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Conservative media, a giant fog machine
#31
But here is their influence:
  • Providing an alternative reality
  • These then have to be taken up by politicians in primaries, as the most extremists tend to vote
  • Then they discover it brings them power, money, fame..

Here's Why the Republican Party Has Abandoned Reality
It's Trump's GOP now.
By David Akadjian / Daily Kos
September 16, 2018, 7:58 AM GMT

This year, the Republican candidate for governor in Georgia was decided in a special runoff election between Brian Kemp and Casey Cagle, the top two finishers in the Republican primary. Before the runoff election, Casey Cagle was secretly recorded talking about the craziness of the Georgia Republican primary. He said:
Quote:The problem is in a primary—and you and I are just talking off-the-record frank—they don’t give a shit about those things. Okay. In the general election, they care about it. Okay. But they don’t care about it in a primary. This primary felt like it was who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck, and who could be the craziest.

Kemp quickly pounced on these remarks and used them to win the runoff by 40 points—which, ironically, validated Cagle’s remarks.

Here in Ohio, I saw the same thing in our race for governor. The entire race was about  who was the most conservative. Mary Taylor called Mike DeWine a “liberal” and DeWine said Taylor was a criminal, so “lock her up.” You’ve probably seen something similar in a race where you live. Conspiracy theorists are falling out of trees in Republican primaries.
So why is this going, on and what can we learn from it?  

Politicians are cowards Almost a year before the 2016 election, Devin Nunes spoke with The New Yorker about then-House Speaker John Boehner’s ouster. Nunes told the author that one of the biggest changes he’s seen since his arrival in 2002 is the rise of online media outlets and for-profit groups that spread bad or even false information:
Quote:I used to spend ninety per cent of my constituent response time on people who call, e-mail, or send a letter, such as, ‘I really like this bill, H.R. 123,’ and they really believe in it because they heard about it through one of the groups that they belong to, but their view was based on actual legislation. Ten per cent were about ‘Chemtrails from airplanes are poisoning me’ to every other conspiracy theory that’s out there. And that has essentially flipped on its head.

Today, the calls and emails are 90 percent about the bad information and conspiracy theories, and only a small percentage are about things that are actually true. Of course today, we know Nunes as the point man from the House Intelligence Committee who keeps trying to push the lie that it was Hillary Clinton who actually colluded with Russia. Nunes is also a global warming denier even as Fresno, the largest city in his California district, experienced a record consecutive days with highs that topped 100 degrees.
 
Nunes is now one of the leaders in disinformationWhy? Because Fox News and other right-wing conspiracy media outlets have made him famous. His fame has brought in $7.4 million in campaign donations, the most of any California Republican. This is also three to seven times any previous amount he’s raised. So … conspiracy away! In three years Nunes went from Freedom Party critic to one of the lead conspiracy theorists in Congress. Along the way, he threw out every principle he once might have had. He’s not a leader. He’s a Fox News puppet.
 
It’s important to understand that this is not just true for Nunes, but for most politicians
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#32
And the same holds for journalist (see previous entry), Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, they've all gone off the deep end, simply because it brings them money, fame and power:

Quote:In a tweet, Jon Lovett of Crooked Media and Pod Save America, noted, “Tucker Carlson’s transition from conservative serious-ish writer to blustery CNN guy to Daily Caller troll to race-baiting Fox News host is like ice core data on what led to this moment in our politics.” In June, Conor Friedersdorf wrote in The Atlantic, “Carlson squandered his considerable God-given talent for scrupulously true commentary, opting instead for clickbait at The Daily Caller or dumbed-down demagoguery at Fox.” There’s something to all the liberal hand-wringing. In a speech Carlson gave to CPAC in 2009, he pleaded with conservative journalists to focus on reporting rather than punditry. He held up The New York Times as a standard bearer, begging writers “to go out there and find what is happening….not just interpret things they hear in the mainstream media.” His pleas were met with boos.
The mystery of Tucker Carlson - Columbia Journalism Review
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#33
And if you get scared about the previous two entries, it is surprisingly easy for countries to go completely off the boil, as described here:

Quote:Given the right conditions, any society can turn against democracy. Indeed, if history is anything to go by, all societies eventually will.
Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe - The Atlantic

A terrifying read about Poland, going off the deep into an alternative reality and authoritarianism and it's now one of the most deeply divided countries in Europe. And that for a country that:
  • Experienced a long economic boom instead of a debilitating economic crisis
  • Has no major crime problem
  • Hardly any immigration
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#34
Trowing stuff up the wall..

Quote:Conservative defenders of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh have already demonstrated their willingness to go after his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, but the newest attack on her credibility was even more ridiculous — and in the end, false — than we could have ever expected. Grabienews reported that Christine Ford, a California professor, had very bad reviews on Ratemyprofessor.com. Some of the views described her as "vengeful" and said there was "something wrong with her." Of course, student reviews are far from an unbiased source, and it's not clear what relevance they would have for a sexual assault allegation. But there's an even bigger problem: The news report, which was picked up by the extremely influential conservative link aggregator the Drudge Report, wasn't even about the Christine Ford who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. It was about another Christine Ford who also teaches in California.
The Latest Attack on Brett Kavanaugh's Accuser Christine Ford Just Backfired in a Spectacular Way | Alternet

Speaking about character..

Quote:One year after alleged sexual assault, Kavanaugh’s friend & alleged accomplice, Mark Judge, placed this quote in their high school yearbook 1983: "Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs"
Kavanaugh Character Witness Mark Judge in 1983 Yearbook: ‘Certain Women Should Be Struck Regularly, Like Gongs’ | Alternet

And there is more in that story..
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