Fox News Needs To Accept Some Of The Blame For The Insurrection; But That Doesn't Mean We Toss Out The 1st Amendment

from the come-on-now dept

While lots of people have been blaming social media for the insurrection at the Capitol a few weeks back, fewer have recognized that Fox News is at least as much to blame, if not more. As we've covered in the past, Yochai Benkler's book, Network Propaganda, went into great detail with tons of data and evidence, to highlight how, contrary to popular belief, the crazy conspiracy theories don't really spread that quickly on social media... until after Fox News picks them up. That book also highlights how, while "left-wing" media has its own fair share of wacky conspiracy theories, they don't spread to nearly the same degree, and competition among different news venues includes attempts to debunk the wackier conspiracy theories. The same is just not there in the Fox News media-sphere.

We've actually seen this play out in interesting ways over the last few weeks. Fox News actually did, finally, break with President Trump and his pathetic attempts to deny the election results, and it simply made Trump and his cultist fanboys switch channels to even more insane merchants of garbage: OAN and Newsmax.

Somewhat infamous neocon Max Boot, who spent years championing the kinds of policies that Fox News used to support, before becoming a vocal "Never Trumper," has penned a piece in the Washington Post that rightly calls out Fox News' role in the current mess that we're in. However, he then goes much further, in suggesting legal consequences for Fox News and other Republican/Trumpist voices that played a role via things like Fox News.

Anyone who cherishes our democracy should be grateful to the management of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for their newfound sense of social responsibility. We should expect at least the same level of responsibility from broadcast media — and in particular from Fox News, which has the largest reach on the right.

To its credit, Fox News acknowledged that Joe Biden won. But, reports Media Matters for America, “in the two weeks after Fox News called the election for Biden, Fox News cast doubt on the results of the election at least 774 times.” According to NPR, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said Trump’s opponents in the government were guilty of “treason” and that it would be “criminal” for Republicans to recognize Biden’s victory. Fox News host Mark Levin told viewers: “If we don’t fight on Jan. 6 on the floor of the Senate and the House — and that is the joint meeting of Congress on these electors — then we are done.”

The pro-Trump insurrectionists were listening. To take but one example, The Post reports that Ashli Babbitt, who was killed in the attack, “was an avid viewer of Fox News, praising Tucker Carlson and other far-right media personalities on the network as she derided their liberal targets.” This is dismaying but hardly surprising. As the New York Times notes, “Fox has long been the favorite channel of pro-Trump militants. The man who mailed pipe bombs to CNN in 2018 watched Fox News ‘religiously.’”

And, yes, it makes sense to call out Fox News for spreading outright falsehoods over and over again in a somewhat slavish devotion to a rabid Trumpist audience, but Boot's suggestion to have the FCC go after Fox News is hugely problematic.

But while we should expect better behavior from media executives, we shouldn’t count on it. CNN (where I’m a global affairs analyst) notes that the United Kingdom doesn’t have its own version of Fox News, because it has a government regulator that metes out hefty fines to broadcasters that violate minimal standards of impartiality and accuracy. The United States hasn’t had that since the Federal Communications Commission stopped enforcing the “fairness” doctrine in the 1980s. As president, Biden needs to reinvigorate the FCC. Or else the terrorism we saw on Jan. 6 may be only the beginning, rather than the end, of the plot against America.

This is... nonsense. And also unconstitutional. The "fairness doctrine" which Republicans have been against for ages, and which they falsely claimed net neutrality was an attempt to bring back (it was not), only covered broadcast media. And that was because broadcast media used public spectrum, and since the broadcasters received that spectrum in exchange for broadcasting content for the public good, it was ruled that the FCC could require what was, basically, a right of response.

However, such a thing has never applied to areas that the FCC has no authority over, including cable TV (and now internet TV). Nor does it apply to the internet and social media. Even if the FCC brought back the fairness doctrine, it couldn't apply it to Fox News. Any attempt to do so would almost certainly lose (and lose badly) in court as an attack on the 1st Amendment itself.

It is easy to understand why Fox News has some responsibility for what has happened in the last few years (and especially in the last few weeks). But it is a much trickier question to figure out what should be done about it. One thing that should not be done is tossing out our principles, and trampling basic rights like the 1st Amendment. I agree that Fox News is an embarrassment and harmful to American democracy in many, many ways. But forcing it to be "impartial" and compelling it to share speech with which it disagrees is no way to support democracy. Any such rule would lead to trouble down the road.

Imagine how the next version of a Trump FCC would treat the NY Times, the Washington Post, CNN and CNBC -- all of which the President referred to as "fake news" and "enemies of the people." It's not hard to see that any precedent to go after Fox News via the FCC or other legal means would not only be repeated against those other news organizations under the next Trumpist President, but it would likely be worse and even more extreme -- all while pointing back to the "precedent" set by a Biden administration doing something similar to Fox News.

We don't support democracy by throwing away our own rights.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, fairness doctrine, fcc, free speech, max boot, propaganda, responsibility
Companies: fox news


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  • icon
    bhull242 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 9:45am

    Actually, here’s an thought. If there was as much competition among right-wing media as among left-wing media, would we have better fact-checking and less of a spread of right-wing conspiracy theories for conservatives?

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      • icon
        crade (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 11:02am

        Re:

        This is interesting, but weirdly worded.. Take this quote:
        "But once one wing has established the strategy of partisan bias confirmation, the centrist media with their truth-seeking institutions and reputations suddenly deliver a new benefit to partisans of the opposite pole—as objective external arbiters they can offer institutionalized credibility to reinforce their view that what their opposition is saying is false"

        he is saying "I'm not taking any sides but one worldview is generally reaffirmed by the truth and the other is reaffirmed by lies"?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 11:46am

          Yes. The left wing mediasphere isn’t filled to the brim with liars and grifters, which is why left-leaning conspiracy theories with no basis in fact tend not to get much air once they float more to the “center” (i.e., “mainstream media”). Compare that to the right wing mediasphere, which gleefully lies, protects liars, and does nearly nothing to debunk conspiracy theories before the reach the mainstream right-wing media outlets.

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          • icon
            crade (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 12:41pm

            Re:

            fine, but simultaneously making the claim that you aren't trying to say one is better (or at the very least more true) than the other is pretty damn ballsy I think

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:11pm

              What he’s saying is that when one “side” of the mediasphere becomes enamored with lies that confirm partisan biases, centrist media (i.e., “mainstream media”) will present what comes from the other “side” as the “objective truth”, and use that to shape public opinion. That ultimately benefits the “side” that centrist media boosts, since those media outlets paint themselves as “objective external arbiters” of the truth.

              Either left-wing or right-wing media can lie and make up bullshit. But where lies from left-wing media tend to fall apart as they move from the left to the center, lies from right-wing media gain steam and keep getting stronger. That’s how you end up seeing stories about QAnon and Pizzagate and “Joe Biden stole the election” on CNN or the New York Times instead of some blog about conspiracy theory whackjobs. That’s how you end up with mainstream media that appears to have a “liberal bias”.

              Don’t like it? Blame it on right-wing media. Their entire modus operandi for, like, the past twenty years or so has been “keep the audience mad at the libs, even if that means lying”. That’s how Breitbart, InfoWars, and their ilk end up going from “fringe” to “trusted news source”: They keep the audience pissed off at the libs.

              The 6th of January was the end result of this approach. The pre-riot rally that day certainly did its part to light the flame. But they’d also been riled up by years of hearing “the libs are evil, they must be stopped” by right-wing media outlets more concerned with grifting money than telling the truth. Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Alex Jones — they all played a part in creating the metaphorical tinderbox that was lit two weeks ago today.

              Whatever your issues with left-wing/centrist media, you can’t blame them for the same kind of shit. I mean, did you see anyone storming the Capitol two weeks before the inauguration in 2017?

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              • icon
                crade (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:01pm

                Re:

                Except what he is actually saying there is that the media for both sides fills two voids, you need both news and worldview confirmation, and because the right wing is doing so much lying (for the purpose of confirming their views), all the centrists need to do is tell the truth to confirm their views. He's basically using fancy words to say the right wing views being confirmed by the right wing media are wrong and the centrist views confirmed by the centrist media are right. He is trying to dodge a big by saying it's the media's fault for shaping those views not the views fault for shaping the media, but I think that's a bit of a chicken or egg question, and he doesn't really back that up

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:16pm

                  the right wing views being confirmed by the right wing media are wrong and the centrist views confirmed by the centrist media are right

                  Except no, he’s not. This is what he’s saying:

                  Centrist media will lean towards whichever “side” is more fact-based because centrist media itself is more fact-based. That means centrist media today will lean more to the “left”, not the “right” (i.e., “have a liberal bias”. That lean benefits left-wing media more. If right-wing media were equally as fact-based, you’d see centrist media…well, being more centrist.

                  Polarized media will feed confirmation bias; both “sides” are guilty of that. When left-wing media confirms biases, it also uses facts as a basis for opinions and tends to avoid (or debunk) conspiracy theories. But when right-wing media confirms biases, it doesn’t give a good god’s damn about whether what it says is factual (unless it’s potentially defamatory, and even that isn’t a guarantee). Centrist media looks at the two “sides”, sees one using facts more often than the other, and leans appropriately. If the situations were reversed for left- and right-wing media, centrist media would currently be leaning “right”.

                  Views formed by polarized media aren’t necessarily wrong or right — but by and large, which “side” someone pays attention to will determine whether their views are based on facts or lies. That isn’t the fault of centrist media. That’s the fault of polarized media outlets that lie, love lying, and damn near rely on lying to pay the bills.

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                  • icon
                    crade (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:43pm

                    Re:

                    No, he says that the left and right poles both have a need for confirmation, but media doesn't need to lean left to confirm the left pole's views because the right lies so much all the media needs to do is tell the truth to confirm their biases and he says the only difference is that the right started lying so much first.

                    "The mainstream media will be able to reconcile their goals of truth-seeking and confirmation from the center with providing a steady flow of partisan-confirming news for the wing in opposition to the wing that is already in the grip of the propaganda feedback loop. The outlets that formed the partisan ecosystem have a first-mover advantage over outlets that try to copy them on the opposite side, because as they decrease the value of the mainstream media to their own audiences"

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:50pm

                      he says that the left and right poles both have a need for confirmation, but media doesn't need to lean left to confirm the left pole's views because the right lies so much all the media needs to do is tell the truth to confirm their biases and he says the only difference is that the right started lying so much first.

                      Yes, that’s right.

                      And your point is…what, exactly?

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                      • icon
                        crade (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 6:52pm

                        Re:

                        Nothing really I just think it's hilarious he is claiming to be objective while saying the right views are confirmed by being full of shit while the left views are confirmed just by seeing how full of shit the right are.. It's like "saying I'm not taking any sides, but you are full of shit, and he is right

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 12:04am

                          Re: Re:

                          I think it's hilarious that you think someone can't be reasonably objective and also come to the conclusion that out of a set of speakers, some of those speakers are regularly full of shit.

                          Or maybe "objective" means something really weird to you.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:28am

                          it's hilarious he is claiming to be objective while saying the right views are confirmed by being full of shit while the left views are confirmed just by seeing how full of shit the right are

                          He’s also correct. If you look at partisan media from both “sides”, the right-wing mediasphere lies more often, more forcefully, and with more reckless disregard for what those lies might cause others to believe (and what actions those beliefs might justify).

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                        • icon
                          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 5:14am

                          Re: Re:

                          "I just think it's hilarious he is claiming to be objective while saying the right views are confirmed by being full of shit while the left views are confirmed just by seeing how full of shit the right are..."

                          Objectively hilarious, and also very sad.

                          If you are forced to render an objective judgment about one person reading observable facts out loud and another person screaming out a bad narrative on how the communist conspiracy ruling America is coming for your guns, the antifan ring of satanist child-traffickers led by Hillary is coming for your daughter, and the sinister dark-skinned forces of the Kenyan Muslim are coming to force you to convert to 13th century Islam...yeah, the objective view must be that one of these sides is just full of shit.

                          It's why the "both sides have a point" is no longer valid, and as the republicans have catered extensively to the deranged conspiracy nuts as a primary voter base it's also why it is no longer possible to sit at the same table with a lot of them any longer.

                          By now to render that judgment is almost as solid as math, where one party says 2+2=4 and the other says that 2+2="But Obama!!"

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                          • icon
                            crade (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 6:52am

                            Re: Re: Re:

                            I don't disagree, I think the "both sides are equally valid" argument is bunk, but the author seems to want to simultaneously want to argue that both sides are equally valid, just one is basically always right and the other always wrong

                            Instead of just saying he found 4 is the right answer he says something more along the lines of 2+2 technically does=4 but "but Obama" is an equally valid choice... B+ for everyone

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 6:41am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "both sides are equally valid, just one is basically always right and the other always wrong"

                              "Valid" doesn't necessarily mean "Factually correct". A rural trailer-trash tennesseean klansman may cleave to Robert E. Lee's opinion that black people are inferior animals in constant need of beating. The US constitution forces us to consider the opinion as valid because the klansman is entitled to hold that opinion.

                              We are not obligated to make room for him to vent that opinion in the rest of society and we can safely say that his opinion is wrong because it's easy to prove the only argument he has for that opinion is his personal belief.

                              TL;DR? "Valid" =! "Wrong"

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                              • icon
                                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 6:42am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                [Edit]

                                "Valid" =! "Right", that should be. Common logic fail.

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                              • icon
                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 7:20am

                                See also: Flat Earthers, anti-vaxxers, 9/11 truthers, Sandy Hook truthers, QAnon cultists, and people who think post–Season 3!Family Guy is good.

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                              • icon
                                crade (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 8:31am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                The U.S. constitution just says we need to respect their right to have opinions even when we don't think they are valid not that we need to pretend we think they are valid ourselves.

                                valid is my own word choice and I just meant the regular definition "having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent". well-grounded or justifiable, not a legal thing

                                Anyway, that is just semantics what the author says is nothing about allowing them to have opinions or beliefs that are incorrect, it's that beliefs are just as correct and the far right uses lies to confirm their beliefs not because the beliefs are incorrect and can't be confirmed by the truth they just kindof happen to pick lies instead of truth because the picked lies before the libs did which I find a bit hard to swallow / a bit of a stretch

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                                • icon
                                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 11:48am

                                  The U.S. constitution just says we need to respect their right to have opinions even when we don't think they are valid not that we need to pretend we think they are valid ourselves.

                                  Or to put it another way: People have a right to hold an opinion, not to make others think it’s a good one.

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                                  • icon
                                    PaulT (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 10:12pm

                                    Re:

                                    Nor do they have the right to avoid consequences of that speech from other private citizens. The vast majority of these complaints seem to be from people who don't like the fact that other people have the right to react to what they said.

                                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                • icon
                                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Jan 2021 @ 6:54am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  "...even when we don't think they are valid not that we need to pretend we think they are valid ourselves."

                                  Emphasis mine.
                                  Valid does not mean Correct.

                                  2+2=4 is a valid expression of math. There is no corresponding criteria for an opinion.
                                  The Klansman who thinks all brown people are lesser beings has an opinion and as such it is a valid opinion...in his mind. That's where his constitutional right comes in.

                                  You may hold a similarly valid opinion that he's a bigoted inbred fuckwit better isolated in a rural bunker where he causes no harm to the rest of society.

                                  "valid is my own word choice and I just meant the regular definition "having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent"."

                                  Which is all well and good when what is discussed is fact.
                                  I believe we can both agree that there are 74 million americans who aren't playing in the ballpark called "factual reality" anymore.

                                  Yes, it's semantics, but I think it's pretty important not to assign validity or invalidity to opinion of ANY kind.

                                  "...the far right uses lies to confirm their beliefs not because the beliefs are incorrect and can't be confirmed by the truth they just kindof happen to pick lies instead of truth because the picked lies before the libs did which I find a bit hard to swallow / a bit of a stretch"

                                  I had to read that one a few times before it started making sense. But...well, sort of, and then again, not really. To state whether the republicans settled on lies rather than truth as affirmation has to do with the fact that most of their wilder assertions have no other basis than free fantasy and a fervent desire to whip up a frenzy of fear and anger. But as that is a self-reinforcing mechanism it's also a chicken-and-egg debate going back centuries.

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                                  • icon
                                    crade (profile), 25 Jan 2021 @ 8:24am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    we are really talking more about beliefs than opinion
                                    Beliefs can be good or bad (in my opinion) valid (in my assertation) or neither or both.
                                    Believe election is rigged because gut feel? valid but bad
                                    Believe evidence exists that dominion voting machines were rigged to electronically alter voter count? invalid and bad
                                    Believe you can do anything if you really apply yourself? invalid, but good..

                                    and then again, not really. To state whether the republicans settled on lies rather than truth as affirmation has to do with the fact that most of their wilder assertions have no other basis than free fantasy and a fervent desire to whip up a frenzy of fear and anger
                                    Yean, it doesn't make much sense to me either.. Thats what I was trying to get at. I agree with you, the linked article doesn't seem to.

                                    From the linked article:
                                    It’s tempting to claim some superior virtue on the Left, but that’s not where Network Propaganda goes. Instead, it finds a first-mover advantage: Once a self-contained right-wing propaganda system exists, it allows the left-wing audience to gets its worldview affirmation from the center.

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                                    • icon
                                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Jan 2021 @ 2:49am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      "From the linked article:"

                                      I think the author may have been clinging to his "objective" viewpoint with the white-knuckled grip of a 2A fanatic believing the gubmint just came for his shooting irons. He's being too cautious by far.

                                      His logic does check out. It's just not the most compelling argument backing his assertions, which is weird.

                                      It's like watching a judge still trying to nail Capone for tax evasion despite camera evidence and a room full of witnesses in good civic standing all testifying to the baseball bat incident.

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                          • icon
                            crade (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 6:05am

                            Re: Re: Re:

                            Personally I think the answer is a lot simpler. Right philosophy boils a lot to some people deserve more than others, help those who help themselves, but unspoken is that those people also need to be cons. what happens when the libs start having more success at helping themselves by your own criteria ? then you lie (or adjust your thinking, but common lets be realistic)

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          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 6:45pm

            Re:

            Brennan lied to the senate about spying on the senate. He was rewarded with a job at MSNBC.

            https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/a-brief-history-of-the-cias-unpunished-s pying-on-the-senate/384003/

            People who hate reality are so pathetic. Is it really that hard to read news? I bet you have a humanities degree.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      Real news from a conservative perspective without the extremist fringe might be of benefit but more of the lying and deceitful misinformation is not a good idea.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:50am

        Real news from a conservative perspective without the extremist fringe

        Modern American conservatism is closely tied to extremists of numerous kinds — White supremacists, Christian nationalists, QAnon supporters — as well as policies and political maneuvering that could be described as “extremist”. Modern American conservatives protected a political extremist as he took a blowtorch to political norms and, indeed, the country itself. The attempted coup on the 6th of January wasn’t a symptom of modern American conservatism. It was an endpoint, a goal, and maybe the dying gasp of the Republican Party.

        Modern American conservatism is, in word and deed, a form of political extremism. Anyone who thinks they can fix that state of affairs is more than welcome to try. But they’ll certainly need more to work with than thoughts and prayers.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 1:43pm

          Re:

          Agreed, out of the ashes and all that .. they are not going away, I hope they can regain some sanity in order to participate in society rather than continually trying to burn it down.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      OANN and Newsmax show that unfortunately that they compete in the opposite direction with fact checking as it is all about telling them what they want to hear.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Flakbait (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 9:48am

    Amen.

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  • icon
    crade (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 9:53am

    Impartiality is basically a myth and should not be all sides are not equal, pretending they are is just pretending. Accuracy however is a whole different story.

    In my opinion we have seen that calling out lies will not be effective if the government is allowed to use their power to actively undermine anyone who tries to call out the lies and actively support anyone spreading them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:16am

    The movement is going to find a network no matter what so Fox could be anyone.

    More disturbing than the insurrection is how people almost never think for themselves, just following the crowd.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:23am

    'Why not set that precedent, what could go wrong?'

    While Fox absolutely deserves condemnation for helping to stoke the fires by repeating Trump's lies about election fraud you'd think after four years of Trump declaring any news agency who disagreed with him or worse contradicted him 'fake news' it would be really clear that punishing news agencies(or 'news' agencies as it were) is a precedent you really don't want to set.

    Even setting aside constitutional concerns you do not want it seen as acceptable for the government to step in and punish liars, because even if you agree with the current government and officials making that determination it's a guarantee that it's a matter of when, not if, that changes, and at that point you'll be out of luck when they decide to start punishing 'liars' of their own.

    (As an aside I find it rather fitting that literally two articles back is a story about another head of state/dictator arresting and jailing doctors for going against The Official Word on Covid, showing nicely the risks of that idea.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 1:07pm

      Re: 'Why not set that precedent, what could go wrong?'

      I think we can set a precedent for legally punishing 'news' agencies that propagate lies and foment extremist garbage without having the entire media landscape change overnight. It feels like a pretty low bar to clear. The "Wait until the current government changes, what happens then?" argument has always been a slippery slope argument in my eyes. Starting with Fox News and other media orgs that peddle racism and conspiracy theories would be a good start. Then from there, for future cases we can go "Okay, are you doing your due diligence, or are you just doing the same shit as Fox News and OANN?".

      People need more tools to fight back against corporations like Fox. "Free Market" solutions that depend mostly on other corporations to pull their advertising aren't going to work in the long-term. "Marketplace Of Ideas" solutions where you try to counter Fox's speech with "more, better speech" clearly haven't worked; Years of The Daily Show, SNL, and liberals and progressives on social media tearing Fox News' arguments to pieces hasn't put a significant dent in their power. We can't have a functional democracy with a set of right-wing media corps peddling an alternate version of reality, another set of media corps that actually care about the truth, and the former only suffering repercussions when other corporations decide to act.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:17pm

        Yes or no: Do you believe the government should be the final arbiter of what speech is or isn’t “acceptable” and regulate media outlets according to such decrees?

        If your answer is “yes”: The First Amendment was designed specifically to stop that sort of thing. If your answer is “no”: You can’t give that answer and still desire to punish “Fox News and other media orgs that peddle racism and conspiracy theories”.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 4:53pm

          Re:

          Yes or no: Do you believe we can have a functional democracy with a set of right-wing media corps peddling an alternate version of reality, another set of media corps that actually care about the truth, and the former only suffering repercussions when other corporations decide to act?

          If the people don’t have the tools necessary to hold others accountable when their actions bring people to harm, and that power mainly rests with corporations, then the government needs to provide people with those tools, or better tools. Uriel-238 further down has a good idea: Research, Isolate, Regulate.

          Maybe the government, particularly those people who almost got killed two weeks ago, should have the opportunity to have a say in if the media corps that helped them almost get killed should be held accountable?

          I’m tired of the slippery-slope arguments peppered with scary words like “final arbiter” and “decree” where y’all act like Fox News being able to get punished for egging nazis on to overthrow the government will lead to a new government in the future that will use that power like literal nazis.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 5:18pm

            Do you believe we can have a functional democracy with a set of right-wing media corps peddling an alternate version of reality, another set of media corps that actually care about the truth, and the former only suffering repercussions when other corporations decide to act?

            Maybe not a great one, but as proven today, we’ll have at least a functional one.

            Maybe the government, particularly those people who almost got killed two weeks ago, should have the opportunity to have a say in if the media corps that helped them almost get killed should be held accountable?

            I don’t see how you can hold them accountable without punishing them for at least one of the following: the speech of others, not being quick enough to moderate (see also: Parler), not moderating “effectively”, or not preëmptively banning certain types of speech as people won’t find ways to get around filters. None of those roads go anywhere good, especially in regards to the First Amendment.

            I’m tired of the slippery-slope arguments peppered with scary words like “final arbiter” and “decree” where y’all act like Fox News being able to get punished for egging nazis on to overthrow the government will lead to a new government in the future that will use that power like literal nazis.

            Today, we saw the end of a government administration that tried to ban journalists from press briefings, treated one network like state media, threatened to look at the broadcast licenses of specific networks because they said things the president didn’t like, and basically…uh…lied about damn near anything and everything. Don’t tell me we can’t ever see a government that tries to fuck around with speech and use its own power to excuse itself from having to follow the Constitution. The last one tried to set some dangerous precedents in that regard — and 75 million people didn’t regard that as a dealbreaker.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:33pm

              Re:

              So let's keep around that network that helped Trump get elected in the first place by shifting its viewers farther and farther to the right over the years. So let's keep around that network that Trump treated like state media and influences a significant chunk of that 75 million people who voted for him in an election where it came down to some tight races in a few counties. Let's keep around that network that's gonna keep riling people up in an attempt to make Biden's administration a single-term affair and will support the McConnell and Co. no matter how slimy they may be. And we'll pray to our corporate overlords at McDonalds, Ford, and Verizon to keep them in check by threatening to stop ads. That's basically what you're saying.

              The Trump administration and the Jan. 6th insurrection was a symptom of letting people like Fox News run rampant and believing that the free market and the marketplace of ideas would sort it out. These last 4 years have shown that if you give them an inch, they take a mile. Another Trump-like Administration that tries treating the Constitution like toilet paper won't come around if you make the people responsible for the Trump Administration face justice. When that comes to networks like Fox News and OANN, why the fuck do they deserve to be protected by 1A when what they egged people on to do would have likely meant the end of the Amendment entirely?

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:44am

                So let's keep around [Fox News]

                You can’t ask the government to “cancel” Fox News without getting into massive First Amendment issues — not the least of which is whether the government should have the right to do that in the first place.

                I’m no fan of Fox News. That network has done more to divide this country than unite it — especially during the last presidential administration. But not liking what they do can’t be (and shouldn’t be) the only reason for yanking the network off the air.

                The Trump administration and the Jan. 6th insurrection was a symptom of letting people like Fox News run rampant and believing that the free market and the marketplace of ideas would sort it out.

                Do you want another insurrection? Ask the government to close off that marketplace from certain people/organizations based only on the fact that they’re saying things you don’t like. That’ll piss off a hell of a lot more people than you might think.

                When that comes to networks like Fox News and OANN, why the fuck do they deserve to be protected by 1A when what they egged people on to do would have likely meant the end of the Amendment entirely?

                What they do is morally reprehensible, ethically questionable (at best), and 100% legal. The riot was not a generally foreseeable outcome of all their partisan speech. Millions of people watch/listen to/read right-wing media; they don’t all go around storming citadels of American democracy with murderous intent.

                Fox News sucks. The government banning offensive speech only because it’s offensive would suck more. Taking Fox News off the air is not worth sacrificing the First Amendment.

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        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:27pm

          Re:

          Yes or no: Do you believe the government should be the final arbiter of what speech is or isn’t “acceptable” and regulate media outlets according to such decrees?

          People who rely on their feelings telling them the Gawker decision was good do.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:56pm

            Re: Re:

            I actually like living in a world where sex tapes published without people's consent doesn't meet the threshold of newsworthiness. I like living in the world where the losing party in the case, Gawker, had their editor say in court that the place that he'd draw the line at the sex tape of a four-year-old.

            Newspapers and journalistic outlets all over the U.S. didn't implode the day after the Gawker ruling. It's almost like if someone does shitty things and then suffers the consequences for those shitty things, the other folks in their industry that didn't sully their hands in the same way don't face the same repercussions. It's almost like if you punished the likes of Fox News and OANN or enabled them to be taken to court for the shit that they peddle, other networks like CNN, MSNBC, and more wouldn't get caught in the crossfire.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:46am

              It's almost like if you punished the likes of Fox News and OANN or enabled them to be taken to court for the shit that they peddle, other networks like CNN, MSNBC, and more wouldn't get caught in the crossfire.

              If the government shuts down Fox News and the courts declare that action constitutional, what would later stop the government from shutting down MSNBC?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 8:43am

                Re:

                Maybe the fact that MSNBC isn’t doing the same shit that Fox News does?

                We still have tons of people & the outlets they work for doing investigative journalism and putting out articles every day even though Gawker got sunk. The biggest that I can name off the top of my head because I have the most experience with them are Buzzfeed News’ work over recent years and Jason Schreier when he was working for formerly-Gawker-now-Gizmodo-Media-Group Kotaku, and now he’s over at Bloomberg doing pretty much the same thing. Hard-hitting investigative journalism continues to thrive.

                MSNBC =/= Fox News. Buzzfeed News =/= Gawker. The type of media corps that it is doesn’t matter; with great power must also come great responsibility and the media corps with actual integrity that do their due diligence wouldn’t get sunk by regulating/suing Fox News and OANN out of existence because both of them are wretched hives of scum and villainy.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 8:59am

                  the media corps with actual integrity that do their due diligence wouldn’t get sunk by regulating/suing Fox News and OANN out of existence because both of them are wretched hives of scum and villainy

                  And if you believe that, you didn’t pay attention to our previous president. He threatened to have his administration “look at the licenses” of networks that told the truth about him. He had journalists who asked hard questions of his press secretaries punished for doing their jobs.

                  Go ahead, give the government the power to regulate one news network out of existence. But you’ll also give it the power to take down MSNBC and CNN as well. No government, no administration, no one man should have all that power.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 6:35am

        Re: Re: 'Why not set that precedent, what could go wrong?'

        "I think we can set a precedent for legally punishing 'news' agencies that propagate lies and foment extremist garbage without having the entire media landscape change overnight."

        Not really, no. I mean, that's literally the only place left where the US can claim to have the moral high ground when it goes after China and Russia over censorship.

        What you might be able to do is implement an audit process and a set of standards, then put "News Agency" up as a protected title. If your headlines are clickbait which don't hold up to objective and open scrutiny then you need a visible sign somewhere in the frame stating that you haven't fact-checked any of the bullshit you push, or label yourself as "Entertainment".

        "People need more tools to fight back against corporations like Fox."

        Education. The answer is always going to be education. With roughly half of the US citizenry openly rejecting science in favor of creationism and 1 in 3 americans so unable to process factual observable reality enough to realize the antifan satanist cabal of child-traffickers operating out of that pizza parlor is a hoax...then nothing else will help. No matter what you do. You can not cure stupid and you can't fix the willfully ignorant.

        What you can do is marginalize the crackpots and the incurably bigoted while ensuring that every child is taught the values of scepticism and fact-finding. And even that's going to be a hard sell in the US.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 8:52am

          Re: Re: Re: 'Why not set that precedent, what could go wrong?'

          An audit process and a set of core standards to make “News Agency” a protected title like with other titles of the sort would be good. With regards to education, my main worry is that the groundwork for building out education that enables people to dismantle conspiracy theories and gets them to do research that allows them to not get sucked into disinformation, that takes a good long while when we have 2 years until midterms and 4 years until the next election. And yeah, it’s gonna be a politically hard sell in general.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 9:07am

            An audit process and a set of core standards to make “News Agency” a protected title like with other titles of the sort would be good.

            Think carefully before you answer these questions. Your answers may expose your thinking more than you think they will (or should).

            1. Yes or no: Can you ensure that the people who would make those standards wouldn’t find a way to bias them against partisan media outlets from one “side” or the other?

            2. Yes or no: Can you ensure that the government wouldn’t use those standards to punish bloggers and other citizen journalists for saying unkind things about the government?

            3. Yes or no: Do you truly believe the federal government should have the power to decide what is and isn’t “news”, then punish any outlet for journalism — regardless of size or political bias — that publishes “not-news”?

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 7:34am

              Re:

              1: "Yes or no: Can you ensure that the people who would make those standards wouldn’t find a way to bias them against partisan media outlets from one “side” or the other?"

              Believe it or not but standards of journalism have been a thing for a long, LONG time. It's not hard. For the US I'd recommend a cursory glance at sites like politicofact, factcheck or even snopes. There is a simple method to fact-checking and sourcing which has the added benefit of being both transparent and exceedingly well auditable.
              Hmm. If I say "Yes" to this, are you going to follow it up with a reveal that's just another "...only NOT in America" issue?

              2: "Yes or no: Can you ensure that the government wouldn’t use those standards to punish bloggers and other citizen journalists for saying unkind things about the government?"

              If you make the claim your website is a news publication then your right to bear that title would, in the presumptive process described, be subject to challenge. The same way it does now, really; Whether a statement is fact, opinion, or slander has been pretty well hashed out by now. Even in the US, I think. I mean, are you seriously going to tell me that the US can't do what european nations succeed with on a daily basis?

              3: "Yes or no: Do you truly believe the federal government should have the power to decide what is and isn’t “news”, then punish any outlet for journalism — regardless of size or political bias — that publishes “not-news”?"

              Yes, the government has right to protect titles where the state gives exclusive right to a profession to use a certain title, subject to a fully transparent process with known criteria and an open audit process. This is not that hard, unless you want to make this yet another thing the US alone, of all the world, is not able to do.
              What sort of proportionate penalty might be ascribed for a successful challenge of the use of that title is a bit more challenging, given that the US heavily promotes tort as the solution to every issue where in many other countries this is less incentivized.

              Fact-checking news is not a hard process. Ensuring that process is followed is also not a hard process. Abusing that process would be a constitutional issue for which you have a supreme court.

              There are good reasons not to mandate that a "newscast" should be required to fulfill some certain specification or education. I do not see much of a problem to render a statement presented as fact subject to challenge, however.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 11:45am

                the government has right to protect titles where the state gives exclusive right to a profession to use a certain title

                Therein lies the problem with your argument: Here in the States, the government doesn’t give “exclusive right” to journalists to use that title. Nor should it.

                I get the thinking here, I really do. You feel like the government should be in the business of telling news outlets to be news outlets or be shitcanned. On a visceral level, I can sympathize with that. (Fuck Fox News and its right-wing brethren.) But as someone who believes government shouldn’t be interfering with legal speech no matter how heinous, I can’t logically agree with your position. Doing so would mean I’d tacitly support both the current White House administration taking down Fox News or the prior administration taking down MSNBC, even if the only “crime” committed by those networks was “they pissed off the president”. I can’t be a party to that.

                Fox News, as a network and a concept, should die. The government shouldn’t have the right to kill it, no matter how satisfying that would feel. Give a government the power to decide what is and isn’t “news” and who does and doesn’t get to deliver “news”, and you give all future governments that power. Can you guarantee, with the absolute certainty of God Herself, that they won’t — can’t — find a way to abuse that power?

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Jan 2021 @ 7:19am

                  Re:

                  "Therein lies the problem with your argument: Here in the States, the government doesn’t give “exclusive right” to journalists to use that title. Nor should it."

                  It does, however, allow professions to set standards; The Bar Association, US medical board certification, etc. What the government does is grant exclusivity for a certain profession to use a title.

                  I don't think anyone wants to see the government appointing apparatchiks with cameras and press cards. I do think, however, that the US at least should be able to get away with a process whereby any self-defined news agency, newscaster or citizen journalist can be subject to civil challenge regarding the use of that title if a case can be brought out where they tried to sell an outspoken lie.

                  "The government shouldn’t have the right to kill it, no matter how satisfying that would feel."

                  Oh, I understand and agree with your mindset. And that's not what I'm suggesting either. There are a number of ways to encourage or incentivize a code of conduct and ethics to be applied to "News" the same as it is applied to scientists, lawyers, in some nations; accountants, without bringing a commissar around to vet the title holder for ideological purity.

                  "Can you guarantee, with the absolute certainty of God Herself, that they won’t — can’t — find a way to abuse that power?"

                  First, the gender of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is in doubt - it has balls, at least, although that's no guarantee - and secondly it's fairly whimsical and prone to second-guessing itself so it's a very poor guarantor of absolute certainty

                  What I would suggest is that there are long-standing mechanisms of challenging a citizen's use of a title which has very little to do with direct government power, even in the US, and surely there must be some way to force some sort of transparent audit process on, at the very least, the major networks?

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2021 @ 9:40am

                    What the government does is grant exclusivity for a certain profession to use a title.

                    “Journalist” isn’t one of them. Anyone with a blog and an axe to grind against the government could be a journalist. The government generally doesn’t get to say they’re not.

                    the US at least should be able to get away with a process whereby any self-defined news agency, newscaster or citizen journalist can be subject to civil challenge regarding the use of that title if a case can be brought out where they tried to sell an outspoken lie

                    Again: Such an approach opens up First Amendment issues the Supreme Court likely wouldn’t want to adjudicate.

                    An MSNBC anchor states a fact on air that is later proven false. The statement was based on information believed credible at the time. Yes or no: Should either the network, the anchor, or both of them be held legally liable for that “lie”?

                    There are a number of ways to encourage or incentivize a code of conduct and ethics to be applied to "News" the same as it is applied to scientists, lawyers, in some nations

                    That still falls under the issue of who decides which code has the most “authority” — up to and including legal authority. (The xkcd comic about standards comes to mind here.) And the government trying to incentivize the use of such codes in any way opens up more First Amendment issues.

                    Requiring specific codes of conduct for specific professions/careers makes sense when the job puts human lives on the line and such. Doctors should have a single code of conduct, for example. But “journalist” isn’t one of those professions, nor should it be treated as one.

                    there are long-standing mechanisms of challenging a citizen's use of a title which has very little to do with direct government power, even in the US, and surely there must be some way to force some sort of transparent audit process on, at the very least, the major networks?

                    Any such “audit” would require the power of the courts to enforce its execution (and legal consequences). The judiciary is an arm of the government. The First Amendment (and related judicial precedent) makes clear how the government can treat the press.

                    Again: I get it. Fox News is shit from the inside out. I’d love to see it dismantled. But asking a court to do that opens up every other news network — on both sides of the political aisle — to similar dismantling. That creates a direct road to the dismantling of independent media and the rise of state-sponsored news. (Not to say Fox News wasn’t a state news network for the past four years, but still.) No government institution should have the power to take down Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN only by saying “not a journalist, ban plz” to a court. No one should want the government to have that power.

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Jan 2021 @ 6:03am

                      Re:

                      "No government institution should have the power to take down Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN only by saying “not a journalist, ban plz” to a court. No one should want the government to have that power."

                      Oh, I get it. And you'll get an insightful flag for the xkcd ref alone.

                      What I am saying isn't "ban this, plz". I'm saying that if you can call a transparent audit and find that "News Agency X" has no solid basis for it's assertions then there should be repercussions of some sort for that "News" agency, if it keeps referring to itself as such.

                      "Any such “audit” would require the power of the courts to enforce its execution..."

                      3rd party audits are a staple for every corporation in the G20, US or not, and has been for a long time. In fact I'll bet you that any credible suspicion of fiscal shenanigans regarding, say, Fox, will have their partners, clients, shareholders, etc calling in an audit well before the SEC decides a dawn raid is merited.

                      Look, I get it. I do. Only an idiot would trust the US government with any decision it could twist into a pretzel favoring the current office holder.

                      But that's not the topic at hand here. When Tucker Carlson spews a truckload of steaming bullshit or Fox publishes doctored photos about BLM, then that's not an issue of free speech. It's a matter of invoking fraud law. Call it a consumer protection act or whatever you like, but if you can swing enforcing minimum rules for drugs and food there's no excuse to have the likes of a news network feeding it's clients falsely advertised product.

                      News is a product. It's being sold to people. Making sure it doesn't contain too high proportions of arsenic and lead shouldn't be an issue.

                      If Fox wants to keep broadcasting that bullshit, by all means, let them. But they'll have to be as honest as any other manufacturer and declare what's in the tin.

                      I'm not saying "ban their ass". I'm saying what the public is purchasing from them has to be what it says on the tin.

                      That might not be a full cure by any means, but it would mean soulless fuckwits like Carlson won't be able to open their mouths without a big [Projects facts not in evidence] in the subtext field (shamelessly stolen from Toom1275).

                      Because the problem right now isn't that the news or facts are spun into pretzels. That is something every other democracy manages to deal with.
                      It's the sheer plethora of outright lies being pushed. Easily debunked and disprovable such. If Carlson wants to claim the leaders of the Capitol assault were antifa then he'd have to produce the evidence he has to suspect that - or state outright that he's talking out of his ass on claiming it.

                      You've got 74 million citizens so addicted to a pseudo-religious grimdark narrative of fear and hatred there's little hope of persuading any significant proportion of them to abandon the hate and fears they've been clinging to for so long.
                      That's 1 in 3 citizens. Hitler only had about 1 in 8.

                      I think you're going to have to realize the time has come for a purge, the same way Germany had to purge itself of nazism, post-war. Or there's a very real risk this eventually ends with the fourth reich being the new face of the US altogether.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:32am

    I would point out the UK at the moment doesn't have a version of Fox News, however Murdoch is in the process of launching a UK version of Fox News (and we are getting at least another version from other people), and the Conservatives here are in the process of appointing Right Wingers to lead the BBC.

    So I wouldn't really put your hopes in a UK like system of doing anything to stop the likes of Fox News, especially as it's just as dependent as the people in power being willing to hold them to account instead of turning a blind eye.

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    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      You don't get elected in the UK without Rupert Murdoch's support, the leaders of the conservatives, new Labour and the SNP have all bent the knee, and we've seen what happens to those who say no.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:30pm

      Re:

      "I would point out the UK at the moment doesn't have a version of Fox News"

      Because it failed in the marketplace:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_News#United_Kingdom_and_Ireland

      "On August 29, 2017, Sky dropped Fox News; the broadcaster said its carriage was not "commercially viable" due to average viewership of fewer than 2,000 viewers per day. "

      I'm not sure of future plans, and the threat of TV news being treated as partisan and facts-optional as much of the print press has been in the UK is a cause for concern. But, the market has told them they can't just copy the US model and expect people to swallow it.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re:

        "But, the market has told them they can't just copy the US model and expect people to swallow it."

        Europeans in general have a stricter set of criteria as to what we consider "news" or not. Mainly, perhaps, because we have a long and dark history of what happens when we let extremists or the vested interests dictate the full public narrative. Quite a few european nations have a pseudo-independent news group paid for by the state with the public duty to scrutinize and present facts - usually with horribly bureaucratic pretzelwork in place to ensure it's difficult to perform regulatory capture on them.

        It's not perfect, but it does go a long way towards forming a counterweight to tabloid sensationalism and...I actually don't think I've heard of many european news channel which even remotely resemble Fox, Oan or Newsmax and caters to murky conspiracy theorists and badly disguised racism.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:41am

    What we see happening is private companys like google or twitter,
    are removing apps or removing accounts that are calling for violent or illegal actions or promote hate speech.
    it would a bad thing if government tried to moderate content on cable tv
    or online tv streaming channels.
    part of free speech is accepting that some people may use it to express
    liberal or conservative views that you may not agree with

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 11:55am

    Exactly. The FCC only has jurisdiction over broadcast media due to the fact that it issues licenses to those stations. If they break the rules, it can suspend their licenses. Paid TV stations have no such licenses from the FCC and therefore there is no jurisdiction.

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 12:25pm

    Why not?

    Have the court make a decision of the difference between NEWS and Opinion.
    Then you ask each announcer if THAT was an opinion they spoke on a NEWS program, Or were they reading the Script.

    Corps dont have a 1st amendment. And if nothing else, you get them to Justify what they said.

    If the opinion WAS the persons, then we demand a retraction, as a separation of NEWS vs OPINION.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:19pm

      Have the court make a decision of the difference between NEWS and Opinion.

      The government (of which the courts are a part) shouldn’t be in the business of deciding what speech is or isn’t “factual” or “punishable”.

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      • icon
        ECA (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:00am

        Re:

        I said nothing about speech.
        I suggested that News be based on Facts of a sort, at least.
        And opinion Should be kept Separate.

        And Corps shouldnt have that many rights, and I dont think they do.
        esp if they are PUSHING False facts.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:51am

          I said nothing about speech.

          And yet…

          I suggested that News be based on Facts of a sort, at least. And opinion Should be kept Separate.

          …you did.

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    • icon
      Tanner Andrews (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 7:35am

      Re: Why not?

      Corps dont have a 1st amendment

      Citation needed. And, no, Citizens United does not help you here.

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      • icon
        ECA (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 11:51am

        Re: Re: Why not?

        How about that Corps dont need to tell the truth, and how many Even Shareholders have been lied to?

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-9-lies-that-big-corporations-tell/

        https://opinionator.blogs.ny times.com/2011/10/12/corporations-people-and-truth/

        https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/201 5/04/how-corporations-took-over-the-first-amendment/389249/

        To determine the most-frequent beneficiaries of First Amendment, Coates analyzed the 423 Supreme Court cases between 1946 and 2014 that dealt with questions of speech. He noticed a turning point in the data in 1975, the year that the Court decided Virginia Pharmacy, a case that overruled the precedent that commercial speech deserved no First Amendment protection. (The case involved a drug store that wanted to advertise its prices, and was challenging a ban that would have prevented it from doing so.) Before Virginia Pharmacy, businesses were involved in an average of 1.5 free-speech cases per year, and they had a 20 percent win rate. After, they were involved in 2.2 cases per year, with a 55 percent win rate.

        The large jump in the 1970s came shortly after Justice Lewis Powell joined the Supreme Court. Powell was well known as a proponent of corporate interests at a time when anticorporate sentiments began agglomerating—a confidential memo he wrote that went public the year before began serving indicates as much. “The time has come,” he wrote to the director of the Chamber of Commerce, “for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshaled against those who would destroy it.” Suffice it to say Powell sided with the drug store in 1975, and many other businesses during his 15-year tenure.

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        • icon
          Tanner Andrews (profile), 23 Jan 2021 @ 12:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Why not?

          You may have an argument that large corps often abuse their First Amendment rights by running roughshod over the less influential. But that does not show that corps lack First Amendment rights, or even that some corps lack such rights.

          It also fails to distinguish corps which we like and dislike (eg Dem Nat'l Committee, Rep Nat'l Committee, NRA, Sierra, &c.). It is easy to argue that certain of these should have no First Amendment rights, but my choice and your choice as to which should lack rights may not align.

          In fairness, I should admit that I thought Virginia Board of Pharmacy was properly decided. I think that truthful information about drug prices is beneficial to consumers, and that government prohibition on such speech is a substantive evil.

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        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 23 Jan 2021 @ 9:04am

          Re: Re: Re: Why not?

          How about that Corps dont need to tell the truth

          Not entirely accurate, but if by that you mean they can use hyperbole, “puffery”, and other such tactics or conceal certain information that isn’t legally required, then yes, that’s true.

          and how many Even Shareholders have been lied to?

          I should note that it is actually unlawful for companies to lie to their shareholders. I’m not saying that it’s never happened, but shareholders can and have sued companies for lying or failing to disclose certain information, and both federal and state governments have also sued companies who do this.

          He noticed a turning point in the data in 1975, the year that the Court decided Virginia Pharmacy, a case that overruled the precedent that commercial speech deserved no First Amendment protection.

          First off, based on the details you shared, I can’t find any fault in the Virginia Pharmacy decision. The company wanted to honestly advertise its prices. What’s the problem with that?

          Second, why should commercial speech deserve no 1A protection at all? Even commercial speech can be expressive, and unless we’re dealing with privacy concerns or calls for lawless action, I don’t believe that truthful information should ever be unprotected, regardless of whether or not the speech is commercial.

          Third, you just cited proof that corporations do have 1A protections! You found a specific court case that says exactly that. In fact, none of what you just said supports the proposition that Tanner was asking you to provide citations for:

          Corps dont have a 1st amendment

          At best, you claim that commercial speech was unprotected until 1975, but commercial speech is not always speech from corporations, and not everything said by a corporation is commercial speech. For example: a corporation publishes a newspaper written entirely by in-house staff; the contents of the newspaper are considered to be speech published and written by the corporation but not commercial speech (outside of any ads inside).

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 12:40pm

    We need more tools to be able to hold media corporations like Fox accountable for the bile that they spew. I don't like that the only way that Fox News can realistically be impacted is through advertisers, which are corporations themselves, pulling their support.

    I remember a while back that PaulT came up with the idea that dismantling Citizens United and the power that it bestows corporations could ensure that the people on Fox are protected for what they say under 1A but Fox, the corporation, is not.

    Paul does say that he could be wrong, but honestly I hope that he's right. We can't keep depending on corporate power to constantly hold other corporations and powerful people accountable.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:00pm

      Re:

      Citizens United has nothing to do with corporate personhood, which has existed as a legal fiction for much longer.

      Citizens United said that the government cannot use arbitrary restrictions on spending as a way to suppress speech. The same result would have happened if the government tried to limit the number of pages in political books before an election or how long each issue could be discussed on TV. CU stopped congress from making an end around law to suppress speech without attacking the speech itself. It was a good decision and only stupid people oppose it.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:40pm

        "It was a good decision and only stupid people oppose it."

        Well you lost me there. Isn't that called poisoning the well

        IANAL and don't know the nuances of Citizens United but we have an established history of how plutocrats became super powerful once that ruling was made, and this was after the US Supreme Court was captured by the Federalist Society.

        The question is, we love America and democracy or do we love capitalism more? Because we are plummeting towards corporate neofeudalism and burning up in re-entry. Even the new administration is more interested in preserving capitalism and the assets of its aristocracy than it is preserving either the national identity of the United States, or the survival of its people.

        Or maybe, Anonymous Coward you are one of the plutocrats and have assets in the hundreds of millions?

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 1:11pm

    It's a conundrum

    We human beings are clearly susceptible to some kinds of speech. It's one of the reasons we regulate for incitement, for slander / libel, for hate speech. The last four years have been a vicious cycle of ideologies that not only encourage hate speech but the deregulation and euphemizing / dog-whistling of hate speech, so that the more the GOP was in power, for instance, the more Churches were allowed to push political agendas, the more normalized it became to suggest non-whites were less human.

    And now we're in a pit we can't dig out. And as soon as Rupert dies and his son considers reforming FOX News (the same thing happened with Hearst and his papers) there will be a handful of competitors ready to continue the flood of pro-fascist hate-fueled propaganda.

    As someone in the psych sector, my impulse is to study the snot out of the phenomenon, isolate identifiable characteristics of inciting hate speech and then regulate it the way we regulate gambling or advertising to children.

    But that will take time.

    And in the meantime we're still in a precarious position where the GOP can still lock down branches of government which will lead us towards a new fascist government as precariats panic to government failure.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 1:27pm

    "Fox News actually did, finally, break with President Trump and his pathetic attempts to deny the election results, and it simply made Trump and his cultist fanboys"

    Good God Mike. I can almost see the spittle flying out of your mouth as you call 74 Million Americans "cultist fanboys" Funny how in 2016 the same Democrats that challenged the election results, are now crying foul that Trump is doing the same.

    I would encourage all Republicans to accept the election outcome and the Biden Presidency with the same graciousness, the same tolerance, the same level of acceptance and unity that Democrats have shown President Trump and his electorate the past four years.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 1:38pm

      Crying foul in 2016

      We were pretty gracious about George W. Bush in 2001.

      Look where that got us.

      We knew Trump was a monster and were stunned that so many Americans would have the desperation to vote for them (though they presented it as audacity).

      Really, I was terrified as one check after another that was supposed to comb out monsters failed to do so. And Trump started his presidency by announcing there was carnage in the streets (not really, and surely not the carnage he cared about) and he was going to clean it up. (No, he made it worse.)

      Look where that got us.

      We may be past civility. The US might have proven Antifa's point that fascism is so great a threat we have to ignore human rights to put it down, or it will consume us. But -- I've learned in the recent days -- I will not ever need to advocate for going to war to make things right: The fascists will gladly shoot first and empty their mags.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 1:55pm

        Re: Crying foul in 2016

        It was different in 2001. We didn't have this boiling hate for each other, I believe that there was still a level of respect between the parties. Now I think your right. Civility is behind us, and neither side really cares to hide it or try to make it better. I know I don't.

        Look at who were replacing Trump with. Biden is a lying, plagiarizing, intellectual insecure and dishonest person who's first act, is to cry for unity as he calls the right "Domestic Terrorists". He dropped out of the 1987 race because he disgraced himself with his dishonesty and got caught.. this is the champion of the Left that will unify us? I don't fucking think so.

        "ignore human rights to put it down, or it will consume us."

        This sounds very Hilter-ish to me.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:15pm

          Boiling hatred

          During the early aughts Tom DeLay would use coercion (extortion) to keep the GOP representatives in line, so they votes as a unilateral bloc. They had to get permission from him directly to vote differently (say when it was an issue in their state).

          After that, civility in the federal Congress ended. There was no reason for Democrats to negotiate with Republicans who would vote against them anyway. There was no reason for Republicans to negotiate with Democrats since either they had the votes or didn't.

          Then during the Obama administration the GOP decided to obstruct the Black Man to thwart any agenda at all.

          We saw the last vestiges of McCain Republicanism in 2017 as the GOP repeatedly tried to terminate the ACA and failed, having also failed to offer a healthcare system that wouldn't massively increase the death toll.

          At this point the Republican party has even gone against its own principles in favor of pure demagogy. They offer permission for white Christian men to hate everyone else.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:16pm

          Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

          [Citations required]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

            "[Citations required]"

            What specifically do you want me to provide Citations for? I was an adult involved in politics in 2001. This is my opinion. Or did you mean regarding Biden being a lying, plagiarizing, intellectual insecure and dishonest? I would love to provide you with citations, below are just a couple. I invite you to google it for yourself. Not hard to find sources.

            https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1987-09-24-8703120482-story.html

            https://www.nyt imes.com/1987/09/24/us/biden-withdraws-bid-for-president-in-wake-of-furor.html

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            • icon
              techflaws (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

              Or did you mean regarding Biden being a lying, plagiarizing,
              intellectual insecure and dishonest?

              All of which the only man impeached twice is at least in triplicate.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 7:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

              "Or did you mean regarding Biden being a lying, plagiarizing, intellectual insecure and dishonest?"

              Ah, so you are saying between him and Trump, Trump should be the choice for being worse on all counts than Biden?

              Yeah, Biden isn't exactly first, second, third, fourth or fifth choice of president by any criteria.
              But he doesn't have to be. A sufficiently trained monkey would be preferable to the alternative because all it really needs to spend the next four years doing is to rubberstamp the advice actual experts give to be an immeasureable improvement on Trump.

              I'll cheerfully debate the merits of one president over another when the choice is between something more nuanced than a compulsive liar rooted in a white supremacy power base and something, anything else.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 10:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

                Yeah, if the major complaints against Biden are things that Trump has done, and done worse, then the logical conclusion is still that Biden was the correct choice. Anyone who dislikes this has a few years to regroup and present a candidate who is actually better, although chances are whoever that is will be running against Harris and not Biden.

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        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:28pm

          Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

          Biden is a lying, plagiarizing, intellectual insecure and dishonest person

          He dropped out of the 1987 race because he disgraced himself with his dishonesty and got caught..

          "ignore human rights to put it down, or it will consume us."

          [citation needed]

          who's first act, is to cry for unity as he calls the right "Domestic Terrorists"

          He did call for unity, but he did not call the right “domestic terrorists”. He called the people who invaded the Capitol with the intent to overthrow a fair and democratic election with force “domestic terrorists”. Unless you think that those people comprise all right wing voters, your statement is false.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

            https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/joe-biden-plagiarism/

            And bullshit.

            “They weren’t protesters – don’t dare call them protesters,” Biden said in remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday. “They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.”

            The right's protestors are the left's "mob".

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:25pm

              protestors

              Protestors don’t build a goddamned gallows outside of “the citadel of American democracy” and call for the murder of the Vice President while they violently storm said citadel of democracy in an apparent attempt to at least intimidate, if not take hostage or outright kill, members of Congress.

              Those people weren’t protestors. They were rioters, insurrectionists, terrorists. That you may share their political ideology should be a moment of reflection for you, not an opportunity to throw down some “whataboutism” or blame “the libs” for what happened that day or whatever the hell you’re doing.

              Do I approve of leftist riots? No. I condemn them. At the same time, I understand why they happen, and I may even sympathize with the root cause of a riot. But what happened two weeks ago isn’t something I can sympathize with. Hundreds of people stormed the Capitol in an attempt to — at a bare minimum — intimidate members of Congress into voiding the results of a free and fair election so the 45th president would remain president despite having lost said election. That’s not sympathetic — it’s just pathetic.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:33pm

              ... you said it, not me

              The right's protestors are the left's "mob".

              When they break into government buildings during the last stage of an election confirmation(the timing of which was complete coincidence I'm sure), bludgeon someone to death in the process, take down the american flag and replace it with a Trump one and carry a confederate flag into said building, yeah, that's a mob of insurrectionists, and trying to pretend that rightly calling them as such is an attack on 'the right' as a whole is not doing you any favors.

              Any smart or even remotely decent person on the right should be doing everything they can to distance themselves from the failed insurrection, strongly objecting and pointing out 'That's not us and they don't represent us!', because trying to claim that rightly calling out insurrectionists as the democracy hating scum that they are is an attack on the right just paints the right as insurrectionists-supporters who will engage in violence and attacks when they don't get their way.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

              "The right's protestors are the left's "mob"."

              Protestors are the people who stayed outside the Capitol building and obeyed the law. The mob are the people who broke into the building, smashed and defecated and murdered, many with the intention of doing far worse if they had managed to encounter certain members of the house.

              You're doing yourselves a disservice if you pretend these groups are the same people.

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            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 6:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying foul in 2016

              “They weren’t protesters – don’t dare call them protesters,” Biden said in remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday. “They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.”

              That’s exactly it. He was talking about the riotous mob who invaded the Capitol. You just proved my point. Those “protesters” were also condemned by a majority of the right, by the way, often with similar language. Therefore, he did not call the right domestic terrorists; he restricted those words to refer specifically to the people who invaded the Capitol, which is exactly what I said, and not what you said.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:29pm

          Biden is a lying, plagiarizing, intellectual insecure and dishonest person

          Our now-former 45th president is a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, queerphobic, lying, philandering, narcissistic sociopath of an elderly game show host who treats every relationship in his life as a transaction that should benefit only him and didn’t get seriously involved in politics/public service until a Black man made fun of him. You don’t wanna play “who’s worse” in this context; you’re gonna lose every time.

          cry for unity as he calls the right "Domestic Terrorists"

          He didn’t refer to “the right” as domestic terrorists. He (correctly) referred to the people who stormed the Capitol two weeks ago as domestic terrorists. That they may be conservatives is irrelevant.

          this is the champion of the Left that will unify us?

          Hi! I generally consider myself a leftist (I could be wrong!), and I know Joe Biden isn’t a “champion of the left”. He’s a middling centrist whose only role for the next four years is to undo the damage of, and stop the metaphorical bleeding caused by, the previous administration’s incompetence/malfeasance.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:41pm

          The antifa creed

          US Antifa comes from Antifaschistische Aktion that directly fought Hitler and were killed or driven into hiding as NSDAP took power and crushed all that opposed it. Considering the holocaust and the war, there is a lot to fear, and a lot to drive them to the conclusion that Fascism is a threat to be annihilated at all cost.

          And yes, even in the states, while Antifa is a decentralized group, it still adheres to the notion that fascism is too dangerous to allow it to be endorsed openly. And yet, Antifa has a lower violence rate than the white-supremacist and neo-nazi groups that it commonly rallies to oppose. So Antifa doesn't have to instigate violence, but not shy away from it when fascists open hostilities.

          As the January 6th assault on the US Capitol demonstrated, antifascists ultimately do resort to violence, as they won't accept political defeat by legal, nonviolent means. And violence is necessary to perpetuate the engine of scapegoating and hatred that drives the popularity of fascism.

          Parallel to this are the reminders recently published that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's message was not simply an advocacy of peace, but the peace that is afforded by a just society:

          ...Peace is not merely the absence of this tension, but the presence of justice. And even if we didn’t have this tension, we still wouldn’t have positive peace. Yes, it is true that if the Negro accepts his place, accepts exploitation and injustice, there will be peace. But it would be a peace boiled down to stagnant complacency, deadening passivity, and if peace means this, I don’t want peace. -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

          The Civil Rights movement never had to resort to violence because the police were always glad to engage. These days, BLM can rely on the same tactics, since the responding police are eager and generous with rubber bullets and CS gas. And now BLM has the advantage of the ubiquity of phone cameras and an internet glad to reveal developments as they happen on the ground.

          So those who are interested in the actual truth can watch police brutality as it unfolds, incident by incident, and there's no way to spin it as acceptable in civilized society.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:48pm

            As the January 6th assault on the US Capitol demonstrated, antifascists ultimately do resort to violence, as they won't accept political defeat by legal, nonviolent means.

            I think you left an extra anti- in there…

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 6:04pm

              An extra anti-

              Oh my! Yes I did. It should read:

              As the January 6th assault on the US Capitol demonstrated, fascists ultimately do resort to violence, as they won't accept political defeat by legal, nonviolent means. And violence is necessary to perpetuate the engine of scapegoating and hatred that drives the popularity of fascism.

              I'm drying out from coffee this week. Serves me right for trying to post.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 2:49pm

            Re: The antifa creed

            “In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”. “We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself."

            You start justifying violence, don't be surprised when the other side does the same.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:27pm

              You start justifying violence, don't be surprised when the other side does the same.

              The only justified violence is in defense of self or others. The people in the Capitol who were chanting for the death of Mike Pence two weeks ago — who were they defending?

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:41pm

                Re:

                Trump's fragile feelings/ego, which as the TikTok debacle showed is important enough for threats to it to count as national security threats?

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 4:08pm

                Re:

                They were angry and protesting, just like the Oregon protestors that broke into the federal building and tried to set it on fire. You don't get to call one protestors and the other terrorists. It's fucking bullshit.

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                • identicon
                  Rocky, 20 Jan 2021 @ 4:29pm

                  Re: Re:

                  It's fucking bullshit.

                  You know what else is fucking bullshit, comparing two events out of context as if they where the same. On one hand you have events triggered by systematic racism and police-violence against one demographic versus a bunch of deluded fools and alt-right nuts using violence and threats of murder in a bid to derail the democratic process.

                  Context matters.

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 4:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re:

                    Bullshit. Your justifying. That is why this country is fucked. Both peoples believe they have legitimate grievances with the government. Both groups protested. You just don't like one of them so your justifying why one is legit, and the other is not. Fuck you and your partisan bullshit. I should have known better than to come here. I stand on my previous statement.

                    I would encourage all Republicans to accept the election outcome and the Biden Presidency with the same graciousness, the same tolerance, the same level of acceptance and unity that Democrats have shown President Trump and his electorate the past four years.

                    Fuck you.

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                    • identicon
                      Rocky, 20 Jan 2021 @ 4:51pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I'm not justifying, that's what you are doing by using what happened in Oregon to justify what happened at the Capitolium. What I'm doing, is explaining to you that the contexts for the events are entirely different which is why they aren't really comparable and why the comparison is fucking bullshit.

                      There where only one event here where the intent was to stop the democratic process through violence and threat of murder, which is sedition, insurrection and terrorism.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 5:07pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      And I would encourage all Democrats to show all Republicans the same amount of "but her emails" and "free speech" and "thoughts and prayers" that "own the libs" Republicans have been foisting on the rest of the world since Trump took power in 2016.

                      Seriously, your boy lost. Bigly. Even his toady Mitch can't be arsed to defend him anymore, and all you can do is whimper about how Biden is terrible. What's next? Is this the part where you claim you don't like Trump, didn't vote for Trump, and yet didn't do anything to stop the Biden presidency?

                      Maybe a month ago your antics would have been funny. Now your attempt to justify the Capitol raid feels like an annoyance at best, and completely spiteful at worst.

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                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 5:30pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Both peoples believe they have legitimate grievances with the government. Both groups protested.

                      No matter how many times you try to change the definitions 'stormed a capitol building, bludgeoned a cop to death, built a gallows to at the very least intimidate politicians who were in the final stage of confirming an elections' does not a 'protest' make. They were a pack of deranged insurrectionists attempting to overthrow and/or prevent an election's finalization because they'd been duped by a bunch of liars, not 'protesters', and your repeated attempts to frame them as such is just making you and the republicans look worse.

                      I would encourage all Republicans to accept the election outcome and the Biden Presidency with the same graciousness, the same tolerance, the same level of acceptance and unity that Democrats have shown President Trump and his electorate the past four years.

                      Sounds like business as usual for the republicans in office, what a huge change...

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 7:13am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        You mean like trying to destroy the Democrat HQ, breaking windows and spray painting the building, setting a flag on fire, and shouting we don't want Biden we want revenge, fuck Biden, and We are ungovernable?

                        But that's different? That's racial injustice? That ok?

                        That is every bid an attack on Democracy as what happened in Washington. Fuck you and fuck this blog.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 8:27am

                          Fuck you and fuck this blog.

                          Door’s to your left. 👋

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                            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 9:12am

                            Re:

                            Can't stand it can you? You know I'm right. You know it's the same thing, but you can't fucking say it. LOL. I'm looking forward to rubbing your face in it for the next 4 years.

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 9:27am

                              The joy you find in being cruel says more about you than I ever could.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:05am

                                Re:

                                I want to be perfectly clear. I'm going to enjoy the shit out of every bit of it. You guys have beat the shit out of the right for the last 4 years. Post after post, comment after comment, you guys have stood tall on your high horses and rained down the judgment.

                                Your guy is on the stand now, and he's a womanizing, plagiarizing, intellectually insecure gaff machine that I personally will take great glee in pointing out every chance I get. It's our turn now you fucking assholes.

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                                • icon
                                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:21am

                                  [Biden is] a womanizing, plagiarizing, intellectually insecure gaff machine

                                  So was his immediate predecessor — multiple times over and in far worse degrees.

                                  It's our turn now you fucking assholes.

                                  Revenge is self-destruction. May you seek self-growth instead.

                                  Feel free to criticize Biden. I know I will. (He already kinda backtracked on his promise for $2,000 stimulus checks, for starters.) But if you want to criticize him, do it for the sake of forcing him to keep his campaign promises. Doing it for the sake of “owning the libs” for at least the next two years (depending on how the midterms go) will destroy only you. The “libs” you want to destroy won’t care. They have more important things to do.

                                  Nothing is more time-consuming and more exhausting than having an enemy. To treat millions of people as your “enemies” for no reason other than they voted for Biden — regardless of why — is to strangle nobody’s soul but your own.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:42am

                                  Re: Re:

                                  Your guy is on the stand now, and he's a womanizing, plagiarizing, intellectually insecure gaff machine that I personally will take great glee in pointing out every chance I get.

                                  Again with the lack of self-awareness.

                                  Don't fret, though...trump can always hold a rally where you guys can collectively go to whine and share conspiracy theories with each other.

                                  Buck up little camper! It'll be OK.

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                                    identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 11:16am

                                    Re: Re: Re:

                                    Awww.. isn't that cute, a lib that can't form an argument, so instead, has to resort to Trump hating.

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                                    • icon
                                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 11:33am

                                      People who voted for the 45th president spent four years saying “cry more liberal tears”, “facts don’t care about your feelings“, and other empty phrases meant to distract from the fact that they had few answers (if any) for the criticisms leveled at that administration. You want “the libs” to get a taste of their own medicine — but did you consider that you’d get a taste of your own in return?

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                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 11:35am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      Well he is kind of a piece of shit, no?

                                      I mean he cheated on his 1st wife with #2.
                                      Cheated on #2 with #3 (a mail-order whore from Eastern Europe, no less).
                                      Cheated on #3 with a porn star after #3 graciously shat out his kid.
                                      Bankrupted a casino, for fucks sake.
                                      Speaks with the grace and swagger of a mildly autistic child.
                                      Was impeached not once, but twice.
                                      Lost the popular vote not once, but twice.
                                      Didn't build a wall, and pardoned one of the guys who used suckers' donations to live the good life.
                                      Couldn't get Mexico to send the check.
                                      Didn't lock anyone up (unless you count all of his cabinet/staff that ended up in prison).
                                      Lured his sucker fans to DC to storm the Capitol, and is now leaving them out to dry without a pardon.

                                      So yeah, I'm not seeing much to like. And I really don't see a need to "form an argument" with an obvious troll. But hey, just keep telling yourself that it's raining instead of a whole bunch of people pissing on your head.

                                      You have no idea how many people are laughing at you conservatives right now.

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                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 5:51pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      I don't need to resort to Trump-hating. Your QAnon boys can't even decide on what to do with him after the glorious revolution he promised didn't happen. I don't even need to make this up - this is what folks within your QAnon Telegram groups have been discussing amongst themselves. There is no "Q". There is no "plan". The fact is, Trump delivered jack all during his term, and finished it by throwing his Proud Boys under the bus after their Capitol stunt.

                                      I don't need to "hate Trump". I can evaluate him on his accomplishments during the time he held power. You being angry that people are realizing what a terrible job he's done is not something I'm going to lose sleep over.

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                                    • icon
                                      Toom1275 (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 9:08pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      [Projects facts not in evidence]

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 5:46pm

                                  Re: Re:

                                  I personally will take great glee in pointing out every chance I get. It's our turn now you fucking assholes.

                                  Because you were such the shining bastion of empathy and compassion before?

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                                  • icon
                                    That One Guy (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 6:02pm

                                    Only a day in office and already BDS victims are appearing...

                                    Now now, Biden Derangement Syndrome is a terrible thing to see, try to show at least a little compassion to such an obvious victim of the malady.

                                    (The same amount of compassion Trump cultists showed to those they accused of having Trump Derangement Syndrome should be about right.)

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                            • icon
                              techflaws (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:18am

                              Re: Re:

                              It's not and nobody gives a fuck what a pathetic moron like you keeps rubbing.

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                        • icon
                          techflaws (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:17am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Get lost already, asswipe.

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                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:23am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          You really don't like it when people call insurrectionist scum insurrectionists scum it would seem, but too damn bad, even assuming I believed your story(and given your source I see no reason to) the fact that one group might have done a different bad thing does not exonerate another group who did an even worse thing, and what the insurrectionists goons at the capitol did most certainly is far worse as property destruction to make your objections to a candidate in general clear is bad but it's almost harmles in comparison to breaking into a building, bludgeoning a cop to death in the process(and resulting in four casualties on top of that), during the last step to finalize a presidential election.

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                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:28am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            My popcorn is getting cold, but lets watch the video one more time....

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DVoaySRQ9o&feature=emb_logo

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                            • icon
                              That One Guy (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:51am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              It helps if you read my entire comment, as you'd have noticed that it in no way depended upon whether the event you're claiming happened actually happened since whether it did or not the goons that stormed capitol are still insurrectionist scum whose actions were still far worse than the event you're pointing to.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 5:32pm

                      Both peoples believe they have legitimate grievances with the government. Both groups protested.

                      Only one group went hunting for a politician to hang in front of a citadel of American democracy. Guess which one it was and you win a No-Prize!

                      Fuck you and your partisan bullshit.

                      I may be partisan as fuck, but at least I’m honest about it.

                      I should have known better than to come here.

                      Nobody forced you to come here and whine. Nobody is forcing you to stay and keep whining. Door’s to your left; don’t let it hit your ass on the way out.

                      I would encourage all Republicans to accept the election outcome and the Biden Presidency with the same graciousness, the same tolerance, the same level of acceptance and unity that Democrats have shown [the now-former 45th president] and his electorate the past four years.

                      Not for nothin’, but when Hillary Clinton lost, her supporters didn’t try to storm the Capitol and search for politicians to kill in an attempt to keep the election results from being validated by Congress.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 9:31pm

                        Re:

                        "Only one group went hunting for a politician to hang in front of a citadel of American democracy. Guess which one it was and you win a No-Prize!"

                        This is a lie (about the only one group). Or did you forget about Portland, where the "one group didn't" locked people inside a police building and SET IT ON FIRE, which is attempted murder?

                        "Not for nothin’, but when Hillary Clinton lost, her supporters didn’t try to storm the Capitol and search for politicians to kill in an attempt to keep the election results from being validated by Congress."

                        True, but the dems DID dispute the election results (in exactly the same process that had just gotten started in the house this time around) AND they spent the next 4 years completely disputing Trump's legitimacy as president and started calls for impeachment literally within minutes of his win. Literally, the same day (well, maybe "next day" as it was early morning by then). Hilary herself could hardly keep her mouth shut about it, constantly appearing on media to proclaim Trump "didn't really win" and she was robbed, etc. The media did a full Lugenpresse against Trump, proclaiming he was not a legitimate president and vilifying any and all conservatives, if they were Trump backers or not, as de facto racist, nazi, white supremacist facists. It was 24/7 nonstop with a complicit media across the board, fully partisan and biased.

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                        • icon
                          bhull242 (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 7:17pm

                          Re: Re:

                          True, but the dems DID dispute the election results (in exactly the same process that had just gotten started in the house this time around)

                          Incorrect. There were no court cases, no claiming of election or voter fraud, no attempt to overturn the electoral college vote, no attempt to have the legislatures appoint electors in contradiction to the results, nothing. There was also an immediate concession from Hillary. There were two faithless electors, but that was it.

                          AND they spent the next 4 years completely disputing Trump's legitimacy as president

                          Nope. He was legitimately the President. What was questioned (for less than four years) was whether he was complicit with Russia’s attempts to interfere with the election. While this would be a possibly impeachable offense, it doesn’t mean the election, and therefore Trump’s presidency, would also be illegitimate.

                          and started calls for impeachment literally within minutes of his win.

                          No, they didn’t. They did within a few months, but so did some Republicans.

                          Literally, the same day (well, maybe "next day" as it was early morning by then). Hilary herself could hardly keep her mouth shut about it, constantly appearing on media to proclaim Trump "didn't really win" and she was robbed, etc.

                          That part in quotes was not actually anything she ever said, nor she actually use the word “robbed”. She also stayed out of the spotlight for quite a while. Also, it’s worth noting she conceded the same day the election was called, well before her first post-election media appearance.

                          The media did a full Lugenpresse against Trump, proclaiming he was not a legitimate president and vilifying any and all conservatives, if they were Trump backers or not, as de facto racist, nazi, white supremacist facists.

                          Once again, that’s not what they said. They only vilified the ones who had power but failed to stand up to Trump at all as being accepting of racism and white supremacy, and they never said Trump was not a legitimate President.

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                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 1:34am

                          Re: Re:

                          "they spent the next 4 years completely disputing Trump's legitimacy as president"

                          Nop, they didn't. They spent 4 years pointing out that Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, and that the quirk of the EC that allowed him to gain office regardless would probably need looking at. But, the fact that Trump won, even if by unfair means, was always accepted.

                          "started calls for impeachment literally within minutes of his win"

                          No, you're thinking of Obama, who had claims that he should be impeached long before he was sworn in. Unless you have any specific example (credible ones by house members who would have standing to do anything, not some random Twitter post), Democrats at least waiting until he did something impeachable to start calling for action. It's a shame that he was so predictable that we all knew he would do multiple impeachable things, but that's a different issue.

                          "all conservatives, if they were Trump backers or not, as de facto racist, nazi, white supremacist facists"

                          No, they didn't, people only called the actual fascist white supremacists and Nazis those things. It's not our fault that Trump attracted so many of them.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:39am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I would encourage all Republicans to accept the election outcome and the Biden Presidency with the same graciousness, the same tolerance, the same level of acceptance and unity that Democrats have shown President Trump and his electorate the past four years.

                      You guys sure do take "lack of self-awareness" to a new level - I'll give you that.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 11:20am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I would encourage all Republicans to accept the election outcome and the Biden Presidency with the same graciousness, the same tolerance, the same level of acceptance and unity that Democrats have shown President Trump and his electorate the past four years.

                      Fuck your feelings.
                      He lost, get over it.
                      Cry harder, snowflake.
                      Awww, you triggered again?

                      Is that the "graciousness" you're concerned about?

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jan 2021 @ 7:59am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Both groups protested. You just don't like one of them so your justifying why one is legit, and the other is not."

                      Spoken like a man who doesn't see a reason worth protesting for when black people protest white supremacy and when actual confederates and nona fide nazis invade the national capital.

                      "Fuck you and your partisan bullshit."

                      In full agreement. Tolerance is a reciprocal process and your side has shown, all too clearly, that you guys can't tolerate anyone other than a white straight man who thinks exactly like you people do and when someone tells you to follow the actual rules you get your knickers in a twist, mount a gallows in front of the place where they're counting the openly accountable votes, beat a cop defending it to death, break in, and shit on the damn floor like the atavistic losers you are.

                      It's ironic for a movement so steeped in white "supremacy" that you call brown people lesser but haven't mastered the art of using a fucking toilet yourselves.

                      There's no diplomacy possible with the gormless fuckwits who'd stand up and cheer the god damn sturmabteilung. You people just need to be thrown out of every bar, tossed out of every social platform, and left stewing in the holes you build for yourselves to dwell in, away from everyone else.

                      Because no one owes you the tolerance you refuse to extend to others.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 5:27pm

                  They were angry and protesting, just like the Oregon protestors that broke into the federal building and tried to set it on fire.

                  Well, I know the Bundys and their allies weren’t exactly geniuses when it came to taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but I don’t think they tried to set that shit on fire, yo.

                  oh wait you meant—

                  No, but seriously, I know what you meant, and I’m not about to justify or condone that shit. I won’t go so far as to call them terrorists because their goal wasn’t to make politicians do something out of fear of further violence (and they didn’t try to kill people, so far as I know). Therein lies the difference between those rioters and the Capitol insurrectionists: The Portland rioters weren’t trying to take down American democracy.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 4:10pm

                Re:

                So the Portland protestors that were chanting "Kill a cop, save a life" were justified, but the Capitol protestors were terrorists? Fucking hypocrite. I'm starting to think that it's time to end the talk.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 4:12pm

                Re:

                .. and before you start calling ME a terrorist, I mean the conversation were having. Were just going to have to agree to disagree. This country is fucked.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 10:44pm

              There's ALWAYS justification for violence

              Go to Wikipedia and look up an armed conflict. Any armed conflict, whether in the Falkland Islands, the Gaza Strip, or even a land war in Asia.

              Every belligerent believes its own causes to go to war are righteous and the enemy has tricked itself. To the last.

              It was a terrible truth I discovered studying the Dolchstoßlegende in the aughts, trying to understand the global preponderance of antisemitism throughout the industrialized world circa 1900-1930. I figured there had to be some legitimate grievance. Nope, not one. (I mean there are a few valid critiques but none of them were part of the rhetoric used to sow and spread hatred of the Jewish peoples in the decades leading to the holocaust.)

              Likewise, the people of Germany were convinced their cause was righteous as they stormed into Poland in Fall Weis, beginning their long march to Moscow. And similarly the people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 were convinced beyond doubt they were patriots securing the presidency from usurpation by a defrauded electoral process. These same people are now crying on the internet, still begging their leader to use his power to save them, whether by pardon or to launch his secret ambush to retake the civic blocks in Washington. Some are trying to justify that maybe the coup d'etat has been delayed. Some are saying it's postponed until March 4th, 2021, and those in jail are just going to have to languish there until Trump rises again from the ashes.

              The horror of it (to me) is the agents of the United States who torture, or commission torture of alleged enemies of the US do so believing their cause is righteous and their cruelty is entirely justified and necessary. They don't see torture as useless for interrogation, that torture only allows remote officers and oligarchs to feel they're doing something to get at a distant adversary. And so it is done in the name of the United States.

              As it is for drone-strike teams and the commanders who appear to believe fifty civilian deaths for each person of interest is an acceptable casualty rate if it helps keep the United States secure from foreign terrorists.

              I suspect Anonymous Coward who isn't willing to regard (and may not be capable of processing) the compound evidence de-legitimizing the assault on the Capitol, nor comprehend the grievances that lead to the ongoing unrest regarding the death of George Floyd and pervasive brutality by Law Enforcement against US citizens. He is compelled not to look and dismiss it as bullshit. From my position Anonymous Coward is radicalized, but that's only on the presumption that my diligence tracking facts has been sufficient. There's a nonzero chance I'm the one fooled and radicalized. (I trust it's close to zero, though.)

              We are not as rational as we imagine ourselves to be, and even doctors and rocket scientists have been tricked to believing Trump is good for the United States and didn't just con his way into power to enrich himself and bolster his own pride. While many of them cling to MAGA and QAnon based on feels, we know that some of them are trained to be impartial and go where the facts lead...at least in their own field.

              It's a problem for which I don't have a solution, and in the meantime, we have to figure out how to simultaneously sustain a grasp on fact-based reality and deprogram those who cannot, and are faithful to the cause, before someone decides the only way to save the society is to massacre the dissenters.

              (Killing the dissenters pretty sure that was Stephen Miller's plan, whether or not Trump and company had also warmed up to it.)

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Jan 2021 @ 7:18am

              Re: Re: The antifa creed

              "You start justifying violence, don't be surprised when the other side does the same."

              Good point. Also irrelevant. Let's get back to the point where what you have to decide is what to do with the people who already do violence to you and to others.

              The guy who keeps throwing punches rather than arguments needs to be put down, not encouraged.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Jan 2021 @ 7:46am

        Re: Crying foul in 2016

        "We may be past civility."

        That has been true more or less since the civil war ended. The slaves were freed but the same people who refused to believe in equality for all then are still around. It's just that liberals have insisted on civility to the point where until now they've compromised away their core principles in favor of not rocking the boat. It was never possible to sit down with a racist and debate in good faith.
        The only ones who ever believed there was civility were white people who were never the preferred victims of the compromise they kept making. Which is why Malcolm X said that he feared the white well-intentioned liberal more than the nakedly aggressive klansman.

        "...The US might have proven Antifa's point that fascism is so great a threat we have to ignore human rights to put it down, or it will consume us..."

        No, not really. What will be required is simple enough. Don't enable and empower the nazi, racist or bigot. Leave them no seat at your table or in your circle of friends. Kick them out of your bar and from your social platform. Leave them no room where you gather. Don't compromise your core values in the hopes of civility where you can expect none. Tolerance is a part of the social contract which demands reciprocity. You are not obligated to tolerate those who would not extend the same right to others.

        "...But -- I've learned in the recent days -- I will not ever need to advocate for going to war to make things right: The fascists will gladly shoot first and empty their mags."

        That they will. There is some good fortune in that the 74 million americans so besotted with conspiracy theories and authoritarianism are so inept that even when they're riled enough to storm the national capitol and brand themselves domestic terrorists on camera they are utterly unable to connect to factual reality for long enough to do significant harm of the magnitude you could expect from terrorist groups bred outside of entitled echo chambers. If Hamas or IS had organized a similar shindig, with the same advantages and manpower, the capitol would be a smoking ruin and every member of congress and senate on the target list would be dead.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 6:53pm

      Re:

      Masnick had to make his own site because no one else wants him. He is a pompous ass who poorly argues every point he makes.

      The things he criticizes here are as old as time. Partisan politics is not only not new, but it is incredibly strong. Before the election, Rasmussen asked likely voters "Who is America's biggest enemy as 2020 draws to a close - Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Trump voters or Biden voters?" China was 24%. Biden voters also 24% and Trump voters 22%. Almost half of Americans see other Americans as the biggest enemy.

      This is a problem of the media, social media, and politics. Too bad no one seems to give a shit and everyone keeps pushing things towards the brink.

      https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/november_2020/voter s_see_each_other_as_america_s_enemy

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:23pm

        Masnick had to make his own site

        Masnick made his own site twenty four years ago.

        I'm pretty sure that makes him established.

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      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:31pm

        Re: Re:

        He is a pompous ass who poorly argues every point he makes.

        [Projects facts not in evidence]

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 12:51am

        Re: Re:

        "Rasmussen"

        Why is it that when you guys pick a source for something, you always manage to pick the most well known, most openly biased and least reliable sources? Why, it's almost as if you pick them based on their bias rather than looking for reliably factual sources...

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      • icon
        techflaws (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        He is a pompous ass who poorly argues every point he makes.

        You can always recognize a dimwitted conservative by his projections. Well done.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re:

        Masnick had to make his own site because no one else wants him.

        You would think if it's such a trivial thing, conservatives wouldn't have lost their collective shit when AWS told Parler to go fuck a goat.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 1:46pm

    I read the crazy qanon folk are active in germany, I wonder from where do they get their financing.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:16pm

    Make the term "news" for a broadcast a legally-binding term like Champagne that must come from Champagne in France.

    That way Fox news's claims about COVID being caused by 5G, and sneakily supporting the "bill gates injects people with microchips" nonsense would be illegal as they're made up wholesale bullshit.

    Hell if Fox news told me it was snowing, I'd have to Google to make sure Snow was an actual thing and not "evil coldness spawned by Joe Biden's Satantic spell casting"

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 3:29pm

    BULLSHIT!

    "That book also highlights how, while "left-wing" media has its own fair share of wacky conspiracy theories, they don't spread to nearly the same degree,"

    BULL
    FUCKING
    SHIT!

    Rachael Maddow spent YEARS going "Russia, Russia, Russia!" even going so far as to go "Russia will turn off the power in Fargo, North Dakota"

    If you can't get THAT part right Mike "I'm-in-favor-of-fascism" Mansick, then the rest of your article is full of bullshit as well.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 5:35pm

      I can demolish your entire argument in a single word. Wanna know what it is?

      QAnon.

      You show me any left-wing conspiracy theory with as much mainstream penetration, news coverage, and associated violent activity as that one, and you’ll have a point. Until then? You have only insults — and if that’s all you have, you have nothing.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2021 @ 6:40pm

        Re:

        A 2018 yougov poll found that 66% of people who identified as democrats believed that Russia altered vote tallies to give the election to Trump. That is a strong majority. This is not something that people came up with all on their own.

        https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2018/03/09/russias-impact-election-se en-through-partisan-eyes

        The Putin controls Trump conspiracy still exists today. Clinton, former secretary of state, implied that capitol rioting was the work of Putin.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:15pm

          Putin controls Trump

          Putin has been rather antagonistic to the US, including a recent hack of federal assets that looks to investigators to have footprints of the SVR.

          Do you have an opinion regarding whether Putin has leverage on Trump?

          Do you have any evidence regarding whether Putin controls Trump?

          I don't.

          The limited evidence we have suggests that Trump is extremely resistant to offending Putin or Russia, and he's been engaged with Russian oligarchs since long before his presidency. That's not conducive to giving him the benefit of doubt.

          Are your opinions different, Anonymous Coward? Why do you bring it up?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 2:06am

          A 2018 yougov poll found that 66% of people who identified as democrats believed that Russia altered vote tallies [in 2016]. That is a strong majority.

          Exactly how much play did that theory get in left-wing media? And how often did centrist/“mainstream” media report on that theory and treat it as fact?

          This is not something that people came up with all on their own.

          Actually, it is. Anyone can take a kernel of truth (“Russia interfered with the 2016 election through disinformation campaigns”), whittle it down to a base element (“Russia interfered with the election”), and take it in a different, less factual direction (“Russia interfered by changing vote tallies”) based on nothing but their own biases. I mean, it’s not as if 9/11 truthers relied on Fox News (or MSNBC) to tell them “the Pentagon was hit by a missle, not a plane”.

          (Before you ask: Yes, Russia interfered with the 2016 election through disinformation campaigns. I’ve seen no proof that it managed to change vote tallies, which makes that theory a bunch of horseshit.)

          The Putin controls [the 45th president] conspiracy still exists today.

          Consider The Following:

          1. Russia interfered with the 2016 election.

          2. Its favored candidate won the 2016 election.

          3. The 45th president showed more favor and affection to Russia (and Vladimir Putin specifically) than he did to international allies.

          4. Russia was able to get away with stuff a competent president would’ve at least tried to stop before the fact and chided Russia for doing after the fact.

          Conclusion: It ain’t hard to figure out why people think Russia controlled the 45th U.S. president, given that he damn near gave them proof every time he fawned over Vladimir Putin the way some people fawn over Instagram models.

          Clinton, former secretary of state, implied that capitol rioting was the work of Putin.

          [citation needed]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:32am

            'If you want to argue that your Dear Leader was just stupid...'

            Conclusion: It ain’t hard to figure out why people think Russia controlled the 45th U.S. president, given that he damn near gave them proof every time he fawned over Vladimir Putin the way some people fawn over Instagram models.

            Given the alternative would seem to be that while Putin didn't control Trump he was able to easily manipulate him and get a foreign head of state to dance like a puppet for him 'Putin had leverage against Trump and that's how he controlled him' would seem to be another of those 'Giving Trump cultists the benefit of the doubt' scenarios.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jan 2021 @ 7:21pm

      Russia

      Russian influence on the 2016 election and leverage on President Trump himself hasn't been ruled out, you know.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:22am

      Re: BULLSHIT!

      Rachael Maddow spent YEARS going "Russia, Russia, Russia!" even
      going so far as to go "Russia will turn off the power in Fargo,
      North Dakota"

      [citation needed]

      And keep those capitals coming to prove your point, dimwit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:45am

    There is no quick/easy solution, hardly ever is.

    To draw an analogy, with good eating practises - there is no diet to fix things and then get back to normal, it requires a change to your way of living. You can not pretend to loose weight when in fact you are gaining and then get mad at everyone for pointing it out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Dindayal Aushadhi (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:53am

    Informative

    Very Informative article this helps me so much about news

    https://dindayalaushadhi.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 21 Jan 2021 @ 10:20am

    Since the pathetic lying assclowns are out in full force again trying to peddle their false equivalence schticks, here's some context regarding the media:

    https://weeklysift.com/2018/11/26/the-media-isnt-polarized-it-has-a-right-wing-cancer/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dickeyrat, 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:04pm

    As much as I despise Trump, I recognize one must still maintain some semblance of truth-driven objectivity. Many love to point fingers at Fox News, and rightfully so in the cases of idiotic fascists such as Hannity and Lou Dobbs. Maria whats-her-name is also a fine example of a blatherer who only sees Trump's ass to smother in kisses. But we must recognize the plurality of dissenting voices on Fox, such as the departed Shepard Smith, and the late-lamented Alan Colmes, who found a cushy comfortable home at Fox, despite his liberal leanings. And if we're hunting down odoriferous extreme fanatical reich-wing media, we certainly have OANN as a deserving target--as well as Salem Media, masquerading as a "Christian" concern, while giving a home to "Dr." Sebastian Gorka and other rabid extremists such as Dennis Prager and wunderkind Charlie Kirk, usually waxing much further to the right than Fox, in general (Hannity notwithstanding). And then you have fine "Christian", arguably tax-exempt entities such as Relevant Radio, which sports a nationwide network of "Catholic" outlets, with a presence in most major Amerikan cities--and featuring plenty of right-sympathetic and apologist (no pun intended) opinion, lurking under the guise of mainstream theology. Sure, Fox has plenty of its own offensice characteristics, but let's give credit where credit is due, even if it's grudging in nature.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      dickeyrat, 21 Jan 2021 @ 1:10pm

      Re:

      I must not neglect to point out that the aforementioned Salem organization has gleefully reached out to fascist coup enthusiast Josh Hawley, to publish his book which was rejected by Simon & Schuster following his antics in the Senate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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