Monday, August 18, 2014

"Crooks and Liars" Proved So Gullible That They Will Literally Believe *Anything*

This is a story that is somewhat old, but I wanted to cover it because this problem needs to be addressed.  A few weeks ago, a story came out about how "progressive" and "liberal" websites fell for an obviously satirical story about Michelle Bachmann calling for "Americanization Centers."  One of the sites among them?  Crooks and Liars.

I publicly follow that site, but only ironically.  I used to actively participate in their "discussions," but I quickly discovered the futility of it all.  I faced all manner of insult from these so-called "enlightened" individuals.  The regulars on that site called me racist, a plant, and regularly insulted my intelligence.  There were a few who actually engaged me in polite discussion, but for the most part, I was branded a troll.  And for what?  For daring to disagree with the obvious and unapologetically biased  groupthink?

Anymore, I mostly just read their headlines.  That's all it takes to confirm that they are not, in any way, interested in reality or Truth.  After a while, it was apparent that the folks at Crooks and Liars would literally believe anything negative said as long as it is directed towards someone who is not a Democrat.  It doesn't matter how outlandish the lie: if it paints conservatives in a bad light, they will believe it.

Now, the good part is that if the information is shown to be a complete fabrication, they will at least admit that they were duped.  But of course, in typical pretentious fashion, their admission comes with a caveat.  When asked for comment about being complete dumbasses in believing the Michelle Bachmann satire, the spokesman for C&L had this to say:
"Yeah, I got pwned," the author wrote. "How sad is it that it was just this side of realistic enough to believe in the first place. When you have a reputation for making outrageous and ridiculous comments, it becomes easier and easier to believe something that should have been dismissed out of hand."
Yes, how sad indeed.  Notice how the author shifted the focus away from the fact that he is so blinded by his ideological bias that he can no longer distinguish between reality and farce.  And notice how he shifted that focus onto Michelle Bachmann, like it's somehow her fault that the author failed to fact check before believing something he read on the interwebs.

Don't get me wrong, I think that Michelle Bachmann is an incendiary fool who reaps political gain from saying outrageous things to America's uninformed masses.  But if I were dumb enough to believe in a satire piece about her, I would at least have enough integrity to stop and ask "how could I allow myself to be such an idiot?" rather than blame someone else for my own intellectual short-comings.

When I read about the story, I pored over the C&L headlines to find the article in question.  Either it happened so long ago that I just can't find it, or C&L took the article down once they realized their epic stroke of public foolishness.  It's likely that they took the article down not just to cover their own asses, but to cover the asses of the hundreds of comments from their intellectually bereft commenters who also blindly took the bait.  Just as well, there was no article of apology in the matter.

Crooks and Liars is living, breathing proof that even educated men and women (many of them claim to hold graduate degrees) can be complete idiots.  C&L is a place where intellectual integrity goes to die.  It's a place where men and women who have given up on objectivity and truth go to engage in dangerous, nigh unbelievable groupthink.

It doesn't matter how ludicrous the idea: if it supports the narrative that conservatives are ignorant, racist assholes who are somehow able to perpetrate a vast right wing conspiracy (thank you, Hillary Clinton) for the purpose of destroying American liberty, then they will believe it.  They will believe it, report it as fact, and circle-jerk each other on how they "get it," and everyone else is just an uneducated slug.

It would be infuriating if it wasn't so sad and pathetic.

1 comment:

jez said...

Confirmation bias is a thing, regardless of how many tests you passed. Everybody has it, and to overcome it by even a small amount, you have to pay a lot of attention.