Monday, October 17, 2016

Hate Mail

It is so telling that the free speech absolutists can't abide someone saying that it is their theory that allowed the cabloid and hate-talk radio haters to do things like make the word "liberal" a dirty word, convince millions that Hillary Clinton was the devil incarnate and that huge numbers of automatic weapons and vast stores of ammunition were necessary for even the most mentally unstable of their listeners to protect themselves and their families from the imminent danger that she and liberals posed to them. 

Apparently the "free speech - free press" industry can abide vast networks blaring and hardly covert advocacy for violence among the paranoiacs they created can't abide someone pointing out how they were allowed to do that by claiming the "first amendment" gave us no choice.   Well, I'm going to say that even if we're lucky and dodge the hail of automatic weapons fire this time, the guns are there, the paranoiacs are still there and FOX, CNN, hate-talk radio and the messaging that created Donald Trump are still in place, up and running us into hell.   It's only a matter of time before that happens. 

And it's the self-appointed civil-libertarians who complain when someone points out that is the direct result of their work. 


  1. I saw my first Trump ad on television the other night. I dunno, apparently the channels I watch (seldom the major broadcast networks, they bore me) don't rate enough viewers to waste the ad on. It was even apparently a political ad, to begin with.

    A young woman tells a compelling story about being attacked, and saving her own life only because she was armed. She never gives her name, or any reason to believe the story isn't entirely make-believe. I wondered what the pitch was, and then she said the Hillary Clinton doesn't believe in a right to self-defense, and wants to take away our guns. At this point I'm thinking of the Heller decision which rested on the right of self-defense, and that no one can "take away your guns," when the pitch was made for Donald Trump.

    I know almost anything goes in political advertising, but the "Daisy" ad LBJ ran once was supposedly scurrilous because it simply implied Goldwater would start a nuclear war (I'm not so sure he wouldn't at least have used nukes in Vietnam). This ad stated an outright falsehood, based on sheer ignorance of how Constitutional government works.

    I'm not sure I can connect that directly to free-speech absolutists, at least not in the sense that such ads should be illegal; but we are really down the rabbit hole this year, and I'm not sure we're going to find the trial of the Knave of Hearts is being conducted by a pack of cards that turn into falling leaves.

  2. If hate-talk radio, the 24-7-365 "cable news" stations, etc. hadn't been spouting the NRA-RNC-etc. propaganda, nonstop, if the allegedly more credible broadcast venues and print sources hadn't been aiding and abetting that with their "it's being said" stuff, not to mention the cynicism and paranoia spread by the media's entertainment divisions, etc. hadn't been doing what they've done for the past several decades Donald Trump would be a sleazy minor villain in the NYC development sector and people like Ted Cruz and John Kasaich and Mike Pence would be seen as the crackpots they are. I don't think that it would take making political ads illegal, it could probably be enough to allow those libeled by the media to sue and enforcing the kinds of broadcast and public service standards that were in place at one time. I think if the United States hadn't been fed the kind of stuff it has been that a political ad like that one would be seen as being as non-credible as it is.

    I do know that as long as the media can do what it has done then we are on a direct route to fascism or a violent civil war or some other entirely preventable catastrophe that will likely end up with all of us having far less freedom if not ending lots of our lives, and all as a result of the "free speech" industries lies.

  3. There is a point at which, in order to protect democracy, we have to destroy it.

    Or at least curtail it. Speech should be free, but no freedom is absolute. I've read arguments against the "objective" stance of journalism, but the only other option seems to be FoxNews or Democracy Now!, or some kind of blind allegiance to all information being available all the time (Wikileaks). The especial problem with the latter being information is not self-explanatory, and just because it is freely available doesn't mean information is reliable (Russian "editing" of leaked material being just one problem among many. Now, apparently, there are e-mails where Hillary told groups of Jews about the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, in a light not favorable to Hillary's trustworthiness. Given the Russian shall we say "disaffection" for Jews, one can't help but wonder how re-written that e-mail is; or even if it's invented from whole cloth).

    There is something inevitably American about anti-government forces. We think the FDR era was one of unity and uniformity because of the New Deal and the "Good War," and forget Father Coughlin or even the doubters as portrayed by one figure in the great film "The Best Years of Our Lives." I remember George Wallace just as I remember Bull Conner, and don't look too fondly on the Presidency of Andrew Jackson.

    But just as we have mentally ill people on the streets because of Nurse Ratched (a literary portrayal of a real problem with mental health care, and I oversimplify because of space limitations), so we have Donald Trump because information wants to be free.

    And bad money drives out good; or so the economists tell me.

  4. I think the least that can be done is for individuals who are lied about in the mass media to have the ability to force an effective retraction and to punish the mass media for spreading lies. And I include political figures in that. I've had people talk about Donald Trump saying that he wanted something like that but the fact is one of the biggest losers if that were possible would be Donald Trump.

    I think that facing the fact of the power of electronic media to propagandize, far more so than print, is necessary. The American media is the experiment that shows that treating it like 18th century print was always insane. As I've pointed out, it was the 1915 release of Birth of a Nation that gave rise to the modern KKK and its terror campaigns, that was certainly an early indication, even before radio, of the potential electronic media would have to lie us into fascism. It was something that the Soviets and then the Nazis and fascists understood but which our 18th century slogans prevented Americans from admitting.

  5. Free speech absolutists are responsible for the proliferation of guns in this country? You're fucking bonkers, Sparky. And it's rather telling that nowhere in the above moronic rant are the words "Fairness Doctrine" visible.