Editorial or not? August 10, 2009 4:11 PM   Subscribe

How was this post not an editorial?

A link to Whitehouse.gov and a below the fold link to Talking Points Memo. This is clearly an important issue, but saul writes in the post:
as brought to light by Josh Marshall's indispensable Talking Points Memo

and

a new site to attempt to counter concerns arising from the various factual distortions, misrepresentations and wild-eyed fears that some participants in the ongoing health care reform debate have loudly been voicing lately.

Why are we to assume that Obama's press release is any better at making factual representations?

I'm not trying to call out Obama's policy either way. I am suggesting that without more meat in the post, it comes across as just another editorial in favor of Obama's healthcare reform.
posted by SeizeTheDay to Etiquette/Policy at 4:11 PM (171 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Are you saying there haven't been factual distortions, misrepresentations and wild-eyed fears in this debate? Some of the criticism of health care reform is valid and reasonable. This post directs us to criticism of the stuff that isn't. The post seems to me to be less pro-health care reform and more anti-lunacy.
posted by rocket88 at 4:17 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree that it's a venturing into kind of personally descriptive territory, but the big news of the post is the actual whitehouse.gov content (which people chewing on both pro and con seems to be a big chunk of the internet mindshare today), calling TPM "indispensable" strikes me as not very risible, and there has in fact been some deeply nutty shit going around lately on the health care stuff, moderate opinions on either side notwithstanding.

I wouldn't have minded a slightly more neutral rendering at all, or a more thorough roundup of what's been going on. I hear you there. But insofar as we aren't going to stomp out every tiny glowing ember of personal/editorial voice in a post, this one feels like it's inside the limit, imperfections or not.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:20 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


a new site to attempt to counter concerns arising from the various factual distortions, misrepresentations and wild-eyed fears that some participants in the ongoing health care reform debate have loudly been voicing lately.

This is not editorializing, per se, rather a statement of fact.

Yours sincerely,

A Canadian (who has benefited from socialized medicine)
posted by KokuRyu at 4:24 PM on August 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


The post seems to me to be less pro-health care reform and more anti-lunacy.

I think a post like that would've been great. Unfortunately, it's not credible when coming directly from the man who is spearheading healthcare reform. It's the same as if Bush setup a pro-Iraq war page on whitehouse.gov and it was linked here as factual.

But insofar as we aren't going to stomp out every tiny glowing ember of personal/editorial voice in a post

It's not just what saul said, cortex. It's the fact that it's a link to Obama. The very person who owns current healthcare reform (and the President), and the post acts as if this information is credible.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:26 PM on August 10, 2009


Are you confusing "credible" with "unbiased" ?
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:28 PM on August 10, 2009 [21 favorites]


Why are we to assume that Obama's press release is any better at making factual representations?

Why should we assume it is different than any other government website?

By the way, that isn't a press release. It may be spun, but it's aimed at the public, not the media.
posted by zarq at 4:28 PM on August 10, 2009


Hey, every post can't be a totally-not-biased-at-all-nope link to an op-ed from the New York Times or The Atlantic.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:30 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The real problem is generally over the top editorializing, not having words that could be perceived as favoring one side or another. I'd prefer no links to TPM-type sites generally but this is a good fit for them and the post isn't horrible. Could have been better? Yep. Delete-worthy? Nope.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:31 PM on August 10, 2009



I've heard everything from forced euthanasia and abortions to "government's gonna start monitoring my bank account 24-7" around this. The conversation's fucking nuts, and a rebuttal directly from the POTUS, along with context links and background is decent enough post material.
posted by boo_radley at 4:34 PM on August 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


The very person who owns current healthcare reform (and the President), and the post acts as if this information is credible.

The problem here is that the dude is the POTUS and whitehouse.gov is the official organ of the executive branch of the United States. Regardless of whether you think the contents of that page are credible, they are notable on a level that's unavoidable; this isn't a "link to one blog instead of another" sort of situation, since there's not really an alternate source for official statements of the head of state.

Again, I think agree with you in general that it's imperfect framing, but it doesn't feel over the line in this case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:35 PM on August 10, 2009


jessamyn: Could have been better? Yep. Delete-worthy? Nope.

cortex:Again, I think agree with you in general that it's imperfect framing, but it doesn't feel over the line in this case.

I understand. Just putting the issue out there.

Are you confusing "credible" with "unbiased" ?

No, I'm not. I'm being deliberate about my wording. I know it's biased. Being biased doesn't mean it can't be a front page post.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:39 PM on August 10, 2009


"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care."

(a) Factual distortion
(b) Misrepresentation
(c) Wild-eyed fear
(d) All of the above
posted by martens at 4:42 PM on August 10, 2009 [17 favorites]


This is just another sad example of reality showing its nasty liberal bias. When will it learn?
posted by octothorpe at 4:46 PM on August 10, 2009 [22 favorites]


O _____ O

STUPIDISM
posted by Artw at 4:53 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's truly awe-inspiring to watch the MetaFilter bias rationalization process at work.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:59 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I understand. Just putting the issue out there.

did you have to? Honestly?
posted by edgeways at 5:00 PM on August 10, 2009


No, I'm not. I'm being deliberate about my wording. I know it's biased. Being biased doesn't mean it can't be a front page post.

Then you must not know what the word credible means. I'll get a dictionary. Ahem. "1. offering reasonable grounds for being believed."

If nothing that came out of the executive branch were credible, we'd be fucked. OrAnd possibly still living during the Bush Administration. *rimshot*
posted by Caduceus at 5:08 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's truly awe-inspiring to watch the MetaFilter bias rationalization process at work.

There's a difference between "rationalization" and rationality.

Learn it already.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:28 PM on August 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


"Reason is the servant of the passions."—David Hume
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:32 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Being biased in posting something can be fine. Like "Check out this awesome, seriously fun flash game!" Biased? Yes. Editorializing? Sure.

Posting a collection of links where you say "Check out these crazy assholes dissing health reform efforts!" where all the links go to, I dunno, Fox or something - also biased, also axegrindingly editorializing.

But posting a link to the definitive site that refutes claims like "I'm gonna have to tell my doctor how to kill me when I turn 65!" isn't any more biased or editorializing than making a post about hurricanes and linking to NOAA.
posted by rtha at 5:32 PM on August 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine a world where information published by the federal government can't be considered credible. Unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics aren't credible? What about inflation numbers? Can the FDA be a credible source on which drugs are safe? Is the CDC credible in telling us whether or not Ebola is widespread in Massachusetts? Should I believe the National Weather Service when they tell me it's raining outside? Fuck! I'm so confused!
posted by 0xFCAF at 5:35 PM on August 10, 2009 [20 favorites]


"Reason is the servant of the passions."—David Hume

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."—David Hume
posted by Sys Rq at 5:40 PM on August 10, 2009 [22 favorites]


The only man to believe about the weather is Michael Fish, circa 1987.
posted by djgh at 5:41 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


You don't think the page on whitehouse.gov is credible? In what way exactly? Is there something in particular about it that is demonstrably a misrepresentation of the facts?

We get that it's biased. I mean, no shit, right? Discounting it as non-credible with no evidence other than it being Obama's website is a pretty extraordinary claim, IMO. I don't even go that far with Fox News unless they are saying something that I know to be bullshit. I'm hoping we're just understanding the word "credible" differently here, but I suspect not.
posted by cj_ at 5:46 PM on August 10, 2009


Sys Rq, your last comment is risible.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:49 PM on August 10, 2009


Examples of sites I would dismiss offhand as being non-credible (or at least worthy of deep suspicion): The Daily Mail, Weekly World News, Mainichi Daily News, Apocryphal "news of the weird" from random villages in India, various IndyMedia sites, etc.
posted by cj_ at 5:54 PM on August 10, 2009


“What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call 'thought'” - David Hume
posted by Dumsnill at 5:56 PM on August 10, 2009


In what respect, Crabby?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:58 PM on August 10, 2009


"Why won't Obama produce a birth certificate?" - Zombie Hume
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:02 PM on August 10, 2009 [14 favorites]


“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence” - David Hume.

Full circle.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:04 PM on August 10, 2009


"I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam." - Popeye the Sailor.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:05 PM on August 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well, to his credit, "inverse" is still a proportion.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:06 PM on August 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


"I worked for seventy years and the only thing anybody remembers is that I was married to Jessica Tandy." - Hume Cronyn
posted by box at 6:06 PM on August 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's truly awe-inspiring to watch the MetaFilter bias rationalization process at work.

Do you agree with this statement:

Under one of the proposed versions of healthcare reform from either the House or the Senate, a "death panel" will or can be set up to determine if an infant with Down's Syndrome should be euthanized.

Yes or no.
posted by DU at 6:08 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


David Hume said "no", so I'm gonna have to agree.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:10 PM on August 10, 2009


No, Sys Rq. I'm going to give MetaFilter the benefit of the doubt and assume that there's someone else here who cares enough about intellectual honesty to explain it to you.

DU: To answer your question: Mu.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:16 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


there's someone else here who cares enough about intellectual honesty to explain it to you.

DU: To answer your question: Mu.


Someone else, indeed.
posted by DU at 6:18 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


It must really annoy you, DU, that you failed to draw me into an off-topic discussion. The title of this post is "Editorial or not?" Please try to keep up.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:23 PM on August 10, 2009


Crabby: Yes. You're onto our secret. I'm afraid we do mostly lean Left. The jig is up; we've betrayed our bias. I expect you'll be filing a report with the Community Blog Impartiality Standards Council now, won't you?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:24 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


One of the claimed editorial comments is "factual distortions, misrepresentations and wild-eyed fears" I'm asking you if there have or have not been any of these and in particular I'm asking you if that statement is an example of same.
posted by DU at 6:24 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Reason is the servant of the passions."—David Hume



In America today, if your sensibilities are offended by something that has happened, you get an enormous amount of credibility and are taken very seriously.
- Brit Hume

posted by nola at 6:33 PM on August 10, 2009


DU, I hope that you're aware of the distinction between denotation and connotation. Words like "distortions", "misrepresentations", and "wild-eyed", have certain connotations that render them non-neutral. Completely independent of any facts, the quoted comment is editorial in nature.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:34 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Red alert, gentlemen. We have a deather in our midst.
posted by DU at 6:35 PM on August 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Reason is the servant of the passions."—David Hume

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."—David Hume


So David Hume was a polygenist, and a man of his day who shared some of the prejudices of his day. Dismissing him on those grounds is a pretty sloppy ad hominem.

That being said, I'm not a philosopher and I don't know how Hume's work applies to the health care debate. I know I'm not touching it!
posted by timeo danaos at 6:35 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


SEMANTICS FIGHT!!!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:35 PM on August 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


it's really kind of disheartening that metafilter, as a whole, seems to have imbibed in the obama kool aid.
posted by msconduct at 6:36 PM on August 10, 2009


It's tasty and refreshing.

Maybe a tad watered down, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:38 PM on August 10, 2009 [11 favorites]


Should it say or should it go
if it stays there will be trouble
If it goes there will be double.
posted by nola at 6:38 PM on August 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I read Crabby Appleton's posts, then my brain gets sad. But, still, one action consistently following another—over and over and over—does not equal cause and effect."—David Hume
posted by defenestration at 6:39 PM on August 10, 2009


The rule is not "every FPP has to be totally neutral, with no value judgment or preconceptions at all."

That's just not the rule.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:41 PM on August 10, 2009


Really, DU? What's a deather?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:42 PM on August 10, 2009


> it's really kind of disheartening that metafilter, as a whole, seems to have imbibed in the obama kool aid.

So unless you discount everything put on whitehouse.gov (with no evidence that it contains factual inaccuracies) entertain the notion that a Federal Death Panel™ is being set up to execute undesirable babies, you have drunk the proverbial "kool aid"? Is that about right?
posted by cj_ at 6:45 PM on August 10, 2009


it's really kind of disheartening that metafilter, as a whole, seems to have imbibed in the obama kool aid.

Well, really, how else are we going to kill all the old people?

It's laced with muslin socialism and gun-grabbing bacteria!
posted by defenestration at 6:46 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's the same as if Bush setup a pro-Iraq war page on whitehouse.gov and it was linked here as factual.

That's like saying that presenting a page debunking Apollo-11-was-fake as factual is the same as presenting a page about David Icke's reptile-jews as factual, because they're both presented as factual and neither even-handedly considers both sides of their questions and the one page was from NASA who owns Apollo 11.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:46 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


it's really kind of disheartening that metafilter, as a whole, seems to have imbibed in the obama kool aid.

I think people really want to believe in their leaders but more and more it seems like Americans are talking two different languages politically to the point that everyone seems to have imbibed in koolaid of one point of view or other. Do any of us really feel like we have been or ever will be represented? I don't really but I voted Obama and I hope that I can be pleasantly surprised by his leadership. Only time will tell.
posted by nola at 6:47 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


of course i don't discount everything put on whitehouse.gov. but just because it's on whitehouse.gov don't make it true, either.
posted by msconduct at 6:53 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


it's really kind of disheartening that metafilter, as a whole, seems to have imbibed in the obama kool aid.

I don't think the site has changed that much. I think it skews left but goes all the way out to radical leftist anarchist at the same time as we have some, not many, conservatives. Obama represents, to my mind, more of the people of MetaFilter than any other national elected official has in the time that MeFi has been around. This is not tough. I'm not sure why this is a problem any more than the George Bush years were a problem. I just barely voted for the guy but I have hopes that his administration can do some things that the last one didn't even pay lip service to.

I don't harbor any fantasy ideals that anyone who could get elected at a national level can really represent the things that are truly important to me. For example, the elimination of poverty which will require, I believe, a strong hard look at runaway global capitalism that I think is unlikely to happen under this or really any administration that is electable.

I don't think MeFi is a site of kool-aid drinkers about most topics but I think it's an easy way to slag people who are less critical about certain topics than maybe we might like them to be. Did you have a specific point or did you just want to kvetch-and-run?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:58 PM on August 10, 2009 [16 favorites]


I had no choice, really.

The Palin Kool Aid winked at me in a very creepy manner. The McCain Kool Aid kept smarmily calling me his friend, then threatened to invade my Muslim neighbor's backyard. The Clinton Kool Aid tried very hard, but in the end it was just a pale imitation of some similar Kool Aid I'd drunk gallons of in the 90's. All my friends were drinking the Ron Paul Kool Aid, and it looked appealing until I actually read the ingredients. The Kucinich Kool Aid only wanted a trophy drinker. The Edwards Kool Aid tried to sleep with my wife. (Bastard!) The Huckabee Kool Aid tried to baptize my kids, and the Tancredo Kool Aid thought I looked Mexican.

Obama's Kool Aid wasn't my first choice, but after drinking it I got some change back!
posted by zarq at 6:59 PM on August 10, 2009 [25 favorites]


I don't think MeFi is a site of kool-aid drinkers about most topics

Most? What are the exceptions that prove the rule?
posted by box at 7:01 PM on August 10, 2009


And really, for a recent former VP candidate to have gotten the issue so extremely and incitefully wrong can only be through deliberate distortion. Although I will concede there is a smidgen of doubt in my mind about outright idiocy.
posted by DU at 7:02 PM on August 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


Circumcision!
posted by defenestration at 7:02 PM on August 10, 2009


I love the fact that MetaFilter so often shows a direct bias toward TRUTH, and I wish Crabby Appleton and his ilk would crawl far enough back up the rabbit hole to realize that "Truth Vs. Lies" is NOT a valid debate.
posted by wendell at 7:07 PM on August 10, 2009 [10 favorites]


Oh. I don't think you really meant that, DU. I choose to forget it happened.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:08 PM on August 10, 2009


Christ, how I'd love to hear from a conservative that knows how to have a conversation with people instead of banging pots and pans.
posted by hifiparasol at 7:11 PM on August 10, 2009 [13 favorites]


If you can't recognize Palin's recent pontification as a proud example of THE BIG LIE (yes, I am Godwinning, because the comparison IS VALID), you have dropped another six feet down the rabbit hole.

My involvement with the Health Care debate comes from being a person who is alive today because I BARELY passed a Private Insurer's "Death Panel", and for whom, my last 4 years on Permanent Disability an Medicare are the most secure I have been about my Health Care in over two decades.
posted by wendell at 7:16 PM on August 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


And considering how many of the comments out of the gate in that thread were critical of the site, it's not like people are exactly lining up to kiss Obama's ring. I decided to stay out of the thread, since I kinda thought we already had a site that check on the truth of politician's statements.

I'll probably stay away from reality check, for the reasons others stated in the thread, and since I like to have my spin a level removed. I also don't see the site being effective or changing any one's minds.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:16 PM on August 10, 2009


I don't think the site is intended to change minds. It's intended to change conversations. Instead of the news being "Reputable Conservatives Warn Citizens of 'Death Panels'" the news, at least for a day or two, might turn to "What The New Plans Could (Actually) Mean For You".
posted by DU at 7:19 PM on August 10, 2009


it's really kind of disheartening that metafilter, as a whole, seems to have imbibed in the obama kool aid.

What's great about this line is that it's sort of true, in that the wind at MetaFilter currently blows in a more or less Obamaly direction, but it is framed in such a way that it's belittling and dismissive and false, and makes it sound like any acceptance or even optimism of an Obama policy marks you a sheeple. It's inciting yet insubstantial. Really nicely done!
posted by dirtdirt at 7:22 PM on August 10, 2009 [15 favorites]


i don't spend every waking minute on this site. i don't read every post everyone ever makes. i'm not going to go digging for a bunch of links, but my *impression* is that there are a fair amount of folks on here who defend obama with the same fanaticism that they condemn(ed) bush. and that the defense is not always based on rational thought, but on SWOON! it's OBAMA!

i don't want to piss in anyone's cornflakes here. i understand the need to have faith in 'change we can believe in' after the dark days of bush. but my impression of what i read on here for political discussions appears to have its rationale based on faith, not facts. this fpp is a wonderful example of that.

and wendell: wtf?

i'm going to bed.
posted by msconduct at 7:28 PM on August 10, 2009


The stupid is strong here.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:33 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pssst! Bo is a secret Rottweiler. Pass it on!
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:35 PM on August 10, 2009


it's really kind of disheartening that metafilter, as a whole, seems to have imbibed in the obama kool aid.

i'm not going to go digging for a bunch of links, but my *impression* is that there are a fair amount of folks on here who defend obama with the same fanaticism that they condemn(ed) bush. and that the defense is not always based on rational thought, but on SWOON! it's OBAMA!


Just for future reference, msconduct: "not always" and "as a whole" are not interchangeable.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:41 PM on August 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Can we just all agree right here to refuse to respond to anyone who uses the phrase "drinks the kool-aid" anymore? It's reductive and dismissive, and there's absolutely no way to use it rhetorically without insulting someone.
posted by hifiparasol at 7:44 PM on August 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Not to mention that Jim Jones was too cheap for name brand Kool Aid and made his followers drink Flavor Aid.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:48 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine a world where information published by the federal government can't be considered credible.…What about inflation numbers?

I see you haven't met Malor.
posted by oaf at 7:49 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


my *impression* is that there are a fair amount of folks on here who defend obama with the same fanaticism that they condemn(ed) bush. and that the defense is not always based on rational thought, but on SWOON! it's OBAMA!

I feel like this was more in evidence during the election than it is now; things were contentious, a lot of people were deeply fatigued by the Bush administration, the primary and general campaigns were both contentious on a personal/candidacy level to a degree that the previous races in 2000 and 2004 were not so much, and so there were a lot of folks latching on to one of the horses in the race, some for dear life.

The change of power and the months so far that Obama has had in office seem to have allowed a lot more breathing room as far as that goes—with the race decided, folks have been focusing more on what is happening than one what could happen.

So while at both points I think there's been a pretty vocal lefty or pro-Obama contingent on the site (along with a smaller righty/anti-Obama contingent and an overwhelming share of people not being so hardline vocal in either direction), a lot of what I've been seeing in the last couple months especially is people talking, often not with much satisfaction, about how the new administration is doing compared with what it promised or what they were expecting or hoping for, etc. While there are certainly a couple of swooners about, it's not remotely difficult to find direct criticism of Obama and his admin from folks who are self-identifying Democrats or generally left-leaning or progressive or what-have-you.

In situations where that critical-but-supportive crew comes up against starkly negative talking points or some other sort of aggressive volley, the supportive bit tends to come more into focus and the critical part tends to fade into the background for some folks, just as the opposite holds true for folks who might be skeptical-but-not-hardline about the Obama admin in peaceful moments. Hot arguments rarely bring out the best in folks, and judging the political temperature and temperament of the site's overall userbase by the worst-face het-up vocal displays of the most outspoken is generally a pretty poor way to go.

Unfortunately, it's also the easiest thing to pick up on and recall at a glance, and that's not really the at-a-glance reader's fault. I don't particularly enjoy most political threads around here even as someone who is more familiar with the site dynamics and the larger mefi context in which the stuff happens, and I am sometimes deeply frustrated by the arguments or rhetoric of those who I generally agree with ideologically, so I can understand why folks more right-leaning than I am could be bothered yet more. But political discourse in the form of internet chatter is pretty much fraught with that kind of difficulty wherever you go; I'd love it if Metafilter were a total exception to the rule, but I'm okay settling for it being better on average than some of the high-profile, explicitly-politically-aligned sites out there on either of the nominal sides of the American political dialectic.

and wendell: wtf?

I am reaching across the aisle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:51 PM on August 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


i don't want to piss in anyone's cornflakes here. i understand the need to have faith in 'change we can believe in' after the dark days of bush. but my impression of what i read on here for political discussions appears to have its rationale based on faith, not facts.

Nah, it's faith, based on facts. Check out that featured legislation list, do you like what you see? I do. Is Obama perfect? 'course not, but I'm digging many of the things he has and his general tone, so yeah, I'm content to let him do his thing the way he does his thing for now, especially considering my other option was McCain/Palin. At this point, Obama could be found with a dead girl AND a live boy and I'd probably be like "Well, at least he didn't start a war and act like a jackass for eight years."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 PM on August 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's laced with muslin socialism...

....There's a joke somewhere in here about quilts. Gimme a minute.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Look, jerkfaces It is actually very simple.
  1. Health care costs money. That money doesn't come out of thin air, it comes from somewhere. In fact, often, it comes from your own pocket. If you don't care if anyone else is healthy, then you should just spend your own money to cover your own expenses and to heck with everyone else. Now, if it so happens that you don't have enough money to pay for the health care you need, then you can just go get sick and die, because why should anyone else care about your health? If you don't agree with those last two sentences, then you may be someone who thinks that health care is something everyone should have. Many people in America think the solution to this problem lies in getting more people health insurance, which is a bit odd, because...
  2. In America, health insurance doesn't pay for health care! "But no," you say. "It does!" No, it doesn't. It's insurance -- you pay money against the highly unlikely possibility that you will get sick or hurt at some point in your life. What's that you say, it's actually fairly likely that you will get sick or injured at some point? Too bad, because health insurance is there for the highly unlikely possibility that you will get sick or injured. Once you have a known illness, the cost of your insurance will go up (even if you don't know it). And in the absence of specific legislation, the insurance companies will have no obligation to cover any health issue that they know you have. Because it is insurance. Against the highly unlikely possibility that you will get ill. So now, you might be covered for other illness (that you are highly unlikely to get) but not anything you have, and often not for anything that someone with your illness or injury might encounter in the future. You wouldn't expect a Life Insurance company to offer comprehensive coverage to someone who was already dead? Or get fire insurance on a building that's on fire? That would be crazy. So your coverage will decrease while your premiums increase. And except for outliers, for most people health insurance will always cost more than the health care they receive. Which leads me to...
  3. In America, for nearly all cases, health insurance is always a losing proposition. Health insurance companies must make money. And in fact, they do make money. Quite a bit of it. Now, in order to do that, they must make a profit. The only way they can do this is by getting more money in via premiums than they are paying for health care services. So, on average, an insured person's outlay to the insurance company is going to have to be more than the health care services they receive. If you're willing to risk it, it's far, far better to simply put your monthly premiums in a coffee can and then take the cash out whenever you need to pay for health costs. On average, most people would have to come out of that on top.
Okay, so what does this all mean? It means that long term, if what we actually care about is the health of people in this country, we have to move to a single payer plan. I'm not drinking the Obama kool aid necessarily, because what I want is socialized medicine. Yummy, delicious, grape-flavored socialized medicine. But the kool aid tastes a whole lot better than the private insurance sewage I've been drinking.

If, every once in a while, an obviously left-of-"Center" (aka American center aka conservative anywhere else) community website encounters a post in which a certain, justifiably correct viewpoint is presented (and, let's be honest, to argue that we have the greatest system for health care on Earth and socialized medicine will result in more deaths -- that is, I mean, it really is, a factual distortion), I am willing to suck it up.

I think the White House link is biased but credible. Is it because I'm a horrible lefty, who has always voted for Democrats, and who thought the war was a really bad idea at the very beginning, even when it was going oh so well?!? Maybe. It might also be because, unlike the positions and statements put forward by the Bush administration, I'm fairly certain that is backed up by actual facts.

Full disclosure: I am so much luckier than most of the people on this site when it comes to healthcare, because it is only costing me a hundred or so per month to insure against the highly unlikely possibility that I will get sick or injured. Of course, my deductible is around $7500, but that's cool because I really, really am treating this as insurance against the highly unlikely possibility that I will get sick -- again, because so far I have been lucky. No major accidents, no sicknesses, no icky spiders. The one thing I do need coverage for -- my ADD -- was pretty much a pre-existing condition, and explains my $700 prescription deductible. Did you know that insurance companies can add custom prescription deductible riders to your health insurance policy? I didn't, until I got it in the mail. My insurance is still barely better than all the alternatives, though. For a freelancer like me, single payer can't come fast enough.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:26 PM on August 10, 2009 [41 favorites]


Completely independent of any facts, the quoted comment is editorial in nature.

"There have been distortions and wild eyed misrepresentations voiced about the Snazzalump legislation." Is that an editorial comment? We don't know, because we don't have all the facts. There are such things as distortions and other things that are wild-eyed misrepresentations, and the degree to which the statement is editorial depends in part upon how accurately the statement describes the facts about the discourse surrounding the Snazzalump bill. Your suggestion that we should abstract away from the facts is a nonstarter.
posted by Kwine at 9:43 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


...defend obama with the same fanaticism that they condemn(ed) bush

When I went to high school, I rarely ate at the cafeteria. It was really crappy. The food was terrible. So I would buy a slice of pizza or candy or something, but often I didn't even both and just waited until I got home to eat. When I got to college, the cafeteria was wonderful. The first couple of years in college I ate there whenever I could. The thing is, I wouldn't say that I mindlessly "condemned" my high school cafeteria, and was fanatical about the new college cafeteria. I would say, instead, that the high school cafeteria sucked, didn't offer what I wanted or needed, and was just simply bad. The college cafeteria, on the other hand, was awesome, had exactly what I wanted, listened and responded to students' requests, and actually seemed to care about our health and taste buds. Bush, for me and around half of America, was like my high school cafeteria -- really bad. Obama is like this new great cafeteria. So forgive me if I'm pigging out just a bit right now, but I'm been starving myself for the past 8 years. Please stop making me and other people feel bad for being happy to finally have someone in office who is serving us portions of what we actually wanted.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:51 PM on August 10, 2009 [16 favorites]


Kwine: Sure, because the facts will tell us whether the misrepresentations were "wild-eyed" or not. Right.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:57 PM on August 10, 2009


"Pain? Pain is like love . . . like compassion! It is a thing only for lesser men. What is pain to Doom?" - Doctor Doom, Latverian Dictator and Death Panel Nominee

Hey, better an honest to gosh Doctor than some mainstream Washington bigwig insider, amirite?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:08 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


SeizeTheDay, just a note that it is usually good etiquette here to link to the Metatalk thread in the post you're calling out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:21 PM on August 10, 2009


Crabby, is this "wild-eyed"? An article on World Net Daily argues that the proposal "specifically calls for the consultation to recommend 'palliative care and hospice' for seniors in their mandatory counseling sessions." I suppose it's a judgement call as to whether or not it's "wild-eyed." It's not a judgement call that it's factually incorrect. Wrong. And the more it gets repeated, the more it looks like lying. Because what the bill says is the meeting must include "an explanation by the practitioner of the end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice"—not a recommendation of it.

You want wild-eyed?

Rep. Foxx: The Republican plan would "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."


The rightwing media has been playing this up as Obama sneaking in a provision that seniors should be killed. Is that really not "wild-eyed" where you come from? If so, I don't want to visit.
posted by rtha at 10:23 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Posted too soon.

If the misrepresentation is something like "The price of candy might go up by 50 cents" and the fact is that it will go up by 40 cents, then the claim is not really wild-eyed. If, on the other hand, the misrepresentation is "The price of candy is going up by 50 cents and you have to cut off your arm and give it to them in order to get your candy!" then the FACT that candy is going up by 40 cents, no arm required, should tell you that yes, the claim is completely fucking wild-eyed.
posted by rtha at 10:27 PM on August 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sure, because the facts will tell us whether the misrepresentations were "wild-eyed" or not. Right.

This sounds right to me. Why wouldn't they?
posted by creasy boy at 10:48 PM on August 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


various factual distortions, misrepresentations and wild-eyed fears

The time has come to call liars out for what they are.

Pussy-footing around the issue of fundamentally disagreeing with the batshitinsane 20% of the population is what has led America into the mess it is in.

The majority of Americans are sane folk who agree with kabaddi's chain-letter email in support of the value of the various US Government Agencies that make Good American Living possible. There is a loud and/or damnably greedy minority that is constantly hijacking your political system.

Don't let them do it. It's time to call out the liars and cheaters for who they are.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 PM on August 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is it possible to do a callout on someone's behavior in a callout? Because honestly, I get the feeling someone here just wants to provoke and argue.

and won't it be interesting to see who assumes I'm talking about them?
posted by davejay at 10:54 PM on August 10, 2009


Wild-eyed, from Mirriam Webster:

1: having a wild expression in the eyes
2: consisting of or favoring extreme or visionary ideas

Yep, the facts here seem to warrant the description "wild-eyed".
posted by creasy boy at 10:55 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suggest we direct C.A. to jedicus' link and leave him be. No need to let him yank chains.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:07 PM on August 10, 2009


SeizeTheDay:
"...
It's the same as if Bush setup a pro-Iraq war page on whitehouse.gov and it was linked here as factual.
...
It's not just what saul said, cortex. It's the fact that it's a link to Obama. The very person who owns current healthcare reform (and the President), and the post acts as if this information is credible.
"

Whitehouse.gov was linked on the front page 171 times during the Bush presidency so I don't think linking there is by itself a problem. President Bush controlled the content during his administration, now President Obama does.
The point is not how the "post acts" as long as it is within reason as judged by the vocal few and the flagging masses. The point is to click on the links, come to your own conclusion and comment if you want.
posted by vapidave at 11:08 PM on August 10, 2009


Also this link from semojo, and its subsequent blog entry.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:22 PM on August 10, 2009


This sounds right to me. Why wouldn't they?

I think I'm being trolled.

However...

Calling a claim "wild-eyed" is simply characterizing the claim in a pejorative way. "Wild-eyed" is nothing but a pejorative characterization, i.e., a negative editorial comment on the claim. There is no objective definition of "wild-eyed" as used in this figurative way, no objective measure of "wild-eyed-ness" that can be applied to a claim. Calling a claim "wild-eyed" is not an assertion of fact. It's an indirect insult to whomever made the claim. The connotation of "wild-eyed" is "madness". The implication of calling a claim "wild-eyed" is that the person making the claim is nuts. I really don't care if you want to do that, but don't claim that it's anything other than a derogatory editorial comment, the verbal equivalent of flinging shit.

Regardless of how much so many of you apparently want it to be the case, I am not defending any claims of either "side" of the health care issue, nor have I done so anywhere in this thread. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:23 PM on August 10, 2009


I think I'm being trolled.

You're not being trolled. Your poor understanding of the English language is simply being noted, while most have moved on.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:27 PM on August 10, 2009


You're not being trolled.

I am now. Good night.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:35 PM on August 10, 2009


Take care!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:40 PM on August 10, 2009


"Wild-eyed" is nothing but a pejorative characterization

It's nothing but pejorative? It's entirely synonymous with "bad", you're saying? If I don't like my sandwich I could say "this sandwich is wild-eyed"?

There is no objective definition of "wild-eyed" as used in this figurative way, no objective measure of "wild-eyed-ness" that can be applied to a claim.

There's an objective definition, I linked to it. Here's another:

1. Glaring in or as if in anger, terror, or madness.
2. Extreme and passionate in belief or advocacy

It is true that there is no "objective measure". Is it your opinion that only quantifiable descriptions are allowed in FPPs?
posted by creasy boy at 11:46 PM on August 10, 2009


You know, if Hume were alive today...

Obama would totally send someone to tell him he's old and useless and has to choose how he wants to die.
posted by qvantamon at 11:55 PM on August 10, 2009


"I tried, brothah. I've tried twice to save you, but the universe has a way of course-correcting, and I can't stop it forever. I'm sorry - I'm sorry because, no matter what I try to do... you're gonna die, Charlie." - Desmond Hume

Desmond Hume...DEATH PANELIST.
posted by granted at 12:13 AM on August 11, 2009 [12 favorites]


Death panels, people. Remember you are arguing with someone who (honestly|claims to) thinks Obama is trying to euthanize Down's Syndrome babies. Because liberals are well-known for their hatred of disadvantaged children. Witness the frequent torture of same on Sesame Street.
posted by DU at 2:56 AM on August 11, 2009


And except for outliers, for most people health insurance will always cost more than the health care they receive.

Outlier, here. The only thing worse than paying 1/2 my salary for health insurance premium is paying the whole thing for prescriptions. If you have a chronic condition in the US, you might as well open your pockets and pour your money straight down the drain. Even with insurance, I end up paying unholy amounts of money on health care. Without? Let's just say that the thousands of dollars of credit card debt that I've got and the number of shoes in my closet have nothing to do with each other.

When I see people I know *with* health insurance who haven't even gotten so far as setting up primary care appointments and taking control of their health in a basic, preventative way... I really, really want to start foaming at the mouth since a lot of Americans *with* insurance seem to forget that in this stupid country, healthcare isn't a right, but a privilege and a lot of us would give our eyeteeth for good health and/or good insurance.

Seriously, guys. If you have insurance and haven't had a yearly check up, go now and call your local hospital/clinic and ask to be set up with a primary care provider. Having a clean bill of health is, as they say, priceless. And if you've got some thing or another that they can find early and treat preventatively, that will save you zillions (yes, ZILLIONS!) of dollars later.

This message brought to you by the Grapefruitmoon Society For Being Evangelical About Health Insurance In The U-SOFA And How It Totally Blows, But Hey, Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:49 AM on August 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some people just can't stand when they don't get to control the terms of every debate.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:17 AM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope you aren't referring to conservatives. Because they *do* get to control the terms of every debate. Instead of debating savings or coverage completeness or whether vision/dental is covered or the long-term effects of the public option we are discussing death panels.

Is socialized medicine bad because it has death panels or is it enough that SOCIALISM!!! has invaded our pristine capitalist society? Socialized death panels: Bad for America or the WORST for America? Studies show terrorist death panel their rec rooms.

Seriously. Death panels. (And sundry related lies.) These are the terms of the debate and they weren't set by liberals.
posted by DU at 4:26 AM on August 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't know seizetheday's politics, but I do know that describing the debate about healthcare as "factual distortions, misrepresentations and wild-eyed fears" is absolutely factual, and calling it out as being editorializing is to reject the desire to have a reasoned debate.

As to suggesting that Obama's whitehouse.gov is certainly as full of outright misrepresentations and distortions of fact as Bush's version was -- well, that's one hell of an accusation, and I'd love to see it backed up by some actual evidence that what's been put on whitehouse.gov is not factual, rather than simply assume, if it comes from the White House, it must be a crock.

The only editorializing I see in that post is the statement that Talking Points Memo is indispensable, and that hardly seems enough to drive a callout.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:41 AM on August 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pussy-footing around the issue of fundamentally disagreeing with the batshitinsane 20% of the population is what has led America into the mess it is in.

fivefreshfish explains sort of what I also mean. Our media is so concerned with the appearance of balance (even while they've forgotten what it is) that we get this wacko "on the one hand we have this anti-poisoning initiative... now let's hear from the people who are in FAVOR of poisoning!" approach to topics.

We act like things like the death penalty, people owning AK47's for hunting, abstinence education and million dollar bonuses to people whose companies went bankrupt and are receiving federal bailout money are "normal" at some sort of global level. Not that I don't think those are debatable points, but I think it's also worth understanding the larger global context these things happen in. Most people (in the world's governed countries) consider the death penalty barbaric, as an example, and few other countries even have it.

If we as Americans decide that that's the way we want to do business, that's one thing. If we want to act like this is THE way to do things ignoring that other people in other countries have drawn different conclusions and, in some cases, wound up with more favorable outcomes for themselves and their citizens, that's fully another.

People with what would otherwise be considered fringe/lunatic positions [Obama death panel is in this category. I'm aware it's rhetoric, but not everyone is] and it should be okay to say "That is a weird fringe position not supported by facts and used for the purpose of advancing a political position not a fact-based educational position and we don't have to give it equal air time" without having to go say "Well, let's see what the lunatics have to say about the Obama death panels" being a necessary step of calling out an opinion as "wild-eyed" to me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:35 AM on August 11, 2009 [12 favorites]


Oh, heh--I was just gonna say what Astro Zombie said. So, like, never mind... Granted, characterizing TPM as "indispensable" might be editorializing a bit (one man's meat being another man's poison, and whatnot). But I'd also point out that that bit was in the "more inside" portion of the post, which at least in its common usage seems to be held to at least a slightly looser set of standards than proper front-page content. But that might just be my impression. Either way, what Astro Zombie said.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:39 AM on August 11, 2009


Already linked in the thread, but this is from an interview with Johnny Isakson, a Republican Senator from Georgia:

I understand -- and you have to check this out -- I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin's web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts.
posted by neroli at 6:50 AM on August 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, but pro-life Republican Senators from Georgia are well-known for their liberal bias. Compared to anti-health-reform wackos, anyway.
posted by DU at 6:55 AM on August 11, 2009

* Main Entry: wild–eyed
* Pronunciation: \ˈwī(-ə)ld-ˈīd\
* Function: adjective
* Date: 1791

1 : having a wild expression in the eyes
2 : consisting of or favoring extreme or visionary ideas
I think it's hard to disagree that the claim "The United States Congress is considering legislation to euthanize my Down Syndrome baby and my grandmother" is not "extreme".
posted by Flunkie at 7:40 AM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Errr, I mean it's hard not to agree that that claim is extreme.
posted by Flunkie at 7:57 AM on August 11, 2009


Crabby Appleton: "I really don't care if you want to do that, but don't claim that it's anything other than a derogatory editorial comment, the verbal equivalent of flinging shit."

I like to consider this comment by cortex to be the reasonable way to look at this issue. Yes, it's editorial and biased. No, it's not extraordinarily so and it can probably be left up because, in the end, it's not that bad.
posted by shmegegge at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2009


Jessamyn has it spot on. The Tyranny of Even-Handedness.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:29 AM on August 11, 2009


It's laced with muslin socialism...

I don't much cotton to these sorts of claims.
posted by cairnish at 8:31 AM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see this administration reframe this discussion by creating a meditative body whose job it is to determine if an estate is eligible for exemption of the Death Tax. They would be called, of course, the Death Panel.

This way when the people scream "We don't want Death Panels!" everyone else could ask, "But I thought you opposed the estate tax? Wouldn't it be better if there was a chance of not having to pay it?"

Late night political talk shows would implode in confusion.
posted by quin at 8:59 AM on August 11, 2009


Between "Death Tax" and "Death Panels", the GOP has really shown how nuanced it is in rebranding hot-button topics. It plays really well with the base, so you know they're going to ramp it up. Personally, I'm looking forward to hearing my crazy uncle spouting these phrases sometime soon:

Abortion Providers = DEATH DOCTORS
Gay Marriage = DEATH MARRIAGE
Renewable Energy = DEATH ENERGY
Cash for Clunkers = CASH FOR DEATH
posted by turaho at 9:29 AM on August 11, 2009 [8 favorites]


They are a little more nuanced than that. For instance, consider:

guns = FREEDOM STICKS
posted by DU at 9:32 AM on August 11, 2009


Well, just to be fair, DEATH STICKS was already trademarked by the tobacco industry.
posted by box at 9:50 AM on August 11, 2009


And BOOM STICKS was already taken.
posted by djgh at 10:09 AM on August 11, 2009


Christ, how I'd love to hear from a conservative that knows how to have a conversation with people instead of banging pots and pans.

How about over here? Of course, it comes down to what you consider "conservative" nowadays.
posted by cimbrog at 10:16 AM on August 11, 2009


Did you just say BOOM STICK? That, my friend, is a Winchester thirty-aught-six.
posted by DU at 10:17 AM on August 11, 2009


POOHSTICKS!
posted by box at 10:43 AM on August 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


FU-SCHNICK!
posted by box at 10:44 AM on August 11, 2009


GLUE STICK!
posted by box at 10:45 AM on August 11, 2009


can we go back to the love fest of last week? This thread was needless and provokes feelings of wanting to roundly cuss some people out. I wish it had been closed after the first Mod explanation.
posted by edgeways at 11:00 AM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


-hug-
posted by edgeways at 11:01 AM on August 11, 2009


-hugs a pie-
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:11 AM on August 11, 2009




DU : Did you just say BOOM STICK? That, my friend, is a Winchester thirty-aught-six.

I think we may have to agree to disagree on that. A proper boom stick is a 12 gauge double barreled Remington made in Grand Rapids Michigan and sold for about $109.95.

If memory serves, it comes with a book of useful one liners like "Yo, she bitch, let's go" and "Good, bad? I'm the guy with the gun."

If you get the deluxe model, you'll also get a crumpled box of 12 gauge shells that never seems to run out, though you'll probably end up with a bunch of loose ones rattling around in your trunk next to your Chemistry text books.
posted by quin at 11:52 AM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


When Wild-Eyes are outlawed, only OUTLAWS will have WILD-EYES.

The rest of us will have to settle for CRAZY-EYES.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:03 PM on August 11, 2009


Or HUNGRY-EYES.

goddamn, what would the eighties have looked like without cocaine and hair-spray.
posted by boo_radley at 12:12 PM on August 11, 2009


I think we may have to agree to disagree on that. A proper boom stick is a 12 gauge double barreled Remington made in Grand Rapids Michigan and sold for about $109.95.

You can find them in S-Mart's sporting goods department. Walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger.

Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

You got that?
posted by zarq at 12:27 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think we may have to agree to disagree on that. A proper boom stick is a 12 gauge double barreled Remington made in Grand Rapids Michigan and sold for about $109.95.

One of the beautiful little details that killed me about that movie was the sound effect of shells being jacked into the chamber of a double-barreled shotgun between shots.
posted by Pragmatica at 12:31 PM on August 11, 2009




I was working on a reply to some of the stuff posted since last night. But then I said to myself, you're arguing with people who seem not to be familiar with the concept of tone in writing. Either they are (and are being disingenuous), or they aren't; in either case, there doesn't seem to be much point in arguing with them. And I said all I really wanted to say in my previous comments. So I'll leave it at that.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:22 PM on August 11, 2009


JESUS CHRIST CRABBY APPLETON WHAT THE HELL
posted by Burhanistan at 1:26 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


the internet is tone deaf.. that is why those god damned emoticons where invented.
posted by edgeways at 1:32 PM on August 11, 2009


That's our Crabby Appleton!
posted by shmegegge at 1:35 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


UPDATE: The Decemberists have been issued a citation by police.

I'd call the cops on them too if they started playing that Hazards of Love shit.
posted by ludwig_van at 1:35 PM on August 11, 2009


*sigh*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:38 PM on August 11, 2009


"girl"
posted by boo_radley at 1:45 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Crabby Appleton: So I'll leave it at that.

Like forever?
posted by gman at 1:53 PM on August 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't think MeFi is a site of kool-aid drinkers

Two words: Bacon kool-aid.

Most Mefites would sell their favorites to some of that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:58 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was going to write a response last night, but then I realized that people don't understand the rap that I'm putting down, man, and it's their own damn fault, baby, so I'm just going to split this scene. You dig me?

Sorry. I've been watching Barney Miller and the way Ron Glass speaks on the show has sort of climbed into my brain.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:59 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I might sell my probable, possible unborn children for a bacon soda-avocado icecream float, right about now.
posted by bonehead at 2:05 PM on August 11, 2009


Bacon Rolling Papers
posted by gman at 2:09 PM on August 11, 2009


I'd call the cops on them too if they started playing that Hazards of Love shit.

I was working on a reply to this, but then I said to myself, you're arguing with someone who seem not to be familiar with the concept of quality in music. Either they are (and are being disingenuous), or they aren't; in either case, there doesn't seem to be much point in arguing with them. So I'll leave it at that.
posted by rocket88 at 2:18 PM on August 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


As to suggesting that Obama's whitehouse.gov is certainly as full of outright misrepresentations and distortions of fact as Bush's version was -- well, that's one hell of an accusation, and I'd love to see it backed up by some actual evidence that what's been put on whitehouse.gov is not factual, rather than simply assume, if it comes from the White House, it must be a crock.

I think that one of the Bush Administration's goals was to develop and nurture any and all distrust in the federal government, and they succeeded by completely failing at everything they attempted.

Katrina? Man, the federal government can't do anything right.
Iraq? The federal government sure fucked that up.

Instead of placing the blame on the assclowns responsible, many are willing to blame the government as a whole, which is downright absurd.
posted by graventy at 2:52 PM on August 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd call the cops on them too if they started playing that Hazards of Love shit.

Oh yeah? The Hazards of Love is awesome. Harumph.
posted by jokeefe at 3:11 PM on August 11, 2009


It's truly awe-inspiring to watch the Crabby Appleton bullshit rationalization process at work.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:35 PM on August 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Jessamyn has it spot on. The Tyranny of Even-Handedness.

It is definitively not the tyranny of even-handedness. That would imply that both sides are fairly chosen and fairly represented. They are not.

Take, for instance, the vaccination "debate." On one side of the argument there is science and mathematical statistics. And on the other side, batshitinsane hyperbole and lies.

That is not even-handedness. That's selling television to eyeballs. Nothing to do with informing viewers so that they might make wise democratic choices. Everything to do with increasing strife, media whoring, public panic, and — ultimately — attracting those ever-valuable eyeballs to the glass tube.

Even-handedness my hairy ass.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:23 PM on August 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Poohsticks, there is a bridge over a river in the BC Rockies, out near Golden, where kayakers are known to play in the rapids. Directly underneath, about 400' down.

Poohsticks.

Ouch.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:25 PM on August 11, 2009


Take, for instance, the vaccination "debate." On one side of the argument there is science and mathematical statistics. And on the other side, batshitinsane hyperbole and lies.

Oh man, where is that great recent comment about how all it takes in a room of consensus is one uninformed opinion to turn it into a "debate" (but the actual comment was expressed much better)? Was it in a thread about evolution? *goes to look*
posted by jokeefe at 4:42 PM on August 11, 2009


No, Hazards of Love sucks.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:35 PM on August 11, 2009


No, Flavor of Love sucks.
posted by box at 7:29 PM on August 11, 2009


No, love sucks. And bites and licks and scratches and nibbles, if you're lucky.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:40 PM on August 11, 2009


I was getting ready to write a comment saying that I think liberally-framed posts face less deletion scrutiny not because of mod bias, but because conservatively-framed posts tend to produce angrier threads, which the mods don't want to encourage. But while searching for examples of provocatively framed conservative posts that had been deleted, I ended up mostly being impressed by how many had been left standing (this being the most prominent exception). So I stand preemptively corrected.

The only deletion decision for a strongly political post in recent months that struck me as egregious was letting this post stand (it was blatantly intended to help fund raise for a group that had not yet done anything newsworthy, IMHO). If a post like that had been written about a group fighting for the opposing cause, I think it would have been flagged to a pulp. But overall, I'm convinced that the mods do a good job fairly applying this place's fuzzy standards.
posted by gsteff at 9:57 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


All in all I'd say we delete more liberally-framed posts just because a larger proportion of vocal (i.e. actively posting) left-leaning folks = a larger proportion of problematically editorial/bloggy posts that are left-leaning = a larger proportion of those for us to kill. If people are bitchy or fighty in a well-constructed post that happens to lean against the prevailing win, that's the bitchy/fighty people's issue generally and isn't grounds for deletion, even if it does in some cases generate some extra work for us.

It's not like contentious liberal-tinged posts don't generate friction and work for us too, so, yeah.

More generally, what we end up killing a lot of is posts that mistake the front page for an advocacy platform in general, whether it's in a way that's easily categorized as falling along the mainstream US political axis either left or right, or something that's more of an agenda/niche post along its own tertiary axis or whatever the case. A lot of Outragefilter lands in this bucket, regardless of what exactly the nature of the outrage is. We don't claim to be perfectly free from human bias, etc, but if there is an overall skew to what gets posted in the first place and hence deleted that's a matter of demographic serendipity, not administrative intention. There's no political mission here, and we don't want such to be in any way part of our decision-making process.

The only deletion decision for a strongly political post in recent months that struck me as egregious was letting this post stand

Man, I don't like that post much myself, but such is the blur that was late election season last year (here's an example of what was going on in Metatalk in the same 24 hours or so, say) that I honestly don't even remember seeing that post. Looking back, it didn't get any significant pile of flags, so I'd say it probably just slipped under the radar—we do generally kill fundraising/advocacy posts when we see 'em, and if it happened to night I'd delete it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:46 PM on August 11, 2009


> if it happened to night I'd delete it.

FASCISM!

Now we see the oppression inherent in the system!
posted by languagehat at 7:21 AM on August 12, 2009


Our media is so concerned with the appearance of balance (even while they've forgotten what it is) that we get this wacko "on the one hand we have this anti-poisoning initiative... now let's hear from the people who are in FAVOR of poisoning!" approach to topics.

A funny bit from Dara O’Briain on the topic.
posted by ericost at 9:54 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


gman: "Bacon Rolling Papers"
Yikes, those are bacon flavored and they have more flavored rolling papers. I can't decide if that is genius or madness, I guess I would have to decide in context. I wonder if they have rolling paper sommeliers at some of the finer of those cafe's in Amsterdam? That would be cool.
posted by vapidave at 3:13 PM on August 12, 2009


Flavored rolling papers? Fuck that noise. If I'm drinking fine wine, I don't smear a bunch of strawberry jam on the rim of the goddamn glass.
posted by box at 4:15 PM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's a ridiculous comparison. Try dipping the rim of your glass in a pan full of freshly congealed bacon fat. Pour yourself a nice dry Riesling, and consume immediately so as to enjoy the full effect of a unique texture and flavour.
posted by gman at 5:17 PM on August 12, 2009


FASCISM!

Now we see the oppression inherent in the system!


Sigh. If you're going to quote the Holy Scriptures, you have to do it correctly.

To whit: "Now we see the violence inherent in the system!"

Followed by the Response: "Help help, I'm being repressed!"

Amen.
posted by jokeefe at 6:17 PM on August 12, 2009


Bloody peasant!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:14 PM on August 12, 2009


I don't think that posts need to eschew all point-of-view language to pass the editorializing bar here. It's hardly arguable that the Whitehouse.gov page was put up with the intention of addressing falsehoods (whether you agree that they are falsehoods or not, that was the intention, as stated). And the example of a falsehood shown is pretty open-and-shut. If tossing the word "indispensable" into the same sentence as "TPM" counts as an egregious opine to you, then I have to wonder if this MeTa post, itself, is not an editorial.
posted by scarabic at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2009


Here's another example of how editorializing is OK as long as it's for the "right" side:

http://www.metafilter.com/84093/This-organic-mustard-makes-my-foot-taste-great

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market (WHMI) writes a Wall Street Journal op-ed about teh evil Obamacare.
posted by Perplexity at 6:10 AM on August 13, 2009


Yes, we get it: FPPs are not unbiased.

Suck it up, people. If this place were wholly sterile, it'd be a lot less interesting.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's another example of how editorializing is OK as long as it's for the "right" side:

...Actually, I believe I've seen just about the same amount of "editorializing" on both sides. Are you sure there isn't a bit of confirmation bias going on when you peruse the blue?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:49 AM on August 13, 2009


Well, the unfortunate problem is that if MeFi leans left in general, then we may get quite a diversity of leftists posts, including some with editorializing that is moderate and perhaps even instructive. However, perhaps this isn't a place where you're going to find a lot of well-spoken right-wingers, period. In which case any instance you could point to of right-wing editorializing would naturally be vitriol and garbage.

But then again with so many more leftists, there should be deletions galore of leftist trash.

And I think there are. There are just a number of well-made and more reasonable posts that stay up, even if they have some leftist editorializing, because they happen to be quality posts. If MeFi could develop a community of right-wingers who posted good stuff and sprinkled it with their POV, I bet it would fly here. I think MeFi is against vitriol and garbage not against the right.

But then again, the right is the party of fear, vitriol, and garbage these days. DOH! Suck it, haters. It's true.
posted by scarabic at 10:47 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Reality is renown for leaning left.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:19 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


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