I was going to do a post at the Suicidal Cactus Hour in a somewhat belated review of Dragon Age 2–a game that I think has gotten a bad rap over the last few months. Not a perfect game to be sure, but with Skyrim out, and watching folks delve into it, there is rumblings of how terrible DA2 was, and in comparison the two games are apples and mangos.
That WAS until the Daily Show fired up on Hulu. And the mind numbing disingenuousness began to roll in.
The story was the War on Christmas. Lincoln Chafee fired ANOTHER shot across America’s bow with his heathen “Tree Lighting Ceremony.” Yes, friends and neighbors, Chafee refused to call it a “Christmas tree.” REFUSED!
I also hear he eats the babies of the pure of heart in his spare time.
Now, let’s set aside for a moment that we live in a nation with many faiths. Let’s set aside for a moment the separation of Church and State–which coincidentally allows us to ignore the fines that the Puritans enacted when they landed upon our sweet and sunny shores for anyone who decorated for the holidays, or exchanged gifts on Christmas as they declared it a sacrilege. Let’s set aside the issues of unity in this season within a nation of many faiths, peoples and creeds, and get to the heart of the matter for me.
The previous two term Republican Governor, Donald Carcieri did exactly the same thing.
Now then, when I see the Fox News logo, I understand that I am going to see some partisan jingoism. Just the same as when I see the Fox Entertainment logo, that I’m going probably hear a mildly veiled dick joke somewhere in the comedy stylings of Seth and the cats at Family Guy. What is at the heart though, is the level of retcon that has been going on as of late. Not just a failure to report, an odd silence that glosses over events that are inconvenient to narrative–which is how most news sources deal with said inconsistencies–but we have within Fox now a willingness to rewrite history.
The level of retcon as of late has been skyrocketing. Newt. Bachmann. Perry. Cain. With so many gaffes and so many errors of judgement, I can feel for the poor bastiches at Fox who have miles and miles of tape that refutes a lot of their own statements, out of their own mouths. What is sad, is that they seem to forget that in this age, NOTHING that is said on the air EVER goes away. There are enough folks who are squirrelly enough to research, to hold onto, and run down quotes. Plus, with everyone wanting to archive their footage so that they can generate page views sifting through the stuff, you can use their own vaults to mine for the refutation in their own words.
This goes for Romney. This goes for Newt. This goes for Paul. This goes for Obama. This goes for Weiner. This goes for Pelosi. The difference with the Democrats, is that they don’t have a network cheerleading them, and actively going for the retcon, and calling it “opinion” to veil the inherent and built in inaccuracy of those inconvenient points to the narrative.
Narrative is part of the problem. When you dedicate a news agency to narrative, you are stripping out the journalism portion of the show. Journalists can certainly grind axes–and Fox has a tendency to lambast journalists who show favor for folks they don’t agree with as being “partisan” but they are just telling it like it is, apparently. Journalism is about exposing those inconvenient truths. Not hiding them. The Fourth Estate exists as a counterbalance. When you have collusion between those in the state and the press, you have engines for repression and tyranny. Which is why we built in the freedom of the press right into the Constitution. What we see within Fox is an abdication of that freedom. A willingness to get in bed with the State and spin whatever folks want, the journalist version of mercs for hire, to write what folks need written, and damn the ethics, damn the consequences, they are getting paid!
The collusion and willing and even enthusiastic joining of the Justification Machine isn’t new. Neocons have built a whole industry of writers willing to sling anything as fact, to justify policies in scholastic journals and in the book trade. That this Justification Machine bled into the media is by design, but gottverdammt this is an example of some bald faced shit.
And yes, it offends me. It offends me because I still consider myself fairly Conservative. The problem being, that the Justification Machine has moved the goal posts on what that means as well. What it means to be Republican even has shifted thanks to this, and the platform has shifted likewise. Strong markets, hewing to the Constitution, and responsibility are redefined by the moment. Such that, “religious freedom” is now under fire by the very folks who like to tout it. Responsibility in the markets is long gone. Fiscal Conservatism apparently now means “tax cuts” as opposed to efficient taxation and spending, and Social Conservatives can hate on their neighbors with a radical impunity. And all the while, we have a network that can champion an Astroturf movement that they created themselves, and laud as “patriots” while castigating students and veterans who turn out to illustrate the excesses of a skewed market system that doesn’t resemble anything like free market capitalism in the least.
This latest incident only shows how far we are through the Looking Glass. Not just Newt being championed as an Elder Stateman, despite losing his office in shame nearly two decades ago. Not just “Family Values” is a catchphrase for “No family for you!” The willingness to simply edit history, even recent history, even events from a week ago, to not spin, but rewrite whole-cloth, and then claim the moral high ground on the strength of the lie, knowing that their target audience is not competent to judge, due to a lack of historical understanding, or basic research skills, is not just troubling, it is offensive, and twists anything looking like journalistic integrity out of true.
Yes, the bitter is flowing this fine morning, and I was looking forward to writing an ode to a game that I really liked…