Tuesday, June 14, 2011

He who forgets history is doomed to rewrite it.

So I was talking to my retired English professor friend at the YMCA, and he commented that MSNBC is the same as Fox News, just opposites politically. 
I replied, "Fox News lies. MSNBC does not. The liberals really believe what they say."
He said, “What about Rachel Maddow. She is the same as Hannity.
I said, “ Maddow believes what she says. Hannity lies.
He said, “Oh she does the same thing.”
I said, “ Give me one example.”
He said, “What, I’m being cross-examined?” 
I am a lawyer. I said, “I can give you an example of Hannity lying as he facilitated Palin’s lying, and very slickly at that. Almost as if it had been scripted.”
And I described this interview:
Palin: Todd's isn't a registered Republican..
Hannity: He's part of that group that wanted to secede from the Union. (doing quote sign to mock the suggestion.)
Palin: (Laughing) Oh, yeah. Supposedly. Right. But, um...
The Professor replied, “Just because he belonged to the AIP does not mean he believed in everything they said, nor does it mean that the AIP advocates the same thing now, that it advocated when it started.
Confident that he was wrong, since AIP stands for Alaska Independence Party, I picked up my iPad and demonstrably looked for the AIP Wikipedia article, and I found:
"Since its founding, the AIP has radically changed with respect to the issue of secession. At present, it does not support secession, though, at its founding, it did. "
I said, “I guess I was wrong. Maybe Hannity didn’t lie.”
Being proven wrong puts a knot in my stomach, and as the day wore on, I kept thinking about the phrasing of that quote. It just seemed odd that a reliable article would say a group had “radically changed.” And the sentence structure seemed odd. So I went to the AIP site, and I found its “Basic Questions” page. It began:
Q: What is the Alaskan Independence Party?
A: An Alaskan political party whose members advocate a range of solutions to the conflicts between federal and local authority; from advocacy for state's rights, through a return to territorial status, all the way to complete independence and nationhood status for Alaska.
It continued:
Q: If Alaska were independent, what would happen to my social security check, federal pension, or military retirement?
A: People receive these checks around the world, regardless of their place of residence. In most cases eligibility for such checks would not be affected by Alaskan independence.
In other words, you shouldn’t worry about not getting money from the Feds. The only difference is you won’t have to pay in.
Then this:
Q: Didn't we vote for statehood already?
A: The vote for statehood was invalid because the people were not presented with the range of options available to them. Further, the federal government has since breached the contract for statehood on numerous occasions in over a dozen serious and substantial instances.
Q: Would I lose my U.S. citizenship?
A: Depending on the form of independence, several forms of citizenship would be possible, including the retention of U.S. citizenship or dual citizenship. However, considering the moral, educational, and economic decay of the U.S., Alaskans' who hold themselves to a higher standard might very well decide to at least maintain an arm's length distance from a country in decline.
In other words, there has been no radical change; the AIP still advocates secession.
Then, I read in Wikipedia that the founder, Joe Vogler 
disappeared under suspicious circumstances in May 1993, just weeks before he was scheduled to give a speech to the United Nations on Alaskan independence, sponsored by the government of Iran. 
Bizarre as that image may be, it is the date of his death that is the point. Todd Palin joined the AIP in 1995. In other words, even if AIP has “radically changed,” how likely is it that it had done so within 2 years of its founder’s death? 
Besides, the Palin/Hannity lie wasn’t just that Todd Palin was not a secessionist. Palin/Hannity claimed that Todd’s chosen political party was never secessionist. And their underlying lie was that the Lamestream Media was lying about Todd and the AIP. 
Returning to the Wikipedia quote:
Since its founding, the AIP has radically changed with respect to the issue of secession. At present, it does not support secession, though, at its founding, it did.
It appears that a Palin advocate has altered the history of AIP on Wikipedia, just as they tried in the Paul Revere incident. The next question is, how much more history have the Palinistas rewritten?


  1. Haven't you learned yet?
    Wkipedia is NOT a reliable source!

    And always get a t least 3 sources, that way you do not always look like and ASS.
    And never ever use Wikipedia!

  2. Use Wikipedia, but judiciously. I don't say never use Wikipedia because of my experience a few years ago. My son had a middle-school assignment to fill out a worksheet on tides. The questions seemed a little screwy to me, so I Google'd tides. The only web site I found that correctly described how and why tides work was Wikipedia, later confirmed when I located an obscure NOAA web site on the subject. (And, yes, the worksheet was wrong.)

    I would say never argue with a Fox News viewer - they're beyond persuasion! On the other hand, I guess it's people like you who make the attempt that hold out hope for the silent rational people in this country, so I commend you.

    (Arrived at your great site via Crooks and Liars.)

  3. Send your friend the Fox News link on Media Matters:


  4. Oh dear!
    "Epic Fail" (as the kidz say) Jl--but understandable. That's your friend you are trying to prosecute, as it were, so that affected your efforts.

    2 or 3 parts to this comment 'cos of the 4K limit.

    What your post describes is, in my experience, a classic right/left exchange. Allow me to provide a little deconstruction:

    1)I said, “ Maddow believes what she says. Hannity lies.
    2)He said, “Oh she does the same thing.”
    3) I said, “ Give me one example.”
    4) He said, “What, I’m being cross-examined?”


    Your friend doesn't then say "okay, here's an example" to support his argument, his response is to imply a personal challenge---you are being unfair and aggressive in questioning him so specifically.
    He doesn't want to answer your challenge because he's operating from the heavily promoted, received and accepted conventional wisdom that "both sides do it"-- he can't answer your challenge because he can't recall a possible example, and he's not prepared to look for evidence to support his claim.

    Now you take the initiative to support your case, and what does the Professor do? Does he do the same? Has he done the same? Have you asked him since to provide evidence of Maddow lying (and the source of such evidence)?

    Unfortunately in your certitude, you went to a second-hand source for your evidence.

    If you were not aware that the right-wing often attempts to alter wiki entries of particular interest to them to distort in their favor or expunge entirely, embarrassing political/moral/ethical/factual content, then you should be aware now---and anything to do with Sarah Palin is of particular interest for manipulation by her besotted fans and operatives.

    You had a clue right there at the beginning: Why the hell would the "radically changed" AIP still call itself the AIP? What would "independence" mean if it no longer meant sovereign independence?

    But what you believed you would find wasn't there so you decided then that your belief was wrong, because it apparently lacked supporting evidence. (to be continued)

  5. Part Two:
    And that brings us back to the beginning of your post:

    [I replied] "Fox News lies. MSNBC does not. The liberals really believe what they say."

    Liberals believe what they say because they are familiar with evidence that justifies their beliefs---from facts and tests of conjecture that emerge as reliable theories.
    Conservatives actually often believe what they say because someone else, an authority figure, tells them what they should believe The passion and noise and arm-waving that goes with the delivery of such instructions offers convincing conviction, such that independent examination of the content of the message of belief is not required nor desirable, lest some f;aw be found that would result in self-doubt.

    Steven Colbert nails it when he says ( approximately)that he feels the news AT you" and when he talks about "deciding with his gut".

    That knot in your gut that you felt came from sudden self-doubt brought on by an unexpected denial of evidence for your belief and quickly (too quickly) accepted it. (I've known it too, in the same context). That knot is the manifestation of fear about the validity of your own convictions (based on your previous experience).

    When a conservative gut experiences such a knot, it too is a manifestation of fear, but that fear isn't allowed to prompt self-doubt but rather doubt in those who generated the sensation. The greater the knot of fear, the greater the reaction to its external symptom (belief challenged by evidence), not its pathology (belief based on zero evidence).

    Anyway that's my two cents, and here's a penny more; ( next comment)

  6. Part 3 (the last part, yay!)

    The Professor replied, “Just because he belonged to the AIP does not mean he believed in everything they said, nor does it mean that the AIP advocates the same thing now, that it advocated when it started."

    That wasn't the issue: the issue was that "Fox News lies, MSNBC does not" (your initial point) and that "Rachel Maddow is the same as Hannity" (the Prof's response).

    The misdirection actually begins here (note how I've just figured this out after first pointing out the later misdirection, which illustrates how tricky such conversations are even in retrospect, let alone in real-time).

    FOX News lies because that is its fundamental mission---"Fair and Balanced" is the banner demonstrable lie of its inception and identity.
    MSNBC's mission is based on its genealogy of delivering facts not lies, and despite the trends and pressures of politically-connected infotainment business goals, still manages to provide a respectable proportion (comparatively) of fact, reason and truth.

    Hannity absolutely represents FOX in the perpetuation of lies and in general perspective---to the best of my knowledge not one Democratic liberal/non white/non-WASP or Catholic or Baptist or Methodist or Mormon has ever had his or her own show on any FOX channel, and the guest/analyst line-up always grossly favored their own kind, in appearances, time on air and "talk-over".

    Maddow does NOT represent MSNBC in the same way at all. Right wing representation on MSNBC is much more 'fair and balanced"--Joe Scarborough has his own show and Chuck Todd (White House chief correspondent) is a parrot for corporate and Beltway conventional wisdom. Olbermann and Maddow shared maybe 50% of their stories but often with a differing focus, whereas FOX runs with the same story and same focus from Fox and Friends in the AM through to Hannity and O'Reilly at night, and across FBN as well via Cavuto---because that's what the FOX executives instruct in daily editorial memos with which the FOX on-screen 'talent' is only to happy to oblige.

    Okay enough from me. Though I am an obscure presence in the liberal blogosphere I know you are quite well known (to me anyway) and justifiably so.

  7. Ummm... I cut myself short, there.

    Keep up the good and honest work.