Tuesday, May 09, 2017


I think it's reasonable to assume that CNN hired Chris Cillizza in large part because because his Washington Post writings annoyed so many of us on the left. We hate-follow his career, the way we hate-follow the career of simpering Trump sycophant Jeffrey Lord, and CNN thinks that's good for ratings -- we pay attention, the right pays attention because anyone who pisses us off must be worth following, and Jeff Zucker laughs all the way to the bank.

So I probably shouldn't be doing CNN the favor of linking to Cillizza's latest bit of left-baiting, but here goes. Cillizza thinks we on the left are becoming tinfoil-hatted crazies because we believe what we're told by ... um, professional journalists:
Donald Trump is turning liberals into conspiracy theorists

Much has been written about how President Trump's election has had a profound impact on the Republican party. What's drawn less attention -- but deserves more! -- is how Trump is affecting Democrats.

... Trump's presidency has convinced liberals that every bad thing whispered about any Republican is, by default, true. Consider that in the last week alone, liberal outrage has been sparked on (at least) four occasions by alleged incidents that simply aren't accurate.

1. There was no health care vote beer celebration

As the House was voting on the American Health Care Act, Vice News's Alexandra Jaffe spotted cases of beer being brought into the Capitol. She tweeted about it:

That tweet became the basis of an outrage campaign among liberals. This headline, from Mic, is indicative of the early coverage: "Republicans celebrated taking away Americans' health insurance with cases of beer." (Mic has since changed the headline to: "Reports of beer delivery to GOP health care celebration called into question.")
The punchline here is that Jaffe subsequently tweeted, "Here are the beers. Asked if they were going to a GOP conference meeting & he said 'no, different meeting,' no further details."

Okay, we should have paid as much atterntion to the correction as we did to the initial report. That's on us. But Cillizza says we believe everything "whispered" about Trump and then cites a story "whispered" by a seasoned journalist. (Jaffe's currently at Vice, which some people might not regard as a serious news outlet, but prior to that she was at National Journal, The Hill, NBC, and, um, CNN. And we took her seriously! We might as well believe aliens are sending messages to our dental fillings! Oh, and note that that Mic story was corrected -- because nothing says "conspiracy theorist" like a willingness to abandon a cherished conspiracy in the face of new evidence, right?)

All of Cillizza's examples are like this:
2. Rape and sexual assault would not be pre-existing conditions [in the GOP health bill]
New York magazine ran a piece called "In Trump’s America, Rape Is a Preexisting Condition," then deleted it (the cached version is here). A replacement version is titled "In Trump’s America, Being Sexually Assaulted Could Make Your Health Insurance More Expensive" -- which is true because virtually any life event that leads to contact with the health care system could do that. Forgive us if we believed "whispers" from a respectable publication.
3. The FCC is not really targeting Stephen Colbert
Well, the FCC is investigating Colbert. Some of us had strong reactions to that. Then we read follow-up stories noting that all viewer complaints are investigated.
4. The chief usher was not fired over a disagreement with the Trumps
The source Cillizza quotes to debunk this suggests that the usher was fired because of conflicts with Trump's staff. Omigod, what loonies we must be for not getting that straight right away!

Meanwhile, we can turn to a December YouGov poll and learn the following:
* 53% of Trump voters believe that "leaked e-mails from the Clinton campaign talked about pedophilia and human trafficking -- 'Pizzagate.'"

* 63% of Trump voters believe that "millions of illegal votes were cast in the election."

* And 80% of Trump voters don't believe that "Russia hacked Democratic emails in order to help Donald Trump."
Hey Chris, I'll take our tinfoil over theirs.

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