I Got Accused of Being a Hypocrite…
It’s true, I got accused of being a hypocrite the other day and, for a second, it stopped in my tracks. It’s important to do some self-reflection from time to time. And this person, though wrong, made a good point. Their question and my eventual response I think are worth sharing because we all should step back from time to time and ask ourselves the same question.
I was on a rant about constant barrage of republican fuckery. Two things they had done and said had set me off. First, the absolute bullshit of the attack on Planned Parenthood by republicans and more specifically the bullshit lies told by U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz during his questioning of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. The other thing I was on a rant about was the republican gun nuts after the tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College. Their hypocritical bullshit and stupidity is absolutely offensive.
It was a really good rant, I was nailing it! I was rightfully outraged by all the hypocrisy and obvious bullshit being told to the public by the conservative right. And, then I as a took a breath I was interrupted with a really good observation. This person said, “Look I agree with you but how do you know you’re not being as closed minded as the republicans you’re attacking?”
I asked what he meant by that because the things I was upset about were their complete denial and misrepresentation of the facts. Rep. Chaffetz was misleading the public with his questioning. He did in fact lie. This has nothing to do with a difference of opinion. It is fact, fact and opinion are two very different things, I was expressing my anger at the facts on both topics. However, he better clarified the question by explaining, “How do you know you’re facts are correct. How can you be so sure that what you know is actually the truth.” It was a very good point. And, it’s something I have actually addressed before in various rants on this very site and on Facebook.
Here’s the thing, before I go on a public rant I do something not a lot of people seem to do on both sides of the political spectrum, I fact check before I speak. I am not saying that I am without flaw. I am not perfect but when it comes to a public rant, I fact check. I don’t just spew bullshit. Yes, I offer up at times very strong and harsh opinions. But, they are always checked for facts. I do my very best to never lie or mislead in my rants. And, if I am made away that something I said was not true, I will correct it and I will admit it.
However, that doesn’t answer the question he posed. The real question is “How do I know what I am claiming to be ‘facts’ are indeed facts.” I trust in my facts because I verify the things I say. When fact checking, I verify my sources and then I verify those sources to the best of my ability. But, how do I know my sources are correct? What is it that I am doing different than say my crazy republican family friend George? The simple answer, I use multiple, varied sources.
It’s like this, in general, I watch all kinds of different news. I get my information on all kinds of things from multiple sources. For example, my friend, George has pretty much one source of news, FOX News. He has flat out said it’s the only news he watches. However, it’s not the only news he pays attention to. He follows every single bat shit crazy right wing page on Facebook. He constantly emails, anyone that will listen, with every bullshit conservative meme and opinion that finds. Sadly, every single one can be proven to be either misleading or flat out lies with a simple fact check. But, he refuses to do so. He’s convinced all media is criminally biased except for FOX News, they truly are fair and balanced in his opinion. If it’s not FOX News, it can’t be trusted. He actually believes this. And, that right there is what makes me different from George.
I know just about all media is biased. It’s almost impossible to observe something and convey that observation without inadvertently changing what was seen or heard. Sometimes in the case of FOX News, that information is willfully changed regardless of the facts to promote an agenda. Truth be dammed. And, when caught doing it, their fall back excuse is, “We’re not News, we’re pundits expressing opinions.” So, that makes it okay in their eyes to flat out lie.
Of course there are many other “News” outlets that are biased. MSNBC is one of them. Very liberal bias. But, there’s a difference between having a bias towards one view or another and actually manipulating the truth to make a point. I have yet to see MSNBC get caught in a lie that they failed to correct. Biased, yes, flat liars, no.
Continuing, I don’t just get my news from MSNBC. I watch and read from a variety of sources. Yes, I watch MSNBC, I also watch ABC News, CBS, Al Jazeera, BBC, legitimate science blogs, NASA, Psychology today, Astronomy (my favorite magazine subscription) and the list goes on and on. You cannot call yourself an informed person and trust only one news source and only one point of view. It takes many to get the full picture.
This is what separates me from a person like George. Add that to my own life experiences and I have pretty good built in bullshit detector. As I have said, this doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes. There isn’t anyone out there that doesn’t make mistakes. What separates me from people like George is that I make an honest attempt not to lie about the things I am saying in order to make a point.
I read and or watch all those above news sources and I still don’t know everything. You can’t know everything. What you can do, is try. This is what pisses me off when it comes to idiots like George. He makes no effort to learn. He is being told lies and misleading information and makes no attempt to fact check them and he thinks liberals are dumb.
How do I know he doesn’t fact check or do any research? He’s told me that he doesn’t. Years ago, when I still talked to him, he was emailing me daily with newfound conservative cult views. I started calling him out on it. I started pointing out the fact from fiction. He kept not responding to what I was saying in my responses. He would just come back at me with yet another question to which it became clear he was never going to read my actual response. I called him on that too,
I asked him, “Did you actually read the article you quoted to me to in your last email?” I asked him this because the actual article he was quoted, agreed with my point point of view and had he read it, he would have known that. I knew the article he quoted actually agreed with me, because I took time to read it. I also asked him, “Did you actually read my full response?” His answer to both were, “No.”
This is how can you tell if someone is full of shit or not. And, I don’t care if you’re a liberal or a conservative. You cannot trust your source if all you listen to is one news source that is told from one single ideological viewpoint. In fact, I can make my point with an image. At first glance, this image shows a girl with her hand between another girls legs.
Now imagine the media or some politician trying to make a point about about teen sex or wild teen parties. Something along those grounds and their evidence being this picture. If they flashed it up on the screen you’re going to think it’s a photo of a girl with her hand between another girls legs. You’re going to be shocked and you’re not going to have any reason to disbelieve the media source or politician.
But, if you actually, take a deeper look at the photo, it’s not what it appears to be. It’s an unintentional optical illusion. It’s all quite innocent, well the photo is innocent, what was said about it, was not. This is exactly what FOX News does so well. The are getting good people that usually aren’t very bright to begin with and making them, angry, frustrated and paranoid about a whole lot of things that really aren’t true at all.
I learned the hard way to check my facts. I never really became political online until those long email sessions with George. Reading all his bullshit and taking the time to read what he had to say, to look it up the articles he was quoting and then researching them myself made me realize there are some tragically blind and stupid people out there. So I started following some liberal sites. I am not democrat, I am not a liberal. But, right now, they are the only ones at least making an effort to better this world that we live in.
Right now, conservative care about two things, the unborn and making sure this country follows a set of Christian values and that terrifies me. This country came into existence because our ancestors wanted nothing to with the England’s government that was being controlled by Christian beliefs. I know my history, and as far back as you go, there has always been Christian fuckery from the Crusades to the Salem Witch Trials, you cannot trust a political entity that gets it’s morals from any religion.
But, I digress. My point is that thanks to republican fuckery I learned the necessity of gathering information through a variety of varied news sources and ideologies. But, it was actually through some liberal fuckery that I learned the importance of fact checking everything before I repost it. Yes, I said it, there is some liberal fuckery out there. Not the principals for which it is based upon, but sometimes, the propaganda used is every bit as full of shit as that of it’s opposing party.
I have found several liberal type memes that are completely full of shit when it comes to the facts they claim. I recall one instance, a liberal Facebook page had posted a meme with Pat Tillman on one side and George Bush Sr. on the other side. On the Bush side it quoted Bush as saying that atheists shouldn’t even be allowed to be U.S. citizens because their patriotism is in question. On the other side is Pat Tillman, a man who gave up his career in football to go fight in the war against terrorism after the attacks of 9/11. He was killed in action in Afghanistan. He died a war hero in service to his country.
The meme is very inflammatory. The problem is that there is no verifiable proof that what Papa Bush said had ever happened. I had reposted this meme on my Facebook page because I trusted the liberal source from which it came. Turns out, they didn’t fact check it either. It more than likely never happened. After researching the quote, it turns that the Bush administration absolutely denies that he ever said such a thing. Doesn’t mean he didn’t say it and I certainly will never trust the word of Bush, or Bush Jr. or Jeb but it gave me pause. How could he deny it? It wouldn’t be quoted if there wasn’t a record of him saying. So I kept looking.
Seems the quote was attributed to a liberal biased “journalist” who claims that Bush said it in crowd at a speech he had given. The problem with this is that no one else on the face of the planet backs this bloggers quote. It’s not in the transcripts, no other reporter heard it. Hundreds of people there, no one else heard it at all. Now, it doesn’t mean he didn’t say it. But, the overwhelming evidence suggests that he did not. And, if you’re going to make a point about something, you need hard evidence. If you don’t have it, keep your mouth shout and don’t muddy the waters. It’s that type of reporting that makes FOX News and those who follow them so frightening pathetic.
After posting that meme, I learned first hand that you have got to check your sources. Just because in ideology you agree with a source doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of presenting inaccurate facts. And, nothing makes you look more incompetent then making bold claims and then having the very side you’re fighting against be able to simply discredit you with actual facts. Sure the current republican party is going to try and discredit you with lies and bullshit regardless of the facts, that’s inevitable. However, what you cannot, ever, let happen is to have them actually be able to discredit you with the truth simply because you were too lazy to fact check something you let come out of your mouth.