In an op-ed today, Rex Huppke discusses a problem any thinking person knows about and discusses, nearly as often as they shrug off any notion that there could be a solution for it. A frequent subtext of many things I write about in this blog is that finding answers to problems like these must become a national—even an international—priority, or humanity is in for a world of hurt.

“It’s very depressing,” said Mary Poovey, a professor of English at New York University and author of A History of the Modern Fact. “I think the thing Americans ought to miss most about facts is the lack of agreement that there are facts. 

Thanks to a deliberately promoted anti-intellectualism, which generously serves the interests of the plutocracy at large, America and the world are both in grave crisis on a dozen levels. We need many more articles like Huppke's before we will even begin to redress the damage done by 35+ years of radical conservatism and its many propaganda proxies like Fox News, which have both nutured and exploited this ecosystem of rabid dumbshittery. Together they have been alarmingly effective at obliterating any operational respect for science and all those pesky and often politically inconventient things called facts.

But these agents of assholery have merely been the high priests of this Church of Stupid with its anti-englightenment agenda.  They have been all too enabled and supported by the mainstream meda which has selfishly abrogated any sense of responsiblity to the common good by letting such issues roll over in the public's consciousness again and again without any effort whatever to propose a solution, or consistently voice a need for one.

Every day, another pundit like Huppke decries this mendacious mess, while cashing the checks of the increasingly conservative-owned and controlled newspaper and broadcasting industries which knowingly allow these toxins of falsehood to metastisize into a full-blown cancer on the body politik of humanity itself. It is a disease that has all but crippled our ability to respond to even the smallest of political issues, and anyone that doesn't see that is either not paying attention, or probably on the payroll of the larger pertetrators of this cultural homicide in progress. .

If we don't find a way to rebalance the scales and make thoughtful inquiry and dialog fashionable again, we are probably finished as culture, and perhaps even as a species. Greed, war, disease, social injustice, econonmic inequity, and countless other man-made issues may be solvable, despite our worst instincts. But global ecocide courtesy of preventable climate change may not be. 

 I have my own ideas about how we must reset global society by reinventing how we organize, process and share human knowledge and actionable intelligence on nearly everything known or knowable. If we can better account for what we know, and what we do—or have done—with what we know, we can establish more normative guidelines for agreeing on what is real, and what is mere polemical masturbation, propaganda, and agenda hawking.

Whatever it is that we do, we'd better do something… and fast. And that's a fact.

 

 

See important update at the end.

Forgive my link-baited title, but it was just as contrived, gamed, and inaccurate as this one from Paul Farhi in today’s Washington Post:

Limbaugh sees heat over comments turn down to a simmer

That awful bit of non-reporting spawed these (and other) derived items from so-called “journalists” sucking down free content, with no fact checking whatever:

Rush Limbaugh Is Doing Just Fine

Then of course, we have this gem from Rush’s #1 astroturfed professor at Cornell Law, @leginsurrection, who was all too happy to use the crappy reporting from the so-called “Liberal Washington Post” (owned by arch-conservative, Donald Graham).

#StopRush turns into #MediaMattersStopped

And finally, never to be outdone in the lame department, the DailyBeast jumps in:

Advertisers Stick With Limbaugh
 

Now of course, paid flacks like Cornell’s “Professor Jacobson” are expected to use any kind of drivel the MSM writes to support their astroturfed hysteria.  But the Post and the Atlantic wire? This kind of reporting is absurd, and a prime example of why our media (and nation) are such a mess. 

Since the Washington Post cannot even manage a typical permalink  to specific comments, I have posted my response to Farhi’s reckless reporting here so you don’t have to scroll through 1000 comments to find it:

 
I would like to know which of the 161 dropping or avoiding sponsors listed here http://sn.im/stoprush Mr. Farhi actually contacted. I would wager the answer is zero. If he had, he would know that the only known sponsors to “trickle back” are a single regional sponsor that Rush’s PR flack, Brian Glicklich had CLAIMED wanted to come back (TheSleepTrain) in an LA Times puff piece, and TaxResolutions, a company that never really stopped to begin with (they just said they did to milk some free attention from Twitter). 
 
That’s it. And readers will note that virtually no research of any other kind is indicated in this article. This kind of reporting is merely passing along Premiere’s propaganda. And it does so with almost nothing but conjecture and suppositions based on what the author was obviously told, and not what he himself investigated. Farhi simply absorbed a robust spin-spew of misdirection from Limbaugh and/or Premiere which we have seen coming from his bots and paid proxies all week. Yes, the author called Carusone, and probably spent all of 15 minutes with him to pretend he was actually doing journalism. Anyone who knows Carusone’s efforts knows that what is said here is barely a fragment of the facts concerning this campaign, which can be heard more fully on any of his many radio interviews. In short, this is article comes off as a thinly-veiled PR favor to ClearChannel, a major media corporation which probably has many overlapping relationships with the Washington Post and/or its advertisers. 
 
It is also important to note that while sustaining any “outrage” can be challenging, this StopRush campaign has also coincided with the Trayvon Martin case, which has sucked the oxygen out of most stories emanating from the left in the past two weeks, so naturally some cooling of engagement would be evident. But as someone who sees the engagement of volunteers very close-up, I can tell you that the women, men, and families that Rush has offended aren’t going away, nor are they forgetting his egregious and vile remarks about Sandra Fluke in particular, and women in general. They are simply sharing their passions with other important issues of conservative hatreds which Rush can take great pride in nurturing in today’s America. They are not backing off or backing down. 
 
Mr. Farhi, please do just a bit of homework and update this story with real facts that you have actually verified, and not the convenient and self-serving spin of ClearChannel or their proxies. In short, do your job. 
 
Thank you.

Posted at 11:10 on 3/29/2012

Note: A look through the comments of that post will reveal literally dozens of astroturf bots, come of them posting at least 10 times. The WaPost makes no effort to screen such astroturf, nor even limit it to one or two comments per article. Thus, the astroturfers ensure that their gamed spew will always turn up in the list of most recent comments.

Update

In my haste to respond to the Washington Post, I neglected to point out that the author DID update his story. He removed a completely erroneous misquote where he claimed that Carusone had said “only 5 sponsors had dropped the Limbaugh show.” In fact, Carusone tweeted that after correcting them, the author updated the post and simply deleted the entire misquote. This was more shoddy journalism. The entire premise of the story—now so widely repeated—revolved around that one ludicrously sloppy misquote. The Post should have posted the words “Updated,” and corrected it. They still should.

Please visit http://sn.im/stoprush for more news and information about the #stopRush effort.

Help us push back against this kind of propaganda by retweeting this post. Thanks!!

See update below

Last night…

journalist and commentator, GoldieTaylor told a remarkable story to @CNN’s Don Lemon. She was inspired to tell it by the grotesque story of accused predator, former Penn State football coach, Jerry Sandusky.

She not only told of the horror of her own abuse, and that of other high school cheerleader classmates at the hands of a high school football coach, but even decided to “out” her tormentor’s identity, as well.   This added act of courage makes her story all the more special, because so few victims ever do that. And she decided to do it knowing full well it may have serious legal consequences. She sounds fully prepared for those, even welcoming of them.

I haven’t asked Goldie whether it was planned or not, but around 1:15 pm yesterday, she just started tweeting her story on Twitter, almost as a preview of what she would discuss on @CNN last night. As so often happens on Twitter, her thread gained traction almost immediately, and many thousands were transfixed as her history unfolded like a painfully grim fairy tale. I was on the phone at the time, but was seeing random remarks pointing to the thread, and only later did I fully learn about what had happened.

While Goldie is always eloquent and insightful on TV, I thought everyone should see the original tweets as they unfolded on Twitter. So I asked my ever-useful friend @dvnix to pull the tweets together into a contiguous story, minus some extraneous tweets that didn’t seem essential to her tale.  He graciously did so, and you can now see Goldie’s story unfold as so many did before she went on TV to tell it verbally, as she did again on @TheLastWord, and probably will again a few hundred more times going forward.

Goldie’s Story, as told on Twitter.

Stories like Goldie’s need telling…

and too few journalists with the skills to tell them this well ever come forward to tell them.  We need more people with such courage, and not just in matters of child abuse.  Whether in the form of domestic spousal abuse, rape, workplace discrimination, or even the cultural economic abuse that Occupy Wall Street is dramatizing, we’re all enduring different forms of abuse at the hands of many abusers.  And we all need to find an inner strength to step up, step forward, speak out, act out, and start to change whatever status quo that abuses us. Silence is a mask that evil wears defiantly. It must be ripped away so that justice can show its face.

Thank you Goldie, for tearing one off for us.

To help Goldie’s story get out, your RT of this post using the Tweet button below is much appreciated.*

Updates

As you might imagine, the accused coach has lawyered up.

References

* Note: I don’t carry any kind of advertising on this site.  I ask for retweets only in the interests of promoting the issues or injustices I cover on this site from time to time.  If you want to follow me on twitter, my handle is simply, @shoq.