In yesterday’s edition of “Truthout,” Dave Johnson wrote an enlightening column entitled, “Three Charts to Email to Your Right-Wing Brother-In-Law.” The charts in question come from U.S. Government Budget Office.
#1 Federal Government spending increased 88% under President G.W. Bush as compared to 7.2% under President Obama. So who is the real socialist who drove up out national debt?
#2 Even with President Obama’s stimulus package, the national debt has actually been reduced in the last 2 years as a result of massive cuts in spending.
#3 The the number of jobs produced in the private sector has actually increased during this current administration. Both conservative and liberal economists readily acknowledge that the #1 cause of job loss in this country in recent years has been in the public sector government jobs, not private for-profit industry.
In responding to a friend who first posted Johnson’s column to Facebook, I commented:
“The problem with information like this is that the people who need to read it, are totally estranged from facts! Facts confuse and stress them out. That’s why Fox Noise exists; to spin reality in a such way that angry, cynical conservative minds can feel validated in their misguided perceptions.”
Anyone who has even casually read my columns over the years knows all too well how little regard I have for Fox Noise. I’ve long considered it a very dangerous counterfeit media outlet that undermines the incredibly important role the media must play in a democracy. The myth that the rest of the media has an intentional ‘liberal’ bias is nothing less than a willful lie created by people who feel compelled to ignore facts that challenge their convictions. Fox Noise is all about editing and spinning the news in such a way as to validate conservative values and policy positions, not about telling the truth. Legitimate journalists in a democracy tell the truth. It is not the job of a real journalist to make the news palpable for rigidly close-minded people. In totalitarian countries, biased news outlets that willfully don’t tell the ‘whole story’ are better known as the ‘ministry of propaganda.’ In the United States, Fox Noise is the propaganda arm of Rupert Murdoch and his fellow members of the 1%. (A sharp mind recently created the meme: “Fox is rich people telling middle-class people to always blame poor-people.”)
Former V.P. Dick Cheney’s new book, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,” has the media abuzz and pundits rushing to get responses on the record from some of the many people Cheney criticizes in his book. One of those people, Colin Powell, who will always enjoy more credibility, more respect and affection from the American people than Cheney, took the former VP to task in a Sunday talk show for suggesting that he was not as supportive of President Bush’s policies as he should have been.
Powell described Cheney criticisms of him as “cheap shots” and reminded the world that it was he, who went to the U.N. and spouted false intelligent reports about Saddam Hussein’s covert efforts to build weapons of mass destruction to justify invading Iraq.
What do facts have to do with the truth? Everything. And anyone unwilling or incapable of having their own point of view and values challenged by facts is guilty of intellectual dishonesty. People whose primary source of news and information is Fox Noise are predictably:
- More likely to be misinformed
- Resolve their cognitive dissonance by denying facts and information that challenge the way they want to see the world
We submit for your consideration a copy of a list of instructions that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s office would send out to all the hotels that hosted him over his 8 years in office. Note the specific instructions regarding the televisions in his suite. If that’s not an overt commentary Cheney’s intellectual limitations and emotional maturity, I don’t know what is. Some people know that the stories Mommy read to help them fall asleep were fairy tales. Too many people insist on applying that strategy for soothing their stress throughout life.