Your Head Will Explode

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

To corporate media hacks, there are no objective facts. Because they are incapable of either researching or comprehending what can be demonstrably proved, they dumb down all issues to mere partisan controversies. There is no scientific method. There are no historical contexts. There are two sides to every story, even when there really aren’t. Everything can be a legitimate source of bickering.

It’s not just juvenile, and it’s not just unprofessional; it is, in fact, dangerous. If a prominent Republican went flat-earther, Wolf Blitzer, David Broder and their ilk would reliably report on the new controversy over the shape of the earth. Andrea Mitchell just proved her credentials as an upstanding member of this upsidedown cult of unreality. On the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, she interviewed Al Gore. Did she ask him about the science of climate change? Did she ask him about the politics? Did she ask him if the politics was dangerous, given the science? Of course not. As reported by Steve Benen:

This morning, Gore appeared on MSNBC, where Andrea Mitchell read from Sarah Palin’s Facebook page to ask the former vice president questions about climate change.

Let’s think about that, for a moment. Al Gore may be an imperfect messenger, but his understanding of climate change is steeped in science. He’s written books about it. Books that he not only read, but actually wrote. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work explaining climate change and trying to get the world to deal with it. In contrast, Sarah Palin has no understanding of climate change, whatsoever. Not only does she not understand the science of climate change, she doesn’t appear to understand science. Nothing in her resume credibly qualifies her to discuss climate change. To be kind, one could say that her best and most consistent professional qualification is that of a quitter. She’s not very good at it, but she does have plenty of experience.

But even more surreal is the context of Mitchell’s question. A supposedly serious supposed journalist asks a Nobel Prize winning expert what he thinks of the nitwit ramblings of an ignorant anti-intellectual that were posted to a Facebook page? Has the corporate media really dumbed itself that far down?

Apparently without laughing in her face or being stupefied into horrified silence, Gore gave Mitchell a succinct response:

“Well, you know, the global warming deniers persist in this air of unreality,” Gore explained. “After all, the entire north polar icecap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. Forty percent is already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade. What do they think is causing this?”

Has Mitchell ever bothered to read about or report on such a minor inconvenient truth? Of course not. That would require activating her synapses. It’s much easier simply to read a blurb on Facebook, and pretend that she’s a serious person asking serious questions of other serious people.

Digby also read Palin’s Facebook page, and her response is a very easy lesson in how a thinking person responds to a public idiot like Palin. Palin attempts to engage Gore with all the wit and wisdom of a very inane junior high school kid. She attempts to turn around Gore’s criticism of climate deniers by using his same words to criticize Gore for denying the sham scandal concocted out of deliberate misreadings of stolen emails. And then digby engages in an act of intelligence. She links to a page that thoroughly debunks the sham scandal.

In  truth, the “Climategate” scandal doesn’t really exist. TP has put together an essential primer on how the scandal was manufactured.  It’s just as one might have expected.

Mitchell, of course, likely would have attempted to paint the debunked scandal as a legitimate issue. Mitchell likely wouldn’t have made the effort to research the facts, to think them through, and to report objectively what is so easily verified. To Mitchell, every argument has two legitimate sides. Because making the effort to figure out if one actually is right requires effort. And thought. And responsibility. And professionalism. Something Mitchell wouldn’t understand. Something digby dashes off effortlessly. Because digby is the professional Mitchell only pretends to be. And because understanding that climate change is real and that the concocted scandal is a sham doesn’t take a lot of effort. To anyone willing to make such an effort, and capable of understanding easily explicable facts.

20 comments

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  1. Simply unbelievable.

    Thanks for the way you used the Mitchell/Palin example.

    It makes it easier to extrapolate from there to daily examples of the same dumb process.

  2. to speak with one voice, this sort of thing does make one wonder whether certain people look at the content of their own sites.

    • TMC on December 12, 2009 at 7:16 am

     How sophomoric on the parts of both Mitchell and Palin. Mitchell  for, well, being the biased hack of a reporter, if you can even call her a reporter. And Palin, well, her even being on facebook is astounding. Who helped her figure it out one of her kids? What next Twitter the interview?

    I love digby, she and d-day at FDL are a must read every evening, along with Marcy Wheeler. I watch Rachel Maddow on the Internet, along with the most “trsuted Journalist” Jon Stewart. Who needs cable news even for background noise it’s annoying.

  3. how do you feel about those zeta-reticulans.

  4. want to? They listen to themselves speak, and in my experience, seldom do they absorb what the other party says. How can a society really have “news” if it’s always

    a rehearsed presentation? It’s very easy for “news providers” to avoid dealing with thorny issues that have moral consequences, and no T.V. star wants to ever admit they don’t understand something. And although most of them always can sound tough and righteous, how often do they demonstrate empathy?

    In the Palin example, instead of Mitchell directly dealing with the complex issues of global warming, since she has Al Gore right there, she uses Palin as a cover for her own ignorance;and this is what happens all the time. This is the easiest way to go.

    These “news people” are self absorbed entertainers who really don’t have the time, inclination or intelligence to promote critical thinking based upon difficult pieces of information. Instead of an average viewer being skeptical of facts/information etc., they are often left to make judgements on personality. So opinion and fact become inseparable, and people can mistake one for the other.

    Remember, these people are “made up” (makeup rooms), dressed up,cued up and so fucking self important that the real world is simply the camera in front of them.  

    • banger on December 12, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    They are now the chief culprits creating the Narrative that is an utter pack of lies. I don’t believe pols need attacking, they just do what they do which is reflect the balance of power. It is the MSM that creates the mythological framework and the rules of the game. Change what they report on and you change everything. How? Well, we need to “talk” don’t we?

    • jamess on December 12, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    if the Infotainment Distraction Industry

    is Actively trying to Hide the evidence like this?



    (larger)

    more evidence

    or is it, that the Distraction Industry just too incompetent,

    and just too petty,

    to realize the Daily Dis-service they are performing

    ON Society?  

    It’s kind of like a bad magic trick —

    “hocus pocus”  — everything’s fine:

  5. dumbing down of media — it hurts.

    Great essay on this insight.

    • Diane G on December 13, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Ask a brilliant man a question by a woman who couldn’t name one thing she read, sees Russia from her front porch and goes to a Creationist preacher that burns children with acid in Africa for being witches?

    Of all the learned questions in the world, they go to a mentally challenged religinazi’s facebook page?

    I’m surprised she didn’t ask him if The Flintstones was not in fact, a documentary.

    No wonder we are so fucked.

    Gahhhhhhhhhh

  6. I don’t care if global warming is real or not.  Their solution of renewing global eugenics just doesn’t strike me as progressive compassion.  We have progressed from the last Nazi era.  Instead of wiping out just the Jews they want to wipe out everybody.

    Assigning tons of money to Bernie Madoff sociopathic control freaks will do nothing to help the enviornment so it is something I shall forever fight against.  Hey, it might even replace the Islamo-fascism war of error.

  7. NBC’s most serious ‘grown up’ respectable reporter the inside the beltway. The administration may have changed but it fries my head to have to watch the same people, touting the dregs of the Republican’s left standing and using both twitter and facebook as sources. Same with Cheney, those who danced with him are still on the TV acting like he’s rational and part of the debate. All in all it’s pretty obvious that the dumbing down is has been assigned to the dumb and dumber. We often play whose the dumbist of the so called journalist/reporters Andrea dosen’t even make the cut. However they all bring out the clowns, even the shows that lean progressive, their a  good distraction.      

    • Wom Bat on December 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Hubby’s “legacy.” A newswoman, she’s not.  

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