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> Has a left leaning media benefited Democrats?, Media bias and it's effect on the public. (Trump, protest, electio
net2007
post Dec 8 2016, 08:00 PM
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This thread will surround what this election has meant for what many have seen as a predominately left-wing media. I'll also touch some on how a slanted media can lead to misconception or at worst incite violence.

For years left-wing media bias has been viewed, by some, as a conspiracy theory pushed by conservatives who don't like their ideas challenged. Back in the Bush and Obama years this lead me to seek some form of reliable substantiation for this in polling data, such as with this PewResearch Poll from 2013...

http://www.people-press.org/2013/08/08/ami...ole-stands-out/

QUOTE
Overall, about seven-in-ten (72%) see news organizations in ideological terms. A 46%-plurality says news organizations are best described as liberal, another 26% say they are conservative. Just 19% say news organizations are best described as neither liberal nor conservative.

Most Republicans See a Liberal News MediaThe balance of opinion on this question has changed little in recent years, with a plurality consistently describing news organizations as liberal, and about a quarter saying they are conservative.

Not surprisingly, there are wide partisan divides in perceptions of news organizations ideology. By a 65%-17% margin, more Republicans say news organizations are liberal than conservative. By contrast, Democrats are divided: about as many say the press is liberal (36%) as conservative (37%). By about two-to-one (47%-23%), more independents say news organizations are better described as liberal than conservative.


If you deduct the often fixed opinions of the far right and left, you can see here that it was often those undecided independents who held this opinion.

With this election I feel liberal media bias has been exposed to the point that it's an argument that's difficult to counter, this due largely to the media siding with Hillary Clinton and other Democratic nominees all while Donald Trump remained persistent in calling them out in a way that hasn't been done before. In retrospect what good did it do liberals to have a media that speaks to the strength of one candidate so much? According to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, it gave a false sense of confidence that lead to some Democrats staying home on election night, comfortable with their belief that Hillary Clinton was far ahead.

In his words.... (edited for length)

QUOTE
The Clinton campaign believed until 9 o'clock that they had a lock on this, that they were going to win. The fault of that, actually, lies with the media. There is some self-reflection, Jim Rutenberg today writes a fascinating article where the New York Times editor and others basically come to terms with the fact that they stopped being journalists for the past month, and began being cheerleaders, and began being people who had a conclusion that they reached, and then searched for facts that Hillary was a 92, 93, 99.999 percent chance winner of this campaign...............It was there the entire time, they didnt want to hear it, they didnt want to see it........You were trying to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump because you thought Donald Trump would be such a malignant cancer on our Constitutional Republic. It was much easier for you to stay in Manhattan and say they're all voting for Trump because they're racists and bigots." If you really do believe that then you believe that over 50 million people are racists and bigots.......The first thing you did was you put liberals and Democrats and independents who thought like you you put them in a position where they were complacent, where they really did believe not only in New York but across America and the world that Hillary Clinton had a 98.99% of being elected president."


If interested watch the full video here....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-8EPmM8Ijk

You also had Michael Moore, who isn't conservative by any stretch, lay out a four-point post-election plan where he's suggesting, more or less, not to trust the media because they weren't acknowledging conservatives and what was really going on. He hasn't turned conservative, my guess is that he's saying this because he thinks the best way to keep the Democratic party strong is for them to acknowledge their opponents and what they really want, he was suggesting that they felt neglected which has been true for the better part of the last 8 years.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-12/l...onest-reporting

For some it may seem redundant to suggest the media is generally left leaning but there are those who don't believe this is accurate so I want to bring it up in the debate questions regardless. The larger purpose of the thread is to talk about what effect this is having. I've mentioned above that I believe it's lead to overconfidence in politicians who are underperforming but I think it goes beyond that. If someone genuinely believes what their news source is telling them, and that news source is telling them that their opponents are racist simpletons, what effect would this have?

For me, it means that someone such as this would be more prone to developing issues of their own. Take the liberal protesting machine, when I look at it, it seems obvious that acts of violence or discrimination are amplified when compared to conservative protest. This will likely be hotly debated because the consensus among Democrats has been the opposite, where for many conservatism is seen as a warning sign for bigotry or problems surrounding racism. To be up front I don't think a political affiliation will define a persons temperament, but when I look at trends, as it stands right now I think Democrats and liberals have a problem they need to address fast.

When I look at this election and the protest that resulted from it I just don't see the same degree of proactive arrogance from the right that I see from the left. I've seen left-wing extremist block up traffic for miles by protesting in the middle of the street, I saw a man sprint at Donald Trump during one of his rallies, he jumped over a barricade and tried to get on stage, bodyguards had to tackle him to stop him. I saw protesters rioting in cities after the election, destroying public property. Then there was this, here you have several people team up on an old man, and this wasn't even at a rally...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9snWgbVt5w

They kick in and punch him in the head while screaming at him for voting for Trump. While I don't think this is a fair representation of all liberals or Democrats, I think this kind of thing is a problem that goes unacknowledged by many. What does all of this have to do with the media? I think discrimination often starts from the top down, you do have these ridiculous things that conservatives say, so there are racist conservatives who don't care. However when you have media pundits who concentrate on this without revealing that this is an issue shared by liberals, and when they fail to reveal the good characteristics of those who think differently then naturally you'll have some who develop a warped view without perspective. I think it starts with our politicians and the media, it then filters down onto parents and college professors who teach a younger generation what others have taught them.

This would be true of conservatives as well, you have media pundits who teach their listeners to distrust or despise their opponents but what I'm looking at here are numbers and percentages. When you have polls coming out that suggest the media is largely left leaning and you have liberal columnist and news organizations acknowledging that it's a problem, the question for me becomes will more people catch on?

So that's my take on it. Regardless of who's at fault more, I see this as an issue that liberals will need to take seriously to move forward. When talking about equality, living by example is the best way to promote that and this election has had a drastic change on how effective it is for prominent Democrats to promote equality if they can't take responsibility for things happening within their own party.

Questions for debate...

1. Does the media favor liberals?
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Bonus..

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.


This post has been edited by net2007: Dec 8 2016, 08:04 PM
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kimpossible
post Dec 14 2016, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 13 2016, 06:09 PM) *
Here's a question: Whom would you entrust with the task of determining what does or does not constitute "fake news", and then with alerting the public about it?

If your answer is something along the lines of "Long-established news organizations, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, major news networks, etc.", here's some food for thought (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
In the latest example why the "mainstream media" is facing a historic crisis of confidence among its readership, facing unprecedented blowback following Craig Timberg November 24 Washington Post story "Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, experts say", on Wednesday a lengthy editor's note appeared on top of the original article in which the editor not only distances the WaPo from the "experts" quoted in the original article whose "work" served as the basis for the entire article (and which became the most read WaPo story the day it was published) but also admits the Post could not "vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's finding regarding any individual media outlet", in effect admitting the entire story may have been, drumroll "fake news" ...

It was the closest the Washington Post would come to formally retracting the story, which has now been thoroughly discredited not only by outside commentators, but by its own editor.
...
Criticism culminated this week when the "Naked capitalism" blog threatened to sue the Washington Post, demanding a retraction.

Now, at least, the "national newspaper" has taken some responsibility, however the key question remains: by admitting it never vetted its primary source, whose biased and conflicted "work" smeared hundreds of websites, this one included, just how is the Washington Post any different from the "fake news" it has been deriding on a daily basis ever since its endorsed presidential candidate lost the elections?
...

Link: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-07/w...-it-may-be-fake

ps:
And here's some more food for thought along those lines (bolding mine):


The WashPo article was certainly the subject of heavy criticism by other traditional news sources and newer "alternative" news sources (in particular, Greenwald's The Intercept). And of course, while the WashPo article cites dubious sources, theres beginning to be much more credible evidence of Russian interference in the election....

I'm not arguing that traditional news media is some saint that never gets a story wrong. And I think I've been clear that there's no easy answer into how to define fake news, but I do lean towards news articles that list their authors, have some stake in journalistic credibility, and aren't just aggregates of other news articles (already posted in the MSM...). It's imperfect, but what can one do?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
What would help is actual news reporting, but that seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur itself, which is why this has become such a prevalent issue. There aren't really any reputable sources you can go to where you know you'll get the real truth.


I think there's been a ton of great reporting this year, but its hard to separate from the wheat from the chaff, which I think is the real issue. Additionally, there will always be some tension between getting out a (seemingly) important story quickly and taking the time to fact check. Some facts dont lend themselves to verification through a phone call or email. Also, short attention spans is another issue.

QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
No, people's lives are at risk because there are idiots out there who don't bother researching before doing stupid stuff. Pizza gate could well have happened because of some backstreet rumour.

QUOTE
Pizzagate the belief that code words and satanic symbols point to a sordid underground along an ordinary retail strip in the nations capital is possible only because science has produced the most powerful tools ever invented to find and disseminate information.


False. Where is any mention of the onus on the actor to corroborate any information before going off half cocked? This isn't 'only possible' because of the Internet...it's only possible because people lost their mind, and decided that 'hey, clearly the right thing to do when seeing something ridiculous on the Internet is to immediately grab a rifle and go barging in somewhere, unfortunately not half-cocked.

What would this same person have done during Orson Welles. broadcast of the War of the Worlds?

There is a bunch of crap out there. There will always be a bunch of crap out there. Whether we try to curtail 'fake' news or not.


Fair point that we have indeed survived until now, and most likely will continue to survive. Maybe the better question is, what can we as a society do to encourage a more critical stance? This theory should have never gained the traction it did, and I like to believe if people didn't feel so isolated and angry, it never would have. I have no doubt that the Pizzagate dude felt he had all the right evidence (and while he learned about Pizzagate through word of mouth, I would argue that it was definitely the internet that allowed him to 'see' the evidence, PLUS the echo chamber that allowed him to dismiss any criticisms of the theory).


QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
Yes, this is a good example. From the article:

QUOTE
false information can also arise from misinformed social media posts by regular people that are seized on and spread through a hyperpartisan blogosphere


Misinformed social media posts? Ummmm....wouldn't that be almost ANY social media post? Again, if our reaction to this is going to be OMG, we've got to do something about this!...we're dommed before starting. It isn't possible to stop that. The only way to keep 'misinformed social media' off the web, is to keep ALL social media off the web. Has anyone ever seen a social media post that was fully informed? I haven't. Anything that isn't fully informed is misinformed...there are pieces of information missing. Heck, you'd have to shut TV down too. Get rid of most print media as well.

We can't live our lives in a vacuum, with no information....and the price of getting information is dealing with misinformation. I'm not saying all is well with this, but I am saying that it is almost impossible to stop, and that attempts to do so are likely to do more harm than good. There is no answer to the question "Who should determine what is 'fake'?" If there is no answer, the answer is 'no one should'. Or, the better answer is 'we all should'.


I think there can be thoughtful social media posts (look at all the thoughtful debate that occurs here on AD! Or do we not count message boards as social media?).

I do think that something needs to be done. Is an algorithm that spots 'fake' news the answer? Not really. Honestly, I think the only real solution is to create a better educated populace that learns critical thought and how to spot logical fallacies. But that requires investing money in education. (And a basic restructuring of society, imo, which I just know will never happen the way I imagine it).

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
I'm curious how many folks who are concerned about fake news at present, bought in to Trutherism.


You got me, Mrs. P. I definitely bought into trutherism 15 years ago. Though I think you will find me a bit more temperate at the age of 35, rather than 22 (though probably no less liberal than before).

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
Right now, the media has successfully convinced a great portion of the population that Trump IS Hitler, and will get us into a nuclear war. Isn't stopping Hitler and an impending nuclear war a moral obligation? Heck, by the fake news angle (or real angle for those who believe it) one has a moral obligation to kill Trump.


I think this is unfair. I haven't yet seen an reputable news source calling for Trump's death, and even philosophers have struggled with whether or not Hitler's death would be 'worth it', morally. I would say that stopping Trump is a moral obligation, because he plans to hurt people. We dont have death camps (yet...? jk!), but he has used language that very much threatens the civil liberties of broad swathes of the population, and that may not be worrisome for everyone, but I don't think it's crazy for people to feel threatened.

Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
The above is also the anatomy of a "believable" fake news story. First, it starts with a connection...in the case of fake news it isn't a neighborhood or person, but a belief system that tells your brain "this is a member of my tribe". Conservatives and liberals will notice fake news from the opposing side, but they are predisposed to believe their own. The bar is far higher, and has to be far more outrageous and ridiculous for a person of one "tribe" to reject information coming from their own "tribe". Once they buy it, new information comes out to place the situation into more proper context (extenuating circumstances), or refute it altogether...but it's too late because a good portion of the readership has bought it.
The best example I can think of is the picture of a very young very small boy who was shot by a large angry white guy in an affluent safe suburb because he was holding a bag of skittles.


I agree. I was just speaking with some work colleagues about this. Often in the face of outrageous behavior/stories/beliefs/etc, once people have committed to believing something, they really double down on that belief, even as they are proven wrong. There's a lot of factors at play here: finding the 'truth' is often not an easy task, and at times, requires processing contradictory opinions and dealing with nuance; no one likes being wrong; challenges to world views don't change those world views. How do can we fight against that?


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Mrs. Pigpen
post Dec 14 2016, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 11:28 AM) *
I think there can be thoughtful social media posts (look at all the thoughtful debate that occurs here on AD! Or do we not count message boards as social media?).
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
Right now, the media has successfully convinced a great portion of the population that Trump IS Hitler, and will get us into a nuclear war. Isn't stopping Hitler and an impending nuclear war a moral obligation? Heck, by the fake news angle (or real angle for those who believe it) one has a moral obligation to kill Trump.


I think this is unfair. I haven't yet seen an reputable news source calling for Trump's death, and even philosophers have struggled with whether or not Hitler's death would be 'worth it', morally.


People don't study the words of philosophers to determine whether or not "stopping" someone evil who will cause the deaths of millions is inherently wrong, when they feel threatened and fearful. Philosophy is something that happens when a person is in a position of safety where he or she can deliberate. One is a frontal lobe activity, the other is primal.
Primal wins just about always, particularly in exigent circumstances. People under a great deal of stress and fear do all sorts of things that often don't make sense to people who aren't experiencing it. No one need direct a violent response a la radio Rwanda, they just need to make the threat look dire enough to cause a great deal of fear.
You just provided an example of a similar dynamic with "Pizzagate".

QUOTE
Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
The above is also the anatomy of a "believable" fake news story. First, it starts with a connection...in the case of fake news it isn't a neighborhood or person, but a belief system that tells your brain "this is a member of my tribe". Conservatives and liberals will notice fake news from the opposing side, but they are predisposed to believe their own. The bar is far higher, and has to be far more outrageous and ridiculous for a person of one "tribe" to reject information coming from their own "tribe". Once they buy it, new information comes out to place the situation into more proper context (extenuating circumstances), or refute it altogether...but it's too late because a good portion of the readership has bought it.
The best example I can think of is the picture of a very young very small boy who was shot by a large angry white guy in an affluent safe suburb because he was holding a bag of skittles.


I agree. I was just speaking with some work colleagues about this. Often in the face of outrageous behavior/stories/beliefs/etc, once people have committed to believing something, they really double down on that belief, even as they are proven wrong. There's a lot of factors at play here: finding the 'truth' is often not an easy task, and at times, requires processing contradictory opinions and dealing with nuance; no one likes being wrong; challenges to world views don't change those world views. How do can we fight against that?


Hehknow how many times I bought magazines from the folks in that example? THREE times. Different years, different places and people, but the same basic ploy.
First time, shame on them.
Second time shame on methird time it becomes something that belongs in a parody about the village idiot.
Even when I knew I was being played, the instinct is so strong its hard to override. So it is with our biases (mine included).
Best thing we can do is attempt look at information very critically and understand that often context, and small details, can change everything.

Lets take your take on Trump.
From your perspectivewhich seems to be a very educated one
(kudos on your thesis and world travels! Thats awesomeIm assuming you obtained your spoken life ambition, back in the day, to be multi-lingual smile.gif )
But I digressfrom your perspective he is likely to be a dictator and wants to harm people. You're basing this on your observations of authoritarian regimes.
From my perspective (which is probably not as educated as yours) I dont see the close similarities between Trump and dictators.
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. There are some striking similarities between Satan and Santa.

I am curious about specifics. What exactly are the similarities and could these similarities be drawn with just about anyone else in a high government office?
Maybe that's the stuff of another thread, though.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Dec 14 2016, 06:28 PM
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akaCG
post Dec 14 2016, 10:48 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 01:08 PM) *
...
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. ...
...

Yup.

Example thereof, from the 2012 election season:
QUOTE
...
Goldberg found Ann Romney's glowing praise of motherhood in a column she wrote for USA Today to be "kind of creepy." During an appearance on MSNBC's weekend program "Up with Chris Hayes," Goldberg said the phrase "the crown of motherhood," which Ann Romney used in her column, reminded her of "authoritarian societies" that give out awards for large families.

"In a lot ways, the column was totally anodyne, right? She's, you know, yes, motherhood is beautiful. I found that phrase, 'the crown of motherhood' really kind of creepy. Not just because of it's somewhat -- you know, it's kind of really authoritarian societies that give out like a Cross of Motherhood. They give out awards for big families," Goldberg said on the program's panel.

"You know, Stalin did it, Hitler did it," she said.
...

Link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/201...ler_stalin.html

And here's one from just a few days ago, involving the very same protagonists, Chris Hayes and Michelle Goldberg (highlights mine):
QUOTE
...
CHRIS HAYES: I have a sort of instinctual aversion to the mode of the Trump rally --particularly after he won. It feels like, it feels not that far from "Rallies For The Leader," which don't have a great history in politics across the world.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: The whole posture is one of kind of both rallying the people who voted for him, and also kind of menacing and threatening the majority who didn't -- with these kind of menacing asides. "They're on our side, they just don't know it yet." "You're going to like what we have in store."
...
HAYES: ... Are you saying that is menacing because of the words, or because it is coming from the mouth of Donald Trump?

GOLDBERG: Because it is coming from the mouth of Donald Trump. Who is going to turn our country into a racist police state.
...

Link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/201...te_for_him.html

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net2007
post Dec 15 2016, 01:47 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 10 2016, 01:17 PM) *
Rather than respond to the whole post I think this kind of sums it up

QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 9 2016, 11:29 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.


I don't see it, I'd say at minimum both have been equivalent in terms of vile rhetoric.

How you can say that with a straight face is beyond me. Kind of hard to just out right endorse Trump isn't it? Apparently this game of pretending balance between shop lifting and murder is what we can look forward to. I notice Trouble tried that same stunt recently on another thread.


Your response didn't sum up much, the issue of media bias wasn't addressed at all, and you offered no substantiation for shorthand explanations. It's not that you can't either, when you debate AGW (where I generally agree with your points btw) you're pretty thorough.

I not only say what I did with a straight face, I say it with confidence. You might not see it but it's there in plain sight if you research with objectivity. I'll say straight up that violent acts and discrimination on behalf of liberals are typically part of the alt-left, (a group in the minority) but it is a problem, one which is rigorously ignored and downplayed. Conservative discrimination issues are already front and center, we have a media that usually wants it that way. This would be okay if they made liberal discrimination problems an issue they covered as well, but they don't. This leaves some people ignorant of the fact that it's even a problem.

I can say what I did with a straight face because of things like this...

https://www.youtube.com/v/2Lk1kvZ_WNY

(The video was recorded in San Jose, where multiple attacks on Trump supporters, including women and the elderly, were made. Personally, I didn't see anything of this magnitude demonstrated by Trump supporters. You're welcome to try to counter that claim, but you should probably watch it instead of doing guess work. From what I saw in this election, you had Trump saying a number of divisive things and some fights broke out at Trump rallies after Anti-Trump protesters intruded on their space, though there were some exceptions. As for what was happening with Clinton, Sanders, and their supporters, I'll continue below and address Hillary herself at the bottom. These sources are all in order from most disturbing to least disturbing)....

Along with the video above there were also things like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh78DBIdPtU

(This is in Anaheim California where two Mexican 8 and 11-year-old girls are sprayed with pepper spray along with a couple other adult Trump supporters. They're seen in this news report crying as an eye witness says it wasn't an accident that the girls got hit, they aimed the pepper spray at them.)

And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9snWgbVt5wit

(This is the one I posted in the opening post where an old man is kicked and punched in the head while they scream "Don't Vote Trump!". It's not at a rally where you'd expect this kind of thing to take place, discrimination has embedded itself into our culture in a big way yet again, things were much better when I was younger in the 80's and 90's. We've seen a surge of hate crimes, on both sides, spike over the course of the last 8 years, without question preceding Donald Trump being in the picture.)

And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLOEmHmEIwA

(A black 16 year old Trump supporter receives death threats after an encounter with a Black Lives Matter member who goes as far as to say "black lives matter first, then white lives matter", he also calls him disgraceful, all while this young man stays calm while getting spit on (a result of being too close) by someone who doesn't know how to communicate. After insulting a young black man he goes on to say... "A young black man got killed in Chicago 16 times by the police, and he was young" not sure what that means, but okay. I assume shot, but regardless this shows the hypocrisy often displayed by the alt-left.)

And this...

https://jonathanturley.org/2016/11/16/bats-...comment-page-1/

(Here you have two people, a celebrity and a CEO both make death threats on either Republicans/Independents or Trump. The celebrity (Lea DeLaria) saying "she wanted to take out Republicans and Independents with a baseball bat.")


And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0iXTtck6zs&t=148s

(Almost done, this started out as a teacher getting recorded fear mongering and instilling a liberal viewpoint onto her students (as many college professors and teachers do), it then lead to the student who posted the footage receiving threats of legal action. This is well deserved for college professors who do this kind of thing, it needs to be exposed for what it is, and how it's contributing to a racially and politically charged college atmosphere. It's lead to bullying, and often exclusion of those with conservative viewpoints.)

And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7C-nGVDHgQ

(The last source is one of the less severe cases, but here you have a woman (Sanders Supporter) drawing comparisons between Trump and Hitler. While this hasn't been too uncommon for either side throughout prior elections, it's a comparison that immediately delegitimizes the argument giver in the eyes of the person receiving the argument, particularly if the argument is being made about the receiver or someone they support. In this interview, she's laughed at and dismissed because she's trying to make an argument denouncing labeling while she actively participates in it. Hitler is the ultimate go-to when attempting to take a politician or their supporters down a notch or two because he was responsible for the death of millions, there's NO other reason. I say this because similarities could easily be drawn with others, so the goal is clear, defamation of character. Look at the last video to get an idea, this is usually how it starts out, a misleading argument with a motive behind it snowballing into something worse.)

All of this type of information is easily found and barely scratches the surface so this is without question a two-way street where some liberals are contributing to a problem they'd like to think of as a conservative one.

As far as Hillary goes, I'll go as far as to say she's more scripted than Trump, but the contempt she has for her opponents is there. The truth leaks out now and then "basket of deplorables" or every time she smirks at her opponents to dismiss them, though she often holds her tongue for popular opinion purposes. Yet discrimination and violence on behalf of liberals remains as prevalent or more so than it was before. So it's revealing in the sense that the approach she took didn't help, and it's because it wasn't genuine.

When she spoke of equal treatment it was usually in reference to groups who support her. Add to that the lies and corruption and you have a failed candidate on more than one occasion. While you used the term minority to explain Trump supporters (hinting at the popular vote) I actually look at it as a majority. In raw numbers, Hillary squeaked by but she represented and defended the beliefs of Californians and New Yorkers so much that she got a disproportionate amount of the vote in those states which rendered them useless. In a football game getting the most yards by small fraction doesn't necessarily win you the game. This is a side point, but have you considered it's because she doesn't believe in equality?

________________________________

Julian
QUOTE
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

I think it's easy to see reporting bias, and most of the complaints of bias are along those lines. More insidious, to my mind, is editorial bias (i.e. choosing which stories to cover and which ones to ignore), and I think there is (again) a big bias towards 'the establishment' much more than liberals in general in the corporate media. Fox might cover stories from a conservative viewpoint, but they are mostly covering the same stories as the rest of the media.

What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)


Exactly. In my mind, in a way, it's lying through omission, and that's more likely to deceive someone. When false information is given I'd think it'd be easier to get caught because someone could always fact check the false claim being made. If they omit information or aren't clear that there's another side to the story some will take it at face value. Like Mrs. Pigpen is saying, people tend to be tribal and gravitate to those with viewpoints that match their own. However, it can explode from there where a person gets to the point of prejudice or contempt for others. It's a hard battle to fight. Sticking with like-minded individuals is easy, looking through someone else's eyes is the hard part. The contempt and discrimination this can lead to is contagious as well, further complicating things.

QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Protest votes plus Republican party loyalty, and a willingness to ignore (or ignorance of) the accusations of racism and bigotry (which are not imaginary, IMO) in favor of the perceived higher prize of 'taking the country back' 'making America great again' etc.


Right, I don't believe all of it 's imaginary either actually. There's a problem within the Republican party for sure. I have a mixed opinion of Trump, I'm glad he's calling out the media and think as a business man he has the potential to get some things done, but he needs to be more specific when he talks. I can see why some of the things he's saying are stirring things up. He'd be far more effective if he didn't say things that can't and shouldn't be done, like banning all Muslims. I was a John Kasich voter in the primary, that's who I wanted to see get through but I ended up having to settle for Gary Johnson in the general election.

For me, it also comes down to believing that liberals (usually within the Democratic party where their party is at stake), have been initiating things in many cases. In other words, I don't feel the majority of it has been a reaction to Trump because it was a big problem prior to this election. I do come from a right of center viewpoint on these things, but still believe that those on the left who are causing problems, whether they're Democrats, or liberal independents, are a group in the minority. I recently talked to vsrenard on Facebook, very reasonable and respectful. I think for some it comes down to acknowledgment of what's happening (much like you're saying for the Republicans).
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Dec 15 2016, 12:37 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 14 2016, 06:48 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 01:08 PM) *
...
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. ...
...

Yup.
(examples)



We've had a few thread topics on Bush is Hitler, and I think we had some on Obama is Hitler too.
There was also a thread with the little "who would you vote for?" poll that offered all the nice things about (guess who?) and all the bad things about (guess who and who?) that is supposed to astound folks.
Gee! Hitler sounds better than Churchill or Roosevelt! Well, yeah...that's what partial information will get you.

Scott Adams offers a pretty good breakdown of the Trump is Hitler argument.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Dec 15 2016, 12:37 PM
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kimpossible
post Dec 15 2016, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 15 2016, 06:37 AM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 14 2016, 06:48 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 01:08 PM) *
...
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. ...
...

Yup.
(examples)



We've had a few thread topics on Bush is Hitler, and I think we had some on Obama is Hitler too.
There was also a thread with the little "who would you vote for?" poll that offered all the nice things about (guess who?) and all the bad things about (guess who and who?) that is supposed to astound folks.
Gee! Hitler sounds better than Churchill or Roosevelt! Well, yeah...that's what partial information will get you.

Scott Adams offers a pretty good breakdown of the Trump is Hitler argument.


Why bother ever making comparisons at all then? Nothing can ever be similar or dissimilar, since all comparisons can be drawn between all different things. I guess its better to just never analyze anything then.
\_(ツ)_/
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Dec 15 2016, 02:49 PM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 10:39 AM) *
Why bother ever making comparisons at all then? Nothing can ever be similar or dissimilar, since all comparisons can be drawn between all different things. I guess its better to just never analyze anything then.
\_(ツ)_/



Fair enough. Let's examine the basic premise.
An authoritarian....consolidates power. Are we seeing this in Trump?
I submit that the very fact (as you and others have noted) he is "disorganized" about forming his cabinet rather than placing in a bunch of lobbyist lackeys (as just about any other candidate would) is a pretty good indication he isn't consolidating power, or hiring only his best advocates. Hell, he's been looking at employing people who outright spoke out against him.
Is that what dictators typically do?
Don't they centralize government for themselves? DOn't they confiscate property (often in the form of special "taxes") to use that funding for themselves and their constituents?
I've asked already what exactly you have here.
If the only answer is: "It's OBVIOUS!" with nothing to really support it...
well, you should probably check your biases.

Yes, I admit Trump is nauseating to watch and listen to. That doesn't make him Hitler. Or anything close.
Hell, that doesn't even distinguish him from Hillary.
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post Dec 15 2016, 03:01 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 13 2016, 03:22 PM) *
Yes, they do that. BUT the 'algorithms' that they use to filter out 'fake' news are almost by definition highly biased, and almost certainly so when you realize they are 'blue' companies, and also if you look at the results of what gets filtered. Having information censored like this is highly problematic to start with...what divine providence does 'Google' have that allows them to determine what is 'fake' and what isn't? None. Heck, even supposedly objective sources, like those that fact check what politicians say, end up being misleading. They will list something as 'false' even though in their analysis they say it is correct, but potentially misleading. Uhhhh...wouldn't that essentially apply to anything that any politician says about anything?


Indeed. What's particularly irksome about Google and - particularly - Facebook, is their insistence on seeing themselves as tech companies and specifically not as media companies. So instead of employing some editors or moderators to check fact (or, in a recent example where the famous photo of the Vietnamese girl running naked from a napalm attack got pulled because the algorithm registered it as containing nudity, photos), they rely on trying to further perfect their algorithms)


QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 14 2016, 12:09 AM) *
Julian
Exactly. In my mind, in a way, it's lying through omission, and that's more likely to deceive someone. When false information is given I'd think it'd be easier to get caught because someone could always fact check the false claim being made. If they omit information or aren't clear that there's another side to the story some will take it at face value. Like Mrs. Pigpen is saying, people tend to be tribal and gravitate to those with viewpoints that match their own. However, it can explode from there where a person gets to the point of prejudice or contempt for others. It's a hard battle to fight. Sticking with like-minded individuals is easy, looking through someone else's eyes is the hard part. The contempt and discrimination this can lead to is contagious as well, further complicating things.


Well indeed. As several others have indicated, it's human nature to seek out one's 'tribe'. It's easier to agree or disagree with a case that's presented for you than to go digging into ALL the available evidence and form an opinion of your own. But, while it's true that conservatives have been accused of this weakness for a long time and 'liberals' are now in the firing line for doing it, there's a good deal of schadenfreude going on. Noticing that the political left is guilty of this human foible is not the same as curing the tendency among conservatives, and drawing all the attention on liberal ignorance and bias without mentioning in the same breath that conservatives are just as likely to fall prey to the same weakness is simply an exercise in tu quoque finger pointing.

QUOTE
QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Protest votes plus Republican party loyalty, and a willingness to ignore (or ignorance of) the accusations of racism and bigotry (which are not imaginary, IMO) in favor of the perceived higher prize of 'taking the country back' 'making America great again' etc.


Right, I don't believe all of it 's imaginary either actually. There's a problem within the Republican party for sure. I have a mixed opinion of Trump, I'm glad he's calling out the media and think as a business man he has the potential to get some things done, but he needs to be more specific when he talks. I can see why some of the things he's saying are stirring things up. He'd be far more effective if he didn't say things that can't and shouldn't be done, like banning all Muslims. I was a John Kasich voter in the primary, that's who I wanted to see get through but I ended up having to settle for Gary Johnson in the general election.


Indeed.

QUOTE
For me, it also comes down to believing that liberals (usually within the Democratic party where their party is at stake), have been initiating things in many cases. In other words, I don't feel the majority of it has been a reaction to Trump because it was a big problem prior to this election. I do come from a right of center viewpoint on these things, but still believe that those on the left who are causing problems, whether they're Democrats, or liberal independents, are a group in the minority. I recently talked to vsrenard on Facebook, very reasonable and respectful. I think for some it comes down to acknowledgment of what's happening (much like you're saying for the Republicans).


Agreed.
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kimpossible
post Dec 15 2016, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 15 2016, 08:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 10:39 AM) *
Why bother ever making comparisons at all then? Nothing can ever be similar or dissimilar, since all comparisons can be drawn between all different things. I guess its better to just never analyze anything then.
\_(ツ)_/



Fair enough. Let's examine the basic premise.
An authoritarian....consolidates power. Are we seeing this in Trump?
I submit that the very fact (as you and others have noted) he is "disorganized" about forming his cabinet rather than placing in a bunch of lobbyist lackeys (as just about any other candidate would) is a pretty good indication he isn't consolidating power, or hiring only his best advocates. Hell, he's been looking at employing people who outright spoke out against him.
Is that what dictators typically do?
Don't they centralize government for themselves? DOn't they confiscate property (often in the form of special "taxes") to use that funding for themselves and their constituents?
I've asked already what exactly you have here.
If the only answer is: "It's OBVIOUS!" with nothing to really support it...
well, you should probably check your biases.

Yes, I admit Trump is nauseating to watch and listen to. That doesn't make him Hitler. Or anything close.
Hell, that doesn't even distinguish him from Hillary.


I had planned to respond to your previous post, making a case for why I think Trump is dangerous (though just so one twists my words around, let me clear, I don't think Trump is Hitler. But does this mean he isn't similar to Ilham Aliyev? Or Vladimir Putin? Or Xi Jinping?). I just don't have the time to go as indepth as I would like. However, I believe he certainly starting to consolidate power, though its difficult to tell how far that will go (will the military follow his order should he try to round up US citizens? I don't know) But the number of conservatives and liberals who denounced him that are now willing to work with him is certainly troubling to me. How much power can he really consolidate when he's not even president yet? However, he has threatened to jail his political opponents (only to say, maybe he won't? But why believe one of those things over the other?), strip flag-burners of their citizenship, and lambasted the media for their coverage of him (to the point of refusing to meet with certain parties, and not allowing the press pool to follow him in his daily activities). I get it. Maybe he's just a loose-cannon focused on shaking up the system, or maybe he's going to dismantle the institutions he finds troublesome.

He has given high-stakes donors, loyal supporters (Bannon, but interestingly not Christie or Guiliani), former generals (ugh, Flynn) and business insiders (Goldman Sach's, Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn) cabinet positions (or at least, there is rumor about it, obviously, nothing is set in stone yet). Again, I am cognizant that, nominally, this doesn't differ from what other Presidents have done. It a matter of incremental degree, and again, its hard to say exactly how this all plays out in the future.

He is also quite clearly using his new title to garner more business deals for his organization, and has shown little interest in divesting himself from his business holdings.

The reality of living in a dictatorship is messy, and it's not always black and white. When I was in Azerbaijan, an outspoken critic of the president held a teaching position at the most prestigious university in the capital. There's a very vibrant and critical opposition press in Azerbaijan (or there was in 2008. A lot has changed since then); however, the readership of their newspapers is miniscule compared to the state apparatus, and opposition voices rarely get airtime on radio or TV, which is how most of the population gets their news. The internet is fairly unrestricted. There's technically elections. Does any of this make Azerbaijan any less a dictatorship?
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post Dec 15 2016, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 10:59 AM) *
I just don't have the time to go as indepth as I would like. However, I believe he certainly starting to consolidate power, though its difficult to tell how far that will go


Consolidate his power, or simply picking his cabinet like....every other President elect?

QUOTE
But the number of conservatives and liberals who denounced him that are now willing to work with him is certainly troubling to me.


It shouldn't be troubling. As MrsP pointed out, this is very strong evidence against the things you are worried about.

QUOTE
lambasted the media for their coverage of him (to the point of refusing to meet with certain parties, and not allowing the press pool to follow him in his daily activities).


Not sure what the issue with this is. Even those from the liberal media have stated that the negative coverage of him is way over the top.

QUOTE
I get it. Maybe he's just a loose-cannon focused on shaking up the system


Loose cannon in what way? Mostly what he's done since being elected is pick his cabinet, as he is supposed to be doing.

QUOTE


Are you really extrapolating his complaining about the media (which most every politician does) to move towards some sort of centralized autocracy? If so, that's a reach that would make PlasticMan proud. And also indicative of the problem...when any comment can be extrapolated to such an extreme, you are going to have vastly overblown thoughts and responses.

QUOTE


Exactly. Nothing unusual here...which isn't said about Trump very often.

QUOTE
He is also quite clearly using his new title to garner more business deals for his organization


Such as?

QUOTE
, and has shown little interest in divesting himself from his business holdings.


Actually, he has, even though he doesn't have to. And it is certainly worth noting that all those bringing this up say nothing of the various business holding those on the left have, from positions that don't have the caveats in the Constitution that allow it. If this is indeed an issue, why hasn't this been an issue for all of them over the past few years?

QUOTE
The reality of living in a dictatorship is messy, and it's not always black and white. When I was in Azerbaijan, an outspoken critic of the president held a teaching position at the most prestigious university in the capital. There's a very vibrant and critical opposition press in Azerbaijan (or there was in 2008. A lot has changed since then); however, the readership of their newspapers is miniscule compared to the state apparatus, and opposition voices rarely get airtime on radio or TV, which is how most of the population gets their news. The internet is fairly unrestricted. There's technically elections. Does any of this make Azerbaijan any less a dictatorship?


Yes, living in a dictatorship is messy. Good thing that has nothing at all to do with anything that is happening here.

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 10:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?


Plenty of them out there. Not sure if these were the ones I had seen previously or not, but seemed a good representation. There were numerous reports of this occurring, with Google denying but indicating they would review their algorithms.

This post has been edited by Hobbes: Dec 15 2016, 09:12 PM
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post Dec 15 2016, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 15 2016, 03:11 PM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 10:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?


Plenty of them out there. Not sure if these were the ones I had seen previously or not, but seemed a good representation. There were numerous reports of this occurring, with Google denying but indicating they would review their algorithms.


Seriously? You're just going to point me to a bing search and expect me to do the research you should have done to prove your point? Very convincing.
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AuthorMusician
post Dec 15 2016, 09:53 PM
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1. Does the media favor liberals?

Not especially in the professionally written news reports. That's because journalism pros are aware of yellow journalism, which is easy to spot due to the use of modifiers:

Man bites dog

versus

Insane homeless drug fiend bites defenseless family pet right on the junk.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

Depends on the individual. Some might take it upon themselves to ferret out the child sex slavers lurking in pizza parlors, others might vote against their self-interests, and some might write about what they think. Lots of other possibilities as well.

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Obviously, the Electoral College enabled a Trump win over the popular vote. But then how'd he get enough voters to pull that off? Back to it depending on the individual.

Some liked the racism/bigotry/sexism/general prickishness that is Trump. Others fell for his outright lies. But what one thing do I believe helped him most to win?

Media attention, and not just during the campaign. Trump has gotten far too much media attention for decades, being that he has no discernible talents or skills other than being a rather spectacular douche bag. There's a pretty big market for those types in media. They're usually comedians playing a role. Not Trump. He really is what he seems to be.

But then there's the possibility that most Trump voters got exactly what they expected: an unpredictable, selfish child. Naw, nobody's that dim, are they? Certainly not a majority of the electorate, thank goodness.

Even though I'm expecting Trump's admin to be one of, if not the, worst in our history, I can also see that our country could benefit from the experience. It sure demonstrates how stuff can really hit the fan if we're not careful.

Trump won because our system has glaring holes in it, with media attention being one of the largest. And that in turn falls on the shoulders of the audience, since media has to attract attention, and that means dishing up spectacles for entertainment.

What's the solution? There isn't one, but it'll be a lot harder for the next Trump to pull off another dance in the limelights. And besides, even Trump was surprised he won. That just wasn't supposed to happen.

Oopsie. But hey, it made liberals cry! That's gotta be worth something, right?

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post Dec 16 2016, 02:45 AM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 04:24 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 15 2016, 03:11 PM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 10:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?


Plenty of them out there. Not sure if these were the ones I had seen previously or not, but seemed a good representation. There were numerous reports of this occurring, with Google denying but indicating they would review their algorithms.


Seriously? You're just going to point me to a bing search and expect me to do the research you should have done to prove your point? Very convincing.


I'm not trying to prove a point. If you are interested, read a couple of them. If you are not, fine.

FWIW, recall that all I said was that there were reports of bias out there. Those links show that there are indeed reports of bias out there (and this was just for Google), so the point is actually 'proved'.

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post Dec 16 2016, 02:25 PM
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Kimpossible, per "no time" I completely understand.
I don't have a great deal of time these days to really dissect an article or answer a post as completely and considered as I would like to these days either.
I did finally get some time to start forming a response to the article you cited (tipping point) below.
I think it's a good representation of the general argument. I'll only take the first few paragraphs:

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 11:28 AM) *
Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.


The first sentence:
QUOTE
"I grew up knowing that my great-grandfather smuggled guns into the Bialystok ghetto for the resistance.."

The is some irony (in the context) here.
Bialystok ghetto is a very frequently cited reference for the argument in support of second amendment freedom. One finds it a lot harder to go on a genocidal (or dictatorial) campaign when the opposition is armed and can form a defense. But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control. Before this election, in the places I'm familiar with (south florida, north florida, Dallas Texas) people were loading up in the gun stores. Ammo was sold out. It was standing room only in a lot of places, a good portion of the time. They were bracing for Hillary to take over and legislate control over the ammo and/or firearms (control the ammo, you control the weapons....also makes it very difficult for a person to become proficient but a criminal does not require so much proficiency, unlike a law abiding person). After the election, gun store folks are breathing a sigh of relief (and yes, most had pro-Trump signs on the windows).

QUOTE
With the election of Donald Trumpa candidate who has lied his way into power,


I remember the day my world view changed very much. It was the day I was hit full-force with just what a lying sham the election process is, and the media coverage surrounding it. I was very young, and the political candidate who won the presidency that year was campaigning at my campus! I was excited to ask questions and raised my hand as the cameras rolled. Silly me, I found out later all of the questions and questioners were prescripted. The media made it look as though he was taking random questions from students in the crowd. Perhaps before news became entertainment things were different, but it has been a long long time since any political candidate DIDN'T "lie his/her way in to power" (also see the leaked DNC details).

QUOTE
openly embraced racist discourse and violence


I've linked to this twice but it's probably worth linking to again.
I have seen no evidence that Trump "openly embraces racist discourse" **nor "violence". There is evidence (Project Veritas) that anti-trumpers are the more violent bunch (which makes sense, due to the level of fear I described earlier).

**I have mentioned this before and I'll mention again that I do believe he is a racist.
I gather this through indirect evidence, it isn't "open" or "blatant". I do not believe that he is any more racist than most any other people in his generation, however.

QUOTE
toyed with the idea of jailing his opponents


Shouldn't that be "opponent" without the plural? Implying that calling for the investigation and prosecution of Hillary for what appears to be criminal-level negligence (anyone and everyone I know who has worked in intelligence is of one mind on this one), is anything near the equivalent of the random jailing of political dissidents isn't just comparing apples to oranges. That's comparing apples to orangutans.

QUOTE
boasted of his assaults on women and his avoidance of taxes, and denigrated the traditional checks and balances of governmentthis question has confronted us as urgently as ever.


Yes, the tape that was taken secretly, kept for over a decade and then released toward the end of the campaign did reflect poorly on Trump. But he didn't boast, he admitted he was not proud of it. Per LEGAL tax avoidance, he is correct that this is smart. No person hires an accountant does so so that they can pay as much in taxes as possible. I don't believe there is a single successful politician or business person who doesn't try to avoid taxes (legally).
He wants to change the laws so people will pay less and companies will stay here (in theory...we'll have to see how any of that pans out).

That's probably enough.

Well...edited to add a bit (thoughts/predictions)
I predict the following (I've been pretty accurate on my predictions through the years):
-There is no chance that Trump will turn out to be a dictator. Yes, I understand the line isn't white/black but I believe he will move AWAY from the line, pushing more power to the states which means less executive power not more.
-AM might be right in his prediction above. This might be a coming to God moment for our nation, and Trump might be the very worst ever.
-Alternately, he might be among the best.
It isn't as likely to be in the middle.
If the market holds up and people feel their lives are better in the next four years, that is where their vote will be. If they are doing very badly they will look for change (again).

I am very very glad that he appointed a former soldier, Mattis, for Secretary of Defense (something our nation hasn't seen since Marshall). I think this guy is good. And I am also absolutely elated that Petraeus is out (from the look of things). Petraeus is NOT good (shoddy with state secrets, believes himself to be above the law, though he was a military officer he is an example of everything wrong in politics)

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Dec 16 2016, 05:44 PM
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net2007
post Dec 16 2016, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 15 2016, 04:53 PM) *
1. Does the media favor liberals?

Not especially in the professionally written news reports. That's because journalism pros are aware of yellow journalism, which is easy to spot due to the use of modifiers:

Man bites dog

versus

Insane homeless drug fiend bites defenseless family pet right on the junk.


I believe the pros do bias reports too, perhaps not as obvious as that, though. laugh.gif

QUOTE
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

Depends on the individual. Some might take it upon themselves to ferret out the child sex slavers lurking in pizza parlors, others might vote against their self-interests, and some might write about what they think. Lots of other possibilities as well.


Right, it does.

QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Obviously, the Electoral College enabled a Trump win over the popular vote. But then how'd he get enough voters to pull that off? Back to it depending on the individual.

Some liked the racism/bigotry/sexism/general prickishness that is Trump. Others fell for his outright lies. But what one thing do I believe helped him most to win?

Media attention, and not just during the campaign. Trump has gotten far too much media attention for decades, being that he has no discernible talents or skills other than being a rather spectacular douche bag. There's a pretty big market for those types in media. They're usually comedians playing a role. Not Trump. He really is what he seems to be.

But then there's the possibility that most Trump voters got exactly what they expected: an unpredictable, selfish child. Naw, nobody's that dim, are they? Certainly not a majority of the electorate, thank goodness.

Even though I'm expecting Trump's admin to be one of, if not the, worst in our history, I can also see that our country could benefit from the experience. It sure demonstrates how stuff can really hit the fan if we're not careful.

Trump won because our system has glaring holes in it, with media attention being one of the largest. And that in turn falls on the shoulders of the audience, since media has to attract attention, and that means dishing up spectacles for entertainment.

What's the solution? There isn't one, but it'll be a lot harder for the next Trump to pull off another dance in the limelights. And besides, even Trump was surprised he won. That just wasn't supposed to happen.

Oopsie. But hey, it made liberals cry! That's gotta be worth something, right?


Well, I'd say many people would have thought the same if Hillary won. It would have demonstrated how stuff can hit the fan if we're not careful. In the case of Trump, I believe he's so obvious that people knew what they were doing when they voted for him, though I disagree with your view on why people voted for him because it's incomplete. So Trump was obvious, but with Hillary, she was good at lying for the most part and good at misdirection which makes her particularly dangerous. I think people caught on though. Trump got the votes he needed to win. He wasn't expected to get the votes to even get close to her in electoral votes yet he got enough for an electoral landslide. If you want to know what I think about that, here's how I put it to Dingo...

"While you used the term minority to explain Trump supporters (hinting at the popular vote) I actually look at it as a majority. In raw numbers, Hillary squeaked by but she represented and defended the beliefs of Californians and New Yorkers so much that she got a disproportionate amount of the vote in those states which rendered them useless. In a football game getting the most yards by small fraction doesn't necessarily win you the game."

In my opinion, it's not like we had fabulous choices this year anyway. I was questioning voters from the get go on this one, but with that said I don't think Trump is bad enough for the reactions we're seeing. We're not about to see the end of the world or the unraveling of our culture, if that's what people are basing their actions on when they smash up public property or assault others (as if that would help) then those types are being foolish and if it were in their hands, what they fear would probably come true.

What you said about reasons people voted for Trump, I think that's true of some but you have to consider that other factors were at play. Some people voted because he's viewed as strong and assertive, he's an outsider who challenged the whole system (including Republicans), or he's had success as a business man. When you say "he's had no discernible talents or skills" he actually does.
Personally, I thought his faults outshined all of that, the left will never warm up to Trump because he's too divisive and has little to offer those who are liberal, similar to Obama who had little to offer conservatives. When the opposing party feels neglected, it gets hard to get things done. He also says things that can't be done, so I understand all of that.

However, I generally don't agree with black and white perspectives on things. So for me personally, there was 40% reason to vote for Trump and 60% reason not to, if you want to look at it on a percentage scale. Hillary for me didn't come close to being someone I'd vote for, but I started believing that part of the reason we have problems is that people are casting anti-votes against their opponents for politicians they don't really like which contributes to a fixed two party system which people are frustrated with.
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AuthorMusician
post Dec 16 2016, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 10:25 AM) *
But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control.

With no voting record and his habit of saying stuff and then doing 180-degree turns from what he said, looks to me that there's nothing reliable on which to base this take on Trump.

It is interesting that the demand for birth control went up after Trump's EC win, which ranks toward the bottom of EC wins:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/st...ory-was-not-ma/

And then there are the faithless EC electors who might make his so-called landslide that much more of a falling pebble.

So is Trump against birth control or in favor of it? Beats me, but just as firearm/ammo sales go up with some Democrat winning, this is likely based on a general impression that the Republican Party is against birth control. You know, like all Democrats want to take your firearms away, or ammo, or both so that they can create a kleptocracy like Putin's.

Both takes are over the top and pushed there by media. So how come Trump's the PE and not Clinton if the media are so slanted toward liberals? The obvious answer is that something else is at work, unless it's wrong that the media is slanted. Could also mean that media slant can backfire.

You're pretty right-on that if the 2016 Trump supporters don't get what they want, Trump will be a short-term POTUS. I agree from the gut that this has to do with good-paying jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled labor. If Trump doesn't come through with that, he'll be stuck with a base that only cares about fringe things, such as white supremacy, a lot less government in general, making liberals cry, formal burial of all fetal tissues in cemeteries (what, no cremation?), more war for greater profits and so on. Without socialistic jobs/wages programs, I don't see how he can pull this off.

If no big issue surfaces similar to 9/11, a world war, economic crisis or the such, Trump will be a mediocre, at best, POTUS. He isn't focused enough to be great on his own, and like so many others who rose to greatness, he will need to be tested under extreme stress.

And what if he is tested and fails? His life hasn't had a whole lot of stress in it from what I can tell, so as with firearms, I have nothing to go on but gut feeling. And that tells me he'll run away on a yacht outfitted to survive a world in flames, along with his good buds and their worthless wealth.

Obviously, my gut is a drama queen.
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post Dec 16 2016, 10:37 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 16 2016, 03:46 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 10:25 AM) *
But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control.

With no voting record and his habit of saying stuff and then doing 180-degree turns from what he said, looks to me that there's nothing reliable on which to base this take on Trump.


It's true he might waffle. But from the look of his appointees I don't think he will waffle on gun control. But, yes...it could happen.

and if it happened, it would surprise a lot of people.

QUOTE
It is interesting that the demand for birth control went up after Trump's EC win


The smart aleck in me wants to make a quip about Trump and birth control. Suffice it to say...I'm kind of surprised demand has gone up.

But, more seriously, it makes sense (for the same reason I alluded to with firearms). I don't think anyone believes that birth control will be illegal, but if funding goes down the price could increase for some consumers. The IUD is the smart way to go. Lasts ten years. Trump will be gone by then.
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AuthorMusician
post Dec 18 2016, 10:50 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 06:37 PM) *
It's true he might waffle. But from the look of his appointees I don't think he will waffle on gun control. But, yes...it could happen.

How his appointees look doesn't mean a thing if Trump decides to ignore them. They work for him and have no powers like Executive Order or the legislative pen.

Trump is a chicken. Once he realizes that the POTUS often gets shot at, he'll take action to protect himself. It might be unconstitutional action, but he could really mess things up while that gets decided.

Sorry, Second Amendment enthusiasts, but the guy is dangerous for the entire country, not just liberals. Maybe that's really what he means by uniting the country -- in its hatred toward him.
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post Dec 19 2016, 05:20 AM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
Kimpossible, per "no time" I completely understand.
I don't have a great deal of time these days to really dissect an article or answer a post as completely and considered as I would like to these days either.
I did finally get some time to start forming a response to the article you cited (tipping point) below.


Ugh, TIME. Turns out writing these posts is reminiscent of writing for college. biggrin.gif And back then it took me weeks of prep to write a paper. But for some reason I always estimate that itll take me an hour to write a post only to come upon the hour and be like 'Wait, there's more!'

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I think it's a good representation of the general argument. I'll only take the first few paragraphs:

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 11:28 AM) *
Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.


The first sentence:
QUOTE
"I grew up knowing that my great-grandfather smuggled guns into the Bialystok ghetto for the resistance.."

The is some irony (in the context) here.
Bialystok ghetto is a very frequently cited reference for the argument in support of second amendment freedom. One finds it a lot harder to go on a genocidal (or dictatorial) campaign when the opposition is armed and can form a defense. But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control. Before this election, in the places I'm familiar with (south florida, north florida, Dallas Texas) people were loading up in the gun stores. Ammo was sold out. It was standing room only in a lot of places, a good portion of the time. They were bracing for Hillary to take over and legislate control over the ammo and/or firearms (control the ammo, you control the weapons....also makes it very difficult for a person to become proficient but a criminal does not require so much proficiency, unlike a law abiding person). After the election, gun store folks are breathing a sigh of relief (and yes, most had pro-Trump signs on the windows).


I think this misses the point of Masha Gessen's article. Maybe we'll be better off with a thoroughly armed populace, and will be able to fend off any attempts at authoritarian government, but I think the bigger point is that it's hard to tell that these things are coming, and often times, people make decisions to 'work with (or within)' systems they don't agree with because there's not much else they can do. She cites her grandfather's experience of compiling lists of Jews to be taken away, even though he initially took the position to help his people:

QUOTE
The arguments in defense of producing the list, in Bialystok and elsewhere, were pragmatic: the killing was going to occur anyway; by cooperating, the Judenrat could try to reduce the number of people the Nazis were planning to kill (in Bialystok, this worked, though in the end the ghetto, like all other ghettos, was €œliquidated€); by compiling the lists, the Judenrat could prevent random killing, instead choosing to sacrifice those who were already near death from disease or starvation. These were strong arguments. There is always a strong argument.

...

We know what my great-grandfather did not know: that the people who wanted to keep the people fed ended up compiling lists of their neighbors to be killed.


She also cites her own experiences in Russia, when faced with being the editor of a science magazine.

QUOTE
My family supplies other examples of this slippery slope of collaboration. Take my own. In 2012, I was working as the editor-in-chief of a popular science magazine called Vokrug Sveta when Vladimir Putin, who fancies himself an explorer and a nature conservationist, took a liking to the publication. His administration launched a kind of friendly takeover of the magazine, one that the publisher could not refuse. I found myself in meetings with the Russian Geographic Society, of which Putin was the hands-on chairman. They wanted me to publish stories about their activities, most of which, as far as I could tell, were bogus. In exchange, they promised to help the magazine: at one point every school in Russia was ordered to buy a subscription (like many Kremlin orders, this one ended in naught). I felt a slow rot setting in at a magazine I loved, but I kept telling myself that I could still do a good job€”and keep many fine journalists gainfully employed. Then I was asked to send a reporter to accompany Putin on his hang-gliding adventure with a migrating flock of endangered Siberian cranes. I refused€”not on principle but because I was afraid that the reporter would see and describe something that would get the magazine in trouble. The publisher fired me, but then Putin called me in for a meeting and offered me my job back€”legally, it wasn€™t his to offer, but for practical purposes it was.

In comparison to the Putin regime€™s major abuses of power and suppression of the opposition, the story of the cranes and my firing does not deserve a mention. All that happened as a result of the hang-gliding trip (from what I know) was that two or three of the cranes were badly injured for the sake of the president€™s publicity stunt, and I lost my job. But I also lost a bit of my soul and the sense of moral agency I had earned over decades of acting like my best journalist self. When Putin offered me my job back after the trip, I hesitated to say no: I loved that job, and I thought I could still edit a good magazine and keep some fine journalists employed. I didn€™t want to imagine what would happen the next time I was asked to cover a Putin photo op or a fake story produced by his Geographic Society, which siphoned money off like every other part his mafia state. Fortunately for me, my closest friend said, €œHave you lost your mind?,€ by which she meant my sense of right and wrong.


I used to scoff at the notion that Bush was Hitler (haha, I think? Mrs. P appears to have a better memory of what I wrote on this board than I do, but while I didn't like Bush's policies, I don't remember thinking we were on the brink of democratic downfall) or that the US was coming close to fascism (per my more radical friends), and once told a friend that if he thought we were heading towards a dictatorship, then he should try living in a real one.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I remember the day my world view changed very much. It was the day I was hit full-force with just what a lying sham the election process is, and the media coverage surrounding it. I was very young, and the political candidate who won the presidency that year was campaigning at my campus! I was excited to ask questions and raised my hand as the cameras rolled. Silly me, I found out later all of the questions and questioners were prescripted. The media made it look as though he was taking random questions from students in the crowd. Perhaps before news became entertainment things were different, but it has been a long long time since any political candidate DIDN'T "lie his/her way in to power" (also see the leaked DNC details).


Can you elaborate a bit more on this? Is having prescreened questions the same as lying? Additionally, is there truly no difference between Trump and, say, Bill Clinton or George W Bush in terms of lying (though, that war in Iraq lie was a doozy!)?

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I have seen no evidence that Trump "openly embraces racist discourse" **nor "violence". There is evidence (Project Veritas) that anti-trumpers are the more violent bunch (which makes sense, due to the level of fear I described earlier).


Violence not withstanding (there seems to have been violence on both sides, and I am not well-versed enough to provide much of an opinion, except I am annoyed that it's so hard to parse 'the truth', here), I'm surprised that you don't think that Trump has embraced racist discourse. Perhaps we have different definitions of racist.

Do you think his embrace of birtherism is not racist? Or his claiming that Mexican immigrants are criminals/drug dealers/rapists? Or his calls for a Muslim registry?

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
Shouldn't that be "opponent" without the plural? Implying that calling for the investigation and prosecution of Hillary for what appears to be criminal-level negligence (anyone and everyone I know who has worked in intelligence is of one mind on this one), is anything near the equivalent of the random jailing of political dissidents isn't just comparing apples to oranges. That's comparing apples to orangutans.


I don't want to turn this into a Hillary-is-worse debate, because she's no longer in the running, but how many criminal investigations do there need to be about these emails before people will be satisfied? Additionally, my friends with strong interests in national security (many working in DC as analysts for this purpose, and many of them self-proclaimed conservatives) disagree that Hillary deserves the attention she has got for this.

But also, back to the topic, if he thinks its ok to threaten one opponent, why not threaten others? (I detail a bit farther down, that he clearly has no issue threatening and suing opponents for businesses purposes, and has recently threatened members of the press.) But more importantly, why is this even acceptable?

This seems like a fundamentally different view of acceptability. To me, this is very much reminiscent of authoritarian rhetoric. Would it have been OK for Hillary to tell Trump she was going to go after him for bribing the AG of Florida? I'm just trying to gauge where the line gets drawn.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
Yes, the tape that was taken secretly, kept for over a decade and then released toward the end of the campaign did reflect poorly on Trump. But he didn't boast, he admitted he was not proud of it.


I believe the 'boast' terminology was in reference to his actual boasting on the tape, not his 'regret' in 2016.

In particular, there's two characteristics of Trump that I find particularly worrisome.

1) He lies. And maybe his lies are no different from any other politician/political figure, but it doesn't feel that way to me. (I'd be happy to see evidence that the rate of DJT's lying as being on par with other modern politicians). As AM has also pointed out, we just simply cannot believe anything he says. It's rare to deal with someone who so blatantly lies, denies lying, then says some other lie (ie, the "election is rigged" [then not rigged, then rigged again], "I never supported the war in Iraq"). I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone is giving him a pass on his outrageous claims. NPR wrote about the questions they wanted to ask Trump at his now-canceled press conference, and one of them was this:

QUOTE
From Tamara Keith, White House correspondent

6. Your former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said recently the problem with the media is that they took the things you said too literally. Do you want the American people to take what you say and tweet literally? How can the American people judge whether you are being truthful if your own aides say you shouldn't necessarily be taken literally?

Context: Earlier this month, during a panel discussion at the Harvard Institute of Politics, the former Trump campaign manager said, "This is the problem with the media €” you guys took everything Donald Trump said so literally. And the problem with that is the American people didn't. They understood that sometimes when you have a conversation with people, you're going to say something, and maybe you don't have all the facts to back that up, but that's how the American people live."

Trump has repeatedly said and tweeted things that are simply not true. He also made promises on the campaign trail that he has backed away from, like saying Hillary Clinton would be locked up if he were president or that he would call for a temporary ban of Muslims coming into the United States. Lewandowski, who has been seen coming and going from Trump Tower during the transition, implied it was a mistake for journalists to focus on these things. The president-elect's view on this could be revealing.


In addition to his many, many lies, I worry about the broader effect that this has on public perceptions of 'the truth'. I remember that one of the tactics employed by "Big Tobacco" was to create confusion about the truth of a claim and 'spark controversy', rather than to refute any science that proved ingesting tobacco causes cancer; ie, creating a debate around a subject meant that there was more than one 'truth', and as long as it wasn't clear what was true, then maybe nothing was true. And people would spend more time debating these details, than paying attention to what tobacco companies were doing to hook more consumers. It feels like this is what Trump is doing with his many lies and absurd claims: distracting us, and allowing the discourse to focus more on the absurdity of his claims, rather than his actual policies or actions.

Trump himself has said that he enjoys courting this type of chaos, because it keeps people on their toes.
QUOTE
One day, when I was in Trump€™s office, he took a phone call from an investment banker, an opaque conversation that, after he hung up, I asked him to elucidate.

€œWhatever complicates the world more I do,€ he said.

Come again?

€œIt€™s always good to do things nice and complicated so that nobody can figure it out.€


In many ways, the absurd claims are similar to what I saw in Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev uses Twitter (though more for the benefit of foreigners, than for his actual constituents, I would guess) to claim that Azerbaijan is a democracy, has a great human rights record, is economically successful and to lambast Azerbaijan's enemy, Armenia.

One of my favorites from President Aliyev:
QUOTE
Azerbaijan is a modern, dynamic country, where all fundamental freedoms are provided, and which has great potential for the future.



2) I am also very concerned that Trump refuses to adhere to democratic norms or ethical standards (maybe these should be two separate points...). He has not released his taxes, he has done little to assuage fears of conflicts of interest.

He has threatened opponents [both Hillary and the press ]. During the campaign, he said he wanted to 'open up libel laws' to make it easier to sue the press, and he did threaten to sue the New York Times.

While Trump himself does not yet have the power to do anything but make absurd threats against the press, it's not hard for me to imagine a chilling effect if he continues to threaten them as president. Russia's press was dismantled not by laws (though the law about no foreign media ownership obviously complicated things), but by pressure to report on certain stories, such as Masha Gessen's example above.

<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/" target="_blank">
His track record as a businessmen already shows that he is quick to litigate for the smallest offenses, and he does not pay contractors </a>(or his campaign staff) for their work.

This article from two political scientists stresses the importance of both formal and informal norms to keep systems functioning smoothly.

QUOTE
Among the unwritten rules that have sustained American democracy are partisan self-restraint and fair play. For much of our history, leaders of both parties resisted the temptation to use their temporary control of institutions to maximum partisan advantage, effectively underutilizing the power conferred by those institutions. There existed a shared understanding, for example, that anti-majoritarian practices like the Senate filibuster would be used sparingly, that the Senate would defer (within reason) to the president in nominating Supreme Court justices, and that votes of extraordinary importance €” like impeachment €” required a bipartisan consensus. Such practices helped to avoid a descent into the kind of partisan fight to the death that destroyed many European democracies in the 1930s.

Yet norms of partisan restraint have eroded in recent decades. House Republicans€™ impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 abandoned the idea of bipartisan consensus on impeachment. The filibuster, once a rarity, has become a routine tool of legislative obstruction. As the political scientists Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have shown, the decline of partisan restraint has rendered our democratic institutions increasingly dysfunctional. Republicans€™ 2011 refusal to raise the debt ceiling, which put America€™s credit rating at risk for partisan gain, and the Senate€™s refusal this year to consider President Obama€™s Supreme Court nominee €” in essence, allowing the Republicans to steal a Supreme Court seat €” offer an alarming glimpse at political life in the absence of partisan restraint.

...

Unlike his predecessors, Mr. Trump is a serial norm-breaker. There are signs that Mr. Trump seeks to diminish the news media€™s traditional role by using Twitter, video messages and public rallies to circumvent the White House press corps and communicate directly with voters €” taking a page out of the playbook of populist leaders like Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, Hugo Chvez in Venezuela and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey.

An even more basic norm under threat today is the idea of legitimate opposition. In a democracy, partisan rivals must fully accept one another€™s right to exist, to compete and to govern. Democrats and Republicans may disagree intensely, but they must view one another as loyal Americans and accept that the other side will occasionally win elections and lead the country. Without such mutual acceptance, democracy is imperiled. Governments throughout history have used the claim that their opponents are disloyal or criminal or a threat to the nation€™s way of life to justify acts of authoritarianism.



Additionally, this article highlights some newer research on democratic decline, drawing on data across several different countries, including the US. It notes that this edging towards authortarianism isn't just happening in the US, but perhaps is part of a broader world trend.

QUOTE
Mr. Mounk and Mr. Foa developed a three-factor formula to answer that question. Mr. Mounk thinks of it as an early-warning system, and it works something like a medical test: a way to detect that a democracy is ill before it develops full-blown symptoms.

The first factor was public support: How important do citizens think it is for their country to remain democratic? The second was public openness to nondemocratic forms of government, such as military rule. And the third factor was whether €œantisystem parties and movements€ €” political parties and other major players whose core message is that the current system is illegitimate €” were gaining support.

...

Across numerous countries, including Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, the percentage of people who say it is €œessential€ to live in a democracy has plummeted, and it is especially low among younger generations.

Support for autocratic alternatives is rising, too. Drawing on data from the European and World Values Surveys, the researchers found that the share of Americans who say that army rule would be a €œgood€ or €œvery good€ thing had risen to 1 in 6 in 2014, compared with 1 in 16 in 1995.

That trend is particularly strong among young people. For instance, in a previously published paper, the researchers calculated that 43 percent of older Americans believed it was illegitimate for the military to take over if the government were incompetent or failing to do its job, but only 19 percent of millennials agreed. The same generational divide showed up in Europe, where 53 percent of older people thought a military takeover would be illegitimate, while only 36 percent of millennials agreed.

In the United States, Donald J. Trump won the presidential election by running as an antisystem outsider. And support for antisystem populist parties in Europe, such as the National Front in France, Syriza in Greece and the Five-Star Movement in Italy, is rising.


The erosion of informal political norms may very well lead to a breakdown in more formal norms (eventually leading to a breakdown in democracy itself), and that may not happen under Trump, but it seems closer than before.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I am very very glad that he appointed a former soldier, Mattis, for Secretary of Defense (something our nation hasn't seen since Marshall). I think this guy is good. And I am also absolutely elated that Petraeus is out (from the look of things). Petraeus is NOT good (shoddy with state secrets, believes himself to be above the law, though he was a military officer he is an example of everything wrong in politics)


Well, at least we can both agree that Petraeus is horrible.

(PS, true to form, this took me forever to write, and I am sure that I left some things out, AND there's still other points that I want to touch upon, but for 'brevity's' sake did not bring up. Also, just want to say that it's been a real pleasure hearing your view Mrs P. I appreciate your genuine engagement with me on the topic.)

This post has been edited by kimpossible: Dec 19 2016, 05:23 AM
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AuthorMusician
post Dec 19 2016, 05:37 PM
Post #40


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The Washington Post has created a Chrome plug-in that does immediate fact checking of Trump's tweets, according to PC (as in 'puters and not politics) Magazine:

http://www.pcmag.com/news/350425/this-chro...k-trumps-tweets

The only comment on the article when I checked it was from some kid or childish adult laughing at the Post. Yeah, well they're all over the place now, kids and childish adults.

Two points:

1) Trump is our first PE who's addicted to social media, which tells me a lot about what makes him tick, and:

2) Some Chrome plug-ins are entirely unnecessary. There are not and have never been any facts to check in Trump's social media yammerings. He just creates stuff in his own mind and lets it all excrete into electronic ink. Some of his excrement is more odoriferous than usual, but it all stinks.

I guess this will be his version of fireside chats and weekend updates.

On the plus side, SNL is coming through with lots of enjoyable satire regarding our vainglorious leader. Trump gets upset over it, which is better than the satire because his weak little ego can't help but take control of his thumbs.

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