Poisoning the Anthill
This blog, which nobody reads anyway, usually refrains from tapping into the stream of e-mails and comments about articles, opting to much more often draw from the juice in the articles themselves. We maintain that habit because comments within forums tend to be just so much noise, and usually they’re anonymous anyway. “Flyboy” said the world is going to end at ten o’clock tomorrow — what would that mean? Nuthin’.
To put it more concisely, we live in a day & age where nothing is required of you to get on the “innernets,” create a forum account, and type in some crap. And I do mean nothing. So we stay away from what, in our opinion, can best be regarded as nothing more than static.
But that isn’t an iron-clad cardinal rule, because here & there you’ll see some thread/forum nonsense representing a groupthink viewpoint that prevails over many people, and is engaged in a somewhat-verifiable process of swelling to engulf even more people. When that happens, you have a message that persists in lacking any notability for its verity, but nevertheless becomes notable for the definition. When a growing number of people believe something, even if what they believe is unverifiable or even proven to be false, this is still worthy of comment. And here’s a great example, regarding the huge letdown over the last week where Karl Rove wasn’t indicted like he was supposed to have been. The poster’s forum-name is “Stu” and Stu’s comments in the Salon forum are recorded thusly:
My take on this is that it is classic Rove notwithstanding the implied embellishing from Leopold. Rove is a master at stopping the tide of a story by as, we saw with Rather, leaking/planting fake info , so his enemies can go leak, then it is discredited… and thus Joe Public then overrides the guilt in the story with the fake leak story.
So I believe Rove instigated a leak via subordinates ( aka leakers to Leopold ) who dutifully reported(leaked) on them. Then to underline the situation, Rove gives a rare smiley face upbeat performance at the AEI or wherever it was.
The bottom line is , if he does get indicted he has already got some defence ammunition with this .. ie being tried in the press etc etc… and if he does not get indicted ( which he may already know he won’t and maybe why he did this), then this can be used to witchhunt and prosecute or whatever the “leakers” etc..
Now for the reasons expressed above, let us take a pass on correcting “Stu,” since I don’t give a rat’s ass what deficiencies exist in the critical-thinking skills of some nameless-faceless Salon-forum-poster guy. But this is something we’ve heard a few times before, in fact, I daresay we heard it with each of the four items I was reminiscing about earlier this week, in which some Bush-basher jumped the gun on something that wasn’t true.
We WILL hear it again. Someone on KOS said exactly the same thing:
maybe Rove tried to hook the MSM thru Truthout and play on the strong desire of many of us to see hum get indicted, throwing the actual indictment into turmoil and blowing up Fitzgerald’s case.
I for one believe Leoplod when he says he had credible sources give him this story, but I also think Rove planted false info to try and do another ‘forged document’ ploy that would make the indicment story blow up in the MSMs face
So let’s deconstruct this. And although it might cause some pain, particularly to those who believe in it, let us take it seriously.
Rove has a tactic he likes to use. He poisons the well of his enemies by leaking stuff that is not true, so that his enemies end up embarrassed. When someone says something bad about the Bush administration and that bad thing turns out not to be true, what you are seeing is Rove’s tactic in action. He leaked something, taking steps to keep his name out of the leaking process, and he knew the thing he would leak was false. He slipped a grenade into the pig slops. He built a Trojan Horse. He poisoned an ant that went back to the hill.
Question for the Bush-bashing community: If I’m suspicious of this presidency and I form a habit of turning to some Bush-bashing source, be it on the “innernets” or in some paper form, to shine the light of truth on this weasely administration…isn’t a little healthy cynicism on the part of that source, just part of the job? I mean, the alternative would be to assert there’s some huge market of viewers and readers who want to suck in anything negative about President Bush’s White House whether it is true or not.
Well let me rephrase that. I know there’s a big “Hoover-Vac” market out there and everybody wants to be the first to know about this-or-that ugly rumor, regardless of how it ultimately pans out. I know Bush-bashers are more concerned about a story having legs, than about a story being true. I’ve said so. But my question is, is that a conscious thing? Do Bush-bashers really place value on some wad of crap just because it alleges something negative about Bush and his team? If they do, then the answer to the above question, about cynicism being part of the job, would be “no.” But if they only want to know about the stuff that’s true, which I suspect is the case with most consumers-of-news — tell me the sky is falling if it really is falling, otherwise shut your pie-hole — then, in effect, these Bush-bashing sites are driving away their audiences by saying this:
Karl Rove has a reputation for planting false stories to embarrass his enemies, and over here at XYZ blog/magazine, we fall for it faster than anyone.
On the other hand, if Bush-bashers have no regard for the truth and know they have no regard for the truth — they just want to show up to the next “X many deaths in Iraq” celebration, and say “yes” when a fellow Bush-basher asks them “Did you read the story about…” — then why is anybody getting mad at Karl Rove to begin with? By engaging in his well-poisoning tactic, isn’t he feeding them a few ancillary slices of the pie the Bush-bashing community wants to wolf down anyway? Where is the thanks to Karl Rove for bringing his Crock Pot o’Crap to the big ol’ neighborhood shit-potluck? I mean, if it’s a good story…and that is all you want.
Okay, that is Question One. The answer may come from a “Queen Ant,” or it may be gathered one at a time from each drone in the hill — I don’t care. Any answer to that, would be fascinating. I doubt I’ll see one.
Here is Question Two.
For the last several years, the Bush-bashing community has been putting a significant amount of heat and pressure on the rest of us to re-define what it means to “lie” to someone. The American Heritage Dictionary says it means “to present false information with the intention of deceiving” [emphasis mine]. Bush-bashers want it to mean you’ve made an assertion which is confounded by subsequent events, regardless of your intentions — so that they can say “Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Their effort to re-define the word has been met with success only within the Bush-bashing community; it’s been a failure outside of that camp. “Normal” people still think you have to deceive someone deliberately, or try to, in order to “lie.” We still think there’s a difference between taking an unlucky guess, and lying. But the “Galt’s Gulch” of Bush-bashing, is not going to give up. They’ll still persist in their own private definition of this word, using it several times a week, so they can say “Bush LIED!!!”
So Question Two is this. Since you guys have your own definition of the word, and it encroaches into situations absent of any willful intent on the part of anyone to deceive…aren’t the above-categorized blogs and news-sites “lying” by failing to adequately screen these bullshit-grenades coming from Rove’s office? I mean, you either believe in lying-through-your-own-gullibility, or you don’t.
Or is there another possibility: You’re actually willing to ‘fess up that words like “lie” carry different definitions when they’re applied to the President, than the definition of such words when they’re applied to you. Oh I know it really does work that way, but are you actually willing to come out and say so?
There are three conceptually possible answers to that question, but the way I see it only two of those answers work, and they’re the two that make your Bush-bashing community look…well, a little nuttier than usual.
Third Question. Assuming that eventually, as the slow wheels of justice turn, Karl Rove is indicted and he has to resign his position: Are you planning for your answers to Questions One and Two to significantly change? They would have to, wouldn’t they?