Polimicks

Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Killing the Discourse

Behavior in their discourse

Why can't we all get along?

So I just got done watching Rachel Maddow’s interview with Jon Stewart for the second or third time.  Because I wanted to get straight in my head what bugs me about what Stewart’s saying and what I’d like to say in response.   Stewart talks about about how calling George W. Bush a war criminal shuts down dialog, even though he has to admit that “technically” Bush is a war criminal.  And he says this is a bad thing.*

The man authorized torture, and judging from excerpts in his autobiography, he’s still just totally copacetic about it.  He also LIED to get us into a war.

If truth kills discourse, then maybe the discourse needs to die.

Yup. Sometimes,by acting as if people have any credibility whatsoever, you’re GIVING them credibility that isn’t theirs by right.

Example:  The “vaccines cause autism” debate.  On one side we have SCIENCE.  On the other we have some worried moms who feel guilty about their kids’ autism, one paper which has since been retracted for faulty, if not fraudulent, data collection and a former Playboy Bunny, who falls into the “moms who feel guilty” camp.

So why the HELL does anyone interview Jenny McCarthy about this?  She isn’t a scientist.  She isn’t a doctor.  She’s a mom grasping at straws because her child has autism.  She wants someone to blame that isn’t her own DNA or something she did.  I understand, in this society we condition women to feel guilty for a lot of shit that goes wrong with kids that they have no control over.  And it’s fucked up.  It also doesn’t excuse you for promoting junk science that is killing children.

Not vaccinating children kills them.

There have been several outbreaks in the last few years of diseases like measles, whooping cough, rubella, diseases that most people of my generation only knew about from reading the Little House on the Prairie books.  And these outbreaks are killing kids, because those children haven’t been vaccinated.  And the more people who listen to Jenny McCarthy and think she’s an expert by virtue of someone putting her on TV, the more children are going to die.

This is what I mean by sometimes the discourse needs to die.  When the discourse is between the people who have the science to back them up and someone who doesn’t, maybe it’s time to shut it down.

Example 2:  Obama’s birth certificate.

For the love of all that is holy, could we please quit giving these tinfoil hat wearing, conspiracy theory addicted, racist mother fuckers the time of day?

I have seen Obama’s birth certificate on the web, on reliable news sources.  There was a birth announcement in the paper in Hawaii.  For the love of all the Gods that ever were and ever will be, will you ignorant assholes shut the fuck up?  He is neither a Kenyan, nor is he Muslim.

I don’t care that some of the racist assholes are holding public office.  It doesn’t make them any more right, than the dude holding the sign on the street corner.

What I want from discourse are the following things:

Fact checking.

Actually, that’s about it.  I don’t even really care about civility.  Because if news outlets did proper fact checking neither the Acorn “scandal” nor the Shirley Sherrod bullshit EVER would have surfaced.  They’d take one look at the Birthers, and then turn their noses up.  They’d vette the claims of the anti-healthcare folks, and then blow them off.

And fact-checkers can’t be that expensive.  I mean, hell, hire a few starving grad students for a buck or two above minimum wage and turn ’em loose on the web, in libraries and in newspaper archives.  Greyhound them out to town halls to check birth records and death notices (you know, so the folks claiming voter fraud won’t look so stupid when the dead man they say voted, is found raking his leaves in his front yard).  Give them a webscription to the fucking Encyclopedia Britannica for fuck’s sake.

If the news media had checked with the men who actually served with John Kerry, instead of letting the Swift Boaters have free reign, we would have had a very different election, methinks.

I’m just tired of lies dominating the discourse and being given the same credence as the truth.  And I’m especially tired of being told I’m “mean” when I call people out for their bullshit.  It isn’t mean to say, “No, that’s wrong.  Here’s a citation for why that’s wrong.  In fact here’s several citations, and the actual document YOU quoted, and why you’re wrong about what it says.”  I want there to be a standard of truth for reporting in specific, and the discourse in general.

*It’s not that I dislike Jon Stewart.  I’m a big fan of the Daily Show.  But, as I’ve said before, liking something doesn’t mean you can’t see the problems that are there.  The thing that I really got from the Rally to Restore Sanity was that Jon Stewart is a comedian, and I think it disturbs him that he’s considered a voice of reason in political discourse.  And in his final speech, I think you see that discomfort in his face.

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2 comments on “Killing the Discourse

  1. Jenna M. Pitman
    December 22, 2010
  2. Pingback: Opinion as Fact | Polimicks

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This entry was posted on November 18, 2010 by in Featured Articles, Media, Politics.

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