck’s bias is any greater or lesser – but then that’s not really the issue. The issue is Beck’s tendency to couch his bias in inflammatory rhetoric and reckless paranoid conspiracy.

    That’s why his audience appears to be regularly inspired to violence, just as commenters here have theorised. Although it’s hardly rocket science to predict that his sort of extremism will encourage the same amongst his audience.

  107. Splatterbottom

    That is only a matter of opinion, RobJ. Adams may be a little smarter than Beck, but that means he has less excuse for his bias, or the childish way he used to refer to President Bush as “shrub” (oh how the Gladdies must have tittered at that one) or how he murmured approvingly as James Lovelock went on about Gaia, or how he and Shapiro fell for the fake plastic turkey scam, or how he fawns over despicable old commos or how he started to “understand” Mugabe’s murderous ways until is guest put him in his place.

    It is true he still spars with Hitchens, who is a rare example of a leftist who thinks for himself.

  108. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, I followed the link to that site which, like you, is extremely biased. There I found a few anecdotes and a frothing willingness to jump to conclusions designed to reinforce the biases of the gullible readers. Looks you are in the target demographic.

    Your new but still resolutely biased pop-psychological turn of late of blaming every nutter’s action on someone you hate is getting tiresome. You are worse than those mindless morons who blame metal bands for every wrong thing teenagers do. Your descent into stupidity is driving me nuts and you will be solely responsible for my actions when I run amok in the zoo.

  109. It was only through the ludicrous comparison of Adams to Beck that I realised Adams was still on the radio. His voice has a soporific affect on me and his need to outshine his guests turned me off ages ago.

    But he’s just a lefty poodle. He does not incite, inflame or have so little respect for democracy that he’d inspire a group whose sole aim is to disrupt the meetings of those who oppose him. Notably ‘The 912 Project’. Which I notice SB is understandably too embarrassed to acknowledge.

    Beck is a hateful obnoxious creep who preys on the fears of the simple minded and politically naive.

  110. Mondo, I followed the link to that site which, like you, is extremely biased.

    I don’t deny that the site is biased SB – but the incidents of Beck-related violence that are listed, including Byron Williams’ planned rampage against the ACLU and the Tides centre, appear to be factual:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byron_Williams_(shooter)

    Note Wikipedia’s reporting that the shooter claimed to have been inspired by Beck. Don’t get snippy with me because reality is undermining your knee-jerk defence of one of your favourite Right-wing icons. Beck’s language is, as a matter of fact, inspiring nutters to go out and commit political violence.

    Reality used to be a friend of yours, you know.

    Your new but still resolutely biased pop-psychological turn of late of blaming every nutter’s action on someone you hate is getting tiresome.

    [Sigh] And now comes the inevitable strawman. You’re predictable in your inability to be rational when you’re proven wrong SB.

    Suffice to say that, prior to today, I have not blamed any nutter’s actions on Beck. I have not blamed the Arizona shootings on Beck or Palin, only noted that their ongoing campaign to use inflammatory rhetoric has an obvious potential to incite others to violence (and that the blowback they’re currently getting is both gratifying and appropriate). The examples I gave today, showing that my theory is borne out in reality, appear to be genuine. You have not been able to provide any evidence to the contrary, and so now you are spitting your standard abuse.

    Obviously you intend to ignore the fairly conclusive evidence I have provided of the consequences of Beck’s toxic influence, but in the end your unwillingess to accept reality is irrelevant.

  111. Mondo, I followed the link to that site which, like you, is extremely biased. There I found a few anecdotes and a frothing willingness to jump to conclusions designed to reinforce the biases of the gullible readers. Looks you are in the target demographic.

    Says the guy who refers us – apparently, in earnest – to such right-wing rubbish sites as WSJ online. Irony much?

  112. Splatterbottom

    Autonomy1 I didn’t even know what the 912 project was until you mentioned it. Looks like you should get involved. You might learn something.

  113. Splatterbottom wrote:
    Autonomy1 I didn’t even know what the 912 project was until you mentioned it. Looks like you should get involved. You might learn something.

    That comment displays not only your ignorance of what Beck stands for but your disdain for democracy.

    You just keep digging yourself into a hole. But don’t have the wit to see it.

  114. Mondo I think its great you’re going out of your way to make the association between that Becktard rubbish and other acts of violence. I don’t think the Tuscon example is clear cut, and its not a safe association.

    However it doesn’t need to be cos there are plenty of other examples no one seems to notice, well till recently.

    BTW WTF????

    The 912 project – we the people demand the answers.

    That is an awesome piece of Ambush marketing I have to say.

    I’m a little speechless right now.

    Wow. I have to take my hat off to that. Much as I don’t want to. Kind of reminds of G Ablett in the 94 and 95 Preliminary finals. As much as I hated him you had to respect his moves.

    I have a friend, well online acquaintance, but we’ve “known” each other for years. He reckons he coined the term “9/11 Truth” a long time ago, and it referred to some specific things that were on the public record and needed to be addressed he felt. Don’t want to get into that now, cos honestly I don’t care.

    Its always pissed him off what became of that saying and the people and bullshit that got associated with it.

    He left the US when Bush was in power and moved to Europe in shame (well maybe for other reasons too) he’s not a rightard, or an antisemite or a nut, none of the things you’d expect from what that term represents now.

    If he doesn’t know about that Astro-turfed hijack of his idea yet he’ll go ballistic when I tell him.

  115. Couple of quotes from Beck:

    “Today, I have stopped looking for a leader to show us the way out because I have come to realize that the only one who can truly save our country…is us. To change America’s course we need to change ourselves, our expectations and our willingness to accept the unacceptable.”

    Martin Luther King could have said that. What a shit! I mean thats the attitude the left in the US needs to take wrt Obama, what a smartarse.

    “When we insist that no one is too big to fail, we will be able to learn from our mistakes, and when we demand that we are self-reliant, we will ensure that others can rely on us, not the government.”

    There are people who did that in Brisbane, and because of what they did the govt didn’t have to act, hence people who rally needed it could get prioritised. there’s nothing at all wrong with that. I’d hope no one is to big to fail. (If they fail, and that failure is against the national interest, isn’t that what nationalisation is for?) I wonder how they will feel if they read that? If you didn’t have an opinion either way it might be easy to buy into that opinion and let the other stuff slip by.

    “There is much to do, much to learn and time is of the essence.”

    Wow I never thought he agreed that Global Warming was a serious problem and that the odds of it being due to human activity are over 90%.

    Oh wait.

    One thing you can’t do is call Beck, or whoever writes his stuff, stupid. He or his writer(s) have obviously mastered propaganda. Then again thats always been the forte of the right.

  116. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/223279/march-31-2009/the-10-31-project

    The 912 Project is one of the primary groups disrupting the summer 2009 town hall meetings held by Democrats and moderate Republicans

    Their methods consist of orchestrated disinformation campaigns and attempts to grab headlines through seemingly spontaneous disruptions of town halls, local government meetings and street corner protests.
    Source:Sourcewatch.org

  117. Mondo I think its great you’re going out of your way to make the association between that Becktard rubbish and other acts of violence. I don’t think the Tuscon example is clear cut, and its not a safe association.

    I completely agree, and have not made that association (no matter how much SB wishes that I had).

    I’m going to go out on a limb here though and predict that we have not seen the end of Beck-inspired violence. His brand of paranoid political consipracy dressed as entertainment has an obvious ability to corrupt the weak-minded.

  118. Its just good to see a level headed attitude mondo cheers.

    “I’m going to go out on a limb here though and predict that we have not seen the end of Beck-inspired violence.”

    No way. Not be a long .. er shot.

    I’m not putting it ALL down to Beck either, but he and the people who follow the same mentality have really taken that idea to the “mainstream”. In the next few days I’m gonna put up a blog post showing Beck like rhetoric turning up in places that are really scary, the US military and at least one (so far) PD, tho the mil connection may be a bit less of a sureity.

  119. As usual your comments are on the mark Mondo. The thing with Beck and other red necks is to look at their modus operandi. As was shown in the Sourcewatch.org quote. It seems one among us went to a Beck website to glean his/her knowledge of The 912 Project and came up with a thumbs up. A bit like going to a companies website to ascertain whether their products are any good. WTF!

    Humour is always a good way to deal with nuff-nuffs. Stephen Colbert sent Beck up beautifully.

  120. Splatterbottom

    Autonomy your favoured mode of argument seems to quote a leftwing crackpot site and think you have actually said something sensible. At least you seem to have cured your juvenile bolding tic.

  121. Ah! The good old rightard (thanks RobJ) approach. When shown up for your inadequacies attack the individual. Learn that from Boltard did we? It’s sad that you’ve become a laughing stock here due to your profound ignorance yet you can’t see it. A man who thinks Beck is “not so bad” yet has no knowledge of a key part of his platform.

    BTW. You might have observed Jeremy uses bold quite often to emphasise a point. Oops! Yet another foot-in-mouth blunder.

  122. “The thing with Beck and other red necks is to look at their modus operandi. As was shown in the Sourcewatch.org quote. It seems one among us went to a Beck website to glean his/her knowledge of The 912 Project and came up with a thumbs up. A bit like going to a companies website to ascertain whether their products are any good. WTF!” A1

    If you are referring to what I wrote I suggest you re read it carefully.

    I went to a propaganda website and came away stunned at just how sophisticated the propaganda was. That was something I should have checked out a long time ago obviously. Cos I didn’t give them credit for it.

    Look at it this way – if the company is a propaganda machine then going to their website to check how good their product is makes perfect sense to me.

    They are a very effective propaganda machine and they’ve been able to tap into several deep veins of feeling associated with good stuff in the American psyche, like MLK, transparent government for example and associate it with the worst of human nature. If you can’t recognise that as you enter “battle” with Beck, Bolt and the rest (this looks an information war to me) you will be at a massive disadvantage.

    Honestly I don’t think you understand their M.O. and I have been trying to explain the way I see it, for example with Fox’s”middle” that forever moves to the right, tho I’m sure thats obvious to most people here anyway.

  123. I comprehend the modus operandi of Angle, Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, O’Reilly et al only too well. Their techniques of persuasion are quite similar.

    However, if I knew little of their mode of operation and was seeking to analyse and assess it I’d be seeking information from sources with some status. For example, if I were seeking information about L.Ron. Hubbard, I doubt my first port of call would be the Scientology website.

    Fox has never been “middle”. Richard Ailes was appointed CEO with a specific brief and although they have got louder in the intervening period their core reason for being hasn’t varied since their inception in 1996.

  124. A1 What part of this – specifically – don’t you agree with?

    Fox draw an arbitrary line to the “right” of the “middle”, and call it the “middle.” Implying its the “real centre” culturally and politically and there is currently a false one that is actually “Liberal” or to the left. (As if there is a “centre” at all.) They do this in an attempt to shift what some people might call the Overton Window to the right, and this is because the further the debate is to the right the more it suits rich bastards like Murdoch.

  125. Pingback: You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on | Pure Poison

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