Distilling Truthiness
By: Mark W Adams

Steve Young pens an exceptionally snarky primer on how one actually can survive on the "fact-like" material spewed forth from Fox New -- which to the casual observer lacks any nutritional (let alone informational) value whatsoever.

Digesting Fox News, Bill O'Reilly and Dick Morris:
"One day during the last presidential campaign Bill O'Reilly said that he would not bring partisans on to The Factor to discuss the election because they would only be spinning the same ol' same ol' and just rehashing their side's nothing-new and biased talking points.

'We learn nothing new and that's not what we're about,' reminded the always blunt, looking-out-for-you host. That same night on O'Reilly Factor on Fox, not grasping the screaming comic irony, Bill brought on Newt Gingrich and Dick Morris to discuss John Kerry.
Young provides a needed a bit of mental reinforcement to combat the constant barrage of noise and subterfuge coming from the wingnut wankers, explaining just how their crap can be ingested, sifted for rare factoids, and excreted with little or no harm to your sensibilities.

In that, um ... spirit, Matt Stoller removes the curtain from Sean Hannity's feeble spin (actually, outright lie) that he is just too awesome for any real liberal to debate, and that we all cower before his manliness.

The Faux Noise mavens will never lack for an audience of frothing cult members willing to plunge the whole damn planet into the abyss rather than listen to reason or believe or an instant that they don't possess exclusive rights to the real truth. Without doubt, the Limbaughs and Coulters have sole proprietorship of the most paranoid and conspiracy minded mental cases in the country.

Maha wrote over the weekend about the the noise machine's unending ability to Say Anything and their capacity to exert influence over people with "the critical thinking skills of moth larvae." Isn't it interesting that it's Keith Olberman, Jon Stewart, John Edwareds and others on the left are the recipients of white powder mailings, and not the O'Reilly and Malkins of the world -- or have we forgotten that there have indeed been terror attacks on our soil since 9/11.
For some reason the U.S. has always had a disproportionate number of whackjobs among its citizens; that ain’t new. And the whackjobs have had political influence at various times in the past, also. What’s different is that mass media and the Internet are allowing them to live in their own self-made Crazy World on a mass scale. And the Republicans are heavily invested in keeping them crazy.
When you see this poll, you understand the critical importance of these propaganda outlets to the GOP.
"Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88% to 7%. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers." [Political Wire]
Shrinking this allegiance is certainly desired, but even more important (because it is doable) is denying this beast any legitimacy

Barack Obama freezing out Fox, and John Edwards leading the way to cancel Fox's Nevada Democratic Debates were outstanding first strikes at the heart of their Orwellian manipulation of the body politic. The beast must be starved, weakened, hunted down and finally slain once and for all.

That's why it is so disturbing to see Democrats adopting Republican frames, whether it's Obama admitting that Edwards is "kinda cute," or Harry Reid's initial willingness to have Fox host the debates because the can reach out to a whole new demographic.

88% Harry.

88% to 7% are unheard of odds, even in Vegas, Harry. What WERE you thinking? You don't win over such people. They are lost and prefer their dementia to facing the responsibility for the problems they cause. Ignoring them is a start, marginalizing and silencing them is better. You certainly don't cater to them, give them ammunition or a platform. They are spoiled children and you do not give spoiled children attention. You punish them and ignore them until they stop or go away.

Progressive Blogtopia has been keeping track of the Congressional Black Caucus courting Fox News as a debate sponsor as well. As risky as this might seem, I think it would show real leadership and backbone for Barack Obama to denounce this as even a remote possibility and declare, well in advance of the event even being put on the schedule, that he will not attend no matter how much they suck up to him.

Shame on Harold Ford Jr., too. I really, really like that guy. I can't believe he can't find a better place to keep his face in the public eye (where it should be, because he does indeed deserve a platform) than becoming a Fox News Regular. I would hold out hope that Ford going on Fox might mark some kind of transformation at the unofficial propaganda wing of the republican party -- except that the very reasonable and frighteningly smart Ford is paired with Rick Santorum -- a victim of hypnosis gone bad if ever there was one.

Stop it Harold! Please. You won't see any changes at Fox until Hannity, O'Reilly and Roger Ailes are gone. Putting a random centrist Democrat on that channel to be vilified as a true liberal is bad enough, but it also moves the center further and further to the right no matter how well Ford comports himself.

And Harold, for future reference, when your principle talking point is that we should get all the facts on the table -- as it was when you were discussing the U.S. Attorney Purge -- it will help if you get a firmer grasp on the facts that are available yourself.

You could have blown Little Ricky away when he gave the example of U.S. Attorneys should be fired if they for instance, don't follow an anti-child-pornography initiative the President orders. For one of the fired attorneys, Charlton, the opposite was the reality -- and I wish Ford had known that. Charlton was fired for being more, not less inclined to use his finite resources to go after child obscenity cases instead of being unwilling to take good cases like porn suppliers sending smut across state lines that did NOT contain any underage victims.

Update: Chris Bowers hit's the nail right on the head.