CSotD: Things said and unsaid

I’m really sorry the Dominion/Fox trial isn’t being televised. As Ed Hall says, it’s going to be a slam-dunk for Dominion to prove that Fox intentionally, knowingly lied about them, and it would be good to have it all out in the open for everyone to see.

But, then again, let’s not forget the OJ Simpson trial, in which the shock of the verdict only stunned the people who had been paying attention and who were willing to believe he might have done it. There was a substantial cohort of people who wouldn’t have believed him guilty regardless of the verdict, and the fact that they seated 12 of them on the jury was an unfortunate error.

Anyway, we all watched the Moon landing, and that didn’t convince the screwball contingent, either.

There’s also a reasonable suspicion that, even if the trial were available for broadcast, Fox wouldn’t carry it, given how they’ve avoided covering not just this topic but the Clarence Thomas scandal and other news that might upset their viewers, the hardcore group of whom don’t trust, or watch, any other news source.

What good did it do to broadcast the Jan 6 hearings, after all?

For that matter, what good did it do to broadcast the Jan 6 coup attempt?

Well, I’d still like to watch, particularly since, while the verdict is not in much doubt (neither was OJ’s), there’s a serious question of how much damages will be awarded. The cost to Dominion in business losses is certainly not the $1.6 billion they’re asking for and punitive damages are always a crap shoot.

People believe what they want to believe, and, as John Deering suggests, the GOP would like them to believe that the world’s problems are caused by George Soros, not oligarchs corrupting Supreme Court justices.

It’s easier to get people to believe what you want them to believe if you’ve got a major news organization to promote your point of view. As noted here, Fox has all but ignored Clarence Thomas and his buddy-buddy relationship with Harlan Crow.

I’m not all that surprised, BTW, that C-SPAN also has minimal coverage, given that there haven’t been hearings devoted to the matter. I suppose it’s odd but fair to include them in the tally, simply to prevent Thomas fans from pointing it out as a defense of Fox, though ESPN hasn’t covered it, either.

And, as the article points out, Fox does cover the news that really matters:

We must have priorities, and how will transphobes and homophobes know what to drink if it isn’t drummed into their thick skulls?

It’s not just Fox. As Walt Handelsman points out, there are plenty in government who want to make sure people know who they should like, who they should hate and what they should believe.

As his own paper reports:

Louisiana Republican Party officials want state lawmakers to forbid the study of racism at colleges and universities, arguing in a resolution approved Saturday that classes examining “inglorious aspects” of United States history are too divisive.

While just up river, the Missouri legislature is quarreling over a budget in which the House stripped funding of public libraries, though the Senate is determined to restore it.

And, as JD Crowe notes, Alabama’s legislature is also considering a “Divisive Concepts” bill, which is plainly defined by the fact that it’s supported entirely by white legislators and opposed exclusively by black legislators.

Lynyrd Skynyrd may have done all that they could do, but, 49 years later, it apparently hasn’t been enough, because — in Alabama or anywhere else in this great country of ours — the issue isn’t really about authoritarians protecting the public’s right not to know, but, rather, that the public keeps electing authoritarians who help them preserve their happy, insular ignorance.

Juxtaposition of the Day

And let’s not blame it all on those MAGA rednecks in the Deep South. Believing what you want to believe is happening everywhere.

Heller is absolutely correct that it makes no sense for conservatives to be so untrusting of the ability of teachers to make sensible decisions about matters they’ve studied, and yet believe a foolish, testosterone-fueled TV/action movie fantasy of how live-fire situations unfold.

Aside from the predictable, deadly chaos that unfolds even when fully trained individuals are involved in such things, picture the teachers you’ve had and now picture them frightened and fully armed. The notion of arming teachers is so clearly, spectacularly stupid that you wonder how anyone could propose it.

On the other side of the aisle, Murphy voices the perennial, popular argument that the Founders contemplated muskets, not later armaments, when they wrote the Second Amendment, a tactic that seems evidence of how poorly we teach both history and logic.

I wouldn’t expect high school students to read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. They were a slog even in college. But anyone interested in the Second Amendment can quickly learn, first of all, that the debate was about whether we should have a standing army at all or rely on state militias, and whether all gun owners should be required to enlist in those militias.

The current interpretation goes back only 20 years, to the SCOTUS decision that the “well-organized militia” clause is irrelevant, which seems in conflict with their newer decision that legal matters should be grounded in history and tradition.

The history is that militias, while useful for suppressing local uprisings like the Whiskey Rebellion, were disastrous in the War of 1812, following which the notion was abandoned and the Second Amendment became as irrelevant and vestigial as the Third.

Also, in the absence of modern drugs, leeches were a reasonably effective way of treating a variety of health problems and remain in limited but important use today, while, if the Founders had known about dinosaurs, they’d certainly have specified cannons.

But, seriously, folks, it is totally illogical to attack the Second Amendment based on the technology of the times unless you also allow that the First Amendment’s press freedom was based on handset type and single-sheet printing presses.

There are sound reasons to denounce our gun culture’s reliance on an outdated, abandoned military system, but sound reasoning seems out of fashion.

In the current situation, perhaps the answer is to find some liberal oligarchs who will take Supreme Court Justices on trips to exotic locales and purchase their parents’ homes at vastly inflated prices.

Though we shouldn’t entirely abandon good sense and decency. They might come back into fashion.

14 thoughts on “CSotD: Things said and unsaid

  1. I do disagree with Tracey Hall making Dominion larger than Fox News, as though Dominion is the professional baller while Fox News is a tiny child and there is a disadvantage in favor of Dominion. Dominion Voting System’s revenue is around $17 million a year. News Corporation, Fox News’ parent company, is worth over $10 billion. Dominion is the smaller fish here fighting a very powerful giant.
    As for it being a “slam dunk,” I don’t think that’s accurate either. Yes, Fox News intentionally and knowingly lied. But the case to prove is that the First Amendment doesn’t cover or guarantee their lies.

    1. I’ll grant you that Tracey Hall knows a lot more about basketball than either of us, but I agree with Ed that this is a slam dunk. Overturning Sullivan would have to happen at SCOTUS, not at this level, and there’s no doubt that Fox knew they were promoting lies. It should be noted that, if the McConnell Court did overturn Sullivan, the justice system would be overwhelmed with what used to be considered nuisance suits. People like Trump and DeSantis who want it to be easier to sue for libel should be careful what they wish for: That blade cuts both ways.

    2. Good point, Clay. The metaphor would have been more effective, and accurate, if the Dominion player dunking the ball was small and the Fox player a giant.

  2. I have figured out how to get AR-15s banned. Reinstate the Black Panthers and arm them exclusively with AR-15s. Granted, I am currently disgusted by yet another shooting. This time it was a 16-year-old black kid attempting to pick up his younger brothers at the wrong address, and it was not an AR-15. But this is what gave me the idea. I am confident the racists in our government would trip over themselves to disarm those possessing lives that don’t matter.

    1. We could have AR 15’s mounted on street lamp poles like fire alarm boxes. When an emergency arises, no need for any fussy background checks. That’d make everyone safer, right?

      Fear of the Black Panthers did propel some firearm restrictions back in the day and would likely do so again

  3. Will goodness ever prevail? I have come to doubt it, tragically. I love the song at the end of your post. We all had such high hopes. I wouldn’t care at all if the human species just died off. Sorry to be so negative. The world has disappointed me so badly. The human world, I mean.

  4. I’ve always wished Signe Anderson hadn’t gotten pregnant until a couple albums later. *sigh*

    1. “What were the colonial militias armed with?” Muskets, rifles and bayonets, and cannon.

    2. Nobody mentioned bloodletting. Leeches were what was mentioned, leeches were what was addressed.

      And I assume that, if you insist that the Second Amendment only applies to single-shot muzzle-loaders, you also feel that Freedom of the Press does not apply to film-making, broadcasting or the Internet. I would disagree, but that’s why we have elections. For now.

  5. Arming teachers only means a teacher will be the first target. And unless (and probably even IF) that teacher is carrying a holstered weapon, they’ll be dead before they can get to their gun.

  6. “We didn’t start the fire.” No, we didn’t but, while some were “…voices crying in the wilderness”, most were ignoring it and others were fanning the flames. We are now engaged in a great cultural civil war that will probably end in ways that both sides neither expect or appreciate.
    I’m going to hunker in the bunker with my canned goods, chili-cheese corn chips and a keg of hard-cider till it blows over.

  7. I think it’s still fair to point out that the amendments were written under the conditions of the time, but the conclusion shouldn’t be “and so they don’t apply any longer” but rather “perhaps we should revisit them to account for drastic changes in society and technology”.

Comments are closed.