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This cartoon is a collaboration with Becky Hawkins.
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Nearly all Fox staffers vaccinated for Covid even as hosts cast doubt on vaccine | Fox News | The Guardian
The vast majority of employees at Fox Corporation, the umbrella company for the conservative Fox News channel, are vaccinated against coronavirus and those who are not will be required to do daily testing, according to a memo sent out from bosses – despite some of its biggest screen stars questioning the vaccine.
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I think I wrote this cartoon about a year ago. But Fox’s disdain and deception of its audience has been in the news again this month (which is February 2023 as I write this).
The most prominent stars and highest-ranking executives at Fox News privately ridiculed claims of election fraud in the 2020 election, despite the right-wing channel allowing lies about the presidential contest to be promoted on its air, damning messages contained in a Thursday court filing revealed.
It’s become clear that Fox is afraid they’ll lose their audience if they don’t lie to them. Which is another reason that for-profit news may not be a great idea. If a primary goal is profit, and lying is necessary to maintain profits, then why wouldn’t a news station lie to its audience?
And the more they lie – the more that their audience grows to expect comforting lies – the less able FOX is to stop lying. Reporting the news isn’t their goal; not losing their audience to Newsmax is their goal.
But as bad as market-driven news is, government-dominated news can be even worse – just look at how the news works in Putin’s Russia, or in Viktor Orban’s Hungary. This may be one of those “all systems can be terrible” situations.
Do you have a news site that you think is fair and reliable? Feel free to post what it is in the comments.
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Becky: “My soundtrack for drawing this one was the audiobook Bellwether, by Connie Willis (which is a fun time!) and the first couple hours of Empire of Pain: the Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty (which is not fun, but is interesting so far!).”
Barry: Wow, isn’t the art beautiful? I especially love panel one, with the details of the dimmed room surrounding the TV.
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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. All four panels show the anchors of a conservative news show, a man and a woman, both of whom are well-dressed and have very carefully styled hair. They’re sitting at a news desk and talking to the camera, with a backdrop of a cityscape behind them. A chyron (text) runs across the bottom of the screen.
We’re in a darkened living room. We can see a TV dinner, partly eaten, on a tray in the foreground; in the background is a TV, surrounded by a liquor cabinet on the left and a houseplant on a chest of drawers on the right. The TV is turned on, providing the only bright colors in the panel. The male anchor is making air quotes with his fingers, while the female anchor is holding out her hand in a “stop!” gesture.
MAN: Unelected government “doctors” say we need this “vaccine.” but what aren’t they saying?
WOMAN: Don’t trust government! Don’t trust doctors!
We are now seeing just what’s on the TV screen. The male anchor has turned towards the female anchor and is speaking to her, one hand waving in a sort of “angry questioning” motion. The female anchor has folded her hands on the desk in front of her and is speaking directly to the camera.
MAN: Who knows what horrible side effects these experimental “vaccines” have?
WOMAN: Stay tuned! We’ll be back in just a minute!
Our vantage point has pulled back. We’re now obviously in a TV studio; we can see cameras and microphones pointing at the two anchors, and the slightly-raised platform the anchor desk sits on. There’s a large bright green screen behind them, instead of a cityscape.
Two people in nurse’s scrubs, both wearing face masks, have come up to the desk. Both anchors have taken their jackets off, and he’s rolled up a sleeve (her blouse is sleeveless). The nurses are injecting medicine into their arms.
The male anchor is smiling cheerfully, while the female anchor speaks to her nurse with a concerned expression.
MAN: Thanks. Better safe than sorry, right?
WOMAN: How long until the booster after this one?
We’re once again looking at them as they appear on a TV screen; the cityscape backdrop is back. They’re both looking angry and gesturing towards the screen with extreme foreshortening; he’s holding a finger up near the screen, and she’s pointing straight at the screen like Uncle Sam.
MAN: These “needle Nazis” are trying to force you to take their so-called “vaccine”!
WOMAN: DON’T LET THEM!
What the chyrons (the crawl of text across the bottom of the TV screen) say. (The second line of each chyron is cut off on one or both sides of the screen, to simulate the words scrolling across the screen.)
Panel 1: EXPERTS: VACCINE WILL KILL POPE
…t’s gonna happen any day now we’re triple sure this time…
Panel 2: DELILAH INNOCENT!
…vaccine, not haircut, caused Samson to lose his streng…
There’s no Chyron in panel 3.
Panel 4: ARE VACCINES FULL OF LIVE ANTS?
…re not saying they are but we’re not saying they aren’t…
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NPR, PBS, and BBC are non-profit.
My main, almost daily, sources are – for profit MSNBC, and the Guardian; government – ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) on the car radio/pod casts and in my Google feed and not for profit – blogs (Hullabaloo and Lawyers Guns and Money, mainly). I think these are all fair and reliable. Even if they are sometimes mistaken, they opperate in good faith. I also dive into the underlying sources for stories that I’m particularly interested in.
I am somewhat hopeful the the Dominion lawsuit will set a precedent that will make bald-faced lies more financially risky, at least when they are made against powerful people and/or corporations.
However, I think our main problem is the loss of independent local news (primaily papers, but also radio and TV in some markets). These were, essentially the roots of the media ecosystem. I’d like to see thousands of small grants for local media projects to reestablish that foundation. If they cover local sports, school news, festivals, restraunt reviews and the like, readership will come for that local infromation which isn’t gathered together anywhere else and stay for other, harder news topics of interest to them. Focus will be on things that people can see first hand in their community, so the chance for lies to take root will be lessened. The general public would become better educated. Reporters will be out at events meeting people, running into them at the supermarket, trusted members of the community. These sources might then feed the large cable providers with more diversity and enrich their content.
I usually use a mix of the Wonkette and the Washington Post.
I like Wonkette. I can’t think why I stopped following there.
“Delilah innocent” is priceless. As is “are vaccines full of live ants?”
I’m not going to defend Fox’s behavior. I never have. I will ask, however, whether you are under the impression that somehow Fox operates differently in this regard than CNN or MSNBC.
Kate, 2nd para: I’m actually fortunate in that there is an actual local newspaper where I live in the SW Chicago suburbs that covers local business openings/closings, the meetings of the local village boards and both routine and controversial issues, union activities, the local high school athletics, etc. About $22/year and well worth every penny. I still get the dead tree edition every Thursday. The other local papers around here tend to be high school sports with 30 pages of real estate ads wrapped around them.
Thank you! Writing chyrons is always fun.
Ron, I don’t think either CNN or MSNBC has been devoting a lot of the last few years to anti-vaccine nonsense. Although I basically never watch TV news, so I could be mistaken.
I am unfamiliar with MSNBC & CNN shows flogging anti-vax nonsense. I don’t remember hearing reports of either network promoting ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine or “natural immunity” as superior to vaccination. Nor do I recall reports about those 2 networks claiming that the COVID vax is harmful in ways not supported by any form of science.
But maybe I haven’t been watching Fox enough…
Yes, I do think that both MSNBC and CNN operate differently – and better than – Fox. No matter how much you may disagree with their editorial perspectives (and I certainly am no fan of CNN’s), I have no reason to belive that either network reports things that they know to be lies as truth to placate their audiances.
Sorry – I meant in general, not specifically about the COVID vaccine. Like all the nonsense about Trump colluding with Russia to throw the 2016 election, Kyle Rittenhouse is a murderer, Nick Sandmann mocked a Native American elder, etc.
No, I’m not offering “whataboutism”. I do not seek to excuse Fox News at all. I am countering the counter proposition that was offered that seems to hold CNN et. al. as operating differently.
Oh, and then there was the one about “Border Patrol Agents were whipping immigrants at the border.” It’s fine to call out Fox’s lies, but don’t then claim that MSNBC, CNN and the rest are different.
I was teaching Citizenshp in the Nation merit badge to the Scouts in my Troop. We review what the duties of a citizen are. It got around to the concept that a citizen has the duty to be informed on the issues of the day so that you can petition the government and vote intelligently.
“Mr. F, how do you get your information?”
As I started to open my mouth, some parents came over interested to hear what my answer would be.
“You have to listen to multiple sources. The existence of objective journalism in America is a myth. It always has been. Even in pre-Revolutionary days we had Royalist and Patriot newspapers. The next time we go to the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield [we do that every 2 or 3 years or so] look on the walls and see the horrible things they said about President Lincoln, way worse than anything we see or hear today. No one spends hundreds of millions or billions of dollars on a TV station or a newspaper to not put their own views across. All news sources have bias. So if you watch Fox News, listen to CNN too. If they both say the same thing, it may well be true. But if not, listen carefully to see what’s facts and what’s opinions. If you read online, look to see if they just make a claim or cite a sources. Then read those sources.”
That seemed to work for the parents, anyway.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. What say you?”
Jesus said unto them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
“Oh, spare us your whataboutism!” the Pharisees replied, and the righteous execution ensued.
nobody.really @13 – are you under the assumption that anyone in this thread operates or controls MSNBC or CNN? Because Jesus said “don’t throw stones if you are a sinner”, not “don’t throw stones unless you throw stones at all the sinners”.
Whether or not you or RonF think Barry is being fair to single out Fox news, he is without sin when it comes to the sins committed by cable news networks, and therefore can cast stones at them.
Ha! There’s always another interpretation.
Does the story say, “Jesus said ‘Let those who are without sin cast the first stone at the adulteress.’ The crowd then dispersed because they all knew that they had sinned“?
Or does the story say, “Jesus said ‘Let those who are without sin cast the first stone at the adulteress.’ The crowd then dispersed because they all knew that they had specifically committed the sin of adultery“? The idea that 100% of people sin is kinda routine; the idea that 100% of people commit adultery would have made Sunday School a little more lively!
Of course, Jewish authorities have long tried to reconcile the strict Law of Moses with the insight that all people sin. One Jew even went so far as to argue that everybody must get stoned…. :-)
Anyway, I didn’t offer my post as a criticism of RonF or Barry; I offered it as a defense of whataboutism more generally.
That’s not the reading I was giving, though. All the people involved in the Jesus story were Jewish and therefore beholden to the same ethical laws. Therefore, there’s a direct comparison there. There isn’t here.
Also, I would argue that Jesus’s response does not count as whataboutism to begin with, because he answered the question he was given. If he had answered with “I don’t know, but what about all the sinners among you?” it would have been a different story.
Amp, I thought I posted a couple of replies here. Did they not pass inspection somehow?
I missed the post in which someone called for executions of Fox owners and/or “news” personalities. Or, were you conflatiing execution with criticism? Because that would be some ridiculous bullshit.
I was conflating execution with stoning, which was the punishment prescribed for adulatory under in the Law of Moses.
Before I thought up the Jesus analogy, I was working on a Casablanca analogy: Renaut(sp?) shuts down Rick’s Place because he’s shocked, shocked that there’s gambling on the premises. Rick objects that Renaut has been participating in the gambling. Renaut responds with “Spare me your whataboutism.”
No executions in that analogy. Better?
I don’t have a problem with Amp singling out Fox News. It’s entirely valid to comment on Fox without mentioning other news outlets (to say it was invalid WOULD be ‘whataboutism’). But Kate claims that CNN and MSNBC generally operate in good faith. Do the rest of you agree?
No, not really. Fox has been knowingly, brazenly lying to its audience in ways that threaten their health and even imperil democracy. MSNBC and CNN, to the best of my knowledge, have not. In the Casablaca example, the “what abouts” are cases in which the comparison is relevant. If MSNBC and/or CNN had, in fact, been knowingly lying to their audiences to gin up ratings it wouldn’t be whataboutism. It would be a valid comparison.
But, we’re getting off topic, which I suspect is your goal.
BWA-HA-HA! We’re not in The Good Place after all!
I suspect you and I interpret whataboutism differently. The fields of finance and economics have long recognized how strategies to optimize within a narrow frame may lead to sub-optimal results when understood in a broader frame. Critical Legal Studies (a precursor to Critical Race Theory) applied this insight to note how judgments in criminal cases can be altered by looking at facts in a narrow frame or a broader frame. I think of whataboutism as disparaging the practice of looking at matters in a broader frame–and I push back against it.
And yes, arguably a discussion about reasoning styles does get us off the narrow topic of this thread. But come on–the thread’s been open for more than a month now! We’ve seen the documents disclosed as part of the Dominion Voting Machine case. Is there much more to say about Fox News?
Nope, I’ve just been slow to check on “Alas.” I just approved them. (I’ve been having shoulder issues and have been letting a lot of things slip. But my shoulder is on the mend now.)
Ron @22 – To the degree that “good faith” can be a scale, I believe that MSNBC and CNN operate on better faith than Fox. Specifically, I think both MSNBC and CNN are pushing political views just as Fox does, and are being selective about how they report then news, without always being open about that. But at the same time, recent revelations have shown that Fox anchors pretended to have opinions on air that they expressly denied in private, and this seems to be systematic there, and I do not believe that is true of the other large cable news network.
So – perhaps incorrectly, but based on all the evidence I am aware of – I believe that while all the international cable news networks are biased and inaccurate, I believe that Fox News stands ou in how disingenuous it is; I think most CNN and MSNBC anchors believe in what they are saying, whether or not I think they should be saying it.
Specifically on the topic of vaccines, I think the three networks were miles apart as to how they acted.
Do you have text messages between reporters at MSNBC and CNN about how they thought these stories were bullshit? No, no you don’t. You’re just saying you disagree with the coverage, which is not the same thing.
You mischaracterize the way, at least MSNBC, covered Russian interference in favor of Trump in the 2016 election. This summary, at Time, cowritten by two regualar MSNBC contributers, is representative of their coverage. It bears no comparison to FOX coverage of the 2020 election.
Kyle Rittenhouse killed two people. If a black teenager had held that gun in a similar situation, the police would have shot him dead. If a black teenager had killed two people in that situation, he’d have been convicted of murder. Rittenhouse one of many examples of the different standards we use for white and black gun owners in the U.S.. Whether you agree with these interpretations or not, they are not lies, comparable to COVID misinformation of 2020 election lies.
That being said, I do believe that Rittenhouse is over-villified on the left, but my take is unusual. At 17, he was a child, and the adults who gave him that gun, helped in cross state lines to go to the protest and then egged him on are the ones who should be held responsible for those killings. Do you think teenagers should be encouraged to carry guns at protests?
And, Sandmann? Really? You say “etc.”, but you already seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is an exceedingly trivial case. Still, his defamation cases were dismissed, and the viral video is at that link. It looks like mockery to me. But, again, MSNBC showed the clip, so whether you agree with their editorial view or not, you were free to watch the clip yourself and judge.
No, I don’t have text messages from among MSNBC or CNN staff. I definitely can’t prove they knew they were lying about the coverage of various events. But I don’t think it’s just an issue of their particular political viewpoints. I don’t think they act in good faith. Based on the videos of some of those events I saw vs. the way that they were reporting it, I believe that they DID know they were lying about what happened, but edited and selectively reported the available situation and lied to people.
In this case a young black man was sleeping in his girlfriend’s house when the cops raided the house (a drug raid, but no drugs were found) by smashing in the door and throwing a flash-bang in. The young black man opened fire on the police. They shot back, killing his girlfriend. Not only did they NOT kill the young black man, but when he was put on trial for felony murder (because the girlfriend died) and for shooting at the cops he was found innocent. Just because some egregious miscarriages of justice have occurred in such situations doesn’t mean it always happens or even happens most of the time. You just hear about it when it does, you don’t hear about it when it doesn’t.
Sandmann? They showed a clip, tightly edited. You had to go elsewhere to see an extended video that clarified the situation. Of course, they had the full video available to them – but, again, I believe they knowingly lied about what happened. Yeah his defamation cases were dismissed, but it’s ridiculously hard to win such a case in America. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t defamed.
To go back to Rittenhouse – hell no, if that had been my son I’d never have transported him there and I’d never have given him a gun to carry into that situation. On the other hand, IIRC the initial attack Rittenhouse suffered was from someone who threatened him and then hunted him down because he was angry that Rittenhouse and his friends put out a dumpster fire that he had set and had tried to use to set a police car on fire. So if Rittenhouse hadn’t had the gun he might have been killed.
I don’t know why everyone makes a big deal about “crossing State lines” though. It’s a 20 mile/half-hour drive from Antioch, IL to Kenosha, WI. and it’s pretty common for people near that border to cross it for social, commerical or employment reasons on a daily basis. Apparently it’s one that Rittenhouse was familiar with given that while he lived in Antioch his Dad lived in Kenosha and he had had a job there at one point. Lots of people from northern Illinois drive to Kenosha.
Regarding Sandmann, I don’t have any opinion on the defamation issue (because an opinion on the legal issues would require a deep dive and I’m simply not that interested).
But I do think that the entire incident should never have been national news. Because basically nothing happened apart from some protestors being rude to some other protestors. (Or maybe it was mutual.) (And really, there were at least three different groups, but there’s no need to get into detail).
I don’t think ordinary people should be plastered across national news in that circumstance. And I especially don’t think that minors should be national news in that circumstance. Even if you think that these teens did something wrong, teenagers should be able to be jerks without their names and faces becoming national news for it.
(Rittenhouse’s case was obviously much more newsworthy.)
Ron, do you thin that what Andrew Coffee did was okay? Because his life was FAR more clearly in danger than Rittenhouse’s was.
I have one example where I think CNN (and a bunch of other corporate news sources) are arguing in bad faith: the way they cover so-called “big tech.” Let’s use TikTok as an example. The two pieces of information that every legacy media publisher wants you to know about Tiktok are:
1)They spy on users.
2)They are based in China and have to comply with Chinese law.
Both of these statements are true. And in the hypothetical where the Chinese government demanded TikTok turn over all of their data on U.S. users, TikTok would probably have to comply.
But from there, several U.S. legacy media publishers have called for a ban on TikTok. I do not think this call for a ban is in good faith. Why? Because the same reasoning would mean we should ban the major U.S. film companies. The HBO Max app and website spies on you. In fact, in order to enforce it’s Digital Restrictions Malware (DRM), it demans full access to everything on your device, even data completely unrelated to playing videos. If you use both HBO Max and TikTok, then HBO Max probably has more of your data than TikTok does.
And while Warner Bros Discovery isn’t based in China, they do conduct business there. If President Xi told them “Give me all your data on all U.S. citizens, or you won’t be allowed to release the next Batman movie in China,” WBD would comply without a second thought.
Yet, you won’t hear anyone on CNN call to ban HBO Max. You won’t hear MSNBC call to ban Peacock. You won’t hear ABC News call to ban Disney+ or Hulu. You won’t hear CBS News call to ban Paramount+. You won’t hear the Washington Post call to ban Amazon Prime Video or Kindle.
Amp @ 29 – I agree 100% about Sandmann
Also, that is not a comparable situation to Rittenhouse’s. He was not open carrying a rifle at a protest. He was sleeping at his girlfriends house and suddendly woken by an attack. Furthermore, he was not the one who shot the person who was killed. It is not comparable at all.
This is an example of right-wing spin that I disagree with. There are ways to look at the videos and weigh the testimony that support that narrative. I don’t agree with them. But I think the people reporting the story this way believe it. So, if it is lie, it is not the type of lie we are discussing here.
The various COVID misinformation stories have been refuted by epidemiologists over and over agian and continue to directly result in the deaths of roughly 100,000 people every year. If you beleive in the scientific method, you must reject these stories. Yet, triple vaxxed FOX talking heads continue to report anti-vax bullshit.
The lies about fraud in the 2020 election have been thrown out of court in literally dozens of cases, including some overseen by Trump appointed judges. There is no way to continue to believe it happened without lies. None. It already resulted in an attempted coup which killed three people and injured dozens. It is still undermining our democracy. And FOX continues to report the lies.
Accusing huge swaths of the population – trans people, drag queens, public school teachers, all Democrats – of being pedophiles, or pro-pedophile, is another lie that is going to wind up getting people killed, if it hasn’t already.
There is a lot of spin like the Rittenhouse and Sandman situations on all channels. Some I agree with, some I don’t. There are, to the best of my knowledge, no large scale, dangerous, bald faced lies like the three I cited coming out of MSNBC and CNN. None. This is not a “both sides do it” situation.
It is hilarious, though, that conservative media like CNN and MSNBC, never mind FTFNYT, aren’t conservative enough for the cultists.
Amp, @ 29:
It was national news because Mr. Sandmann had the temerity to a) be Catholic b) wearing a MAGA hat while c) upholding standard Catholic doctrine at a pro-life/anti-abortion rally. This outraged members of the national media. At that point, showing a complete lack of decency, they decided to demonize a minor child by name and make a national example of him so as to discourage others from acting as he had. This predictably resulted in threats of violence and death against him and other students and forced his high school to temporarily close. As it happened, his family has money. So they were able to afford to hire a private investigator to get the actual facts out and publicized despite the media’s best efforts and press lawsuits against them. Some of those lost. But CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal settled rather than go to trial.
Kate @ 32:
It’s not an example of right-wing spin. It’s the conclusion that a jury came to after seeing and weighing the evidence.
Yes, both morally and legally.
I’m actually not clear on that. According to testimony at Rittenhouse’s trial he was threatened with or actually struck by a deadly weapon by all 3 people he shot. From what I’ve read Coffee opened fire first after a flash-bang explosive (which is designed to be non-lethal) was tossed into a room in the apartment separate from the one he was in.
Do you have a reference? Whose testimony? Because the sources I’ve found all seem to indicate that Rittenhouse shot people who attempted to grab his gun, i.e. people attempting to stop an active shooter. I can also find no evidence that Rittenhouse tried to aid any of the people he shot or even called 911 to help them. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he felt threatened, but he was the one doing the shooting. If you shoot someone, you should expect to be treated as a shooter. And if he’s too young, just a “child” then he shouldn’t have had access to a deadly weapon.
Conversely, Coffee was in his own home when an intruder threw a grenade in the next room. I’d feel like my life was at risk if that happened to me.
“Mr. Sandmann had the temerity to a) be Catholic b) wearing a MAGA hat while c) upholding standard Catholic doctrine at a pro-life/anti-abortion rally.”
As usual Ron, your weasel words stand out a mile away.
I wonder what your take would be about a hypothetical person who had the temerity to be Muslim while upholding standard Muslim doctrine at a rally.
I don´t care that being anti-abortion is “standard doctrine” for any religion or belief system, it is just as horrific.
Honestly, I think a lot of Sandmann’s unfortunate luck (mixed luck? I wonder if he’d prefer it to have gone another way, now, since he probably got a large payout from the Wash Post) was having smiled in a way that – unfairly – matches a caricature of an animated movie’s spoiled rich kid smirk.
I say “unfairly” because the particular shape of any single person’s smiles has much more to do with genetics than with wealth or personality (unless they’re an actor practicing smiles in front of a mirror for a particular purpose). But it led to photos being taken that told a story, even if the story was unfair, and that went viral. There’s no way to test this, but I doubt that the story would have gone viral without that photo.
Ron – I think that the MAGA hat was the biggest part of it. Again, it told a visual story in a way that other elements (Catholic, pro-life) didn’t.
No Ron, the bit about the dumpster fire has been debunked. Morover, the third person Rittenhouse shot testified that he thought Rittenhouse was going to shoot him, and that’s why he rushed him. The other two did not live to tell their sides of the story, but I believe witnesses testified that the second person killed thought it was an active shooter situation. That being said, I do think Rittenhouse was probably in fear for his life. That’s why he was aquitted. But, I don’t think we can ever be sure. It was a chaotic situation, with contradictory witness testimony and video from multiple angles. It is subject to multiple interpretations. Just because Rittenhouse’s guilt couldn’t be established beyond a reasonable doubt doesn’t mean that he didn’t act recklessly and irresponsibly.
Again, none of this rises to the level of the willful lies coming out of Fox News and the Republican Party on a daily basis.
That’s interesting. I tried to edit the previous comment by adding a sentence from Dianne’s comment at 36 but when I went to save it the system gave me a message saying that my comment was marked as spam and would not save the edit.
What are you talking about?
Pretty much none, as long as he was not advocating the commission of violence. Can you tell me why you wonder that my reaction would be anything else? What did you expect it would be?
Here is Rittenhouse’s own testimony. What testimony contradicts this? Not what other people say about the trial testimony but the actual testimony.
According to his own testimony he did stop to try to help Joseph Rosembloom but he was driven off due to threats from the mob – which is what would have happened if he had stopped to aid any of the other two he shot. He did stop to help multiple other people who had been injured; that was one of his motivations for being there and was why he was carrying first aid equipment and supplies. it’s true that he did not call 911; he was in shock at that point and may well not have thought of it.
We can agree on that, at least! But acting recklessly and irresponsibly isn’t in and of itself illegal. I bet both of us would have spent some time in jail if that was true.
This is the comment I tried to post before that I”m referring to in comment 40. I thought it had posted but apparently it didn’t.
Good question, but one I can’t answer since you only linked to Rittenhouse’s testimony. His testimony on its own appears a little dubious to me, i.e. his claim about a fire which no one else seems to believe exists, but as you said, I don’t have anyone else’s testimony to compare.
ETA: The cross examination is interesting. In it, Rittenhouse admits that the person he shot never touched him and did not chase him. He also admits to not calling 911.
Actually, what he testified was that he shot Rosenbloom four times, despite knowing that Rosenbloom had no weapon and had not touched him, then ran away when McGinnis, who witnessed the unprovoked and unnecessarily violent shooting, took off his (MgGinnis’) shirt. Because apparently a shirt is a deadly weapon. Rittenhouse also disclosed that he had time and space during all this to call a friend and brag about how he had shot someone. Time to brag to a friend, but no time to call 911? Sure.
This is not even going into what was revealed in cross examination. Rittenhouse gloated about killing someone and ran away without even attempting to give aid, apparently in terror of someone who was possibly trying to give aid. That is his own testimony. And the jury let him go. To be fair, the judge was very clearly biased in Rittenhouse’s favor and probably practically directed them to do so.
It can be if your actions wind up killing someone.
I also want to reiterate, there are at least three issues that Fox News and the Republican Party lie about on a regular basis that are very, very dangerous:
1.) Misinformation about COVID vaccines and treatments, which has already killed literally hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S.. There is no lie coming out of any mainstream news source or the Democratic party that has killed on this scale.
2.) Lies about fraud in the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection. This is threatening our Democracy. This is a serious, ongoing threat to democracy in the U.S.. Reporting on Russian interference in 2016 is not comparable on two grounds. First, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party did not threaten the transfer of power in 2016, or subsequently. Second, Russia did interfere in the 2016 election according to Muller, a Republican appointed by Trump’s own justice department. https://time.com/5556331/mueller-investigation-indictments-guilty-pleas/
3.) Calling entire groups of people – trans people, drag queens, public school teachers, all Democrats – pedophiles, or pro-pedophile.
These are not issues that people who are well educated and pro-science can disagree about in good faith. There are no comparable lies currently coming from the left or center. This tangent about Rittenhouse is just obscurring the real issue.
I’d also add global warming to that list. There was a time when people of good faith could disagree on that, but not any longer.
” Can you tell me why you wonder that my reaction would be anything else? What did you expect it would be?”
Because you frequently express views that interpret the intentions and threat level of non-conservatives in the least charitable way possible.
I´m sorry but I am not willing to provide a list of examples of you doing so, partly because my goal is not to get down into the weeds with you and debate the meanings of specific words you may have said, but partly because I cannot be bothered to parse your own statements for you, particularly when you know perfectly well what I mean. Everybody here knows who you are and what you stand for. Your faux expressions of surprise at this are really wearing thin, at least for me. My goal here isn´t to get you to accept that your views are problematic, I know that will never happen. What I am saying to you is for the benefit of others who are reading this, to reassure them that you are not getting away with it.
I disagree. They’re completely, ridiculously wrong, but I do think it’s often in good faith. They’re in an information bubble which tells them that only conservative sources are ever honest (and even them not all the time) and all other sources, including scientists, are liars, and they honestly believe that. This makes them vulnerable to believing ridiculous things, and there’s no way to convince them otherwise, since every possible source outside their bubble is untrustworthy.
(I read somewhere that actual information bubbles aren’t about never hearing anything from outside the bubble; they’re about being inside a worldview which says that everything coming from outside the bubble can be dismissed.)
Of course, at the leadership level, many of them do lack good faith (which is what this cartoon is about). I’m sure there are high-up Republicans who say things about global warming they know is absolute garbage.
Sorry Amp, I should have put more thought into that comment. I was thinking primarily about the leadership level.
Amp @48: I see this as the basic reason for rebutting the claims that are simply false. People of good faith can change their minds and positions. I realize that it’s not that simple, denial is strong, evidence isn’t always definitive, etc, but at least we can open the bubble up a little.
Though I do wonder how anyone can deny global warming at this point. How many weather disasters and record hot years does it take before they stop being surprised at another one?
I’ve been catching up on Succession. In the last episode I saw, the Rupert Murdoch character is proposing a hostile takeover of a larger, respected news source. His daughter expresses shock, saying something like “But … where am I supposed to get MY news? I mean, there are people who honestly need to know what’s going on in the world.”
*shrug* This asks people to make a gut-level statistical inference—something people are famously bad at doing. Few people pass all the actuarial exams because drawing accurate statistical inferences out of a sea of countervailing dynamics is really, really hard and counter-intuitive.
(Dilbert was condemned by the Prince of Insufficient Light to dwell among the technical trolls in the bowels of his firm. One troll, introduced as a random number generator, simply repeats “…9…9…9…9….” Dilbert remarked that this doesn’t seem like a very random series—and another troll replied that you just can’t tell.)
I accept theories of climate change because I work among people who accept the theories; I make no pretensions to having evaluated the data for myself. Non-experts who claim to have evaluated the evidence for themselves seem like people who claim that they can do their own research and beat the stock market: Maybe they can—or maybe they’re engaging in a self-aggrandizing delusion.