Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We are now one name lighter

Not to mention down about 800 pounds of crazy. Soon as I post this, I am going to amnesty The Daily Dish the hell off my blogroll.

Sorry, Andrew. I'd mostly stopped reading you after the 2008 election, though I still do think fondly of the many inspiring words you poured out back then. And you've introduced me to some other fine bloggers, like Daniel Larison.

But when you're writing posts that say the reason we can't trust Journolist is because … EZRA KLEIN MADE THE ENTIRE MEDIA SQUELCH THE TRUTH ABOUT TRIG … sometimes there are no words.

Except good. And bye. Said soothingly, while slowly backing away.


(h/t: johnmarzan, although probably not in a way he would like | "amnesty?")

16 comments:

repsac3 said...

Yeah, I cannot understand Sully's obsession with this conspiracy. He seems basically sane, for the most part, but where this story is concerned, all reason that doesn't fit his chosen meme goes out the window, right down to the idea that Ezra, dear leader to 400 left of center writers, ordered them not cover this story... ...and to a person, they complied.

(But then, the whole Journolist conspiracy is an awfully fabricated story, requiring a whole lotta willful suspension of disbelief, itself.)

Anyway, I can certainly understand your actions... (Me, I dig reading a little crazy, so I'll likely keep him listed, at least for the time being...)

WV: ressemo

Brendan said...

There's good crazy and there's bad crazy. For example, when Sully went mental thinking he could overthrow the government of Iran by reblogging every tweet he read about it, I thought, "At least his heart is in the right place." And even early on in the Trig Trutherism Crusade, I hoped it was a tongue-in-cheek way of pushing back against the Birthers.

In general, I have excused a lot of his mercurial behavior, because I used to like him a lot, and I admired how handsomely he apologized for his behavior during the selling of the invasion of Iraq. However, his obsession with and exaggeration of this Journolist nonsense, his holier-than-thou attitude regarding what he imagines it to be, and the Return of the Revenge of the Son of Trig Trutherism are just too much to put up with any longer. If I want to read screeds about an imaginary universe with a self-appointed deity, I'll head on over to Time Cube.

Brendan said...

P.S. Thanks for the link, which I saw after my comment published.

Chet said...

Yeah, I cannot understand Sully's obsession with this conspiracy.

Really? Can't understand it at all? Let me attempt to explain, then:

It's a weird story and the media has determined that they won't touch it for reasons that have nothing to do with facts.

Isn't that worth paying some attention to? Especially when the Journ-o-list emails indicate that they shared Andrew's position that the Wild Ride is just too weird to be true, but that they weren't going to touch the story lest they strike down Palin and make her more powerful than you can possibly imagine, or something?

I dunno, is that how we want our journalists to operate? Where they just decide they're not going to investigate some things because it might make somebody look bad?

Isn't that taking "deference" just a little too far? I think Sullivan is much more reasonable on this issue than his critics, including BJ.

Brendan said...

Pardon my jumping in when it appears as though you were addressing repsac3, but …

I don't accept your assertion that "the media has determined that they won't touch it for reasons that have nothing to do with facts." Just to give a very brief example: check out the hits for searching just one MSM site during the relevant period. Granted not every one of those results pertains, but skim through them, and you'll see the story (or "story") did not go unremarked upon, even by the Gray Lady.

Essentially, at least as I remember it, it was an eyebrow-raising rumor that got some attention, that quickly became very hard to believe once Bristol's pregnancy became known.

As for your view that Journolist had anything to do with the supposed media shunning of the "story," well, I don't know much what to say. In the first place, this was hardly the only group of people online, idly chatting about What This Could Mean For The Presidential Race or whatever. There are tens of millions of people for whom campaign politics is their favorite soap opera or sporting event, who like nothing finer than playing Strategist. Go look at any online forum; e.g., the Bloggingheads.tv forum, for this same period of time.

The point here is that even if some of the Journolistas opined that going after Palin this way would be ill-advised, so what? It is a thought a million other people had at the same time, for reasons of "deference," and far more importantly, for reasons that it smelled of wingnuttery -- howling about something for which there isn't any evidence. Given all else that was available, on the record, for throwing at Palin, why would anyone bother with a made-up smear campaign? And who cares why they decided not to, in any case? There was no there there.

So, I'd say that if you're spending your time reading Tucker's Excerpts, or Sully's Ravings, you're not only wasting your time, you're also showing the brain damage that results from over-indulging in this sort of behavior -- searching only for "facts" to suit a preordained theory. It's normal -- in a biological sense -- to want to do that, but the way we become civilized and stay that was is by refusing to let our baser whims always direct our thinking.

Just step back and reflect upin what you're implying: that a small bunch of bloggers and wonks could shape Teh Narrative for a country of 300 million people, not to mention the hundreds of millions more around the world who also obsess over US presidential races. And if you can't see how comical that is, then I would ask you how it could be that this same group would have "let" the media, say, spend six months yelling about Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, or the words "clinging" and "bitter," or why the Birthers received respectful attention for as long as they did.

I could go on, but I think there is little to be gained by engaging with someone who believes in conspiracy theories. People like you and Sullivan have beliefs built on solely on imagination, you can fit everything into the narrative that you're determined to believe, and you even seize upon lack of evidence as Further Proof of the Cover-up.

My two cents.

Brendan said...

Errata: stay that way, not "stay that was," in the last sentence of the fourth paragraph from the end, above. Also: reflect upon, not "upin," shortly thereafter.

repsac3 said...

"Pardon my jumping in when it appears as though you were addressing repsac3..."

Speaking for (and as) repsac3, I don't mind a bit...

*I* didn't jump in when I saw Chet's comment entirely too early this morning, thinkin' what you essentially said out loud, "there is little to be gained by engaging with someone who believes in conspiracy theories." (which I consider the "teaching a pig to sing" theory, (with apologies to any nutters who might swing by and see that as a Palin/lipstick/pig reference), and also because I didn't think you'd even want the argument taking place, here...

I see the whole thing as one of those "solid fact free" speculations/questions that FoxNews folks are so good at ("We're not saying it's true; we're just raising the question, because 'some' are saying it's true"), and that all good conspiracies are based on. (There's currently a good one brewing about Shirley Sherrod and the class action settlement she was a part of for black farmers, and how this in some way has something to do with her being appointed to the USDA, and the "REAL" reason she was fired, too... Like the Trig Truthers (and the 911 Truthers, and the Birthers, and the "JFK was murdered by the mob/Cubans/trilateral commission/???" folks, and the "Lennon/McCartney had ghost writers, and didn't write all those hit songs" people,) they have scant facts, but a whole lotta guesswork and a good dose of "It's obvious to anyone with the brains to see/willingness to look behind the curtain" (i.e. themselves, but not you and me, obviously) bravado to sustain them.

I don't mind them looking for the "truth," but I would prefer that they shut up about it until they actually find that one piece that will make us all see they were right, all along-- the birth certificate(s)/the incendiary devices that took #7 down/that magic tri-lateral bullet/???--or their sanity... Right, left, or otherwise, they're making us look bad to the alien race who left us on this planet, and have been watching, ever since...

WV word: vattogi - A traditional "meat" stew from Eastern Europe (but you don't wanna know what's in it... Trust me.)

Brendan said...

@repsac3:

... and also because I didn't think you'd even want the argument taking place, here...

Thanks for your consideration and courteous nature, but banish such thoughts from your mind henceforth. I don't at all mind long arguments in comment threads on this blog; in fact, I dream about someday having to investigate other commenting systems, due to user overload.

Shorter: Bring it on™!

Also, LOL @ the WV you saw. And good rant, before that.

Chet said...

Just to give a very brief example: check out the hits for searching just one MSM site during the relevant period.

Ok, I did just look at the hits you linked to. None of them are about the rumor that Sarah is not the mother of Trig, at least on the first three pages; they're all about rumors that Bristol is pregnant, which of course she was.

Essentially, at least as I remember it, it was an eyebrow-raising rumor that got some attention, that quickly became very hard to believe once Bristol's pregnancy became known.

Why? Certainly the timeline of Bristol's pregnancy with Tripp is tough, if not impossible, to reconcile with the suggestion that she's the mother of Trig, too. But that's only proof that Sarah is the mother if Bristol and Sarah are the only two women in the universe who could be the mother of Trig. But that's obviously not true. Anybody could be Trig's mom, especially given that Sarah's story of the delivery and birth is such an impossibility.

As for your view that Journolist had anything to do with the supposed media shunning of the "story," well, I don't know much what to say.

Woah, hold on a second. I didn't make such a claim or take such a view. I don't think the members of the Journ-o-List collude, or give orders to any other journalist, or anything like that.

But it's obvious from the emails that a bunch of those journalists said "we're not going to investigate this 'story', and our suggestion is that neither should you, because Palin will use it to her advantage."

And, ok, that may or may not be true. (Unlike the Family Guy episode, and the Dave Lettermen incident, she's suspiciously not used this to much of any advantage.) But is it a reasonable justification? I don't see any point in the emails where anyone puts forth a compelling evidence-based case that Sarah is the mother. Everybody just assumes that case has already been made, somewhere.

Just like you assume it. But did you actually see it? Could you point me to it? Dave Weigel tried, as Sullivan's guest-blogger, but it's emerged since then that Weigel just made up a lot of what he said was "the evidence."

Given all else that was available, on the record, for throwing at Palin, why would anyone bother with a made-up smear campaign?

No reason, I guess. But if someone does want to pursue it, why subject them to all this invective?

Do you think there's some aspect of Palin's odious political machinations that Sullivan missed because he's not willing to be convinced by evidence only assumed to be there?

Just step back and reflect upin what you're implying: that a small bunch of bloggers and wonks could shape Teh Narrative for a country of 300 million people

I'm not implying or saying that at all. If I somehow gave the impression that I believe that, I misspoke. I think the Journ-o-List reflects the popular delusion that there's evidence that Sarah is the mother of Trig. I don't think it's the source of it.

People like you and Sullivan have beliefs built on solely on imagination, you can fit everything into the narrative that you're determined to believe, and you even seize upon lack of evidence as Further Proof of the Cover-up.

This is simply not an accurate description of myself or Sullivan.

Brendan said...

@Chet:

Ok, I did just look at the hits you linked to. None of them are about ...

*sighs*

And so you triumphantly conclude! something something something.

Look, Chet, if it wasn't there in your brief skim of a five-second Google effort, it'll be somewhere else close by. Sorry, but I cannot be bothered to prove this to you, because I know you would just start arguing about the next link I gave you. This is how it works when dealing with any sort of Truther.

But that's only proof that Sarah is the mother if Bristol and Sarah are the only two women in the universe who could be the mother of Trig.

*rolls eyes*

You could say the same about any woman and any baby, unless you were there at the moment of delivery.

But that's obviously not true. Anybody could be Trig's mom, especially given that Sarah's story of the delivery and birth is such an impossibility.

It's really not. And you know how you can be sure of this? Because if there is anyone who would do anything even remotely reasonable to keep Sarah Palin out of office it is me. And it was me in fall 2008. Believe me, I looked. There isn't any good reason to believe Sarah did not gave birth to Trig. If there was, I'd have been hammering on it. You Trig Truthers are hanging your hopes on a picture allegedly taken not too long before birth and saying "SHE DOESN'T LOOK PREGNANT TO ME!!!1!" All the rest is supposition.

And to show you how this picture doesn't mean much, I will share a rare bit of personal information: when I was born, I weighed 9 lb 2 oz. My mother's weight right before she gave birth to me was eight pounds above her usual weight. It happens -- in my mother's case because back then, they badgered pregnant women not to gain weight and in St. Sarah's case, because she's vain or she wanted to hide being pregnant, or both, or something else besides. I think she was in denial, and praying every night she'd lose the baby, but that's just a guess.

I don't think the members of the Journ-o-List collude, or give orders to any other journalist, or anything like that.

*shakes head*

In light of your earlier comment, this does not merit further response. Same for the rest of that section, where you are basically confusing absence of evidence for evidence of absence.

But if someone does want to pursue it, why subject them to all this invective?

Three reasons:

1. You call bullshit on people whom you like or respect when they stray too far from sane behavior.

2. The non-wingnut part of the population are the good guys. The good guys play rough, because we're forced to by the RWNM, but we don't play dirty. That's what they do.

3. As I said earlier, there is an endless supply of stuff to use to go after St. Sarah that is well-documented. Even if 1 and 2 didn't apply, this would suffice.

I think the Journ-o-List reflects the popular delusion that there's evidence that Sarah is the mother of Trig.

It is not a delusion, Chet. It is the most reasonable conclusion, from both the evidence -- which, in fact, does exist (other pictures of her from mid-2008 where she does look noticeably heavier) and by Occam's Razor.

This is simply not an accurate description of myself or Sullivan.

It is in my view.

Brendan said...

Quick follow-up:

I said in my previous comment:

... you know how you can be sure of this? Because if there is anyone who would do anything even remotely reasonable to keep Sarah Palin out of office it is me. And it was me in fall 2008. Believe me, I looked. There isn't any good reason to believe Sarah did not gave birth to Trig. If there was, I'd have been hammering on it.

I should have added that I am very far from alone in thinking this, and the motivation wouldn't only be fear and loathing of someone like Sarah getting into office. Another principle one, probably even more powerful, would be the journalistic urge for a scoop. You need only know the tiniest thing about how the standard reporter's mind works to know -- to know -- that there were hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands of people who dreamed of making their bones on a Trig-gate type of story. You have to know that they looked, and looked good and hard.

Think about people like Shannyn Moore and Celtic Diva and the Mudflats blogger(s), to name just a few examples. You think they would have let this go if there were even the slightest hint of something to be found?

The only sane answer is no.

Chet said...

And so you triumphantly conclude! something something something.

That there's been no serious media investigation of the truth of Sarah Palin's claim to be Trig Palin's birth mother.

Am I wrong about that? Could you point me to the serious investigation of the evidence you claim was made?

Look, Chet, if it wasn't there in your brief skim of a five-second Google effort, it'll be somewhere else close by.

Why do you believe that if you can't find it? Look, it's not my job to do your homework for you. I'm trying to show you that the evidence you've been apparently told is there, isn't. It can't, apparently, be found.

You could say the same about any woman and any baby, unless you were there at the moment of delivery.

You're right, you can! That's why a legal instrument called "the birth certificate" emerged that, at least legally, proves that a woman's claim to maternity of a given child is true and not a fabrication.

Establishing maternity isn't simply something we take people's word on, because frequently they have reason to lie. And I can't imagine the kind of person who thinks its something we should take Sarah Palin's word on, especially. Doesn't it go without saying that she can't be trusted?

There isn't any good reason to believe Sarah did not gave birth to Trig.

There is, but that's not what I'm asking for. I'm asking for the good reason to believe that she did give birth to Trig. The burden of proof is always on the person making the positive claim. That's why it's not sufficient to just say "yes, I gave birth to this person." There's a legal requirement of evidence before that claim is given legal force, because that's just not a claim that people can demand we take their word for. We may choose to - I choose to do it with you because it's just not all that important - but you're not a national figure with a history of bizarre lies using the story of your birth, or someone else's, as a qualification to hold higher office.

Chet said...

All the rest is supposition.

Not at all. The rest is the curious lack of any evidence where there should be some. A public record of birth of someone named "Palin" at that hospital. (There's not.) An image of a highly-photographed woman in a visible stage of pregnancy. (There's not.) A doctor who can testify to being present at the birth. (The Palin family GP has not, in fact, ever said she was there.)

Same for the rest of that section, where you are basically confusing absence of evidence for evidence of absence.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence, that's how you know when to go buy groceries, but now at least you're admitting that there's a total absence of evidence.

As I said earlier, there is an endless supply of stuff to use to go after St. Sarah that is well-documented.

I know you said that earlier and I responded to it. Is there something you think Sullivan missed because of too much focus - which I guess would be "any", in your view - on the Trig story?

Again you seem to be saying that attention to the Trig story takes some of the air out of the room for other, apparently more legitimate or weighty matters. Can you give an example where that was true?

It is the most reasonable conclusion, from both the evidence -- which, in fact, does exist (other pictures of her from mid-2008 where she does look noticeably heavier) and by Occam's Razor.

Which pictures? Be specific. Again you're just saying "the evidence is there" without providing any of it, and that makes me think you don't have any. And "Occams Razor" is the principle by which we conclude that her Wild Ride is a medical impossibility. It's miraculous if it happened, which means Occams Razor suggests that it didn't.

It is in my view.

If you had evidence that it was true you would have presented it. Your view is clearly mistaken, as is your impression that any evidence in favor of Sarah's maternity of Trig exists.

Chet said...

Another principle one, probably even more powerful, would be the journalistic urge for a scoop.

Except that here's an example where even the Journ-o-Listers are saying "sure, this is weird and it would be a scoop, but it would only help Palin so I'm not going to pursue it and I'm going to suggest that nobody else should, either." And apparently that was convincing to many people, since many journalists have come forward to explain their inattention to the story as not being based on the evidence, but being based on an assumed advantage for Palin.

The only journalist I know of who says that they were convinced by the evidence was Dave Weigel, and it turns out he just made that evidence up. He was remembering things that just didn't happen.

And, hey, there is one journalist who's on the case, after all - and it's the one you've decided to stop reading. Don't you see how peer pressure, not evidence, is the reason that this story has not been pursued?

Chet said...

Think about people like Shannyn Moore and Celtic Diva and the Mudflats blogger(s), to name just a few examples.

I have no idea who those people are, so I can't speak as to what they would or wouldn't do.

But I do know that a lot of bloggers started out, as I did, thinking that they couldn't believe how anyone would fall for this nonsense and they're going to get to the bottom of it, only to be forced to say "wow, the bottom was a lot deeper than I thought; I had been told there was all this evidence that this was just a goofy conspiracy theory but it turns out there's absolutely none at all."

I was a skeptic, in the sense you are until I went looking for the evidence. There's none to be had and much against.

Chet said...

Here's what I mean about the non-existence of evidence: I'm asking the same question on another blog, what is the positive evidence for Sarah's maternity of Trig, and in response I'm being told that the moon is made of rock and not of cheese.

Well, yes, it is, but how is that evidence for Sarah's maternity of Trig?

Ask yourself - it's clear you think she obviously is, but do you think that because you were shown evidence that she was, or do you think that because everyone you know and respect thinks there's evidence she is, and the only people who don't think that are people you don't like?

Do you think that's a good basis to decide a fundamentally evidence-based question? Please explain to me how it is.

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