Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

This week has been a great one for our favorite Socialist Socialite, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. After accusing Senator Ted Cruz of attempted murder in a tweet where the two agreed on the recent Robinhood controversy, she came out this week and told her story about what happened on January 6th.

To put it mildly, I’ve seen less melodrama in a telenovela than in her story. And, as expected, Leftists ran with it, even if the facts didn’t exactly match up with her version of events. After people attempted to correct the record, fact-checking website Snopes got involved and came out looking like one of AOC’s social media team by ruling the fact checks that undermined her story “misleading.”

I know we’ve covered fact checking before on the Lexicon, but this week I want to delve deeper into Snopes to try to figure out how they operate.

Snopes

What the Left thinks it means – a valuable fact-checking website that does its homework to expose lies

What it really means – a website that went from debunking urban legends to creating political ones

Snopes built its reputation for telling the truth by focusing on those stories we took as gospel, but may or may not have the ring of truth. You know, like the government actually spending within its means? For a while, this was good enough for the owners/creators of the site, but eventually it branched out into politics. Not surprising, given the creators happened to be prominent Democrat donors. Now, that wouldn’t matter to me if they stuck with urban legends, but once you cross the line into politics, those little details matter because they can taint the results of your fact checking.

Let’s just say Snopes has no concerns with it because they don’t care about whether their fact checks resemble factual information.

Take the AOC story, for example. Regardless of how you feel about the events of January 6th, it’s not far-fetched to say she could have felt she was in danger. Yet, the way she initially described it made it sound like she was at the Capitol when everything went sideways. That wasn’t the case, though. She was in a different building within a short walk of the Capitol and was evacuated before the protestors breached the building itself. Additionally, she said her fear was compound by a man yelling “Where is she?” That man happened to be a member of the Capitol Police trying to keep her safe and get her away from the potential danger.

Nowhere in that series of events was AOC in any actual danger, though. She can feel she was in fear for her life (which makes me wonder just how New York she really is), but the facts don’t back it up. And as Ben Shapiro has pointed out on a few occasions, facts don’t care about your feelings.

When presented with tweets explaining the logical inconsistencies, Snopes found the fact checks on AOC misleading because…she never said she was at the Capitol when things happened, which is true, but contradicted by her own story as she told it. It’s a question of literal versus figurative speech, which can also be subject to political biases. Case in point: President Donald Trump’s “very fine people on both sides” comment after Charlottesville. Even though the President clearly and unequivocally denounced the racists, the Left ran with the narrative he thought the racists were “very fine people.” The President literally explained himself, but it wasn’t convenient, so the Left went with what they said he meant to say. (Cue the dog whistles the Left keeps hearing, but few others outside of their circles can…which is an odd thing to consider if you really think about it.)

And how did Snopes rate Trump’s statement? A “mixture” because they felt he didn’t condemn white supremacists. Funny how a clear articulation gets treated as a mixture of truth and lies, but a clear implication AOC was at the Capitol Building gets treated differently. 

That’s why fact checking, especially from Snopes, needs to be scrutinized and mocked mercilessly. I can count on the one hand of the world’s worst shop teacher the number of times Snopes has given Republicans the benefit of the doubt, but they will bend over like Cirque du Soleil when it’s a Democrat. No logic is too pretzel-like for Snopes if the ideology is right.

Even when the Democrat and Republican says the same thing using the same terminology. And, yes, this actually happened.

I have a rule of thumb when it comes to checking facts: if you have to equivocate to make something true, it ain’t true. The fact the preeminent fact checker can’t call balls and strikes should tell you everything you need to know about Snopes and its standards. Yet, Snopes keeps finding a way to limbo under their already low standards, as they have here.

Take their overwhelming focus on Republicans. The Left loves to point at the fact Snopes calls out more Republican lies than Democrat lies as proof the Left is more truthful. Now, consider the Snopes fact checking model. Naturally they’re going to find Republicans lie more because the site actively targets Republicans and giving half-butted explanations as to why while simultaneously giving Democrats a pass on even their most egregious lies. Under those parameters, it’s more likely that David Duke will win an NAACP Image Award than a Republican will get a fair shake, or an NAACP Image Award for that matter.

Even though Snopes has been in the fact checking game for a while, it’s clear they haven’t learned facts have no party affiliation. If a Democrat or a Republican tells a lie, it’s a lie. If somebody from “flyover country” gets it, why can’t Snopes?

The State of the Onion Address, 2020 Edition

As the glow from the flaming dumpster fire that was 2020 appears in our rearview mirror, we can finally take a look back with hope, namely the hope that 2020 doesn’t come back for an encore. Unfortunately for us, the media’s malpractice will be coming back like the food and drink after a really intense bender.

The state of journalism last year was the gasoline thrown on top of the aforementioned dumpster fire. Big stories, like a little bug known as COVID-19, got covered intensely by people whose only experience with medicine is drinking a Dr. Pepper, while other stories, like Jeffrey Epstein’s “suicide” or Hunter Biden’s business details, were treated with a dismissive hand wave in spite of there being more red flags than a Chinese military parade. That is, of course, when they weren’t busy being the sycophantic propaganda arm of the Left.

But don’t you dare call the media out for acting like the lapdogs they were! They are real reporters working on real news, like…oh, I don’t know…continuing to follow the Russiagate narrative after being embarrassed by the lack of actual facts involved in it. That was certainly more important than reporting the actual news or following up on stories that might make the Left look bad. You know, like dragging a kid through the mud for shooting Leftist thugs who were attacking him first. The interwebs often did the work the “real news” people were reluctant to do, but the “real news” folks could be counted on to provide only half the story to advance their ideological ends.

Speaking of which, how’d that work out for you media types with Nick Sandmann?

The only other constant in modern media outside of the fact they’re all terrible is that they don’t learn from their mistakes. Oddly enough, that perpetuates the terribleness, which makes it all the more humorous to me. A lot of that comes down to ego. High profile journalists (which should never be a thing, in my opinion) are often notorious for having skin thinner than the plot of a Michael Bay movie. When they get caught screwing up, being general asshats, or looking down their noses at the rest of us, there’s a tiny bit of satisfaction that comes from watching them fail time and time again. It’s schadenfreudelicious!

Over the past year, the media decided to be fact checkers for anything and everything President Donald Trump said. And they failed. A lot. As of this writing, they still haven’t admitted the President was right when he said there would be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020. In fact, the media and their handpicked experts said it would be impossible. It makes you wonder why anyone pays attention to these self-professed defenders of truth when they can’t even find it.

This also applies to the self-professed fact checkers the media love to use to “debunk” the President and his supporters. In a move that can only be called peak 2020, the media did a handful of fact checks on…the Babylon Bee, a satirical website. And this is after popular fact checking website Snopes fact checked the Bee just the year before and were deservedly mocked for it.

Remember what I said earlier about the media not learning from their mistakes?

The funny thing (at least to me) in all of this is the people who profess to check and know the facts so we don’t have to are the ones who struggle the most with the facts and correcting the record when they get their facts wrong. This is why I take the media’s portrayal of themselves with a great lake of salt. At this point, you’re better getting your news from your local Super Shopper that has been left in a festering pile of garbage.

And speaking of festering piles of garbage, let’s talk about Twitter. Granted Twitter is to news what Jerry Springer is to quality TV programming, but more and more people (including journalists) are using it to report on events as they happen in as close to real time as we can get. The only problems with this type of on-the-spot reporting are 1) the information may not always be accurate, 2) information can be mixed with opinion easily, and 3) it’s fucking Twitter. And if you think journalists are slow to admit they were wrong, Twitter users rarely, if ever, correct their mistakes. They just prefer to ignore them or double down while insulting anyone who disagrees with them. Which, as we know, is the only way to win debates.

In closing, it will be fun to watch the media who spent so much time fact checking fall asleep on the job as Joe Biden starts his administration. If 2020 is any indication, 2021 in the media is going to be lit.

Just like a dumpster fire!

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

The big news of the week was a story by The Atlantic alleging President Donald Trump disparaged veterans and Vietnam veterans specifically as “total losers.” And everyone from Fox News to former Vice President and current Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden has run with it like they stole it. Whether you believe it or not depends on something we haven’t really had a chance to discuss in detail for a while.

Unnamed sources.

As it turns out, The Atlantic‘s story relied heavily on unnamed sources, which can be a positive and a negative in journalistic circles. And, thanks to your humble correspondent, you will see why.

unnamed sources

What the Left thinks it means – valuable sources of information that get to the heart of most stories

What it really means – questionable sources of information at best

As a former journalism student, I can tell you unnamed sources can be a mixed bag because their credibility is completely reliant upon how much the reporter believes them. In the past, journalists could sense when there was the ring of truth to what a source said and when it was bullshit. Today, most journalists have a bullshit meter more broken than Matt Hardy. (If you get that reference, that would be DELIGHTFUL, yaaaaaaaaaas.)

Now, imagine a journalist who is predisposed to believe anything negative about President Trump, no matter how absurd it is. Guess what, kids? He/she is going to believe the negative stuff without so much as a first thought (because expecting them to have a second thought would be way above his/her pay grade).

This is where things get sticky. Under normal circumstances, anyone in the media who gets tricked by false information would get called out and discredited to the point not even the local Super Shopper would hire them. In the current media environment, though, that only happens if you’re not in league with the bulk of the media, which might as well be stenographers for the DNC. Even when getting caught time and time again falling for bad information, Leftists don’t lose any credibility. Compare the Left’s treatment of James O’Keefe and Rachel Maddow if you question this.

What does this have to do with unnamed sources? Regardless of the veracity of said sources, the Left has nothing to lose by believing them and reporting what they say. Meanwhile, the Right could get God to certify their statements and the Left wouldn’t believe it.

You know what beats unnamed sources, though? Named sources. With The Atlantic story, they have four unnamed sources. The number of named source? Zero, the same number of delegates Kamala Harris got. On the other side, the Trump Administration noted zero unnamed source, but ten named sources (including people who were there when the President allegedly made the statements attributed to him). Now, I’m no math major, but I’m pretty sure 10 is larger than 0, and that’s not even counting the fact the 10 are named sources.

That’s the double-edged Sword of Damocles when dealing with unnamed sources. Their truthfulness can’t be measured because we don’t know who they are, but the journalists do. That’s one level away from the source, which opens the journalist to scrutiny and questions of bias. And by questions, I mean certitudes. By protecting their sources by keeping them anonymous, they take on the criticism, often willingly, but even though the Left overlooks it, they lose the Credibility Olympics against named sources who come forward because there is no degree of separation from the original source with the latter.

Plus, there’s another thing to consider. There is a known and generally accepted practice of making up sources and/or quotes as needed. When you work a beat, you won’t always get the information you want or need for a story. If you’re being honest, you either find a way to get the information or try to write around it. If you’re a journalist today, you make it up. You know who uses similar practices? The National Enquirer.

Actually, I take that back. The Enquirer has standards.

To be honest, I don’t know who to believe when it comes to The Atlantic‘s piece, but I do know you can’t discount the fact a piece reliant solely on unnamed sources has fewer legs to stand on than Captain Ahab after his prosthetic leg was stolen.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

As the situation in Portland continues to cement the idea of how gonzo the Left has gotten, the media are doing their parts to minimize the PR damage being done. Who knew trying to set a federal courthouse on fire and leaving trash everywhere would be bad for the image of a movement? Right now there are two narratives being expressed. One is based on on-the-ground videos of rioterrrrr…I mean protesters doing what is being attributed to them. The other is based on trying to downplay the situation to give the impression what we’re seeing isn’t what’s really going on.

Guess which one the media are running with.

As the Left tries to contain the blowback, they’ve come up with a turn of a phrase: mostly peaceful. Seems nice, doesn’t it? Well, I’m about to be the black fly in your Chardonnay if you believe that.

And no, I’m not being ironic, and yeah I really do think.

mostly peaceful

What the Left thinks it means – the best way to describe what’s going on in Portland well before Donald Trump sent his government stormtroopers to cause problems

What it really means –  a phrase designed to make you think what you’re seeing play out on live video isn’t what is happening on live video

To better understand the Left’s narrative, we need to figure out why it seems plausible. Since the rioterrrr…I mean protesters aren’t keen on letting people know who they are and what their motivations are (Spoiler Alert: it’s most likely socialism), it’s hard to pin down whether their motives are peaceful or violent. While this would be a problem for normal people, it’s actually a boon for the Left because it’s impossible to discern who is the second coming of Gandhi and who is the second coming of Guy Fawkes. With this uncertainty of motives, it’s plausible to say it’s only a handful of people committing the crimes, leaving the others’ hands clean.

On a larger scale, too, the Left’s narrative makes sense. The vast majority of Portland isn’t Beirut with better coffee shops. In fact, most of the chaos is contained within an approximately six block area that just so happens to be located in the same neighborhood as a federal courthouse. So, in all actuality to the Left, Portland is mostly peaceful.

If you’re expecting a “but” out of me, you know it’s about to drop.

Let’s take the “handful of criminals” aspect first. Appropriately enough, the Left’s own rhetoric against the police department destroys this idea. One of the Left’s favorite slogans during this flaming fiasco and others of a similar vein is “Silence Is Violence.” In essence, if you remain silent when there is a crime against another person being committed, you are condoning it. (Granted, these are some of the same nozzleheads who also say words are violence, but that’s a blog post for another time.) Now, let’s apply that same thought process to Portland. If you see bad actors using your platform to cause harm to someone or something else, shouldn’t you be considered someone who condones the actions being taken? Wouldn’t your silence be violence, in this case literally?

As far as the larger Portland area is concerned, it’s true there’s only a limited area negatively impacted at the moment. However, when you have the Mayor and Governor giving silent consent for the anarchy going on, the fact it’s been contained to that six block area is a miracle in and of itself. What happens when that good fortune runs out and that six block area gets wider? Based on riots…I mean protests in other cities, it’s only a matter of time before the downtown folks decide to head to the suburbs (provided, of course, they don’t already live there in Mommy and Daddy’s basement). Then, the permissiveness granted previously might not survive much beyond the first incident between the protesters and the private security guard at the gate.

Even if I buy the notion Portland is mostly peaceful because the criminal activity is limited, it’s hard to argue with the video coverage. And, yes, you can claim these videos are out of context, but until you provide a viable alternate context, I have to go with what I see, and what I see is a less-than-peaceful protest. No matter how many shields you make and show off, no matter how many moms (or alleged moms) show up to form a wall, no matter how many veterans (or alleged veterans) supply support, no matter how many fathers (or alleged fathers) show up with leaf blowers, we have to believe what we’re seeing.

The Left can’t have that, though, so they’re trying to get us to disbelieve what we’re seeing. It’s a mild form of gaslighting, which is a grossly overused term these days to describe when someone tries to get another people or group of people to doubt themselves through psychological means. The Left’s tactics here are subtle, but evident and need to be called out for what it is: an attempt to downplay criminal behavior by ideological allies because the Left think it helps them against President Donald Trump in the upcoming Presidential election. In order for this to be successful, however, they have to lie repeatedly. Some are small, some are large, but all of them are lies.

That’s why their gaslighting attempts won’t work. We can see what the rioterrrr…I mean protesters are doing in the videos and livestreams. Spin it all you want, Leftists, but it’s clear these activities aren’t remotely peaceful, let alone mostly peaceful. The more you try to make it look and sound otherwise, the more foolish you look.

Then again, your partners in crime are LARPing as revolutionaries, so maybe you’re used to it by now. 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

Although COVID-19 put the kibosh on a lot of festivities this year, we still had the Pulitzer Prizes awarded. Aren’t we lucky? Among the wieners…I mean winners were reporters who wrote about global climate change being bad, Vladimir Putin being bad, and President Donald Trump being bad. You know, the same topics the media report on during any day ending with a Y.

And speaking of Y, why are these reporters winning an award for journalistic excellence when there is very little deviation in the subject matter? That, dear readers, is a fine topic of discussion.

the Pulitzer Prize

What the Left thinks it means – a prestigious award given to the very best in the journalism field

What it really means – an award as worthless as the reporters who win them these days

I wouldn’t want to be a journalist or a reporter today. The pay sucks, the hours are as erratic as Joe Biden going off script, and more often than not the only time you get recognized is when you screw up or get nominated for a Pulitzer. And more often than not, you get known for the former because most people don’t care about the latter.

So, why should we care? The people who are getting nominated are the ones who have an incredible, albeit waning somewhat, amount of power to shape narratives. There was a recent story that spread like wildfire that President Trump had a financial interest in a company producing hydroxychloroquine, a drug he promoted as a potential treatment for COVID-19. The press reported it without highlighting the fact the interest was 1) part of a mutual fund, and 2) so financially insignificant he could have found more money under his couch cushions. Even after the facts came out, people believed the initial truncated reporting.

And we’re no longer just dealing with half-truths being heralded, either. One of this year’s Pulitzers went to Nikole Hannah-Jones for the 1619 Project, a major New York Times undertaking reviewing the history of slavery in America. And by “reviewing,” I mean “making shit up.” One of the major contentions Hannah-Jones made was the American Revolution was fought to keep slavery alive here. Yeah, nothing about taxation without representation, unfair treatment of the colonists, and, oh yeah, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” that sparked the American Revolution (and included the death of Crispus Attucks, who just happened to be black). It was totes about slavery, yo!

Yet, in spite of the fact historians called out the multiple historical inaccuracies and Hannah-Jones promised to revise her derisive drivel before it gets published as a book, the Pulitzer Prize Board shrugged its collective shoulders and gave her the award anyway. Granted, it was for Commentary and not actual reporting, but the fact she was rewarded for making up easily refuted shit should tell you all you need to know about the Pulitzer Prize and journalism in general today.

While the New York Times can pat itself on the back for winning it, the real payoff is the credibility it gives them with fans and the general public. Joe Sixpack may not be able to name many, if any, Pulitzer winners, but they may recognize the name and extrapolate it means something good for the recipients. But we shouldn’t let the award dazzle us into thinking the Times is worth a damn. Let’s not forget the Times keeps Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman on staff to write about economics, and he’s an idiot on the subject. Then again, it would explain how Hannah-Jones got her job…

In preparation for this week’s Lexicon, I did a little research on past Pulitzer winners, as well as the members who decide who get them. (The sacrifices I make for you…) To put it mildly, it’s mostly a Leftist circle jerk. There are the occasional exceptions to the rule, but it’s safe to say there are some real journalists getting shafted so the “right” people win and the media outlets they work for can pretend they’re actually doing something great for the journalism field.

Of course, they’re not. The profession has undergone a death by a thousand newspaper cuts, combined with a push (or in some cases a gentle nudge) to advance an agenda at the expense of the truth. Nowadays, bloggers like your humble correspondent are the ones digging through the layers of bullshit to get to the heart of a story and then tell it to the world. And we do it without killing trees or brain cells.

That’s more than I can say for the Pulitzer Prize “winners” this year.