Is Truth Losing Its Liberal Bias?

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liberalism and progressivism

Two weeks after the debunking of the rumor that the Department of Homeland Security co-ordinated the attacks on OWS encampments, Naomi Wolf publishes an article at The Guardian claiming that DHS was behind the attacks on OWS encampments. And no, she has no new evidence. She’s just pretending the old evidence wasn’t fabricated.

Via Angry Black Lady, please see Karoli, “How Bullshit Magically Turns Into Fact.”

Basically, Karoli documents that elements of the Left have gotten just as bad as most of the Right at taking hearsay, unsourced claims, quotes taken out of context, etc. etc., and spinning them into some reason why the Obama Administration Has Betrayed Us. And once these rumors are accepted on the Left as Revealed Truth, there’s not a dadblamed thing you can say or document to change people’s minds.

And this matters, Karoli says, because it the end, when people like Naomi Wolf, Jane Hamsher, Michael Moore (as much as I like him, he’s very fast and loose with facts sometimes), etc. etc., push this nonsense, the only people who benefit are the dreaded 1 percent.

We tend to exalt people who say things we want to hear, or who we know have been right about some things in the past, or who share our general outlook, so when such a person with a big public megaphone makes claims contrary to any provable fact we may overlook the lack of sourcing and accept what we’re told. But we’ve got to resist doing that, folks, because it’s hurting us more than helping us.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. tom B  •  Nov 26, 2011 @1:55 pm

    It’s easy to see why such rumors spread. Many of the Gov’t attacks on OWS camps used similar tactics and occurred on the same nights. Correlation does not imply causation, though.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 26, 2011 @2:30 pm

    As far as Naomi’s go, Wolf ain’t no Klein!

    And I love Moore, but he’ been known to pull some stuff out of his rather ample butt.

    And you can usually tell when this happens because the other sources cited are the sources who used them as their source.

    But still, the Conservatives have a Mighty Wurlitzer to spread their BS – we have a little Plug & Play.

  3. moonbat  •  Nov 26, 2011 @3:10 pm

    I appreciate the Karoli article – on several levels – one surface level is that I often find myself trying to defend Michael Moore before conservatives. It’s good to see evidence that not everything he says is true. People on our side get so close to events (Jane Hamsher is a case in point) that they get emotionally swept up by a particular viewpoint.

    On a deeper level, the rise of the right wing noise machine over the last thirty years, and its consequence: being around legions of truth-impaired wingnuts, with their child-like preference for a self-serving fantasy universe, is one of those corrosive forces in this country that has taught me the paramount importance of truth, because it’s so rare and so disastrous when it’s ignored.

    It’s good to see evidence that even the leading lights on our side are fallible. At least their fallibilty isn’t pathological and chronic, unlike the fabulists on the right.

  4. the talking dog  •  Nov 26, 2011 @8:32 pm

    Seems like there’s a lot more there than just supposition:

    http://www.juancole.com/2011/11/police-crackdowns-on-ows-coordinated-among-mayors-fbi-dhs.html

    We know– for sure– that there was a conference call among officials of at least 18 cities, and we know– for sure– that FBI, DHS and God knows who were “planning responses.” Maybe that “DHS coordinated the raids” is hyperbole… but not by that much, and quite frankly, maybe it isn’t hyperbole. There is a general trend toward militarization of police forces in this country; why should we not assume a federal role in that?

  5. Morzer  •  Nov 26, 2011 @8:41 pm

    AngryBlackLady isn’t particularly scrupulous about checking her own sources, much less quoting accurately. She basically exists to flame anyone who doesn’t worship Obama, and should not be given too much credence.

  6. biggerbox  •  Nov 26, 2011 @9:03 pm

    I hate it when people go off on charges like this, not just because it’s unproven, but because, fundamentally, fussing about an overt conspiracy distracts from understanding the deeper reasons why an overt conspiracy wasn’t even necessary. What do we know? That a bunch of mayors had a conference call, and probably coordinated action against OWS. How could they do that? Did one mayor get the idea to see what another mayor was doing? Did they call a third mayor? No, of course not. There was a pre-existing process for getting mayors on a call to talk about national emergencies.

    Because one of the many results of the paramilitarization of police forces all around the country, and the post 9/11 hysteria, is a whole raft of emergency procedures, coordinated drills, cooperation agreements, and intelligence sharing. It doesn’t actually matter if DHS was actually on the call, because it has been funding and organizing the means for such calls, and such police mobilizations, for years.

    I wish people were jumping up and down yelling about why these mechanisms created to protect the country from a massive terrorist attack have been co-opted for use in quelling legitmate public protests, and whether we want to have local cops armed and dressed like soldiers. We’ve got enough actual, subtle oppressions going on without inventing cartoonish evil cabals involving DHS and the mayors.

  7. Candide  •  Nov 26, 2011 @9:19 pm

    Have you seen this video?

    “Mic check”: Occupy protesters interrupt Obama
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57329652-503544/mic-check-occupy-protesters-interrupt-obama/

    A group of Occupy protesters interrupted an Obama campaign speech for about 20 seconds, before being drowned out by Obamabots shouting “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma…” (which eerily reminded me of righties shouting “USA, USA…”. Anyway, what the Occupy folks were trying to say was this:

    Mr. President, over 4000 peaceful protesters have been arrested while bankers continue to destroy the American economy,” it said. “You must stop the assault on our 1st Amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.

    To his credit, Obama didn’t have the protesters pepper sprayed and arrested, as I imagine Dubya would. Indeed, Obama handled it graciously. But as I expected, his actual response to the protesters (which unfortunately is not in the video) was totally lame and didn’t address the issue. This was (standard trademarked) worthless reply:

    A lot of the folks who’ve been down in New York and all across the country in the ‘Occupy’ movement, there is a profound sense of frustration, there’s a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is that if you work hard, if you stick to it that you can make it, feels like that’s slipping away,” said the president. “And that’s not the way things are supposed to be, not here, not in America. This is a place where your hard work and your responsibility’s supposed to pay off, it’s supposed to be a big, compassionate country where everybody who works hard should have a chance to get ahead, not just the person who owns the factory, but then men and women who work on the factory floor.”

    So he said nothing about all those OWS folks getting arrested and brutalized by the storm troopers. And nothing about prosecuting the banksters for fraud – indeed, he’s pushing a proposal to grant the banksters blanket amnesty for their crimes. Does Obama even know about students getting beaten and pepper sprayed? I have to wonder if Obama even looks at the Internet, or is he relying on Fox News now for his info?

    It would be interesting to take a poll here. How many of you, if you had attended the Obama speech in the video, would have:

    1) Joined the Occupy folks in their mic check of Obama?
    2) Chanted “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma..” to drown them out?
    3) Just remained neutral and observed, not chanting anything.

    I’ll make no secret of the fact that I’m with No. 1.

  8. Doug Hughes  •  Nov 26, 2011 @10:01 pm

    Pooch – If you read the Juan Cole article, it bears out what Barbara and ABL are saying because Juan cites the Examiner article as the primary source. The Examiner article cites an ‘unnamed’ source, and never backs the allegation with any other source.

    Now ‘smell-check’ the story. Events DO suggest that the crackdown was coordinated because multiple raids happened simultaneously. The raids happened in multiple states. Some people jump to the conclusion that the federal government did the coordinating. Maybe Wall Street did the coordinating. Wall Street firms ARE aware what a populist movement could cost them. On the other hand, Obama stands to gain by that populist movement, because the focus of virtually ALL the revenue proposals hit the fat cats with higher taxes at the top, closing corporate tax loopholes, and eliminating corporate welfare (federal subsidies).

    So do a smell-check. How does the Obama administration gain by shutting OWS down? Fox has been speculating that Obama is actually behind it. There’s a conflict here, particularly in timing. This is the moment Obama WANTS discussion of income inequality – as the election ramps up and the GOP aligns with the 1%. From a completely cynical viewpoint, shutting down OWS, helps Obama like getting caught alone with an intern with his fly unzipped.

    That’s the other thing. If you were in the administration, and you instructed DOS to shut down OWS nationwide, the LAST thing DOS would do is arrange the conference call – or be anywhere NEAR the conference call. Why? Because mayors aren’t the brightest creatures in the political universe. Especially, if something goes wrong (and it always does) the mayor in the city where a protester gets killed is gonna say, “DHS made me do it!” For sure.

    I have been on a few conference calls. If it’s family, I know by voice who it is. But if it’s business, I know it’s Fred from Bumfuck because he introduces himself that way. If it’s Stan from K Street, pretending to be someone from DHS, the ONLY people who know the fraud are the ones who set up the call. If you think mayors aren’t gullible, Governor Walker was fooled by a prank call by a reporter pretending to be one of the Koch brothers.

    Which brings me to THE question. A conference call of 18 (or so) mayors is clearly a public matter. I want the phone numbers – there’s a record somewhere of WHAT numbers were connected and for how long. Why don’t we all demand that list of numbers under Freedom of Information before we draw conclusions.

  9. Bill Bush  •  Nov 26, 2011 @10:24 pm

    I saw references to the police association referenced in the quoted matter below at the time of the attacks on OWS:

    Evidence: non-profit policing organization orchestrating nationwide anti-occupy crackdown
    “The Police Executive Research Forum, an international non-governmental organization with ties to law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been coordinating conference calls with major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs to advise them on policing matters and discuss response to the Occupy movement. The group has distributed a recently published guide on policing political events.” – privacysos.org/node/370

    I recall seeing this mentioned a couple of places, and will search through my browser history to see if I can find other references. I’m having trouble double-windowing with Google right now, but will report back.

  10. Bill Bush  •  Nov 26, 2011 @10:28 pm

    OK, back from Yahoo search. PERF denies on their website:

    PERF Statement on “Occupy” Protests
    Over the last few days, the Police Executive Research Forum has been the subject of several false articles and blog postings alleging that we have been coordinating police crackdowns on Occupy protests. This is not true. PERF conducted two conference calls for the sole purpose of allowing police chiefs to compare notes about their experiences with “Occupy” protests. The last conference call was held on November 4 – more than two weeks ago.

    If this was disprovable this fast for me, what are “journalists” doing? Of course, I’d have to believe the PERF people are telling the truth, but I have only spent 4 minutes on this so far, so I would have to dig a bit more if I were a “journalist”, I suppose.

  11. maha  •  Nov 26, 2011 @11:08 pm

    AngryBlackLady isn’t particularly scrupulous about checking her own sources, much less quoting accurately.

    … and everyone who doesn’t join the Obama Is No Better Than Bush bandwagon is a brainwashed Obamabot. Yes, we have heard that before. Go away.

  12. maha  •  Nov 27, 2011 @8:16 am

    Candide — I welcome your perspective, but please try to state your opinion without insulting the rest of us here. Once again, the President has no authority to intervene in state and local police actions without a court order, so yelling at him about not doing anything about the arrests is stupid. I don’t like his policies toward the bankers, either, and if the OWSers had limited their “mic checks” to that issue I would have more sympathy for them.

  13. erinyes  •  Nov 27, 2011 @8:19 am

    Over the past 12 yrs. ( in particular) I have learned not to believe everything you hear or read on the news or internet. Do some research, use logic, look at trends, THEN decide.
    That said, NPR appears to have taken a turn to the right. I have noticed an increase in neocon interviews, and a slant towards nationalism and militarism.
    Maybe I’m growing more cynical, or perhaps it’s NPR’s response to attacks from the right and loss of funding.

  14. twtfltrd  •  Nov 28, 2011 @12:37 pm

    “Michael Moore (as much as I like him, he’s very fast and loose with facts sometimes)”

    Michael Moore, the lefts Rev. Al: got a controversy, television camera, count him in!



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