CSotD: This is no time for facts

David Rowe once more takes advantage of the 16-hour time difference between Washington and Sydney to comment on Vlodimir Zelenskyy’s address to Congress while American cartoonists still lie a-bed, and adding a “Merry Christmas” message for the benefit of an unhealthy, angry Vladimir Putin.

It likely wouldn’t have done Americans any good to cartoon on into the night here, since their newspapers went to press about the time Zelenskyy was wrapping up his speech, though some of them may have rushed to the drawingboard anyway, getting their work down fresh even knowing that it couldn’t run until Friday.

Still, it’s hard to watch responsible commentary still lacing up its boots while Tucker Carlson is halfway ’round the world.

Timing matters, especially when facts apparently don’t.

Carlson is legally entitled to love Russia to pieces and to slant his commentary accordingly, such that last night’s insults are fair game, though it would be nice if Republicans enflamed by Zelenskyy wearing his trademark sweatshirt would occasionally tell Gym Jordan to put on his jacket and look like a grown-up.

Facts, meanwhile, are slippery things, and getting them right includes the need to study, research and examine them.


Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) appears to have jumped the (smoking) gun with her declaration that the Jan 6 Report shows nothing, since, while the report was scheduled to be released yesterday, the committee held it back at the last minute and it may be made public today. The criminal referrals alone were not promoted as a “smoking gun,” and refrained from the stronger accusations more definite proof would have justified.


But the final report only matters if you intended to read it, at which point, as RJ Matson‘s Santa finds, it’s going to be a long, detailed slog.

Note that Santa doesn’t need to wade through the whole thing, since he also has tax returns and assurance that, when Trump said he wanted to release them but couldn’t because they were being audited, he was lying.

He wasn’t being audited and it wouldn’t have stopped him from releasing them anyway, if he’d honestly wanted to.

Now Republicans complain that we ought to get to see Biden’s tax returns, too, apparently unaware that not only have all presidents for the past half century released their returns, except for Gerald Ford, who came into the office temporarily and by happenstance, and Donald Trump.

Biden has left a particularly large record, since he also released his returns as VP and back to 1998.


I’m less appalled by their apparent dishonesty than by their apparent ignorance. That is, when the facts are so obviously available, why would you lie about them?

Well, perhaps because you know how little facts matter these days.

As Paul Fell points out, Fox and the other rightwing networks can simply ignore unpleasantries, knowing that their most loyal viewers see the world only through one or two sources, and that, even if they hear rumblings of other news, will dismiss it as lies from the Deep State and the dreaded Main Stream Media. (I continue to be amused by how Fox boasts of its high ratings but still considers itself outside the mainstream.)

Fell exaggerates: DOJ has not yet responded to the Jan 6 recommendations, but he’s right that Fox underplayed the criminal referrals.

It’s also clear that DOJ has received information and evidence that the rest of us won’t see until that final report is released.


As Mike Smith (KFS) notes, it’s not like there isn’t much evidence, whether it’s already in their hands or about to arrive.


Ann Telnaes suggests that, just based on what we’ve seen in the televised hearings, the Jan 6 Committee has handed over enough documentation for Merrick Garland, or Special Counsel Jack Smith, to bring charges against Trump and his minions, and it should be noted that DOJ has been conducting their own investigations.

Garland is noted for being a stickler for detail, but, while it may slow the process, it increases the sureness of grip once the trap has been sprung.


Nick Anderson mocks the Republicans for having blocked the investigation, then declined to participate, then dismissed it as partisan. They had their chance, though the only people they nominated for the committee were clearly there to obstruct, not to participate in, the committee’s work.


With the new Republican House majority, the GOP is promising its own report, and Kal Kallaugher (Counterpoint) predicts that they will come up with a fair, logical, well-balanced analysis of what happened, strictly based on the facts.


Meanwhile, back in the virtual jungle

(Chip Bok — Creators)


(Lisa Benson — Counterpoint)


(Mike Lester — AMS)

Elon Musk continues to promote his version of reality, and while some of it is allowable under the category of self-serving spin and hype, the accusation that the FBI ordered suppression of facts — though widely embraced by his fanbase — has been strongly disproven by an examination of those pesky facts.

Who’s lying and who has just innocently got it wrong? I suppose it matters whether you feel cartoonists should do their own fact-finding or simply illustrate favored talking points.

As Oliver Darcy reports at Reliable Sources, the money paid by the FBI to Twitter was a perfectly legal and reasonable reimbursement for information retrieved under legal warrants. It’s no different than any reporter or private citizen making an open records request: They may have to pay for the time and expenses of gathering the material.

The feds weren’t demanding that information be hidden, simply acknowledging that, if they’re going to ask Twitter to investigate potentially troubling posts, they should reimburse the company for its costs.


Darcy backs up his reporting with a Mastodon thread by Alex Stamos, who, among his other credentials, was head of security at Facebook and knows how this stuff works.

It’s worth checking out the thread if only to see the back-and-forth in the comments, none of which seem to undermine Stamos’s analysis, as long as you accept the difference between an argument and simple contradiction.

But none of it may, in the end, matter, given that we’ve built a world that looks like this:

Juxtaposition of the Day — Multimedia Edition

(Gary Varvel — Creators)


January 6 Committee

3 thoughts on “CSotD: This is no time for facts

  1. General Flynn, what was the last grade you completed in school?”
    “Mr Eastman ?”

    ad infinitum

  2. About the ultras complaining about Zelensky’s reception in Congress, they’ve realized they can’t go pro-Putin, instead they go anti-Zelensky. Morals be damned.

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