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Jay Carney Press Briefing, Jan 9 2013
Is the press secretary secretly an alien? We're just askin' questions.
An Arizona news anchor has reversed her story about the White House press secretary receiving questions in advance, but some of the conservative outlets that hyped her original claim have yet to correct the record.

Breitbart's John Nolte wrote a credulous piece on Thursday about denials from the White House press corps. [...]

Nolte has yet to update his piece with any of Anaya's subsequent statements wherein she retracted her original claim. The right-wing website WND hasn't corrected its story either.

Of course they haven't. They never do. If the Breitbarts or World Net Dailies of the world had a corrections page to walk back every false story they had ever peddled, there wouldn't be any content but that. Correcting blatantly false conspiracy theories after you've put them out there is like a magician telling the audience how the trick is done, or like a snake oil salesman telling the suckers that his "medicine" is just alcohol mixed with things he finds on the bottom of his shoe.

The visitors to conspiracy-minded websites like Breitbart or WND go there to be validated. They go there to have all their worst suspicions about the Enemy confirmed, even if their worst suspicions are deeply stupid, and what people like Andrew Breitbart and Joseph Farah discovered, or at least re-discovered, is that those people are every bit as content with made-up "proof" of their own suspicions as they would be with more substantive evidence. Moreso, even, because made-up "proof," whether it means editing a tape or fudging the facts of a story beyond recognition, is a far quicker and more reliable high than stories where the truth is considerably more boring and pedestrian.

You don't tell the marks how the con is run. You tell them that they are the smartest people in the world, because only you and they can see all these very secret and very big things wiggling around behind the scenes of the world. You want your marks stupid enough to think themselves clever, and telling them that what they might have recently sincerely believed is, in fact, a load of crap is the fastest way to sow doubt in their minds about all the other loads of crap you might have been selling them.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Especially Not During a Midterm Year. (4+ / 0-)

    Most of the US corporate media is talking only to 35% of the population or else making sure their imaginary nightmare world is not disturbed.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:12:50 AM PDT

    •  What's the problem with the press secretary (0+ / 0-)

      having a copy of the questions ahead of a press conference?  I wasn't aware that the object of a press conference was playing "gotcha" with the secretary.  After all, if he doesn't have the answer to a particular question, all he has to do is say, "I'll get back to you on that."

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:39:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Quoted for Truth (11+ / 0-)
    You tell them that they are the smartest people in the world, because only you and they can see all these very secret and very big things wiggling around behind the scenes of the world.
    Though I feel obliged to mention that both the Far Right and the Far Left use this tactic.
  •  What a great line (7+ / 0-)

    "You want your marks stupid enough to think themselves clever".

    This explains a lot of how the GOP operates. Thanks.

    1. Books are for use.

    by looty on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:15:24 AM PDT

  •  Unlike the NYT (5+ / 0-)

    Which does, occasionally, publish corrections:

    “An earlier version of this article misquoted a comment from Malachy McCourt on St. Patrick.  Mr. McCourt said, ‘My attitude is, St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland and they all came here and they became conservatives.’ He did not say St. Patrick banished the slaves from Ireland,”
    Heh heh.  I guess one of those snakes was Paul Ryan.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:23:01 AM PDT

  •  I Thought The Latest Scandal Was.... (4+ / 0-)

    the missing plane was landed in Benghazi by terrorists.  It would have been a two fer for them.

    All of it, of course, would have been Obama's fault.  

  •  I hope Issa has enough kleenex on hand. (0+ / 0-)

    So to speak.

    Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:27:18 AM PDT

  •  "Con news" is ok to lie; 5 Supremes said so (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, owlbear1

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:53:34 AM PDT

  •  Obama is hated because he is black..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    every attack, unrelated as it might seem, is driven by that premise.  

    The GOP is so audacious in their dishonesty that they will claim Obama requested his own impeachment (which is being planned as we speak).

    They are probably already planning the impeachment of Hillary, even though she is not yet elected.

    First black president; first woman president: these are unacceptable to the GOP and must be delegitimized.

    Hillary 2016.

    •  This is almost correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama's race is definitely part of it, but I think what really gripes them is that the president is a black Democrat.

      I believe that things have progressed enough that many or even most American conservatives can get behind a black Republican in a position of power: Clarence Thomas, for example, is beloved by them, in spite of the fact that he is married to a white woman (which not long ago would have made him a criminal in many of today's red states), because as a black Republican, he not only presses their agenda at every opportunity, but he also speaks very loud symbolically that their party is not racist. There are other obvious examples as well, such as Herman Cain, who might even have been their presidential candidate. Yes, there are certainly quite a few Republicans who would reject any non WASP, but the majority are willing to make an exception for pragmatic reasons.

      But if a given black elected official is NOT Republican or conservative, or even worse, if he is a Democrat, then all bets are off. By the same non-logic that grants an exception to hard right black elected official, there is an exceptional degree of savagery in their attacks on black elected officials on the left. And the absolute worst case for them is a black Democratic president, as we have seen ever since 2008-2009.

      So I'm not saying that race is irrelevant to the madness of conservatives, it's obvious that it is very relevant and salient to them. All I'm saying that ideological and party pragmatism is also relevant, and in some cases can meld with the racial dimension in a way that it never would have during the segregation era, or even the pre-Nixon era.

      •  I recced your comment and almost agree... (0+ / 0-)

        but I think a Black president is far different than a SCOTUS judge or other lower office.  

        The presidency is freighted with symbolism, and in the GOP mind epitomizes American Exceptionalism.  A Black, whom republicans believe are best suited for menial tasks and for taking orders (I'm guessing Clarence T. takes orders from his masters), is, as president, an insult to "true Americans."

        They will do what it takes to bring him down, to prove that a black could not do the job.  To prove, once and for all, that whites are superior.

        Just my opinion.

  •  Right Wing Attacks on President Obama (0+ / 0-)

    Have torn at the very core of our Democracy.  It is difficult to see how any Republican can ever again accept a Democrat as a legitimately elected President and, it will be a mistake for the Democratic Party to accept any Republican as a legitimately elected President.

    We know that George W. Bush stole the election in 2000, and only because of an Ohio Secretary of State, do we only suspect, and not have certain knowledge, that he also stole the election of 2004.  The Democratic Party has to recognize the continuing damage that the Republican Party has done to this nation and its government.

    I am not smart enough to know what the answer might be, but I hope that Hilary Clinton is!

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:50:30 PM PDT

  • (0+ / 0-)

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:53:32 PM PDT

  •  Even the Not So Intelligent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You don't tell the marks how the con is run.
    Can easily run a con, especially a profitable one, when the marks are more a cult, needing to be led, then groups seeking reality!!

    And this so called, still, GOP has plenty running them and sharing the fruits of their non labors, no sweat involved!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:57:09 PM PDT

  •  It't the old formula (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    • Mainstream Media Person puts out 'sensational' story.
    • Right Wing Media rebroadcasts it endlessly.  
    • Mainstream Media Person retracts 'Sensational' story.
    • Right Wing Media has already amplified the story enough to be picked up by Mainstream Media.
    • 'Sensational' story becomes the 'truth'.  

    Only thing that's gonna stop this is Multi Billion dollar suits filed for Malicious Defamation. Against the source and the media outlets that broadcast and rebroadcast it.  

    Will we win the suits? Possibly, possibly not, but these MSM 'reporters' will suddenly decide to fact check prior to publishing (or their editors will make them fact check).  All you need is one victory (or threat of it for the corporate risk adverse).

    Hit back where it hurts, their deep pockets.

    Remember freedom of speech is the freedom to say something, saying something untrue is called Libel (and not protected speech).

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:59:57 PM PDT

  •  very well said (0+ / 0-)

    but it isn't limited to just the wacko right.  The "mainstream" right plays the same psychological games.

  •  Needs To Ridicule "Conspiracy Theory Web Sites" (0+ / 0-)

    As always we see the Dem as the alcoholic family enabler that will not point out "the elephant in the living room,"  which is the elephant that most enablers grow up with, that someone in the room is batshit crazy, but pointing that out might cause dad to abandon the family or beat mom with a whiskey bottle, so everyone just pretends there's nothing weird going on.

    And for the conspiracy nuts, this just "proves" that the White House is "hiding" something.

    In the case of Benghazi, the wingnut version of the "truth" is that BHO and HRC watched a live video feed as the ambassador was sodomized.  So whenever someone mentions "Benghazi" the conspiracy nut base thinks "Sodomy! Why are they concealing the sodomy?"  Of course, anyone that's been playing RWNJ Conspiracy Bingo knows that "sodomy" is usually in the mix somewhere.

    Again this is the Dem enabler is maintaining the family's veil of secrecy and speaking the same code talk that the group uses to waltz around real issues.  This is of course utterly mystifying to outsiders.  An objective approach would be to confront the mealy mouthed accuser and say "What is is it you are trying to say?  Sac up and make a specific accusation or quit babbling and STFU."

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:02:54 PM PDT

  •  the truth (0+ / 0-)

    will never set the cons free.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  Why is Breitbard still around? (0+ / 0-)

    Can't the Left put him out of business, or make him pay a price for his actions?

  •  Putting the "con" in "conservative" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Researchers looked at why advance fee fraud scammers say they're from Nigeria:

    Since his attack has a low density of victims the Nigerian scammer has an overriding need to reduce false positives. By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.

    Now WND, Glenn Beck, et al have an interest in finding the most credulous suckers so they can deliver them to various rapacious marketers & sleaze artists.  Look at how badly retirees got fleeced by gold coin peddlers over the past few years: overpriced by 2x and the price of bullion is down 40% off the peak.

    So it's little surprise the whackadoodle sites borrow a page from Nathan Bedford Forrest to "Git 'em skeered and keep the skeer on 'em".  Fear of the 21st Century provides a steady stream of sheep to be sheared by their co-conspirators.

  •  What eats at me (0+ / 0-)

    is that there are still people on our side of things who, in 2014, earnestly and sincerely want to give the Movement Conservative Right the benefit of the doubt that they are acting in good faith when they blatantly acting in bad faith.

    Or they still get taken aback by how things work today in DC. This was from the same TPM reporter.


    The NRA Wants To Teach Everyone A Lesson
    March 21, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT

    So I have a confession. When I first saw a few weeks ago that the NRA was opposing President Obama's nominee for surgeon general, I didn't take it all that seriously. After all, the job has so little if anything to do with guns. I dismissed it as little more than a fundraising pitch for the organization.

    How many years has it been since a decent and sincerely focused on her job Surgeon General, whose only sin was to be SG in a Democratic administration, was sandbagged in total bad faith over an innocent comment about masturbation?

    Mistaking something pernicious and malicious for empty  theatre is something you might have believed 20 years ago. Or might have worked as an excuse 20 years ago.

    Is this person over at TPM expecting something, a standard based on principles that don't apply to the Right in America and hasn't in the last two decades, at this point? From the Village? Or the Right?

    Because he seemed to be expecting that pre-1990's media rules were going to magically apply to an NRA hitjob. In 2014.

    Or is this a kind of knowing non-hipster version of medium cool from somebody who is not in the Village but dances around it like a pilot fish dances around the mouth of a shark?  

    It's a gift to Movement Conservatism to give them too much credit. In low-information voter America, it's not an exaggeration that millions of people have no idea who is to blame and why for the way things are and how DC works today. I still run into registered Democrats who believe pernicious things the Right has said about everything from Benghazi to the ACA because the Right has a certain amount of room to say whatever they want without blowback or outrage. "If that wasn't true, you would be on fire with rage and so would every Democratic member of Congress". That is something that I hear more than I am comfortable with when I try and debunk something. It is right up there with "they can't lie on tv, there are laws that prevent a politician or a news anchor from lying on television". People believe this stuff.

    Breitbart was set up to be factory of bad faith. Andy Breitbart is a Movement Conservative Saint because of his bad faith and enabling of the worst kind of shit that passes for "muckraking" in RW circles. World Net Daily? Makes the Washington Times hacks seem like Edward R. Murrow.

    "Maybe" Drudge is lying about x, y, and z?

    Drudge is "probably" lying about a, b, or c?

    Maybe? Probably?

    It scares the shit out of me, frankly, how bad the Right has to get before everybody is on the same page.

    One of the things about Ezra Klein that never made me trust him all that much when he was at the WaPo was that he could be staring at bad faith, and still sit down with James Ihofe as if he was going to be intellectually honest about, say, climate change or why he wanted to gut food stamps. It's not the sitting down with Inhofe part that riles me, it's the sitting down with him expecting him to be intellectually honest and speak in good faith to you on topics that he has demonstrably shown you he is acting in bad faith. For years.

    Not really seeing the Movement Conservative Right for what they are effects a lot of things from tactics to how you approach calls to stare at your own navel to demands that you attack your own side for imagined or trumped up wrong-doings. You go to war with the Right that is, the Republican Party that is, not the one you wish existed.

    In the media, this gives the Right the ability to sell "both sides to it too" and driving non-Conservatives to navel gaze over blatant bad faith and faux outrages.

    I'm kind of torn.

    I get that TPM prides itself on being the "realist" outlet. Sure, they mock the Right, they also needle the Village too. But. They are also ready to cast a wary eye on those who are too hard and too harsh on the Right. To a fault. You can sneer at CNN for getting something wrong, but it's a mistake not to see that the thing you are sneering at is a systemic thing baked into how the Village covers news in this age, not CNN's arrogance or sloppiness giving the rest of the bunch a laugh. TPM's comment threads are the go-to place for hippy punching and Very Serious lectures about how you should take thin gruel and be grateful for it. How about noticing how much the Right benefits from the assumption of good faith where none exists? They couldn't do what they do if they weren't enabled.

    Talking Points Memo has always struck me as having one foot in the Village and one foot in the blogosphere. I remember a conservative I once knew bitching and moaning that TPM was kind of like a "gateway drug" to the liberal blogs almost a decade ago.

    As a non-Conservative, I have noticed for a long time that being accused of wanting to be right and noble in the ashes because of whatever, purity, hubris, is something that gets thrown at liberals by a lot of those who see themselves as more realistic.

    At what point do you have an obligation not to see the world, or certain bad actors/players in that world, as they actually are and not how you wish they would be?

    Looking for a World Net Daily or Breitbart correction?

    Sure. When Murdoch funds a Michael Moore documentary and Bill Kristol says war isn't the answer.  

    Is this person at TPM trying to shame the Right, or trying to get the rest of the Village to notice and blow this up into a bigger story via shame or cajoling, or sincerely expecting an honest retraction of the claims from the outlets in question?

    That kind of scares me. Frankly.

    All of those options present varying degrees of a sobering thought to me.

    Do you understand, truly, what it is we are facing? Who we are facing?

    The Right doesn't feel shame, certainly not that Breitbartian/World Nut Daily dark alley of the Right as it is proud of it's shamelessness, the Village blatantly doesn't hold Liberals and Conservatives to the same standards, rules, and levels of acceptable behavior and hasn't in ages.

    Or, is the "we" the mistake I am making.

    I like Josh Marshall, I like his blog, I get great information from them from time to time. Some of the people over there seem to get it more than others about the way things are now. But I always get reminded by what I see over there that TPM seems to be a place where hold-outs who really want the Right not to be as bad as they are and who want to believe that the decks is not as badly stacked as more partisan Democrats and activist liberals claim it is, can play by the old rules and deal with the GOP they wished existed rather than the one that is. Not be the Village, but have the ghost of the Village in you a bit. Mock CNN and Meet the Press, but occasionally scold the weary and the beaten down that they are being 'too partisan' or paranoid to balance that out.

    How long do I have to play three card monte before the game is fair? I see that in non-Conservative politics all the time, but I also see it in non-Conservative media.

    In 2014, I think having any of that in your head is dangerous.  

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:36:53 PM PDT

  •  Darryl Issa would have a much easier time (0+ / 0-)

    If he were a Democrat investigating GOP scandals. That would of course mean that he would have to work for the benefit of Americans rather than to their detriment.  This is possibly happening in a parallel Universe.

  •  These hate sites have a cult following (0+ / 0-)

    just like the Washington Times or Fox Nation.

    Just read all the vitriol  filled comments about the First Lady in this hate themed story from yesterday:
    Obama ladies touch down in China amid taxpayer uproar  

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:42:27 PM PDT

  •  don't have to if the talk radio gods don't (0+ / 0-)

    a main function of 1200 coordinated stations repeating the same lies without being corrected is to enable politicians and the rest of the media to do the same

    to fix this and prevent it from getting worse the left must stop ignoring that radio propaganda operation

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:06:27 PM PDT

  •  When I first saw WND (0+ / 0-)

    In the story, I thought it stood for Wing Nut Daily. My bad.

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