Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Franistan Technique

When I was a kid, my very un-mechanical father used to pretend to diagnose car problems by saying with great authority: "It needs the franistan adjusted."

It was years before I realized that there really isn't any such thing as a franistan. In a car engine or anywhere else.

But I was reminded of how easy it can be to fool someone with totally made-up shit if you declare it authoritatively enough by this latest example from Faux:

Heather at Crooks and Liars:

Here's more from Media Matters on Fox's ridiculous attacks on Kagan -- Fox Cites Non-Existent Part Of The Constitution To Hype Argument For Kagan Recusal:

For the second day in a row, Fox's "straight news" division has hyped the claim that U.S Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the case involving the constitutionality of a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Fox pointed to an email Kagan sent to then-Justice Department adviser Laurence Tribe on the day the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Care Act in which Kagan said, "I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing."

Legal ethicists have thrown cold water on the argument that Kagan needs to recuse herself over that email. But Fox seems to have an argument that the legal ethicists haven't thought of: Fox national correspondent Steve Centanni said Kagan's recusal may be required by "Article 28 of the Constitution." Fox's graphics department provided the relevant quote from the "U.S. Constitution, Article 28, Sec. 144":

Three glaring problems with this argument: The Constitution has no Article 28, has no Section 144, and does not contain the language quoted.

The Constitution actually contains seven articles, none of which have more than 10 sections. It also has 27 amendments, none of which contain anywhere near 144 sections.

The language Fox quoted from actually comes from a statute passed by Congress, Title 28 of the U.S. Code, Section 455. But that's the very statute legal ethicists have analyzed in finding that Kagan does not need to recuse herself because of the email.

My father took advantage of the fact that preschoolers don't know much about cars to create a family joke. He knew there was no such thing as a franistan.

And Faux knows there is no article 28 in the Constitution. They're eager to take advantage of the fact that their reality-starved viewers don't know much about the Constitution. They don't know much that is factual, that is - just the lies Faux spins for them.


Ten Bears said...

Which is why I carry a copy of The Constitution of The United States in my pocket... along with a copy of Sun Tzu's Art of War.

Guess that makes me a "domestic terrorist".

ploeg said...

Do we really need to choose between Fox being liars and Fox being stupid? Can't they be stupid liars?

c u n d gulag said...

I'm surprised the even cited the Constitution!

It's too French for FOX.
'Oui the people...'