Trump, Carson and Pavlov’s Dog
I need to start with a bit of “Reality 101” here: Celine Dion sang a tribute to France on the American Music Awards Sunday Night. And she was unmistakably, painfully, blatantly flat. I mean, the Grateful Dead sound like they have perfect pitch next to what was a sonically painful, make-you-wince performance.
And not only was this NOT mentioned in any major news story I could find on Google, but the few commenters so foolish as to point it out were NEGATED, belittled and dismissed for their foolish assertion that the “moving” performance that “brought the audience to tears” was NOT the iconic musical performance that everyone was touting.
They WANTED “moving tribute” to be true, ergo, it WAS true, no matter how many traumatized dogs and cats were found in the vicinity of the Microsoft Theater, shivering and cowering in dumpsters still trying to get over the caterwauling assault on their sensitive ears. I wanted to pick Ms. Dion up, and twist her ear until her voice moved up the few microtones necessary to be in TUNE.
The outcome of hate: this meme was
circulating anonymously on Facebook today
But, all and sundry decided to collectively (where we crucify celebrities for flubbing the national anthem at sporting events) just pretend that it DIDN’T happen, that the tears in the eyes of the musicians came from epiphanic comradeship with France and not because their eardrums wanted to leap from their ears and hide in the closest available soundproof space. Nothing to hear here, move along move along. And neither did the press and the music press deem this shrieking flatness worthy of mention. Warm and fuzzy is warm and fuzzy even if it’s razor wire we’re embracing.
What does this have to do with our story?
Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch:
Trump Campaign: Media Conspiracy Suppressing 9/11 Celebration Footage
In an interview today with Breitbart News, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski defended his candidate’s bogus claim that he saw on TV “thousands and thousands” of Muslim Americans in New Jersey holding celebrations on 9/11 to applaud the attacks.
No footage or reports of such an event exist, and initial press reports about small “rooftop celebrations” were later declared to be “unfounded.”
Most commentators and media talking heads — and Facebook NON Trump fans — have contented themselves with the notion that Ben Carson and Donald Trump are crazy and making stuff up. This is a profound error on their part: this is a chance to really understand something fundamental, unspoken and profound about how American politics and media works these daze (sic). Let us be smart enough to avail ourselves of the opportunity.
If you grandmother was on AOL, or had a friend who forwarded lots of stuff, she undoubtedly got one of dozens of post-911 hate memes. These proliferated from coast to coast, and I was not aware of how widespread they had become until I received what turned out to be the famous NOT story in the Bakersfield newspaper about the Arabs celebrating 911 in their convenience store, and the Budweiser driver and then all the other drink and soda drivers boycotted the hateful America haters thereafter and they were forced to return to their dingy hovels in Youbetchastan or somesuch.
Origins: The story reproduced above is wholly fallacious, just one of many similar snippets of gossip aired about a number of commercial entities, both large and small, after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. in 2001. […]
Large chains aren’t the only commercial entities tarred with this undeserved brush; numerous small firms had versions of the same slander applied to them. According to breathless rumor spread willy-nilly, Arabs have been caught in the act of celebrating the strike against the twin towers and the Pentagon in bagel shops, restaurants, stores, and coffee houses — anywhere customers could conceivably have witnessed such outpourings. False rumors like these run on very fast legs indeed, and spontaneous boycotts sprang up in their wake. These boycotts have done irreparable harm to the many innocent businesses swept up by this wave of misinformation….
It also links, importantly to many of the variations on that letter from different regions. Rather than look for the smoking gun , let’s understand the mechanism, which no reporter seems to have remembered:
As I go into some detail in Reality 101 — Political Self Defense for Progressives* one of the flaws in our human operating system is that we tend to give what we READ and what we SEE ON TV the same level of “fact” that we give to a brick on our head.
Which is why it is not surprising that something read in those parlous times would assume the same level of “fact” that personally witnessing it would.
And we couple that with the VERY COMMON Brian Williams Syndrome — the natural bent of each and every one of us to ‘fudge’ our memories into the most flattering light, which all nostalgia preys on, which is why “Happy Days” could take place in the 1950s while shooting in the 1970s without ever once worrying about Emmitt Till or Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy and his ism, or Estes Kefauver and J. Frederick Wertham’s war against comic books. To NOT lie to yourself is one of the hardest things there is to do in life.
So, to Donald Trump and Ben Carson, those memes that came on their AOL “You’ve Got Mail!” are indelibly etched as “facts” and even remembered as larger than they were, e.g. Trump claiming “thousands” of New Jersey Arab/Muslims (the haters are never really clear on that, just as they are never clear on Latino/Illegal Immigrant, of whom, the latter are actually more than half are Northern European.)
Nick Gass / Politico:
Carson blames the media for 9/11 mistake
Ben Carson continued to walk back his assertion on Monday night that, like Donald Trump, he also saw video footage of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11, blaming the media in the process for having “an agenda.”
“Well what we were talking about was the reaction of Muslims after the 9/11 attack, and if they were in a celebratory mood,” the retired neurosurgeon and current Republican candidate told Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” “And you know, I was really focusing on that it was an inappropriate thing to do, no matter where they were. They asked me: Did I see the film? I did see the film. I don’t know where they were, but I did see a film of Muslims celebrating. And I was making the point that it was inappropriate.” […]
It isn’t true, but that feeds into the toxic brew, as the right wing blogosmear and the yak yak attack point out that this failure of the MAINSTREAM LIBERAL MEDIA is yet another proof that they cannot be trusted to find those facts that exist within the bubble: global warming is a myth, evolution is satanic, the IRS and Justice Department have covered up a scandal in which no one was harmed, etc. etc. etc.
The weakness of this creation of false planks of reality is that, ultimately, someone is going to have to take those stairs, and when they come to one of the imaginary steps (which are considered just as real as Trump and Carson remembering all them MOOslems cheering Nine ‘Lebbin) they’re going to go right through the stair and break their wretched neck.
History is as much a testament to the bad end of those incapable of grasping the reality of their situation as it is a chronicle of red ant/black ant wars.
So, in the news, we see two “legitimate” candidates for the presidency of the United States of America, proudly standing on the facts manufactured for them by misplaced hatred in the days and years following Nine ‘Lebbin.
And the fact checkers find that it’s NOT a fact, but no one notices WHERE the fake fact was found and founded.
This would seem rather important in the “national conversation” n’est çe pas?
It turns out that all kinds of facts on grannie’s spam chain were far more widely circulated than we have been willing to admit. That a false narrative has promulgated itself so broadly that both Carson and Trump both “know” it as “factual” without really running in any of the same political and social circles. Now, multiply that DOWN the pyramid of A-list through Omega-list celebrities.
The tyrannosaurus skeleton has been clearly exposed on the roadcut by the weather. Let’s recognize it for what it is, instead of wondering how those tree branches ended up making that interesting outline in the mudstone.
Yet every major talking head and shaggy TV yakker fluffs their mane and pronounces this sudden finding of non-fact ridiculous and fulfills Santayana’s famed curse and life preserver for those needing a quote to round out their screed.
So, much as I hate the notion of defending either Trump or Carson, they are not the source of the mendacity or persiflage. They merely dutifully repeat the “facts” that they were once told within the spamosphere of crazy letters that your grandma used to forward to your mom.
THIS is the outcome of creating fake facts.
And it is painfully apparent as was the flatness of Celine Dion.
Will it receive the same “invisibility” magic from the collective attention?
We had all instinctively understood that “The Emperor’s New Clothes” was a metaphor for the human condition, Who knew that it was actually literally true, too?
Right Music Award Tribute reporters?
All that glitters is not gold, just as all that twitters is not trolled.