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Dilbert's Scott Adams vs CNN's fake-news "fine people" hoax

(My oft-repeated disclaimer for newbies about my political-polemical posts: People can be fine people in their non-political lives while being complete nitwits in politics. Or vice versa.)

CNN and other leftward-biased news (sic) networks have fanned the flames of division by quoting Trump - out of context, and assuming the worst - about his "very fine people on both sides" remark in the wake of the Charlottesville episode.  It should be noted that this is rather typical of the way the left-leaning media, pundits, activists, intellectuals, politicians, educators (sic), et al, have portrayed racially-sensitive comments that might be taken in an assuming-the-worst kind of way.  And if they might be taken that way, they will be, and they know someone will do so and run with that.

There are shithole countries, in a loose sense of the term "shithole" -- i.e., quality of life measures are usually low there -- and it also happens that a lot of those countries are in Africa.  To make a reference to shithole countries is to make, by and large, a geographical reference.  To read into that a racial reference is to assume the worst, and to do so in the capacity of a news organization -- by, e.g., characterizing Trump's alleged "shithole countries" reference as follows: "Trump refers to mostly-black nations as shithole countries" -- is to engage in fake news.  To say that "Trump mocked a disabled reporter" when the disability is, by the standard of journalistic fact, tangential or incidental to the mocking, is to be engaged in fake news.  And that's exactly what happened.  Trump used not-so-dissimilar voicing and arm motions to mock others, as numerous videos available at the link demonstrate.

Now, when Trump said that there were fine people on both sides in Charlottesville, what is the journalistically responsible thing to do, or to assume?  Is it to assume the worst?  Is it to assume that Trump meant the neo-Nazis marching there?  Even when he explicitly denounced Nazis, KKK, white supremacists and other racists within days of the event (although after the "fine people" remark)?  Are we to assume that the people to whom Trump was at least probably referring - those opposing the removal of historically-significant monuments - are to be lumped in with the neo-Nazis?

Anyway, Scott Adams (of Dilbert distinction - I for one seek out his cartoon daily; he certainly seems to have a nose for cynical dishonesty) is taking CNN to task for their hoaxy misleading "news" in connection to the "fine people" statement.  And it seems that CNN is making an effort not to be accountable.

Now, I don't expect news organizations to be perfect.  But one naturally expects some basic level of honesty and accountability from those purporting to inform the rest of us as a vocation.  I hold CNN to such a basic expectation just as I hold Fox News.  I think both organizations have enough imperfection and perhaps even dishonesty to be open to the appropriate criticisms.

But what's really galling is when political partisans delude themselves into the notion that CNN is virtuous and reliable by and large, and Fox News is vicious and unreliable by and large.  Or vice versa.  You'd basically have to be a fucking idiot to believe this.  And yet "progressives" who pride themselves on intellectual superiority believe just that; they are in many cases willfully self-enstupidated.  Some of them have woken up from that idiotic delusion and are walking away from the willfully-viciously one-sided narratives of the Left.  (It was via Brandon Straka's recent appearance on Fox's 'Life, Liberty and Levin' that I learned of the hoax about Trump "mocking the disabled reporter."  In fact, it was his exposure to the hoax-debunking here that began his journey away from the left and its fucked-up narratives.)

That's what's so galling about "progressives": they're no more "woke" than conservatives or libertarians but they've deluded themselves into thinking they are.  The least they could do is to drop the "progressive" label, in itself a version of intellectual dishonesty given the vacuousness of the term "progressive."  How do you define "progress"?  I define it by people becoming more philosophical, and that's actually a pretty unassailable definition.  By "progress" the "progressives" mean their big government agenda where freedom and/or philosophy are secondary in priority at best.  Some of these leftists have gotten more honest in their labeling by identifying as democratic socialists, so that we at least have some idea from the labeling what they're really about.  The "progressives" were doing their dishonest labeling previously with the term "liberal" until that stopped working for them (given how clearly enough they're not exactly about the liberal idea of liberty/freedom and where liberty/freedom as such concepts gets used in American discourse tends to resist conceptual bastardization).  (Which only invites the question: why would 'conservatives' for so long buy into the bastardization when referring to 'liberal degeneracy' and the like?  And they still do it today, granting to leftists their concept-stealing "progressive" label.  Ayn Rand, for one, wouldn't concede to leftists a fraction of an inch of such conceptual ground; she was as well aware as anyone how concepts especially in a political context can be bastardized and replaced by misleading words.)

CNN is in a tough spot here.  Its whole shtick in recent years has been about how it isn't like those propagandists over at Faux News - that they aspire to and meet a higher standard of journalistic ethics.  But it's a fucking lie.  But as I've indicated above, the bigger fucking lie in all this is that leftists, Dems, and "progressives" are intellectually and morally superior to conservatives, Republicans, and libertarians, and it's a lie that's believed because so many academic faculty in the humanities and social sciences are leftists, which is further based on the lie that conservative, libertarian or rightists can't hack it in that arena.  But there are better explanations rooted in sociological dynamics.  If the leftist academic establishment could have come up with a remotely decent counter to Rand's case for capitalism (from over half a century ago now) or Mises' refutation of socialism (from nearly a century ago now) they would have done it by now, but they blew their credibility over the course of decades by cozying up to or tolerating socialism and being hostile to capitalism.

Now the left is flailing around in desperation trying to make their anti-freedom/capitalism and pro-degeneracy ideas credible in the face of both common sense and the strongest opposition (and they have latched onto the climate change issue as a last gasp while betting, unwisely, that climate change will outpace the capacity of human technological advance to address the problem).  That the left can't handle the Trump presidency like intellectually honest and responsible adults (I mean, even if he is bad, he's not that bad) is all the more reason to think it's best they be out of power (or serve at the most as counterweight to Trump's faults).  Their response to the failure of their ideas has been to double down and become more ever more shrill and irrational in the process.

The intellectual degeneracy at outlets such as CNN is merely symptomatic of this widespread, pathetic, leftist trend.

Nothing that some philosophy boot camp couldn't fix, though.  Where's the pro-philosophy rhetoric or activism from the "progressive" left?  Philosophy, goddammit.


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