Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, August 21, 2009

Demand Proof

Megan McArdle is running in place as fast as she can, trying to redeem the reputation of astro-turf firms and tea-baggers. She currently has three posts up attempting to create equivalence between the right and left. She is already on delicate ground with her peers; her pro-business slant is not as popular when she is defending insurance companies instead of bankers and stock brokers. Insurance companies don't have the same potential to make the upper middle class rich. The media is laughing at tea-baggers and by association laughing at McArdle as well, which cannot be tolerated. Her response? It's the left who is crazy, who spouts conspiracy theories, not the right. It's an obvious lie, a painfully transparent attempt to mitigate the actions of the right, but shills and hacks don't care about truth or morality, they care about paychecks.

Like McArdle, Marc Ambinder is paid to support his master's cause and lies constantly, to himself and others, in the course of his job. He is not a journalist, of course, he is paid by The Atlantic, who is paid by corporations to shill for them. Expecting journalistic integrity from a shill is incredibly foolish. It's not their job and everyone knows it. When a former aide for Cheney praises Robert Novak's professionalism, he notes that Novak was extremely helpful in spreading the administration's unfounded beliefs in supply-side economics. Novak was a great journalist because he did what the administration wanted him to do, something to remember every time a shill or hack is eulogized in the media. It should be easy to find and isolate them --they depend on appeals to the emotions instead of facts and logic--but in a world that values belief over rationality, it's not always easy for people to distinguish emotional arguments from rational ones.
FreedomWorks made a mistake when they whipped up hatred in the shallow end of the Republican's intellectual pool. They grossly underestimated the degree of crazy floating around, never thinking beyond the immediate need. They wanted old men in VFW t-shirts and mommies pushing strollers but they ended up with gun nuts and birthers. The tea-baggers are starting to hurt the cause, not help it. Dick Armey is being grilled on tv instead of being fed gentle, helpful questions. Unsurprisingly, Armey's group is cutting out the tea-baggers, who will find that they are no longer welcome to their own revolution. The word is out, the leadership of the right is frightened and the tea-bagger's day in the sun is over. There is nothing left but the rehabilitation attempts, which McArdle is throwing herself into whole-heartedly, supporting her man in his hour of need. In more ways than one.

There is only one thing to do: Demand proof. Always. If they state a fact, demand concrete evidence and then fact-check it. If they refuse, the discussion is over. They will immediately start demanding proof as well, of course, but since we value policy based on facts, that might not be the gotcha they hope it will be.


Downpuppy said...

Most of this stuff is so ridiculous that Point & Laugh works better than demanding proof. They will have "proof", even though it's just another layer of the same crazy.

Ambinder is getting toasted as bad in his apologia as he did in his original. I may have been the only person who made it through the thing, seeing as how nobody else wondered at the truly strange:

Here's the way to put this into context: the political team at the White House had the honor of using policy to advance politics.

Susan of Texas said...

I'll be happy to point and laugh as well.

The honor--obviously that word doesn't mean what he thinks it means.

satch said...

Ambinder sez: "I will say one thing about journalists collectively: we will never, ever change people's minds about the media except by practicing good journalism." Waddya mean "WE", Scoop? Judging from the number of commenters tearing him a new one, Ambinder doesn't seem to have the platoons of mindless sycophants that Megan does. Maybe she could lend him a few.

Anonymous said...

"There is only one thing to do: Demand proof. Always. If they state a fact, demand concrete evidence and then fact-check it."

The annoying thing is that McMegam only knows one response to the demand for proof: "Google it."