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TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011
Where does disinformation come from/mainstream “press corps” edition: How do we the people end up believing ridiculous things—things which simply aren’t so?
Consider the ongoing conduct of America’s leading buffoon, Donald Trump. Consider the disgraceful behavior of his helpmate, Greta van Susteren.
Beyond that, consider the conduct of MSNBC’s Willie Geist (Way Too Willie). Consider the whole darn gang over at Morning Joe.
Consider too the ongoing conduct of the entire mainstream press! You must consider all these players to understand the way disinformation gets spread.
Last night, van Susteren enabled The Donald again, deceiving two million viewers in the process. The slimy Fox News star interviewed this leading buffoon once again. Once again, she let his ludicrous statements go unchallenged. This was the opening sampler:
VAN SUSTEREN (3/28/11): You are stirring up so much trouble! Every time I turn on the TV, on The View or other places, you are demanding a birth certificate from the president. Why aren't you satisfied he was born in the United States?
TRUMP: The fact is, they asked me the question. I said I want to see his birth certificate. It's very simple. Somebody asked today, Can I see your birth certificate? I had it in my hands in less than an hour. People that are born in this country have birth certificates. So I want to see his birth certificate.
I mentioned that on The View. Whoopi, who is a friend of mine, I did a movie cameo for her—Whoopi said if that were a white man you wouldn't be asking that question. I said, What does this have to do with race? It has absolutely nothing to do with race.
The fact is, if you look at what has happened, with respect to this birth certificate issue, he doesn't have it! He spent millions of dollars on lawyers trying to get out of the issue. They get what is called a certificate of live birth which doesn't have a signature on it and anybody can get a certificate of live birth. It has nothing to do with a birth certificate. And they are really reeling.
The lunacy went on from there, with Trump getting even stupider. The feathered developer even offered idiotic remarks about the notice of Obama’s birth in the Honolulu newspaper—which he of course described as “the so-called newspaper article.”
Truly, you can’t be a bigger buffoon. But so what? Eventually, Trump ran out of breath—and here’s what van Susteren offered:
VAN SUSTEREN: Here's my thought. First of all, I don't know about the article, whether he had to pay for the article or not. As for the birth certificate, frankly, I haven't seen mine in years. I have a passport and the president has a passport, having traveled at one time, I had to surrender a birth certificate. And so I suspect that when he got his passport he had to provide a valid birth certificate.
And the other thing too, this is the most incredible—this doesn't hurt the Democratic Party. This is how they are raising funds. Using all this controversy to say, Please send money because the Republican are going after him about his birth certificate.
Once again, van Susteren never let her viewers hear the actual facts of this case—the facts which appeared in a New York Post editorial way back in 2009. In the New York Post, for God’s sake—Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid!
NEW YORK POST EDITORIAL (8/2/09): As the birthers have it, the publicly released "certification of live birth" from the state of Hawaii is not an official document—because Obama, they say, actually was born in Kenya.
But the document in question has been legally certified by Hawaii officials—including the Aloha State's Republican governor, Linda Lingle—as being confirmed by birth records in the state archives.
Moreover, that document is all that is legally required by the State Department as proof of US citizenship for issuance of a passport.
Besides which, announcements published in 1961 in both of Honolulu's daily newspapers confirm the birth of "a son" to "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama," living at the correct address.
In other words, if a conspiracy really does exist to cover up Barack Obama's "foreign" birth, it all began nearly half a century ago.
That was Murdoch’s New York Post, in an editorial headlined THE ‘BIRTHER’ DELUSION. Last night, van Susteren again agreed to keep her viewers from hearing those highlighted facts.
Van Susteren is thoroughly capable; everybody knows this. Obviously, she knows and understands the facts contained in that old editorial. She is simply agreeing to hush them up, letting her ludicrous guest have his run and deceiving her millions of viewers.
In a rational world, she’d have to go—today. But consider the world you live in:
This nonsense by Trump has gone on for a week. The “mainstream press corps” is letting him do it—and they’re also letting van Susteren play this slimy game. Trump is a major citizen of New York (and the world)—but no editorial has appeared in the New York Times denouncing his current conduct. Nor has the Washington Post managed to offer a word of complaint. Even worse, Dan Balz described Trump’s conduct in Sunday’s Post—but he too failed to include the basic background facts.
Balz repeated the things Trump has said. He provided no factual context. Reading Balz, an average person would think that Obama has refused “to show people his birth certificate.”
On Way Too Willie, Geist keeps playing tape of Trump’s rants—without explaining the background facts. On Morning Joe, the gang tends to roll its eyes at this public buffoon—but they too play The Donald’s rants without supplying the info. (Most likely, they wouldn’t know how.)
Many liberals like to ridicule average people who believe such claptrap. But at this point, why wouldn’t a slightly gullible average person start thinking that something is wrong here? Trump has been parading for a week—and no one is willing to call him out. Beyond that, no one has challenged van Susteren’s loathsome conduct.
Most likely, no one will. Darlings, it just isn’t done!
Consider events of the past week. If you are a slightly gullible conservative voter, you have seen Barbara Walters fail to state the relevant facts in the face of Trump’s blather. You’ve seen Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg fumble, thrash, stammer and fail—and it was Behar who raised this topic with Trump. You’ve seen van Susteren give Trump his full piddle-run, without a hint of real correction. If you scan the mainstream press, you see no corrections there.
If similar ways, gullible liberals can sometimes get conned if they now watch Our One True Channel. But in the case of Trump’s ongoing rants, tell us why those voters are dumb? Why isn’t everyone else at fault, starting with names like Kristof and Brooks? Starting with the editorial board at the who-gives-a-fig New York Times?
Oh by the way: Over the past several decades, similar disinformation has been spread about every major policy area, with little complaint or competent correction from the career liberal world or from the mainstream press.
People hear disinformation all the time. Our greatest heroes tend to sit and stare. You might say we do a van Susteren.
In the past week, van Susteren has kept disinforming her viewers. At the lofty New York Times, the board keeps refusing to care.