Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dark Days for Michelle Malkin

Poor Michelle Malkin.  She went all the way to Iraq to prove that the MSM’s reporting of what’s going on there is absurdly biased and wrong; and if she doesn’t come back with something good, she’s going to look exactly like the lying turd she really is.  And if there’s one thing Republicans can’t do, it’s to look like what they are.

Via Sadly, No! we see Malkin (video here, written here) desperately attempting to spin some sort of credibility back into her claims that the AP had invented police Captain Jamil Hussein and that the story that “rampaging militiamen burned and blew up four mosques” was therefore invented.  

Because for conservatives, there’s no need to be right about everything.  You merely have to be right about something.  And having done that, you can claim victory over those who were right about everything else.  Because it’s only the other side who has to be 100% accurate.  And if you can show that they weren’t, then that calls into doubt everything else they say, including the stuff that turned out to be true.  Simply amazing.

Sure, it turns out that the Iraqi and US sources Malkin trusted regarding Jamil’s non-existence were somewhat less than accurate.  But how about the four mosques?  Surely, if Malkin can prove that they weren’t burned and blown-up, this means that she was fully justified in attacking the AP, right?  Sadly, no.

Because it just doesn’t work like that.  Sure, it’s unfair that people expect us to be accurate about the claims we make, but that’s just the way it is.  To have credibility, you must always be credible, and when you’re not, you need to fess-up about it immediately.  But unfortunately for conservatives, they’re really just not very good at the whole “fact” thing and are much better at conspiracy theories and connecting dots that the facts don’t currently connect.

Connecting the Dots

And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.  After all, speculation and connecting-dots is totally my schtick.  I don’t report new facts and if you got a new one from me, then you just weren’t paying attention.  But the difference is that I know when I’m pulling this stuff out of my ass.  I even take pride in it and don’t want people to think that I’m merely reciting someone else’s facts.  I create source material, not regurgitation.  But again, I know that this is what I’m doing, and the more speculative my stuff is, the more likely I’ll admit that I’m inventing it.

Conservatives, on the other hand, just can’t seem to separate fact from speculation, and the lines they connect somehow appear more real than the dots themselves.  And they often end up forgetting about the dots altogether and are merely connecting lines to imagined dots that they need to believe in.  But that’s not a fluke.  That’s the only way they can remain as conservatives.  Because they rely too much on their speculative abilities and not enough on checking the basic facts they’re relying on.  

Imagine a kid doing a connect-the-dot activity book who continues to place his own dots to form the picture that he thought they should have been making; and insists that what was obviously meant to be a bicycle is, in fact, a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Saddam Hussein’s evil arms.  And sure, some of the dots used were real.  But that’s not enough.  To find the real picture, you’ve got to use all the dots.  And that’s just not something conservatives can do, if they want to remain conservatives.  Because the ideology just isn’t reality based.

And even then, they really rely far too heavily on their feeble skills of speculation.  Because they suck at it.  They invent all kinds of wild-ass theories without any basis in reality whatsoever and continue to float higher and higher on nothing more than their own gaseous fumes.  It’s no wonder that Malkin’s video site is called Hot Air.

Rumors v. Official Reports

And beyond that, her claims of victory on this are absolutely absurd.  They rest almost entirely on unnamed Iraqi and American officials.  That’s it.  She attacks the AP for engaging in rumor-mongering, yet almost all of her evidence is third-hand.  Stuff she could have learned from home.  She even has an Army guy complaining about biased Iraqis and acts as if this is somehow proof of something.  It’s as if we can believe the “officials” because they’re “officials” and so therefore anything they say must be official.

Like this:
Contrary to Hussein and the AP's account, military reports note that Iraqi Army battalion members were on the scene - pursuing attackers, securing the area, calling the fire department, providing support and an outer cordon.

Well then, that takes care of that.  Members of the Iraqi Army were there, vanquished their foes, and even called the fire department.  So that totally destroys the myth that the mosque was set on fire, huh.  And sure, Malkin quoted an Army guy as a definitive source that Iraqis lie and can’t be trusted as sources, yet this military report obviously must be true, though it relies on what Iraqis claim happened.  Right.

But I suppose this must be definitive proof, as military reports are notoriously accurate and never reflect bias, wishful thinking, or complete lies.  Only the MSM can do that kind of thing.  But the military can be 100% trusted about everything.  Of course.  And that’s what they call “definitive proof”, and can be used by Malkin to declare victory.  And remember, this isn’t even our military saying what happened on the scene, but what the Iraqi Army guys reported to our military.  But again, these are military reports, which must be 100% accurate.

As a side note, it should be mentioned that the 100% accuracy of military reports does not apply to anything that John Kerry did on a swiftboat in Vietnam, as those reports were wildly off-mark and completely invented by Mr. Kerry himself, as a means of furthering his political career.  But that just goes without saying.  Liberals are liars.

Grasping for Straws

And even then, the one mosque she visited did, in fact, show fire damage and had a huge hole in the roof. But because the building is “still standing” this proves that the AP’s story is wrong.  And we should be lucky that they showed us the hole in the roof at all.  The written story accompanying her video must be showing the other side of the mosque, as you can’t see the hole.

And so she’s in Iraq.  Quoting unnamed officials who tell her nothing new.  Visited one mosque that confirmed the original story.  And she’s screwed.  Because she can’t report that the AP story was true.  Impossible.  She’s got to report that she debunked it, though she can’t, because it was true.  So what’s a conservative to do?  What else: Report a small sampling of the truth in a haughty manner, declare victory, and head home; hoping and praying that her supporters will still be so desperate to be proven right that they won’t bother actually thinking about anything she’s reporting to them.  

She knows that all of us will know better, but she didn’t do it for us.  She just needs something, anything, to help her ever-dwindling supporters have some semblance of a straw to hold onto.  And it seems to have worked.  Every one of Malkin’s commenters praised her story and joined her in the victory dance.  

Malkin commenter Patrick Chester went so far as to write exactly what I did earlier in this post (though I swear I wrote it before I read the comments), writing:
I guess AP hasn’t figured out that trust isn’t based on a huge amount of articles. It’s based on being consistently accurate in reporting, and if anything is inaccurate you should post a retraction.

These are dark days indeed for the conservative movement.  But I guess they really weren’t so bright to begin with.


AssParrot said...

Bingo, Doc. One of the best step-by-step descriptions of the wingnut reality-denial process that I've seen.

Sean said...

Yes, Democrats really know how to connect the dots. There is no connection between their policies and crime, there is no connection between their preference for pornography and the rise of rape, there is no connection between the dumbing-down of our school children and liberal social policies, and yes, children are far more obedient and well-mannered now that masturbation has been elevated to sacramental status by the left. Next stop: interspecies marriage. All I can say is watch out for your
dogs with Democrats in Congress.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Masturbation as a sacrament? Sure would help church attendance a bunch. You can leave out the interspecies marriage, though; as that's just weird.

For the record, I don't think that liberals are particularly good at connecting the dots. They're usually better at finding facts, but are weak when it comes time to tying them together into the bigger narrative. That's where ex-conservatives like me come in.

Just so people know, I went to Sean's blog, and no, he's not a parody. He's just seriously lacking in dots. It's all lines with that guy.

whig said...

I can't even find any straight lines in what he wrote above.

Jose said...

Nice blogging but there's no need to insult MM. The facts of the matter are damming enough.

I notice a lot of right wing blogs have abruptly shut up about the whole matter. This one's a dead horse, on to the next outrage.

Anonymous said...

I am curious how you can call yourself a professional, reporter, blogger or video blogger, and not be able to pronounce things correctly? I think its more like "sue neh" not "sunny" Thats just one example. If someone is going to go through all the trouble to go over there at least get something right. Is spending all your time attacking everyone who does not agree with you really "reporting" Thanks to the internet I guess any untalented jackass can expose themselves for what they really are MM is a prime example.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Anon - Please be a little more careful next time. I thought you were talking to me, and couldn't remember when I had called myself a video blogger or had anyone hear me mispronounce Sunni. So I naturally thought I had been drunk blogging again.