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Polarisation is a Drug

Alcibiades

Active member
The thing is that this is a far more one-sided affair than people would think. The GOP more or less went off the cliff after Bush Jr. (who, in the grand scheme of things, is more of a modern Grant than anything) tried to push the GOP to a new direction that didn't rely on the Dixiecrats and the Boomers. Problem was, the GOP effectively told him to fuck off more or less as they didn't want to change with the landscape. Then there is the problem of their media bubble making reality have no objective meaning...
Man, it's not a one-sided affair, and the liberal media bubble is not very different.

Look at the "Russiagate" thing. For 2+ years, you had the media (all the big media except for conservative) pushing one sensational story after another. If you followed these stories, you knew that none of them really went anywhere; they fizzled out due to lack of real content. But the media did not report the fizzling out. This created the illusion among the audfience of these media that Mueller was closing in, evidence was building, and soon... BAM! Mueller would drop the hammer on Trump.

I knew that wasn't going to happen, because I'd been seeing story after story that went nowhere because I had been paying attention to media outside of this bubble (conservative and leftwing) who were calling attention to this fact. But the "mainstream" was completely flatfooted. Ditto, 18 years ago I was pretty sure, from reading paleocon and leftwing sources, that Iraq had no WMD, but if you weer watching CNN you would think that the case for them was incredibly strong.

This is just the way that media that target a specific audience function. They appeal to that audience's worldview and beliefs and expectations.
 

Inquisitor Solarion

Active member
The thing is that this is a far more one-sided affair than people would think. The GOP more or less went off the cliff after Bush Jr. (who, in the grand scheme of things, is more of a modern Grant than anything) tried to push the GOP to a new direction that didn't rely on the Dixiecrats and the Boomers. Problem was, the GOP effectively told him to fuck off more or less as they didn't want to change with the landscape. Then there is the problem of their media bubble making reality have no objective meaning...

The phrase 'lunatics run the asylum' is rather apt in this situation, as the Dixiecrats more or less started to run the GOP during the '90s and Bush years before pulling the shit they had in the Obama years. Then it all coming to roost now with Trump, with or without Russian assistance (and so far, it looks like the GOP is going straight to the Russians again for help against Biden)...
If you think Bush was a Ulysses Grant, I don't know what history you are reading.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
If you think Bush was a Ulysses Grant, I don't know what history you are reading.
The thing with both Grant and Bush Jr. is that they did want to help, problem is that they have quirks that made them wholly unsuitable for the office, particularly in the quirk that they can't tell their friends to stop doing bad things. Bush Jr. would have wanted to stop the tax cuts but he was also dealing with the fact that his own party would not allow him to do that. Grant wanted to make the South less of an awful place but his own party (outside the radicals) and public opinion wouldn't allow him to.
Man, it's not a one-sided affair, and the liberal media bubble is not very different.

Look at the "Russiagate" thing. For 2+ years, you had the media (all the big media except for conservative) pushing one sensational story after another. If you followed these stories, you knew that none of them really went anywhere; they fizzled out due to lack of real content. But the media did not report the fizzling out. This created the illusion among the audfience of these media that Mueller was closing in, evidence was building, and soon... BAM! Mueller would drop the hammer on Trump.

I knew that wasn't going to happen, because I'd been seeing story after story that went nowhere because I had been paying attention to media outside of this bubble (conservative and leftwing) who were calling attention to this fact. But the "mainstream" was completely flatfooted. Ditto, 18 years ago I was pretty sure, from reading paleocon and leftwing sources, that Iraq had no WMD, but if you weer watching CNN you would think that the case for them was incredibly strong.

This is just the way that media that target a specific audience function. They appeal to that audience's worldview and beliefs and expectations.
That is far further to the truth than you realize... given that by the data those 'left wing' news sources you hate so much have their viewer bases have much better understanding of the world around them than people who don't watch/read from any source at all (and FOX News is basically 'if you listen/watch it, you have a worse understanding of the world than not reading/watching any source at all')...

Oh, and Trump-Russia is a thing that is also a counter-intelligence operation, and given what has leaked out of Trump-Russia doesn't paint a pretty picture for the GOP as a whole and Trump even if he was tentatively part of it.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
That is far further to the truth than you realize... given that by the data those 'left wing' news sources you hate so much have their viewer bases have much better understanding of the world around them than people who don't watch/read from any source at all (and FOX News is basically 'if you listen/watch it, you have a worse understanding of the world than not reading/watching any source at all')...
Huh? I just specifically complemented left-wing sources.

The media are a business. Their product is an audience that they sell to advertisers. They maintain that audience by appealing to specific demographics. That's political economy of the media 101.

Whether a viewer/reader of X media has a more accurate depiction of the world than one of Y media depends entirely on what the subject matter is. If you were watching CNN, you would have a much more accurate understanding of Benghazi than a FOX viewer; conversely for Russiagate. Because of how those issues align with the target demographic. That's why e.g. CNN was willing to go ahead with stories about Russian mind-scrambling rays in Cuba (which turned out to be crickets). Or MSNBC had a guy on last week talking about how Trump is sending secret messages to white supremacists in code. It's ridiculous, but it appeals to the emotions of the target audience.

There's a reason why more FOX viewers (who in principle might vote for a Dem) say that they might vote for Sanders than MSNBC viewers.
 
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Ravan

Gone
If you think Bush was a Ulysses Grant, I don't know what history you are reading.
As president both of them were themselves apparently clean and well meaning, but trusted their friends and made bad decisions based on their advice, while also being unaware that said friends were corrupt and taking advantage of them. Basically Grant’s Administration was incredibly corrupt, but Grant was too trusting and/or drunk to notice. Bush is sometimes thought of the same way, with Cheney and co pulling the strings.

(Note that Grant NEVER drank when actually on the move and in combat zones, despite what the lost causers say, only when two things happened at the same time:
1. Nothing was happening in the war
2. His wife wasn’t around
He drank when he was bored essentially)
 

Alcibiades

Active member
As president both of them were themselves apparently clean and well meaning, but trusted their friends and made bad decisions based on their advice, while also being unaware that said friends were corrupt and taking advantage of them. Basically Grant’s Administration was incredibly corrupt, but Grant was too trusting and/or drunk to notice. Bush is sometimes thought of the same way, with Cheney and co pulling the strings.
I think this has a bit of "good tsar vs. bad boyars" in it. What exactly is the evidence that Bush was this clueless? He didn't know that WMD was a lie?

It might be true, but it strikes me as an attempt to reconcile Bush's cultivated folksy public image with what happened, instead of recognizing that the public image was fake.
 

Ravan

Gone
I think this has a bit of "good tsar vs. bad boyars" in it. What exactly is the evidence that Bush was this clueless? He didn't know that WMD was a lie?

It might be true, but it strikes me as an attempt to reconcile Bush's cultivated folksy public image with what happened, instead of recognizing that the public image was fake.
I said some people think of Bush that way and that’s why the comparison gets made. With Grant it’s from writings, both his own and others from the time.
 

Ravan

Gone
AH, I'm sorry. I thought you were endorsing that belief.
I think that Bush isn’t Grant. Grant was damn near forced to run, and he did more good as president. I’ll admit in the era of Trump that Bush could have been worse than he wound up being, and that at least he wasn’t a racist. He reached out to Hispanics and at least tried for immigration reform, but it was the one thing he party wouldn’t do for him.
 

Inquisitor Solarion

Active member
As president both of them were themselves apparently clean and well meaning, but trusted their friends and made bad decisions based on their advice, while also being unaware that said friends were corrupt and taking advantage of them. Basically Grant’s Administration was incredibly corrupt, but Grant was too trusting and/or drunk to notice. Bush is sometimes thought of the same way, with Cheney and co pulling the strings.

(Note that Grant NEVER drank when actually on the move and in combat zones, despite what the lost causers say, only when two things happened at the same time:
1. Nothing was happening in the war
2. His wife wasn’t around
He drank when he was bored essentially)
There has been an incredible amount of white washing of Bush over the last few years. Are Americans so desperate to justify his actions in-retrospect or something?

If I were to turn to the usual American rationalizations of "enemy regimes", I would say Bush is still ultimately responsible for the worst excesses of his regime, and at worst, he wasn't in control of his party who clearly wanted war, and didn't want to accommodate immigrants, but went along regardless because he enjoyed the trappings of office.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
There has been an incredible amount of white washing of Bush over the last few years. Are Americans so desperate to justify his actions in-retrospect or something?
It's because support for the Iraq War and War on Terror and Patriot Act was bipartisan.

The guy should have been impeached, at the absolute minimum, but that's politically impossible for the above reason as well.
 

Horton

Cat
Administrator
To be fair, half of those sources I don’t read.

Like MSNBC isn’t the first place I’d go to nor is buzzfeed.

Nytimes is probably the best one and it’s still “factual” in that it’s just saying what a study says.

But yep, the average voter probably reads the headline there and not the study.
 

Ravan

Gone
To be fair, half of those sources I don’t read.

Like MSNBC isn’t the first place I’d go to nor is buzzfeed.

Nytimes is probably the best one and it’s still “factual” in that it’s just saying what a study says.

But yep, the average voter probably reads the headline there and not the study.
1. He lists the washington times as mainstream media? They’re a tabloid. The Washington Post is the respectable paper.

2. Look at that vermont one. The correction isn’t that russians weren’t behind the hacking, it’s that the computer that was hack by russians wasn’t actually hooked into the power grid. And the french one just says “we said it was the russians, but it could have been other people even though they have the motive and ability, because we don’t have 100% proof.

He’s spamming links that don’t all say what he wants you to think they do.
 

Horton

Cat
Administrator
1. He lists the washington times as mainstream media? They’re a tabloid. The Washington Post is the respectable paper.

2. Look at that vermont one. The correction isn’t that russians weren’t behind the hacking, it’s that the computer that was hack by russians wasn’t actually hooked into the power grid. And the french one just says “we said it was the russians, but it could have been other people even though they have the motive and ability, because we don’t have 100% proof.

He’s spamming links that don’t all say what he wants you to think they do.
literally just said I didn’t read half the sources, that includes WT :p

Because I know they’re shit.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
To be fair, half of those sources I don’t read.
Sure. But the point is that the "reputable" media... don't exist. They're profit-fueled businesses, and they will run with total crap if they think it will hold an audience. For about 2 years, appealing to Russia hysteria was a highly lucrative strategy among every significant branch of media that doesn't market specifically to conservatives, and so you got this stuff. It turned Rachel Maddow, who was the posterperson for this stuff, into the no. 1 cable news pundit, which made her really rich.
 

Ravan

Gone
Sure. But the point is that the "reputable" media... don't exist. They're profit-fueled businesses, and they will run with total crap if they think it will hold an audience. For about 2 years, appealing to Russia hysteria was a highly lucrative strategy among every significant branch of media that doesn't market specifically to conservatives, and so you got this stuff. It turned Rachel Maddow, who was the posterperson for this stuff, into the no. 1 cable news pundit, which made her really rich.
Except we have repeated studies, massive piles of proof, and full on admissions that the right/conservative ones are completely and totally liars and that the “mainstream” are guilty of at most coloring things slightly by comparison. Just like everything else in US politics the Right are mustache twirling cartoon villains and everyone else is at worst slightly shady. Stop trying to pull a bothsame because it’s bullshit.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
So anyone else find it weird that @Alcibiades basically says 100% typical 1980s anti-establishment left-wing things about the media (e.g. ITT regurgitating Noam Chomsky's nigh-verbatim), and this gets interpreted as a right-wing diatribe to the point where ‘the right-wing media are liars’ is trotted out like it addresses much of anything at all? Polarisation is a drug indeed. Watching things like this repeatedly is why I find it rather believable that @Alcibiades is a time-capsulled left-winger for whom the XXI century Western left-wing completely passed by, as he implied he was.
 

Balerion

Well-known member
And even then the American left is very distinct from their European counterparts. They would be centre right in Europe on many respects with the key exception of immigration, where "illegal immigrants should get more benefits!" Would be laughed out the room by all but the greens.
 

Name Corrupted by Chaos

Well-known member
So anyone else find it weird that @Alcibiades basically says 100% typical 1980s anti-establishment left-wing things about the media (e.g. ITT regurgitating Noam Chomsky's nigh-verbatim), and this gets interpreted as a right-wing diatribe to the point where ‘the right-wing media are liars’ is trotted out like it addresses much of anything at all? Polarisation is a drug indeed. Watching things like this repeatedly is why I find it rather believable that @Alcibiades is a time-capsulled left-winger for whom the XXI century Western left-wing completely passed by, as he implied he was.
Makes sense. The part of the radical left that rejects democracy hates parliamentary politics because they believe they're irredeemably corrupt so they try to stir shit and sow doubt so that people will come around to their way of thinking regarding violent revolution being the only way for real change to occur. The right under Putin's influence hates democracy because it's morally superior to authoritarianism and is hostile to imperialism, and Putin wants Russia to become an empire again.
 

Balerion

Well-known member
Makes sense. The part of the radical left that rejects democracy hates parliamentary politics because they believe they're irredeemably corrupt so they try to stir shit and sow doubt so that people will come around to their way of thinking regarding violent revolution being the only way for real change to occur. The right under Putin's influence hates democracy because it's morally superior to authoritarianism and is hostile to imperialism, and Putin wants Russia to become an empire again.
Because as we all know, a few squatting slavs listening to hardbass and playing csgo in their spare time managed to warp reality to retroactively induce climate collapse, spiralling inequality, social atomization and endemic corruption upon a virgin world that had never known such evils. Or maybe it's because we never worked out how to deal with the long term effects of the industrial revolution?

As for "moral superiority", America, india, Brazil and Europe right now are showing that paralysis in the face of climate crises doesn't matter if youbare democratic and have some "moral high ground" while authoritarian China is doing something.
 
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Name Corrupted by Chaos

Well-known member
Because as we all know, a few squatting slavs listening to hardbass and playing csgo in their spare time managed to warp reality to retroactively induce climate collapse, spiralling inequality, social atomization and endemic corruption upon a virgin world that had never known such evils. Or maybe it's because we never worked out how to deal with the long term effects of the industrial revolution?
And pretending like you're above actively participating and not voting for the most left-wing candidate that you can is so much better, amirite? It's not like modern weapons systems mean that whoever already owns the means of production is going to have an almost insurmountable advantage. I mean, why would you need to worry about the bourgeoise drone striking the officers of the resistance or being forced to hide underground permanently by their artillery? After all, the rich are fundamentally decent people who would never think about using rape dogs or chemical weapons to kill crops to try to starve out an uprising. 🙄
 

Inquisitor Solarion

Active member
So anyone else find it weird that @Alcibiades basically says 100% typical 1980s anti-establishment left-wing things about the media (e.g. ITT regurgitating Noam Chomsky's nigh-verbatim), and this gets interpreted as a right-wing diatribe to the point where ‘the right-wing media are liars’ is trotted out like it addresses much of anything at all? Polarisation is a drug indeed. Watching things like this repeatedly is why I find it rather believable that @Alcibiades is a time-capsulled left-winger for whom the XXI century Western left-wing completely passed by, as he implied he was.
80s was to the early 90s also marked the shift of many left wing parties to the center right, such as the Labor party under Blair etc.
 

Balerion

Well-known member
And pretending like you're above actively participating and not voting for the most left-wing candidate that you can is so much better, amirite? It's not like modern weapons systems mean that whoever already owns the means of production is going to have an almost insurmountable advantage. I mean, why would you need to worry about the bourgeoise drone striking the officers of the resistance or being forced to hide underground permanently by their artillery? After all, the rich are fundamentally decent people who would never think about using rape dogs or chemical weapons to kill crops to try to starve out an uprising. 🙄
Okay where did that come from? I was responding to how "if it weren't for the evil evil Russian bots, we would be in star trek by now!" Is a common talking point that doesn't bear out in reality.

As for "moral superiority" if a democracy is bought out by the rich to the point that Jeremy corbyn is demonized to extents that would make fox news blush and the democratic governments worry too much about focus groups and opinion polls on things like climate change...
 
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Alcibiades

Active member
So anyone else find it weird that @Alcibiades basically says 100% typical 1980s anti-establishment left-wing things about the media (e.g. ITT regurgitating Noam Chomsky's nigh-verbatim), and this gets interpreted as a right-wing diatribe to the point where ‘the right-wing media are liars’ is trotted out like it addresses much of anything at all? Polarisation is a drug indeed. Watching things like this repeatedly is why I find it rather believable that @Alcibiades is a time-capsulled left-winger for whom the XXI century Western left-wing completely passed by, as he implied he was.
I am a huge Chomsky fan. What I am saying is straight out of Manufacturing Consent.

Polarization divides the world into two camps -- us and them, we are good and tell the truth, they are bad and tell lies.

My position is that you are both bad and tell lies and you both serve the interests of powerful groups. Which is in fact demonstrably the truth.

Russiagate specifically had several groups running against the narrative, all of whom happened to be right. They did so or various reasons. That was

1. mainstream conservative mass media. These guys were mostly accidentally right, because of the way the stars aligned.

2. The paleocons like The American Conservative and antiwar.com.

3. The non-Dem Party left, the Nation, Taibbi at Rolling Stone, Chomsky himself!, and those guys.

But 2 and 3 get rolled into 1, because polarization divides the world into 2 camps.
 
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