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Member since: Sat Dec 16, 2017, 12:51 PM
Number of posts: 2,790

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Selective hearing, selective seeing, selective reading.

There's a line in the movie The Sixth Sense that goes "They only see what they want to see."

It seems to be so true nowadays, especially in politics. I read somewhere that, at one time, the strongest insult you could lob at an American was to ask them if they believed everything they read in the papers. I don't know if this is totally accurate, but I'm thinking it needs to be asked more often nowadays: "Do you believe everything you see or read online?"

I see it right here. Somebody will post an OP "as true," without offering a link to something or any background information. Then someone else asks for a link, and that's when the spitballs begin flying. This morning I had the "unspeakable temerity and near-traitorous audacity" to pop over to Conservative Underground and Discussionist to see what they were saying about posts here on DU, and it was really interesting. For the most part, they didn't respond to the subject of the OP here; they just busted on the writer.

BTW, I've been flamed here for poking around over there, which I think is hilarious. They poke around over here; why shouldn't we poke around over there? And heaven forbid -- another near-traitorous thought -- that either one of us learns something from the other. Send me to Guantanamo right now.

I posted here recently about forwarded emails I received from an old friend who is a Republican. Usually he just forwards jokes, but a few times he forwarded something political. One was a story about Nancy Pelosi and California (which went back to 2006 and was debunked several times back then), and the other one was about the Clintons and a talking dog (which turned out to be an expanded version of a joke that appeared in a lifestyle website and had nothing to do with the Clintons or the dog). But both emails had language at the bottom to the effect of "if you believe in America, forward this to at least two friends, and ideally a hundred." So somebody gets this, gets ticked off, and forwards it to "two friends, and ideally a hundred" without bothering to check whether the story is true or not. In my case, it took a minute or two to find out that each story was fake.

And speaking of fake, "fake news" seems to have become the catch-all description for anything we don't like. I didn't say anything we don't agree with: I said anything we don't like.

So yeah, selective hearing, selective seeing, and selective reading seem to be the modus operandi of this day and age. There's an opinion piece in HuffPost about possible ways to get people on both sides to get over being offended by anything the other side says, but it's going to take getting over selective hearing, selective seeing, and selective reading first.


My conversation with a news director at Fox

About twenty years ago I was working on a project for a local TV station that was acquired by Fox and wanted to start a news program. During one of my discussions with the news team, the director casually remarked that a news program is really just an excuse to bring an audience to an advertiser.

I've never forgotten that, and it totally makes sense every time I see a snippet of an interview or a commentator on Fox. Granted, the snippets I see are mostly "courtesy of" a late-night show or a news article, so they're already edited. But if Fox's intention is to generate controversy and anger to get viewers to watch their shows and therefore their commercials, then a lot of what they say and how they say it makes perfect sense.

So, being a cynical SOB, I have to wonder if it's all (or partly) an act. This morning, for instance, I saw a clip of Tucker Carlson (via Trevor Noah via HuffPost) interviewing somebody and making statements like "Those kids aren't old enough to buy guns. Why should they make my gun laws?" and "They aren't citizens; they're kids." He came across like he was just saying it, but those statements sound like they were very carefully scripted to get people riled up. Get riled up = keep watching = watch the commercials. Maybe?

I'll have to catch Fox on TV one of these days to find out who their advertisers are. It might be interesting.

Clinton & the talking dog: another fake story

This morning I received an email from an old friend who's a Republican. He receives jokes online and forwards some of them (just regular jokes) to me all the time, so I didn't think anything of it: I just figured it was another one. But this one got under my skin.

So the story is about a kid in Arkansas who goes to college, needs money, and comes up with this story about a course to teach dogs to talk. He gets $1,000 and the family dog from his Dad. Later he runs out of money again and comes up with another story and gets $2,500; now he has money for pot for the whole year. End of school year, he goes home, but, to avoid having to bring the (non-talking dog) back, tells his Dad that the dog asked whether the dad was still seeing the waitress at the local diner. The dad blows up and asks the kid if he shot the dog and the kid says yes. Later, the kid and his girl friend went to law school and became lawyers. In the end he became President of the US and his girl friend... (and I'm quoting here) "well, we know what a liar she is."

So, being a cynical type, I decided to look this up.

The "talking dog" story appeared in the humor section of ba-bamail.com. Never heard of the site, but it's there. Now get this: the original story was quite a bit shorter than the version I received; there was no mention of Arkansas, a girl friend, or money for pot; and it ended with "The lad went on to be a successful lawyer." Nothing about becoming President or the girl friend being a liar. And I didn't find anything about the story having anything to do with Clinton.

So somebody took a joke and padded it to point at the Clintons. And sent it around, and heaven only knows how many times it's been read by now. Just like that fake story about Nancy Pelosi I received some weeks ago, which actually dated back to 2006.

And heaven only knows how many people have read that story and believed it outright instead of bothering to check it out. I'm going to drop my friend a note (like I did with the Pelosi story) and square him away, but man, this one pissed me off.

Any fans of ghost stories here?

Not sure if this is the correct forum, but it's the closest I could find, so here goes.

For many years I've really enjoyed ghost stories associated with real places, especially if they have some historical or architectural significance. Castles of course come to mind, but there are others. Whether they're really "haunted" (or whether ghosts exist) or not is a separate conversation which belongs elsewhere, but some of the stories are really interesting.

Anyone else here enjoy those? Any favorites?

Should this post go elsewhere?

DU has a fan site in a Republican forum!

Don't know if this has been mentioned before, but there's a forum over on conservativeunderground.com devoted -- devoted -- to posts made right here in the General Discussion forum. It's called Best/Worst of DU/Discussionist, and it's hilarious: they'll refer to a post made here in the General Discussion forum and proceed to take it apart.

I discovered it by accident just now when I caught myself wondering what the Reps had out there for chat rooms. They even picked one of my posts, about Trump's base, and started nitpicking it apart. And I do mean nitpicking. Love it!!!!!

Should we start a counterpart?

Re: meeting w/ N Korea and US history

I need to look this up again, but there are stories about foreign powers approaching the US about disarmament and the US basically refusing to go there. Not saying I think NK is serious about this (I tend to agree it's some kind of con), but I seem to remember several countries during and since WWII attempting to negotiate some kind of disarmament. But that would mean potentially reducing the production of weapons and that would be bad for weapons makers.

There were several references to this on a series I caught on Netflix recently: Oliver Stone's Untold History of the US. But maybe a trip to the library is in order now.

If you know any cops, have you asked how they feel about arming teachers?

Sorry if this has already been brought up here, but I haven't seen it.

Let's start a rumor: Stormy Daniels and that "secret" arbitration

So apparently the "secret" restraining order re: Stormy Daniels was handled by a private arbitrator. This has been mentioned in various interviews.

What if this "private arbitrator" was paid off by DT's lawyers? Would that be a fun rumor to start?

Sorry, sometimes I can get very snarky.

Ignore the NRA: they just want attention

Just occurred to me (I seem to have a lot of these "just occurred" moments) that the spokeswoman for that rifle club is just trying to get attention with that "threat" she made. Bullies need attention because attention = power. And, as I mentioned in another thread, I discovered back in grammar and high school, mostly by accident, that if you ignore a bully, he or she will usually go away.

So I think we need to stop giving power to that bully clique.

Hey, does anyone have the name of that other org that's putting up snarky billboards in FL? I want to send them a suggestion for one.

Quote from Hermann Göring

I've been watching a series on Netflix abut the war crimes trials at Nuremberg, and, in the episode about him, Hermann Göring was quoted as saying: "I don't have a conscience. My conscience is the Führer."

Gee, it almost sounds like something [fill in the name of the Repug] would have said.

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