Hot Air

The Right’s Mr. Right

Sheila Kennedy is one of those precious few Republicans who make a pile of sense. It follows, then, that she wastes few opportunities to lambaste her GOP sisteren and brethren for their most egregious examples of stupidity. And there have been plenty of those in the last few decades. Plenty.

Tuesday, she took on the Right’s recent surreptitious fling with Vlad Putin, the bare-chested strongman of Russia. They dig him the most, preferring him to that scrawny Kenyan, the current phony Prez of the US. Natch, they won’t admit their infatuation with a Russkie but, believe me, he’s Mr. Right for the Right.

Putin

Russo-Romeo

A little bit of self-back patting here. I radar-ed the Right’s googly eyes for Vlad months ago — months, I tell you! See here and here.

As for Kennedy, she’s a professor in the School for Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI as well as director there of the Center for Civic Literacy. She puts out a daily blog in which she tells humanity what’s what. In fact, Kennedy’s like a bizarro-world image of me: she’s a woman — I’m not, (ICYDK); she’s a college prof; I’m a college dropout; she’s a Republican — I’m Democrat(-ish). Our similarities, though, outweigh those contrasts: We’re both keyboard clackers, we both have a compulsion to tell the world what we think, and, because we agree on so much, we’re both fabulous intellectuals. (Obvious, no?)

Anyway, start reading her blog daily (after reading mine.)

[h/t to Susan Sandberg.]

No Wed In NOLA

Well, the same-sex freight train was slowed down a tad yesterday, what with a court ruling that Louisiana’s ban on it is cool.

Funny, isn’t it? When wits and wags try to speculate which state will be the last to okay SSM, they usually guess Mississippi. So, natch, the first state in the last 20 that has had its ban blessed by a court is right next door.

An even funnier thing: Notice how the anti-SSM gang is huzzah-ing the ruling as a triumph for “state’s rights”? The state’s rights argument is used by people who pretty much don’t dig any part of the US Constitution except the good ol’ 2nd Amendment. Most of those same folks believe a state’s right to deny rights to individuals and couples is paramount.

Wallace

George Wallace At The Schoolhouse Door

Sometimes I even wonder if A. Lincoln did the right thing by forcing the South to stay in the Union.

When The Lie Becomes The Truth

How about this from the Columbia Journalism Review? The media watchdog yesterday reported that an Indiana University study called “Truthy” has been savaged by Fox News-heads of late. Truthy is a long-term look into how info spreads on social media, specifically Twitter. One of Truthy’s areas of concern is the viral spread of false information.

From "Pinocchio"

Disney’s “Pinocchio”

Truthy’s been at it for three years now. The project’s report page is chock-full of revelations about how facts and lies are disseminated throughout society. Ironically, Truthy itself is now the object of a disinformation campaign, the likes of which can serve as a textbook example of precisely what Truthy’s looking into.

Not terribly long ago, one small publication carried an article that Truthy was responsible for helping the federal government create a database of its domestic enemies under the guise of tracking hate speech. In other words, Truthy was acting in concert with authorities to carry out a fascist plot. Well, this kind of thing is red meat to the wingnut Right so — wouldn’t you know it? — people Tweeted it like mad and then everyone from the Libertarian Reason magazine to the evil brietbart.com jumped on the story.

The thinking seemed to go Obama’s a fascist? Of course! The Truthy story has to be true!

Tens of thousands of Tweets became tens of thousands more and then even more conservative-leaning media outlets picked up on the story until, finally, Fox News harrumphed over it on several of its programs.

The only problem was the story was entirely untrue.

The whole incident perfectly illustrates one of Truthy’s findings: That after a certain tipping point, misinformation is repeated so often on Twitter and the like that news outlets begin treating it as fact.

The researchers leading the Truthy project couldn’t have fabricated a more appropriate example to illustrate one of its points.

[h/t to Rea (last name withheld.)]

2 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. Rea Kersey says:

    🙂 You told the story so eloquently. Thanks, Big Mike!!

  2. Susan Sandberg says:

    You know that Sheila Kennedy is one of my she-roes! Lots of truthiness in her blogs.

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