Media

No, Biden Can't Save Us With a 'Reality Czar.' Also, WTF?

It's peak season for terrible ideas from journalists, academics, and politicians about how to combat disinformation and extremism.

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Pessimistic technology reporter Kevin Roose has a piece in Tuesday's New York Times with the disconcerting yet accurately representative headline, "How the Biden Administration Can Help Solve Our Reality Crisis." Pegged to the twin anxieties over right-wing conspiracy theories and violence, Roose's article contains one of the most blink-inducing paragraphs I have ever encountered in a respected journal:

Several experts I spoke with recommended that the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a "reality czar."

Cue scores of snorting noises on Twitter about our new "Ministry of Truth."

"It sounds a little dystopian, I'll grant," Roose concedes. "But let's hear them out."

OK, let's. Harvard's Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, joins the recent political-class chorus calling for a "truth commission," and pushes for the feds to have access to Facebook/Twitter/YouTube algorithms: "We must open the hood on social media so that civil rights lawyers and real watchdog organizations can investigate human rights abuses enabled or amplified by technology."

Stanford Internet Observatory disinformation researcher Renée DiResta advocates a centralized counter-conspiracy task force, because if federal agencies are doing that work separately, "you run the risk of missing connections, both in terms of the content and in terms of the tactics that are used to execute on the campaigns." Various pols and pundits propose rewriting Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act while using anti-trust threats to tame Big Tech; counter-extremism specialist Micah Clark plumps for a "social stimulus," and hate-group deprogrammer Christian Picciolini opts for the kitchen-sink approach: "We have to destroy the institutional systemic racism that creates this environment. We have to provide jobs. We have to have access to mental health care and education."

These thought bubbles may sound like unintentional self-parody to libertarian ears, but they are common both among the people who just re-took power in Washington and the knowledge workers who are glad they did. "We're going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can't just spew disinformation and misinformation," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) warned on Jan. 13. A day earlier, PolitiFact founder Bill Adair and Duke professor Philip Napoli argued that President Joe Biden "should announce a bipartisan commission to investigate the problem of misinformation and make recommendations about how to address it. The commission should take a broad approach and consider all possible solutions: incentives, voluntary industry reforms, education, regulations, and new laws."

So merely as a matter of prevent defense, it's worth taking these ideas both seriously and literally. Starting with a point so obvious that only journalists and academics could miss it: Proposed changes to government policy should always be visualized with the opposing team in charge of implementation. Imagine as the anointer of a Reality Czar not Joe Biden, but President Ted Cruz, or President Tucker Carlson. You people do remember that the White House was the scene of insane meetings like this all of two weeks ago, right?

There are also several structural problems with tasking government to encourage and adjudicate society's net store of capital-T Truth. Politicians (such as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris) are incentivized to embellish their credentials, fictionalize their biographies, and misrepresent their records. Government agencies, given their druthers, would rather operate like the CIA—funding essentially guaranteed, details not available on request. As our resident Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filer C.J. Ciaramella frequently reminds us, it's the norm for bureaucrats to "flout the spirit and, quite often, the letter of federal record law." And the last time Biden was in the White House, his boss left "a blueprint on how to suppress information and get away with it."

Truth is but one of many interests grasping for the steering wheel on the ship of state, and its lobbyists are comparatively underpaid. Realpolitik, interest-group payouts, and paternalistic efforts to shape citizen behavior all warp the common use of language and fact.

There's a reason why U.S. officials can't gin up the courage to call the century-old Turkish genocide of more than 1 million Armenians a "genocide," yet are currently characterizing China's brutal, though non-mass-murderous, suppression of its Uighur minority with a G-word even while several human rights groups do not (see also: "states that sponsor terrorism"). The food pyramid and its antecedents have been many things, but revealed truth is not one of them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, name-checked in Roose's article, changed its recommendations on masks based more on behavioral effects than science. War is a perpetual lie-making machine, and that includes the war on drugs.

The messy reality of overlapping bureaucracies and their conflicting interests may be one reason why pundit imagineers are tempted by "centralization" and the notion of a "czar." It's the eternal lure of a single magic wand. And about as childish.

"The knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use," F.A. Hayek famously observed, "never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess." The more you centralize the processing and dissemination of knowledge, the greater the range and effect of potential error.

The centralization of U.S. intelligence under a single Department of Homeland Security after 9/11 was supposed to make us smarter and faster, and yet its single most visible impact on our lives is invasive and ineffective security screening at airports. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic kept "key virus data out of public sight," the Associated Press reported Jan. 22, lest the little people get confused. In related news, Newsom kept outdoor playgrounds in sunny California closed for several months after a preponderance of studies had demonstrated that kids were not spreading it to one another outdoors. Science is a dispersed, contested, and constantly evolving process, not an on-off switch best entrusted to a single enlightened source.

I will let my colleagues Elizabeth Nolan Brown and Andrea O'Sullivan (twice), respectively, argue against gutting Section 230, using anti-trust against Big Tech, and giving the government access to social media algorithms, though props to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for demonstrating the dangers this week. But a final word about some kind of "truth commission."

Here's yet another political-class endorsement of that idea, from Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch last month:

Congress needs to create a Truth and Reconciliation process — a commission, perhaps, or even just an open forum — that will allow some or hopefully most to acknowledge Biden's victory, state for there record that there was no election fraud in 2020, and maybe even apologize for saying otherwise.

Last year — before we had any idea the 45th president would incite an insurrection against the U.S. government — some of us called for a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the lies and the anti-democratic policies of the Trump years. For that idea, we were vilified by some right-wingers who acted as if we were proposing a Nuremberg-war-crimes-trial kind of operation. But in fact a Truth and Reconciliation Commission — as successfully pulled off in South Africa and other strife-riven countries — is a chance for finding a common national story, for amnesty and a new beginning.

I'd be shocked if this happened, but I don't know any other peaceful path forward.

Hyperbole aside, can you spot the flaw in this oft-used historical analogy? South Africa was a brutal racist police state. Most countries that have staged variants on truth commissions or qualified amnesties for past collaborators did so in large part because they were transitioning from authoritarianism to liberal democracy, and doing so requires immediate creative thinking about how to deal with past crimes and operate a current government without re-filling the prisons. It's a damnably hard problem, not least because laws change dramatically in such transitions, prompting difficult questions about how to assign culpability to actions and collaborations that were perfectly legal in the Before Times.

Regardless of how darkly you characterize the Trump administration, that analogy just does not apply to the United States. Our laws, with almost no exception, are the same, and are in fact being used to prosecute hundreds of people connected with the January 6 Capitol Hill ransacking. There are no pressing questions of lustration, of property-denationalizing, of teaching old civil service new codes of behavior.

Shorn of such urgencies, any proposed Truth Commission process looks more like a one-sided lecture, potentially backstopped by some government coercion aimed at those who are producing and consuming media in ways that the commissioners find distasteful. Not a very promising scenario for "reconciliation."

Readers who've made it this far may be under the impression that I am blasé about the mainstream hold that conspiratorial twaddle has placed on ostensibly governing Republicans. In fact, I am not—there's a mutually reinforcing rot in conservative politics and media, one whose main culprits are the politicians, journalists, and consumers who are either doing media literacy wrong, or making the cynical decision to pander to fantasies they themselves don't believe in. It's not a pretty picture, and blaming the left-leaning media is no excuse for any of it.

But what should said media do? Here is where my view diverges sharply. Journalists and media-theoreticians right now think the solution to Trumpy delusion is to deplatform even sitting U.S. senators, sic the feds on Fox News, break up Big Tech, reject "bothsidesism," use the most maximally negative adjectives to describe Republicans, and reposition journalism as a tool for producing better democratic outcomes through applied moral clarity.

I think those approaches will backfire. Deliberately shrinking the public square is no way to persuade consumers on the edges of the debate. Injecting more moralizing into fact-gathering is unlikely to make the end product more factual. Giving the government more power over the rules and practice of free speech is, well, dystopian.

My recommendation to journalists and their cousins in government and academia will be neither popular nor satisfying, but here it is: Do your own jobs better. That's it, that's the memo. If government was efficient and helpful, if journalism was compelling and truthful, if the academe was relevant and unpredictable, their lectures would have far more resonance, and audience.

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  1. Pretty sure “reality czar” is as extremist as it can be.

    Maybe you’re assigning “extremism” to the wrong people/place.

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    2. The quickest method to reduce conspiracy theories and misinformation, is for the press to be objective and tell the truth without interjecting their bias and thoughts. And that includes reason.com.

      Tell what happened. When it happened. Details of the happenings, and then STFU. In modern day, the press are political activists that conceal known negatives of their position while pushing the positives.

      1. That does not preach to their respective choirs, does not get clicks, and does not sell anything

        And besides, most “journalists” have no interest in what you are proposing. Bully pulpits all around.

        1. then they’re not even scare quote journos.

        2. + 1. Although the book was written in the 1920s, Edward Bernays’ book, Propaganda, lays this out pretty well. Nothing has changed in nearly one hundred years.

          1. Being Jewish, Bernay’s was reportedly quite offended that Goebbels used his ideas to achieve quite a few of the Nazi’s objectives.

            Which I liken to inventing a bomb, and then being disturbed that your mortal enemies would use it against you.

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      2. This has never happened and likely can never happen due to basic logic. What to report is a value judgement, so even just reporting the facts, whatever that means, still means there’s bias in reporting. This is why free speech is so important. Let everyone say what they want, ensuring all people can have their say. Now you can test the substance of whatever is said against your own values and judge the worthiness of it yourself.

        The most part of the test is to filter out unimportant things. Nearly everything is unimportant. Including 99% of even just the facts reported in the news.

      3. That would be fine for newspapers and other news media, but not so fine for opinion journals and sites, like…Reason.

        1. I’m not offended if a Reason writer tosses in an opinion so long as the basic facts are accurate. When the opinion is based on bullshit, what’s the point?

          1. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any reliable way to vet the “based on bullshit” source(s) of ANY ‘opinion’ that’s offered to me.

            Few Opinion Writers will or would offer their sources for examination, and I think we’d completely exhaust ourselves running down that path. Heck, if they provided their Sources, we could just evaluate the Source Material itself, and the ‘opinion writer’ would moot themselves out of a job!

            Not to mention that the Original Sources might be biased, and our individual biases would be immediately vetting and filtering THOSE inputs, too. Now I’ve just depressed myself… 🙁

      4. I’ve been informally scanning the front page of he New York Times lately with a simple goal: how many stories on the front page are actually news? I’m pretty old-fashioned with my definition of “news.” I’m looking for things that happened. Actual events. Things that are NEW. Bad things, good things. I will even overlook a smattering of Op-Ed pices getting pushed on the main page. A report about what *might* happen at some committee on Capitol Hill is not news. Coverage of a politician’s statements at a press conference responding to another politician’s statements is teetering on the edge of a pseudo-event. Daniel Boorstin talked about this kind of nonsense years ago. His take is it started with Lindbergh’s every utterance making the front page and it hasn’t slowed down since. Blame Lindy for the Kardashians.

      5. Won’t happen. You’ll never see anyone not on the minority edges of media criticize AOC when she claims the world will end in 12 years if we don’t act now or some other clearly nonsensical bovine anal secretions.

    3. I think the market is addressing this problem just fine by deplatforming the violent and the crazy.

      1. The “market” is “free” because it goes after those it deems bad in a colluded effort. – Chipper

        1. I notice that the believers in “Russian collusion” never even got criticized.

      2. Explain to me again why it’s in those companies interests to ban the proles and newspapers from talking about Hunter’s laptop?

        Sure looks like a DNC campaign to subvert the first amendment through corporate allies to me.

      3. You mean those who are not on your side.

      4. if the ONLY ones deplatformed are the clearly violent and crazy there would be no discussion. Terrorist bombers, train derailers, , etc NEED to be deplatformed. WHY then were not antifa and their pals deplatformed as tney made use of twitter and a few similar services to actually plan and coordinate serious rioting, arson, destructioin, looting, as they blazed their way across the nation since last May? But let Trump address a crowd of half a million encouragin g them to move forward peaceably and patriotically, HE gets the axe.

        Yoo tawkin out’n bot’ sidesa yore maout’ dood.

      5. No, Chip… many of them are de-platforming anyone and everyone whose opinions or beliefs don’t match theirs.

        Are you saying that the deplatforming that YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter and others is only directed at the “violent and crazy ones”??

        Really???

    4. The AMSOC (American Socialist) MiniTrue –

      Did Orwell call it, or what?

      1. He didn’t have the foresight to realize it would be privatized.

      2. that was my first thought as well. then i laughed a nervous laugh KNOWING this shit was not a farcical suggestion

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    7. They dont want to combat misinformation, they want to enshrine it

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  2. Rip Van Welch thinks the NYTs is still “a respected journal”.

    1. You beat me to it. And there it is, he is too far broken, brainwashed and groupthinked to possibly be saved from his own intellectual weakness. I’ve never understood cults (especially the seemingly bright professionals in San Diego that drove that comet to a different planet after they group suicided). He is too far gone. I feel bad for his kid/s.

    2. Yup. He is delusional if he still thinks they are “respected”. I’d wrap dead fish in that rag, but not line my bird’s cage with it. She’s a pretty intelligent bird, and I don’t want her getting offended when she sees that upon which she is about to let fall some birdiedudu.

    3. Yes, that is bizarre. He loses all credibility with that description of the NYT. They sacked their editor for running an editorial supporting basic law and order over rioting. And a respected writer quit after being repeatedly called a Nazi for pro-Israel views. What has else has to happen at the NYT for Welch to change his opinion?

  3. It’s a sad day when it’s surprising to see a Reason article espouse a libertarian view, even if tepidly so and in the preferred frame of leftist fascists.

    1. The libertarian view is to let each company decide who gets to use their platforms. Since the crazy and the violent are a minority, the majority demands they not be given a platform and the companies are happy to oblige.

      1. The libertarian view is to allow companies to decide who gets to use their platforms in a contractual manner. The contracts should be conscionable as well as clear and precise.

        Since you’re not a libertarian, you’re fine if companies can abuse their power over any customer.

        Since the crazy and the violent are a minority, the majority demands they not be given a platform and the companies are happy to oblige.

        As seen by all of the BLM voices also being canceled.

        You’re an idiot.

      2. “The libertarian view is to let each company decide who gets to use their platforms” with some not-so-subtle nudging from the government.

        If the government tells Facebook that there will be legal ramifications if certain actions are no taken to censor or de-platform particular groups of people, that is no long “muh free market” but “muh fucked up government.”

      3. To the extent a company allows its space to be used as a public space it NO LONGER has the right to censor someone’s actions or speech. I believe FB and Twits fit this bill and should be open to lawsuits.

      4. “the majority demands they not be given a platform”

        The majority didn’t demand anything you dishonest fascist fuck, the Democratic party did.
        48% of Americans think the election was stolen and I’m damn sure that a higher percentage don’t object to them stating that opinion.

        Why are you covering for the DNC making a mockery of the first amendment by using it’s corporate wings to censor the people?

      5. Like when restaurants were forced to remove smoking sections, or when government interferes with who companies can hire or put on their boards of directors. Are these the same people that wanted net neutrality otherwise it would mean companies could control what we can’t and can’t do on their platforms?
        The left sure did a 180 on that one.

  4. “I’d be shocked if this happened, but I don’t know any other peaceful path forward.”

    “Agree with us or we’ll be forced to get violent”. But sure, it’s the right-wingers who are extreme.

    1. “But sure, it’s the right-wingers who are extreme.”

      Good job, you got that one right! Compare the temper tantrums of the Capitol-storming stormfags and temper-tantrumming trumpanzees gone apeshit in 2021, v/s the hillarypanzees in 2017 (inauguration time-frame), and see who can claim #1 for violent, power-grabbing hissy shit-fit!

      1. The violence we’re talking about here is not just garden-variety rioting. The plain intent here is to go much farther.

      2. Compre it to the still ongoing riots in west coast cities.

        1. i think you mean “peaceful protests”. peaceful arson, peaceful mayhem (i just made that term up!), peaceful window smashing, peaceful retarded graffiti, peaceful one on one beatings (also my own new term), peaceful murders, peaceful mob beatings, peaceful theft or stores inventory, peaceful throwing of people out of their property.

      3. The ones who committed arson and assaults? And then kept doing so for years?

      4. I know I am just piling on here but there are the nearly 500 riots (an estimate provided by an organization trying to support the notion that this year’s riots were “mostly peaceful”) that were led by leftists in 2020 and are continuing to this day, plus there are dozens of leftist driven riots dating back to the “Hands UP – Don’t Shoot” fiasco of 2014.

        Its pretty obscene that the people who promulgated the grotesque lies behind years of rioting should ever think they would be the ones to determine what reality is.

        1. When we do it, it’s demonstrating. When they do it, it’s rioting. Capisce?

      5. Easily the riots in 2017. Not even in the same ballpark.

      6. So how much property damage was done on Jan. 6 compared to the riots on Trump’s inauguration day in 2017? Or does violence only count when Important People feel threatened?

        And don’t give me any bullshit about the 5 people who died on Jan. 6, since 4 of them were pro-Trump protesters (how many of the Dem fanatics have police killed in the last 4 years?) and medical examiners are now saying they don’t know what the fuck happened to Brian Sicknick, since they didn’t see any signs of blunt force trauma when they examined him.

      7. Well that was autistic.

        1. Hey now. Don’t insult autistic people by comparing them to the Squirrel.

      8. Damn you’re an idiot sqrlsy

        1. fuck off tulpa

      9. 1) Nobody stole Hillary’s election though.
        2) Compare the times the left rioted, stormed government buildings over the last few years and nobody batted an eye lid.

        The fact the media doesn’t point out the hypocrisy of the left doesn’t mean we don’t see it. I’d be embarrassed to go along with it personally.

    2. Book burning is the only answer.

  5. A government organization to identify “The Truth”

    Only Feb. 3rd and we already have the oxymoron of the year.

    1. Here are some proggie truths for you:

      There are 46 different genders

      There are no biological differences between men and women

      There was no climate change before the industrial era

      Public schools work

      1. Minimum wage helps the poor.

        If something seems expensive just pass a law to make it cheap and voila!

        If something seems too cheap, just pass a law to make it expensive and voila!

        1. Taxes solve social problems.

      2. “There are 46 different genders
        There are no biological differences between men and women”

        How many genders are there?

        “Two”

        And if the Democratic Party says there are forty-six?

        “Two”

        How many genders?

        “Two! Two! What else can I say? Two!'”

        How many genders?

        “Sssixty-three! Sixty-three! Sixty-three!”

        No, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are two. How many genders, please?

        “Two! Sixty-three! Two! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!’

        1. Call back to one of the best episodes of TNG ever. There are four lights…

        2. I don’t care about how people self identify but it always annoys me that the language switched from sex to gender in grammar.

          ‘Words have gender. People, bless their hearts, have sex’

  6. “We’re going to have to figure out how we reign in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) warned on Jan. 13.

    On the subject of misinformation, what does everyone think of AOC’s claim yesterday of being a sexual assault victim? It would explain why she appears to have the emotional level of a 15 year-old, but also looked like acting.

    1. Verdict: False.

      Because she equivocated being sexually assaulted to someone saying something snarky on Twitter. Someone who was a real victim of rape would never make that equivocation.

      1. Are you saying that Ted Cruz didn’t do a SWAT-style fast rope entry through her apartment window in a botched assassination attempt?

        1. I’d watch that porno. Might even pay $12.99 at a hotel for it.

          1. I wouldn’t watch that if the hotel paid ME the twelve ninety-nine AND comped my room. I might let it run on their cheap teeVee set whilst I go out and get a nice long walk. By the time I’d be back it would be over. And a free room is always better than one paid for out of MY money-poke.

        2. I’d pay the $12 for popcorn to see this film in a theater.

        3. #AlexandraOcasioSmollett is now a thing.

          1. Apparently rumors are circulating that she wasn’t even in the Capitol building when everything came down.

            1. She wasn’t. She now says capitol complex. No protesters were ever in her building.

              1. Sonofagun, you’re right! 229 Cannon House Office Building! That never occurred to me, but only senior members of Congress get offices in the Capitol. Puts another whole dimension on that breathless interview, doesn’t it?

              2. “Ducking gunfire” like Hillary?

          2. Not for long, Jack Dorsey will see to that.

          3. For now, AOC is busy asking her drone followers to report such instances to deplatform perpetrators.

            Snowflakes indeed.

        4. they told Ted it couldn’t be done, so he didn’t do it.

          Ackshully I rather think Cruz would NOT assassinate her purely because her continued warblings and snorkings mitigate against her actually ever being believed on anything she emits from her piehole. Cruz realises the wackos on the left need to have their game eposed.. and SHE can do that quite well. Loudmouthed bimbobrained politicans seem to be a fad these days, particularly of the female variety. (yes, that’s one of the two possibilities). Call me narrow minded to limit the field to two optioins. but that’s reality.

      2. If being forcibly penetrated as a child is now the equivalent of a snarky internet exchanged, I can now understand why they flipped out over Trump’s mean tweets.

        1. “He raped me with words”.

          1. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can penetrate me!

    2. I want to know what Republicans SPECIFICALLY tried to murder her.

    3. Ted Cruz really gets around!

  7. More evidence that Journalism (capital J) is dead: Brian Stelter commented on Biden’s press secretary answering the hilariously tone-deaf question: Are you here to lie to us or are you here to inform the public, which received the obvious and predictable answer: I’m here to inform the public. Stelter’s comment: How refreshing! (with appropriate lisps)

    1. Are you here to lie to us or are you here to inform the public

      She’ll circle back to you on that.

      1. BREAKING – WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki Will be replaced with Billy Preston

        Will it go ’round in circles?
        Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?
        Will it go ’round in circles?
        Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

    2. Are you here to lie to us or are you here to inform the public, which received the obvious and predictable answer: I’m here to inform the public. Stelter’s comment: How refreshing!

      *facepalm* What. The. Fuck.

      1. Weird that people don’t trust the media.

      2. Yeah, Glenn Greenwald mentioned that exchange. Greenwald’s reaction was also *facepalm*

    3. Stelter is such a partisan hack that he would be thanking his progressive executors all the way up to the gallows for their honest forthrightness that he was a counter-revolutionary.

      He and censorship-happy sacks of donkey shit like Oliver Darcy are the epitome of what Orwell was criticizing when he created Squealer.

    4. 1. Journalism was never what it claimed to be.
      2. Cubic Stupid.

  8. BTW, this stupidity is nothing new.

    A few years ago, NPR ran, re-ran, re-re-ran, and re-re-re-re-re-ran a comment by author Kurt Vonnegut who suggested that what the government really needed was a Ministry of the Future. Because the problem, you see, was that no one in government was thinking about the future. So if we could just create a Ministry of the Future, we’d finally start getting ideas about how we handle all of those tomorrows.

    1. Ministry of the Future. First meeting tomorrow.

      1. Given the wretched predictive ability of futurists, we should be thankful we have not got a Ministry of the Future (abbreviation: MinFut; also for Ministry of Futility.)

        1. Alvin Toffler once said that the two words he never uses are ‘trend’ and ‘predict.’

    2. Well, it would be nice if government would consider the long term more. But a ministry of the future isn’t going to solve that problem. Electoral politics makes that rather difficult.

    3. Future orientation is white supremacist.

    4. Hahaha, holy shit, they really ran a comment by a known satirist as an unironic promotion for more government bureaucracy?

      1. Speaking of, I ran across Michael Lewis’ recent paean to government bureaucrats in the bookstore yesterday. “Look at all these great and necessary things they do!” is the book’s basic message.

        Keep in mind, this same guy wrote “The Big Short,” which tellingly overlooked how these same bureaucrats, such as the SEC, completely fell asleep on job while the banks were defrauding people left and right out of billions in mortgage loans. In one note, he cited how the Justice Department completely fumbled what should have been a slam-dunk case against Bear Stearns execs because the evidence they procured was weaker than a 95-pound geek.

    5. What our government really needs is a Ministry of Procrastination.

      Think of all the inefficiency when you have the FDA, the CDC and ATF all trying to kick the same can down the road.

      1. Think of all the enjoyment we have watching the FDA, the CDC and the ATF kick each other in the shins while aiming for the can.

        1. Wjhaaaat, uou crazy? You dont actually think theyd be AIMING for the can, do you?

      2. Department of Redundancy Department

      3. Department of Angry Black Women on Telephones

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  10. Stanford Internet Observatory disinformation researcher Renée DiResta advocates a centralized counter-conspiracy task force, because if federal agencies are doing that work separately, “you run the risk of missing connections, both in terms of the content and in terms of the tactics that are used to execute on the campaigns.”

    It’s been said many times that when the establishment powers start to lose their grip, that’s when they become most dangerous.

    We’re witnessing this in real time.

    1. The past year has been chock full of disturbing trends. This one may be the worst. I can’t quite decide. Virus paranoia is still probably worse.

    2. Because conspiracy theorist are so known for their trust in government I can’t see how that would fail.

      1. It’s cool man, the big centralized government agency says that the government is *definitely* not planning on setting up a big centralized government agency to decide what is true and therefore allowed to be published. That’s just a conspiracy theory.

    3. As long as you wear the mask, you’ll be fine. Best to wear two, though, just to be sure. You don’t want to appear disloyal.

      BE SAFE!

  11. Big problem with the “reality crisis” is that both sides (or all sides) tend to think they have a full grasp of reality. Which is very unlikely to be true. Reality is a hard thing to get a grasp of. Almost everything we think we know is just stuff other people tell us.
    Any so-called reality czar (or “ministry of truth”) will inevitably be a propaganda outlet.

    1. Reality is not a hard thing to get a grasp of. You just have to abandon ideology.

      1. I disagree. Confirmation bias is a problem that ideology can feed. So you are right to a certain extent. But I think people underestimate how much of an abstraction our knowledge is built on. Then if you go past simple facts to interpretations of events, for example, and things get really difficult. If you think you really know what is going on, you are probably wrong (and I address this to everyone including myself).

      2. You believe you are on no sides while constantly being on one side. Speaking of reality.

        1. Who was it said “If two parties are shouting opposing opinions at each other, it is NOT necessarily true that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It is possible that one of them is entirely worng.”

          Carl Sagan? Asimov? Somebody, not some deep philosopher either.

          Any way, waaay more often than “One right, one wrong.” or “The truth is exactly in the middle”, is some variation of “Partial truth”, where one position maybe be slightly more, but not entirely, true.

          This is an unpopular bit of reality, I have observed.

      3. Everyone has ideologies. A man without ideologies is an empty vessel.

        1. “empty vessel”?

          I prefer “not full of shit”, myself.

    2. how many genders are there?

      Both sides lol

    3. So much what we “know” is so far removed from our individual powers of observation that we are nothing but an empty jar that can be filled with whatever some slimy salesman is selling.

      What is interesting about the information war is how many people simply do not question why they trust news from certain sources and not others.

      1. Hah!! Those clowns in the little red pickup trucks with the big chest freezer in the bad used to come round and try and convince me their meat is a great screaming bargain. They’d rattle off how many pound =s if which cuts I’ll get for the same low price…. then when they were ready for the close I asked them HOW MUCH PER POUND is this “package” of cuts? He;d give me some lowball number, and I’d say well, that’s not what YOU told me. (he did not grasp that I was mentally adding up the number of pounds of each class of cut as he raced quickly through his list, and MY number came out to about double what his did. The look on his face was priceless… he KNEW he’d been made. After a few visits from those clowns they quit coming round to waste their time.
        Our faithless politicans do the same thing, counting on the near certainty that not one in a thousand will actually keep track of what they say and REMEMBER it, then call them on it.
        And THAT, folks, is precisely WHY we are in the mess we presently find ourselves slogging through.

        1. Yeah, most of what politicians say is about what the future holds under certain circumstances and very few people double check after the fact to see if those prognostications came true.

          This is also true of individuals not double checking themselves as well as the media.

  12. I think people with real political and corporeal power appointing “reality czars” might be bigger extremists than selfie-taking memelords.

    1. I think you might be onto something there.

        1. Reality Czar Vermin Supreme has a nice ring to it.

          1. I understand Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz is free, now that the hyperspace bypass has been finished.

        2. Sadly, “Reality Czar Frank Zappa” will not come to pass.

    2. I’m legitimately curious as to which galaxy-brained technocrat came up with that idea. It sounds like something Elizabeth Warren would think of during a wine bender.

      1. No, stone cold sober. On a bender she might think she is popular or thoughtful.

        1. On a bender, she might blame her inebriated condition on “white man’s firewater”.

  13. People prefer plausible lies to the truth. That’s why people hate libertarians – we speak too much truth for their taste.

    Why do people want to believe in ‘election fraud’? It’s not because they really believe it. It’s because it gives a convenient excuse for violence which they can profit from in various ways. For example, they may be in the law enforcement industry or they may just enjoy the drama. Thus attempts to force them to admit the truth will only make them dig in their heels. The best way to solve the problem is to expose their motivation.

    Like I said, everyone loves the lies. But there are too many people on both sides of every issue so libertarianism – the truth – is the only compromise. We need to venture out of our safe space here and spread the gospel instead of fighting our allies.

    1. Or it could also be the more they deny it and come up with ideas like this, the more people start to believe they doth protest to much. I don’t think there was definitive fraud but the Democrats in a number of influential states did game the system to favor their party. And Republicans didn’t do enough to adjust to the new rules. Expect what happened to the Green Party in some states to also happen to the LP next time around.

      1. The problem is that fraud cannot be proven.

        But neither can it be proven that fraud didn’t occur.

        Without a fully auditable system for every vote we cannot know.

        1. Give up the secret ballot, and it’s a done deal.

        2. go find out about the guy who has clear solid proof The State of Arizona and I think it was Georgia and Michigan (three of the problem states) had enough fraudulent absentee ballots returned t more than easily flip the election back to Trump. He’s run the numbers mailed out, and the numbers returned and counted, and the difference is above the numbers by which Biden holds he won.

    2. What a steaming pile of horseshit that was.
      Don’t you feel a smidgen guilty talking about libertarianism and lies, when you’re fluffing for authoritarianism and lying?

      1. If you and your allies here had ganged up to fight for Trump on enemy terrain before the election with the same cohesion and viciousness as you cowardly and hypocritically attack his supporters like me here in your safe space, he might have won. But you didn’t and it’s too late now. You have only yourselves to blame. There is no justification for violence or insurrection.

        1. In this case or in general? I can think of several instances where violence and or insurrection is justified. Not in the current case (yet but we’ve started down the road if ideas like what this story Lampoon’s continue).

        2. There was no insurrection, you lying, demagogic fuck.
          Cram your phony Reichstag Fire bullshit up your ass.

          1. It was an insurrection. A failed insurrection, but an insurrection nonetheless.

            If only you had fought for Trump with such viciousness before the election he might have had a chance. But you didn’t and you have only yourself to blame. There was no voter fraud, and no justification for violence or insurrection. Well it now seems you agree with that in part. That’s progress!

            1. Piss off with your concern trolling, you’re not fooling anyone Screech. If you want to astroturf effectively you’re going to have to abandon your proggy talking-points.

            2. Using “, but” is grammatically incorrect.
              Please continue giving advice.

    3. Shouldn’t you be selling flowers at the airport?

    4. Why do people want to believe in ‘election fraud’? It’s not because they really believe it. It’s because it gives a convenient excuse for violence which they can profit from in various ways.

      No. It’s because the institutions that are charged with telling them the truth have for years been (a) shamelessly in the tank for Democrats and (b) peddling transparent whoppers about there being no such thing as election fraud, despite the observable reality of such fraud.

      Then we had an election cycle in which Democrats engaged in a coordinated nationwide political and legal strategy to maximize the number of ballots cast through the least-secure means of voting available, and to water down the verification requirements for those ballots. And then, on election night, there were a bunch of things that at least looked sketchy, and seemed worth checking and rechecking given the stakes involved.

      And the response of the institutions — again, the same institutions that have been shamelessly in the tank for Democrats and lying out their asses for decades — was to frantically wave their hands like coked-up Muppets, and insist that the election was 100% squeaky-clean, and that the mere suggestion we might want to slow this thing down and make sure there was no chicanery was fascist racist authoritarian seditionist hateful pig-ignorant boob-bait.

      The amazing thing isn’t that, under the circumstances, so many people think the conspiracy theories are plausible. The amazing thing is that so few do.

      1. And to be clear: I’m absolutely not suggesting that the conspiracy theories are correct. Based on my own review of the available information I feel confident saying that, unfortunately, the dementia-addled marionette probably won the election.

        The point is that we’ve arrived at a moment when institutional credibility is so far gone that significant numbers of Americans no longer believe a single fucking word that someone like Jake Tapper says, and that a deranged lunatic like Marjorie Taylor Green seems like an oracle in comparison. And yet this situation won’t prompt a single moment of self-reflection from our so-called “elites.”

        Matt’s right. If these worthless shitstains in media, academe, and government want people to be more discerning media consumers, a good place to start would be for said worthless shitstains doing their own jobs better.

        1. I feel somewhat confident Biden legitimately won, but just enough to lay even odds.

          It’s hard to tell whether they’re deliberately covering up a nothing, so as to gaslight us the way Obama covered up the nothing about his birth certificate, or knowingly covering up a something, or just being stupid about it all. Trump was like that some of the time too.

      2. It’s unfortunate so many people are still obsessed with Trump despite him being out of office that they don’t care (if they ever did) about election integrity. The important thing is to win at any cost. They are very-short-sighted about the need for fair and transparent elections.

        1. You are off point. YOU need fair and transparent elections. THEY want you gone.

      3. The mental image of Muppets doing lines is just so compelling. You know the powder would stick to the cloth.

    5. In a nation of 330 million people there will always be a few exceptions but there is virtually no one who wants “to believe in ‘election fraud”. I, for one, truly wish that I could believe that we had an accurate count of the 2020 vote.

      However, there are millions of people who are numerate and who see an array of literally incredible anomalies in the 2020 results (example # 1, the mail in voters of Georgia managed to decrease their error rate from 6.42% to 0.35% while dramatically increasing the number of first time mail in voters (who, historically, make about 3 X the number of errors as regular mail in voters). We can do the math and see that a failure to adhere to previous standards would be likely to add enough invalid ballots to turn that state.

      There are also millions of literate people who read the undisputed reality that WI received 4 X the number of ballots from people claiming to be indefinitely confined (and, thus, exempt from providing ID), and can figure out that even a small portion of these being falsified would change that state’s results.

      You want to expose the motivation of those who believe the election results were wrong – I’ll spare you the trouble. 99% want fair elections run competently.

      So, now, what is your motivation for your post?

      1. Dont forget wisconsin’s democracy in the park. They turned voting into the equivalent of mall surveys. And it isnt fraud, because our betters (judges and other bureaucrats) proclaimed that it was legal.

    6. Why do people think Joe won legitimately, receiving far more than any other voters than any other president in history? Its not that they believe it, its because it gives them an excuse for dehumanizing the other half of the country and unleashing death squads on them in the mid of night.

      Don’t know who you think is ‘profiting’ from the mayhem, but in case you hadn’t noticed, law enforcement are not on the same side.

      Most Trumpians just want to be left alone, thats their motivation. The motivation for the dems is to make sure you are not left alone.

    7. Well, there’s another possibility, and it’s that the changes the Dems made in voter registration (in an attempt to count non-citizen votes) in HR1 2017, and the sloppiness they INSISTED ON wrt mail-in balloting, makes it look like, unless the Dems were strictly committed to honest balloting, they COULD cheat.

      Given that I lived within 200 miles of Chicago for a few years and could smell the cheating from there, I do not believe the Dems are so committed. Given that they really went overboard in painting Trump as an existential threat to all life in the universe (instead of a bloviating, reality-show buffoon he is…and whose money they were perfectly comfortable taking for decades), that almost seemed like a pre-emptive justification for “doing the right thing”.

      I will consider it more likely than not that they DID cheat, but hey, y’all got what you wanted, enjoy.

  14. The Ministry of Truth has always protected us from online misinformation!

  15. It sounds pretty ideological. My foolproof ideology is to value the truth, reality, as demonstrated by the evidence of logic and science above all else.

    No, you say. What makes you believe that to be true?

    Logically, free speech requires allowing people to speak. This exonerates any hosting platform from any liability.

    Logically, lying is coercion that falsely assumes the authority of truth to have others act in the liars interest instead of their own.

    Logically then the solution to “misinformation” is to allow people to say whatever they want, but criminalize lying.

    Like 2a allows gun ownership but criminalizes threatening use.

    If you want to lie, you deserve your day in court and defence.

    Imagine asking tough questions when lying is a crime.

    1. Define lying. I have seen several peopl, on all sides on here state a simple mistaken belief is lying. Lying is also subjective so impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

      1. In most cases.

      2. I am a reasonable person but don’t mistake that for weakness.

        There are intentional lies, honest mistakes and everything in between.

        Courts already have criminalized lying, called perjury and have a great deal of experience enforcing it.

        I imagine we’ll get pretty good at asking tough questions to expose lies.

        A whole new area of law will be born seeking and exposing truth and setting precedents along the way.

        Generations of children will learn that lying is a poor plan.

        We will be empowered to use all available memory recording technology everywhere we go to protect ourselves from falsely claimed lies.

        We will finally be on the right path, and the world will change for the better.

        1. I learned lying was a poor plan without it being criminalized.

        2. Do you honestly think that the court system can handle the onslaught of cases involving lying online or lying in public? And what lies do you enforce? Is, “No honey, you don’t look fat” a crime?

          1. Sure,

            Why make the fat cunts life miserable by staying with her?

            Provided she could prove you’re lying.

            Dipshit.

      3. simple mistaken belief is lying”
        more often I’ve seen opinions which do not have to be based on facts. being accused of lying.

        1. We will always have unsubstantiated beliefs and opinions.

          It’s the moment we call them “truth” that we can be accused of lying.

          Then it’s a simple matter of providing evidence to determine where the lie may be.

          1. Yes but many in power will not wait for facts or determine thier own “facts” to be true and all others false with the power of punishment for those determined to be untruths. And that is the real problem

            1. We have to establish rules before we can accuse others of breaking them.

              1. The rule makers will determine the “truth”

                1. Then they would have to defy logic and science.

                  They are only doing that now with cancelling censorship.

                  As soon as debate is even considered the concept of a rational conclusion requires logic and science.

                  1. You are obviously unfamiliar with the mind-bogglingly sophisticated methods scientist can use on a dataset to get a desired outcome to appear to be “true”.

                    And if other scientists want that “true” to be “true”, who will say them nay? And if you think it doesn’t happen, look up “reproducibility crisis”.

                    A week or two ago, Heather Heying deconstructed a Covid article featured in JAMA. It CLEARLY, even to a layman, did not prove what the headline implied, and the title of the study stated. But this study had already (within a day or two) been cited, not in science journals, but in public media outlets.

                    Somebody wanted the conclusion to be seen as true.

                    Sort that shit out, fuckwit.

                    1. You are unfamiliar with the scientific method. It is not so easily corrupted.

                      You’re the fuckwit conflating science with bias.

                    2. lol Rob – How naive you are…. as scientists have biases just like everyone else. Therefore scientists routinely corrupt scientific papers.

                      Idiotic fuckwit.

                    3. Scientists not acting as scientists do that.

                      Dumb fucks like you that don’t understand the scientific method don’t know the difference.

                      To you, it’s all science, fuckwit.

  16. You know what I like about this debate? No one anywhere is arguing that this is the media’s job. No one. Anywhere.

    1. Do you trust them to do that? From what I can see no one in the media has any interest in actual objective reporting.

      And besides, “objectivity” as you recall from yesterdays story, is white supremacy.

      1. That’s the point. No one trusts the media, and the media even knows they suck at it– they don’t trust themselves– which is why people in the media are calling for a government office. No one has any illusions about the value of the Media.

    2. SNL
      “Action News – When news breaks, we fix it”

  17. Reality:

    “On the second day of Black History Month, the first black lieutenant governor of North Carolina has been portrayed as [racist],” Robinson added. “That you would portray a black man, just because he’s in the GOP, as a Klansman …. the hypocrisy is mind-numbing, folks.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/north-carolina-lieutenant-governor-blasts-local-news-outlet-for-cartoon-depicting-republicans-as-kkk-members/ar-BB1dm79A?ocid=msedgntp

    1. This from the same people that were cheering as mostly white mobs ransacked black neighborhoods and burned black children in their own homes.

      1. Sorry – are you saying the Lt Governor of NC burned black children in their own homes?

        In any event – please provide a citation.

    2. I’ve mentioned this before, but NC history is a pet issue of mine. The first Republican governor of NC was a man named William Woods Holden who was impeached after he called out the militia to fight the Klan in 1870 (the Dems took control of the state legislature in the election of that year). He was eventually pardoned, but not until 2010 which was the first time that Republicans regained control of the state legislature. So, apparently, Robinson belongs to a party that fought the Klan, and pardoned the governor who did so when he was impeached by the Dems, but that party is somehow the same as the Klan, even though the other party refused to take action to rehabilitate Gov. Holden for 140 years.

      1. Mississippi was the last state to ratify the 13th amendment in 1995 (2011). The democrats controlled their legislature continuously from the 1870s until 2011. This relates to your anecdote in that they didnt elect their first republican governor until 1992, and this was done in the run up to the 1996 election. The democrats in power cared so much about this, they couldnt even be bothered to learn the process to make it official. Republicans finally certified the ratification in 2011.

  18. You Reason clowns spent four years catastrophizing everything under Trump and now you’re happy to calmly “but actually” the fucking authoritarian takeover of every major institution.

    You’re fucking pathetic.

    1. Over and under on the amount of time, it takes unReason writers to understand that Biden is many, many, many times worse than Trump?

      I will take the over on never.

      I am actually surprised the market hasn’t created a real Libertarian magazine and website with real Libertarian writers. The group they have here are embarrassingly incompetent and lack even a smidgen of self-awareness.

      1. I’ll take “never” also. We’re gonna be shifting the odds on that one, I’m afraid.

        And Matt Welch, who I used to like, has the SJW-level lack of self-awareness to state, bravely and firmly, that the “Reality Czar”, the “Ministry of Truth” idea is only bad because “it’s likely to backfire”.

        Fuck Reason. Replace them with Guatamalans. Cheaper, and at least as committed to the truth.

    2. I hope they are the first up against the wall.
      Truly hope that

  19. The Left is utterly unable to imagine a world where the Right have a president. The idea under Obama was that Obama would be forever. Well not literally, but that’s how they acted. Then Trump got into office and they all shit their pants. Yeah, you remember that screaming college kid meme. That wasn’t play acting, she was authentically losing her shit because she could not imagine her side not being in power forever.

    Same thing now. Biden is our new forever leader. Not literally, but it’s the end of Republicans and it will be Biden the Harris then some Democrat all the way to the end of time. So of course they want a Ministry of Troof. And when the next Republican gets into office and is holding the reins of Toof they will once have a national pants shitting moment.

    The Republicans are not immune to this kind of pathology. What do you think was behind the whole “election was stolen” shit? They imagined that Trump and his progeny would be in office for as long as they were able to imagine. So of course the believed that Trump actually won by a landslide, when there is literally no evidence of that anywhere. The entire party is descending into Greene-like conspiracies because that’s the only way they can keep the cognitive dissonance at bay. The only way Trump could have lost is through a vast international conspiracy of pedophiles.

    The only way out of this pathology, for both sides, is to realize that all politicians are asshats (Skwire’s Law) and to stop worshipping asshats. Because once you tether your moral foundation to a narcissist lying politician you’re doomed to be an idiot. And ALL politicians are narcissist liars.

    1. They imagined that Trump and his progeny would be in office for as long as they were able to imagine.

      Do you just make things up on whims, or are they preplanned?

    2. I was just thinking along those same lines:

      “Proposed changes to government policy should always be visualized with the opposing team in charge of implementation. Imagine as the annointer of a Reality Czar not Joe Biden, but President Ted Cruz, or President Tucker Carlson.”

      No, that will neve happen; you see, Trump was an anomaly, something something Russian hackers, and that can just never possibly happen again. Progressivsm means progress, in that the right people will always be in charge, and there is no end of the good government can do [and the authority it can direct toward those with whom you disagree]

      1. Why wait for President Cruz. Maybe a state, let’s say Republican Wyoming, can immediately set up their own Reality Czar, using exact same legislation language, as a demonstration of what can be done to the “opposition.” The screaming, and lawsuits, would be exquisite.

      2. I mean, they will literally calling for it WHILE TRUMP WAS PRESIDENT, so I don’t think they think too deeply about it.

      3. A system of government that only works when the right people are in office is a fundamentally broken system. I say this to people and they look at me as if I just arrived from a different planet. But it’s true and they know it.

        1. So “profound”

          Now do a company.
          Or football team.
          Or commercial flight.

        2. Such unrealistic utopianism is basically the same as peasants hoping for a “benevolent Emperor” or some shit.

    3. I am not certain the election was stolen, but I am certainly not retarded enough to write there is literally no evidence of that anywhere. How clueless can you be?

      PA took ballots after the election date, without signatures or envelopes and counted them. GA allowed votes from people voting in multiple states. WI had an absurd number of indefinitely confined voters. Many states had improbably low numbers of rejected votes. PA was fixing ballots prior to election day.

      What kind of brain-dead moron non-ironically parrots the easily disprovable statement, of no evidence of malfeasance anywhere?

      1. Besides, you can’t prove a negative. You can’t prove there was no voter fraud. The best you can say, rightly or wrongly, is there was no evidence of voter fraud. Even this has different possible explanations.

        1. We found no evidence of fraud.
          Did you look for evidence?
          No.

          Fact check. True

          1. A Snopes job awaits, man.

      2. No credible evidence has been presented. That is what I meant. Maybe there is evidence hidden in someone’s attic, but nothing has ever been presented in over a dozen different court cases, or to the media, or to anyone. The most we got were a handful of affidavits chock full of inadmissible hearsay and speculation.

        SO SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE!

        1. You are a fucking imbecile

    4. The media is telling you that conservatives are falling for bizarre conspiracy theories when in fact the overwhelming majority are just doing the math.

      1. Math is a conspiracy!

        1. No math is white supremacy; just ask the SFUSD.

    5. Both Alex Jones and Rosie O’Donnel have evoked and advocated martial law in defense of their respective sides. I wish there was a way they’d both get what they want and leave libertarians the Hell out of it.

      Alex could use his camp time to detox his brain and lose bis wrinkles in the “cooler” and Rosie could lose her weight so she could get more blood flow to her brain.

  20. It is a little late to start warning us about the dangers of the Progressive agenda after 4 years of “…but, but, Trump sucks!”

    Trump was a better alternative than these fuckers. Let that sink in, Welch. A self-absorbed, 74 year-old frat boy with delusions of grandeur and his kids and drinking buddies are better than the Democrats. That is how fucking evil they are.

    I can’t see this vessel getting turned. A populace incited by those commies at the NYT and WaPo would rather tear off the rudder than let someone like Trump steer any longer.

  21. On the one hand, Reason scolds us that a “basic respect for reality” is sorely needed in government and society at large to protect us from lies and dangerous ideas, but that a “reality czar” is a step too far.

    These blind motherfuckers are completely incapable of recognizing that they are slowly hanging themselves, along with everybody else.

    How can someone that believes certain ideas are dangerous enough to be stamped out possibly object to a ministry of truth?

    Fuck you, Reason.

    1. Yes, Reason is now a stirred bucket of shit but the comment section is much more balanced.

  22. Wrong, but within normal parameters.

    1. Which is the Big Lie.
      None of this shit is normal.

  23. You’re observation is valid, though I disagree. What now?

    What the fuck is going on? Don’t we have peer reviewed scientific methods? Experts who respect the evidence of logic and science.

    I think the years of agenda driven pseudo science, propaganda, has weakened our grasp on reality. The so called experts have rightly lost our trust.

    Social media has brought this to a head, fortunately, and exposed the greatest danger of speech, censoring it.

    Only uncensored rational debate will separate the experts from the shills.

    1. “Only uncensored rational debate will separate the experts from the shills.”

      For one, you have to have a reasonably literate listening audience for that to work.
      Two, there is too much noise for that to work [even if you do have a literate audience].

      No, I am not hopeful; I wonder just how bad it will get.

      1. The dismally stupid will be more protected by the criminalization of lying in an environment of free speech than by leaving lying legal and censoring all unapproved speech.

        The latter being the most fertile ground for propaganda and corruption.

        1. Is “Rob” short for “robot”? You seem to be taking both sides of the argument.

          1. It’s not my fault that you can’t comprehend english and recognize the difference.

            You may be one of the abysmally stupid.

        2. I believe you have it backwards… its the criminalization of lying that is the most fertile ground for propaganda and corruption. THINK – someone has to decide what the lie is – it will be the powerful interests… it starts by deciding what words mean – like HATE and GENDER, MALE and FEMALE. [ignoring the obvious contradiction in the construction of the phrase “criminalization of lying in an environment of FREE SPEECH”]

          1. Ok I’ll try to spell it out better, maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

            A few ground rules.

            Definitions come from dictionaries. They give our language rational meaning. When the cancel culture or reality Czars change definitions to achieve obfuscation they diminish our ability to recognize and agree upon reality.

            Having free speech and criminalizing lying is like having the right to own a gun while randomly shooting people is illegal. It’s about responsibility.

            Leaving lying legal and censoring all speech that isn’t pre approved is like allowing only some people to own guns as long as they randomly shoot people.

            Which is fertile ground for corruption?

            1. Did you miss the episode where the dictionary changed its definition to make something Barrett said during her confirmation into an insult? When they can simply change the official definitions of words, your position about dictionaries is moderately naive.

              1. When the meaning of words change mid sentence, communication is impossible.

                1. That’s what we’ve got now, though!! Are you not paying attention?

                  Miraim Webster got woke-brigaded and bent the knee, changing the long time rational definition of “racism” into the new one, with the carve-out for black people.

                  Did you not read 1984? It’s very popular, I’ve been lead to believe.

                  1. Communication is not yet impossible.

                    We can undo the damage with logic and science.

                    The war is now. If the cancel culture succeeds in censoring us on social media platforms, as Trump and millions of other people already have, they will achieve the corruption 1a was enshrined to prevent.

                    If we can’t use our words, it will be a physical war.

    2. I think the years of agenda driven pseudo science, propaganda, has weakened our grasp on reality.

      And you don’t think this was intentional? What’s the end-game in post-modern nihilism?

      1. The end game is a decentralized attack on the authority of truth, reality to affect the desired corruption supported by lies of the day.

        It’s not coordinated.

        In fact, the conflict between the many corrupt agendas helps expose them.

        That what makes it so easy to beat. Criminalize lying and the cancel culture collapses.

        1. Jerry Seinfeld: So, Why are you in here, Larry? What’s that Camouflage Square patch mean? What’s up with that?

          Larry The Cable Guy: Well, it’s like this Jerry….I was over at the bait-and-tackle store with my Blue Collar Comedy buddies, and I was talkin’ about my last fishin’ trip.

          I told ’em I caught a fish as big as Ron “Tater Salad” White’s liquor cabinet! Then this asshole named Ron Misek sicced some Jackbooted Thugs on us and scooped us all up in a damned ol’ train car and now we’re all here!

          They’ve got Jeff Foxworthy on some psycho drugs that lowered his brain to the level of a Fifth Grader!

          They chain-sawed all of Jeff Dunham’s little wooden buddies right in front of him and sewed his lips shut!

          And when Ron gave his name as “Tater Salad,” they hauled him to a drunk tank full of Syrup of Epecac and we never heard from him again!

          His last words were: “Arresting every drunk who calls himself a picnic side dish is profiling!…And profiling is wrong!!”

          1. And that’s not funny! I don’t care who you are!

          2. Jerry Seinfeld?

            1. Comedians in cattle cars going to gulag.

              1. ALL ABOARD!

                WOO WOOOOO

                1. Life, Liberty, and Property are not threatened by stand-up acts, vetrilloquism, or swapping tall-tales and fish stories, but they are threatened by social engineers like you. Ron “Tater Salad” White also had pithy words for those who might want to pull that in Texas.

              2. Actually, my scenario was post-train ride. (I never heard of a train with a drunk tank. Opps! I better not give Misek any ideas.)

  24. Biden Can’t Save Us With a ‘Reality Czar.”

    that doesn’t mean they won’t try.
    Also the Truth and reconciliation has already started. Note pretty sure all those “insurectionist” who are now turning on Trump were given a choice by the FBI, turn on Trump or your life is over. same thing different name

    1. We could ask the new Reality Czar if there was, in reality, an insurrection attempt, or was it closer to a mostly peaceful protest, or merely a political riot.

    1. CNN’s popularity declining?

      Twitter should have considered that possibility before kicking Trump off their platform.

  25. “It sounds a little dystopian, I’ll grant,” Roose concedes. “But let’s hear them out.”

    That’s precisely what will not be done by a reality czar, dipshit.

    1. Roose is a fucking tool.

  26. The Left exists as much in the thrall of conspiracy theories as the Right – Russian collusion, stolen elections (of the 2016 variety), mass white supremacy, bizarre takes on gender and race of the “who do you believe, me or your lying eyes” variety.

    The most striking element of the past few years is how many people start with their opinions and then look for confirming evidence. When none exists, they hallucinate and pretend it does.

    It is a rare person who observes first and decides second. And certainly there is no political orientation that has some sort of monopoly on reasoned thinking.

    1. Proving a belief is the foundation of science.

      Inventing a conclusion is not science.

      The rarity is intelligence and honesty.

      1. There’s a “Rob Misek” who comments on the Holocaust. Are you the same commenter, or is it just an accidental similarity?

        1. Yes, and nobody here has refuted the physical and logical evidence that I have presented.

          Was that your point?

          1. You misspelled “…the bullshit…”.

          2. “Was that your point?”

            My point was I wanted to mock you, but I needed to make sure I had the right guy first.

        2. You misspelled “…’lies regarding…”

        3. Same nazi.

          1. Not believing the holocaust happened doesn’t make one a nazi (though it pretty much kills one’s credibility).
            Wanting to repeat the holocaust makes one a nazi.
            And the “mainstream” left in the US is going full nazisoviet now.

        4. I’ve gotta hand it to you trolls for giving me another opportunity to demonstrate with evidence of logic and science the lie that is your bogeyman, the holocaust.

          By denying this reality that you can’t refute you demonstrate your stupidity

          Consider that the German enigma code was broken in 1941 and recently released allied decryption provide physical evidence that Germans were desperately trying to save lives in prison camps from the typhus epidemic.

          Advocates for the holocaust narrative (dipshits) say the decrypts demonstrate deception by the Germans. Logically they must argue that the Germans who at the same time employed no deception for their military actions must have put a much higher priority on killing Jews than winning the war.

          Assuming you are willing to perform those mental gymnastics, feeble as they are, how does that explain how a single Jew survived captivity? Why did Jews get tattoos instead of the bullets allies were?

          Talking about bullshit survivor lies.

          Are you the shlomo whose gramps wrote a book illustrated with pictures of shirtless Jews dragging bodies from the gas chambers to the ovens?

          You dummies don’t know that cyanide is absorbed through the skin and lying shlomo senior would have been dead in hours not collecting financial reparations into his old age.

          When a necessary aspect of a narrative is proven to be complete bullshit, the entire narrative is therefore false.

          Dipshits need a reality Czar.

          1. Really? You’re going with infection control in a forced labor camp as proof that the holocaust was a hoax? I’m sure it’s great consolation to the dead that some Nazi functionaries were so concerned about meeting their production quotas that they actually tried to keep their prisoners alive.

            Farmers try to keep their oxen healthy, too. That doesn’t mean they don’t plan on slaughtering em later.

            how does that explain how a single Jew survived captivity? Why did Jews get tattoos instead of the bullets allies were?

            Dude, it’s like you’ve never bothered to read a single, short article about Wannsee. Heydrich addressed this directly. And considering the martial success of Israel, it seems he had a point.

            1. Yes the narrative includes no “infection control”.

              All those cans of zyklon b on display on the tour were for Jews weren’t they?

            2. Someone better start writing, there’s a new holocaust narrative.

              Germans were desperately trying to save Jewish lives from a typhus epidemic using zyklon b in specially constructed delousing chambers with heaters to activate and fans to circulate and exhaust the cyanide when complete.

              At the same time jews were packed like sardines into windowed shower houses equipped with only water pipes and somehow zee Germans used the same zyklon b, activated it without heaters and forced it into pipes that weren’t there , past calving that wasn’t there to come out of the shower heads to kill everyone in the room, even those by the draughty windows and doors in minutes.

              Is that about right? Do you think people will believe it.

              What about the eyewitness survivors who testified that they dragged the bodies from the gas chambers to the ovens, shirtless and bare handed? Are they wearing full ppe in this version?

              Nope, that will never be the narrative because it is just too stupid for anyone but you to believe.

              1. Inward opening doors to the crowded showers was pretty bad planning.
                The Red Cross said all but 2 of the Nazi witnesses at the Nuremberg trial had their nuts kicked in so hard they were unrepairable.
                Just sayin’

                1. Nuremberg concluded, from tortured testimony, that the gas came from the shower heads.

                  Yet there is not one photo of any of the equipment necessary to accomplish this. Absolutely no physical evidence of it or that it ever existed, exists.

                  Pointing this out is a crime in Poland.

                  They have had a reality czar for many years.

              2. Oh yeah, Dancing Israelis. Look it up and then down the rat hole you go.

                1. 75% of Semitic people are Arab.

          2. If Hitler didn’t really kill all those Jews, why is he your hero?

        5. Hear that?

          Silence from the peanut gallery.

    2. I would say the most striking element of the past few year is that believing in right-wing conspiracy theories gets you castigated, cancelled, fired, and even prosecuted while questioning people’s beliefs in left-wing conspiracy theories gets you castigated, cancelled, fired, and even prosecuted.

      Oddly, despite all of the “it’s both sides” talk all of the bullshit really seems to flow in one direction.

  27. “We must open the hood on social media so that civil rights lawyers and real watchdog organizations can investigate human rights abuses enabled or amplified by technology.”

    *** meekly raises hand ***

    Please name some “real watchdog organizations”.

    Please name some “human rights abuse enabled or amplified by technology”.

    1. Criticizing AOC for one.
      Calling out the media for suppressing stories, for another.

      I think you can still call Brian Stelter a penis-headed lying sack of shit, but we’ll see.

  28. “Reality Czar” sounds too Russian, and too much like he or she will be in charge of unscripted TV competitions.

    “Minister of Truth” would be much more fitting.

    I nominate Bill Clinton to be the first Minister of Truth.

    1. James Clapper isn’t available?

    2. He could start by telling us what the meaning of is, is.

  29. …they are common both among the people who just re-took power in Washington and the knowledge workers who are glad they did.

    It’s not like they would differ on something like this. What journalist or academic would knock the chance at chipping away at the First Amendment now that the good guys are irrevocably in charge.

  30. I can’t believe journalism has reached such a low point. Journalism schools should be ashamed and embarrassed, as journalists are apparently not self-aware enough to be so.

    1. Journalism school is making these idiots

      1. I always wanted a nagger to call my own.

    2. What is journalism, at its core? I’ll tell you. Journalism is the willingness to ask questions when you do not already know the answer, and to report the answers — regardless of what the answers are.

      The overwhelming majority of the written work one encounters these days, masquerading as “journalism,” is simply the presentation of an opinion by a writer, working for a publication, whose opinion is designed to validate the beliefs, values, and stances held by the owners of the publication. In other words, apologetics, not journalism.

      Welch is not a journalist, he is an opinion writer. He is an apologist. There are, in fact, no “journalists” at Reason.

  31. You *are* aware, aren’t you, that the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigated the crimes of the African National Congress, the opposition-turned-governing-party?

    By way of analogy, maybe key Democrats can come in front of the Commission and apologize for stirring up violence with fake or exaggerated stories.

    1. Lame-ass American “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions” forget the part about investigating crimes committed by all parties, and focus on just a single alleged villain or group of villains.

  32. And I thought the comments here sucked balls.

  33. Like, we didn’t already “know” a reality coach was going to be knocking on our doors, if Joe won?

  34. Can we trust the Reality Czar to demand empirical evidence supporting all public assertions made by media, politicians and academics, including (and especially) Critical Race Theory?

    Didn’t think so.

    1. Will Biden and AOC ride around in a repurposed school bus giving DNC Reality Tours?

      1. Would be funny scene when it was lunch time and they were riding through Akron Ohio or something.

        Joe: oh look Swensons. I hear they got the best burgers in the state. (They do I been there) Just pull up and make an order. They bring it out. Who’s with me?

        AOC: I’m not eating that garbage. I found an organic eatery in Cleveland with an Asian flair and local grown vegetables.

        Joe: That is at least an hour away. Jill won’t let me eat this stuff at home. I am not eating some salad bowl now. Besides that stuff gives me gas.

        Bus driver: I’m pulling over at the next exit. Looks like they got a Skyline Chili there. Anyone else up for that?

        Rest of crew: yup. Sounds good to me.

        AOC: there is nothing I will eat there. (Sulks in corner of empty seat)

        Bus Driver: OK we gotta be in Detroit by 6:00. So do what you need here and get back. I recommend the cheese coneys. The four way chili is good. Get it to go.

        1. Fuck off, nazisoviet

          1. That would be the Yeleseyesky Deli on Mayfield. Well it’s Russian anyway. Try the stuffed cabbage and get some smoked fish and cheeses to take home.

  35. “We’re going to have to figure out how we reign in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) warned on Jan. 13.

    First step – immediate censure of all politicians.

    That will cut WAY down on the disinformation and will curb the issuance of climate warming hot air…

    1. She is off the rails.

      1. Was she ever on them?

  36. Pegged to the twin anxieties over right-wing conspiracy theories and violence, Roose’s article contains one of the most blink-inducing paragraphs I have ever encountered in a respected journal:

    you mean the campus paper that calls itself the NYT? Respected left the station long ago.

  37. I may be silly but doesn’t appointing czars Willy nilly imply authoritarianism run amok? I loathe cancel culture but one thing I do like to cancel is the practice of appointing czars in the government.

  38. reality czar

    The historical title for such a person is “Propaganda Minister.”

    -jcr

  39. “We have to destroy the institutional systemic racism that creates this environment. We have to provide jobs. We have to have access to mental health care and education.”

    Why does this sound just one step away from forced mental health care and (re)education?

    1. Because that is exactly what they are advocating, though not quite as openly as they would like …. but, openly enough in many other instances.

      Remember Keith Olbermann’s rant about Trumpist maggots needing to be purged from society?

      Give it a few more years and they will be openly calling for the murder of all political dissidents, and they will be praised for it.

      This country is done.

  40. Reality czar? So are they going to pick a normal person to talk to on a regular basis?

  41. The true fascists are floating to the top of the pond.
    Will Mr. Biden sign an EO forming the national internal security police force? or will that get through Congress as part of budget reconciliation?

    1. You could just say “holy shit, did we fuck up with that whole coup thing.”

      Look at the bright side, it could be Dick Cheney in charge.

      1. I thought the Cheney family was back in favor with you folks.

        1. Yeah well it’s Donald Trump, strange bedfellows was bound to come into it sooner or later.

      2. Even Evil Dick never went that far.

        1. All that’s happening are trials in courts of law, which is more than Cheney gave brown terrorists.

      3. Tony, what does your gaydar say about Barack Obama?
        Asking for a friend.

        1. Who needs gaydar when he wears denim like a lame dad? That man is straight.

          It does however remain charming that people, who want to be taken seriously as adults who can vote, thought spreading lies about his sexuality was something they should spend their time on.

          President Buttigieg is going to really turn on their big brain mode, I have no doubt.

  42. As with all proposals from the left it means taking more of our cash to fund their progressive dreams, while gaining more power and enriching themselves.

    They don’t care about the truth, just that you don’t dispute them.

  43. We’re going to have to figure out how we reign in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation

    This is telling. we have to figure this out so you can’t just say things we disagree with. Apparently, the government needs to have a monopoly on disinformation and misinformation.

  44. A probably better take:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/order-have-tolerant-society-elite-believe-they-must-be-intolerant-all-dissenting-views

    When information becomes a “threat”, even thinking the wrong thing can be dangerous. Over the past several weeks, I have heard the word “misinformation” uttered in the same sentence as “terror” or “terrorists” countless times. In the old days, the “extremists” and the “terrorists” were on the other side of the globe, but now we are being told that they live among us. So how can we identify them? Well, we are being told that “the bad guys” can be identified by what they believe. Those that do not embrace the propaganda that big tech and the corporate media are relentlessly pushing are being systematically “deplatformed”, “canceled” and pushed to the fringes of society. But apparently that is not nearly enough, because the New York Times is now asking for the Biden administration to appoint a “reality czar” that will be given authority to deal with “misinformation” and “extremism”.

    So exactly what will be done to those that are guilty of committing “thought crimes” against the government?

    Sadly, I think that we are eventually going to find out.

    For decades, the elite have been telling us that we need to have a “tolerant” society. But now that they have almost total control, we are being told that in order to have that tolerant society they must be extremely intolerant of dissenting viewpoints.

    They seem to have embraced a very radical form of the “paradox of tolerance”, and as a result our society is becoming more dystopian with each passing day.

    For example, this week U.S. Representative Jackie Speier suggested that it is time to start referring to Republicans as “the terrorist right”.

    That is close to half the country. Does she really want nearly half the nation to be considered “terrorists”?

    Last month, I wrote about a new bill that has been introduced in Congress which is essentially the Patriot Act on steroids. But of course the Patriot Act was primarily focused on terror threats from overseas, while even Democrats are admitting that this new bill appears to be specifically targeting Americans that do not have the correct political views. If you doubt this, just consider what Tulsi Gabbard is saying about this new bill…

    “This is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends. What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life?”

    In the end, they don’t have to put millions of people in prison to chill free speech in America.

    All they have to do is set a few examples and most others will willingly fall in line.

    It is all about behavioral conditioning. They want to shape what we do, what we say and what we think by creating fear.

    As Grace-Anne Kelly has aptly pointed out, this is something that they are doing to our children as well.

    Fear is the mind killer.

    The elite understand that it is the best way to control large masses of people, and that is why they are continually looking for new ways to keep us in a constant state of fear.

    Ultimately, what they want are vast herds of “sheeple” that are extremely easy to manipulate.

    If you would like to see what this looks like, spend some time studying the Chinese system.

    In China, the government is so utterly dominant over the population that hardly anyone objects when “mandatory anal swabs” are implemented.

    Unfortunately, the U.S. is moving in the same direction very rapidly.

    Decades ago, Americans would get very upset when the government would decide to start dangerous new military conflicts.

    But now Joe Biden can roll U.S. military forces into Syria without hardly anyone even noticing.

    And it appears that the Biden administration is also setting the stage for a potential war with Iran…

    Iran could be “weeks away” from having sufficient material to develop a nuclear weapon if it continues to violate the 2015 nuclear deal, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Monday in an interview with NBC News.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats are getting ready to raise our taxes, and many Americans are actually begging them to do it.

    The Democrats also want to end the Second Amendment, but of course millions of people are quite eager for that to happen as well.

    After everything that they have already gotten away with in the past few months, they probably figure that they may as well go nuts because nobody is going to stop them.

    This isn’t about one political party implementing an agenda now that they are in power.

    Rather, this is about one group of people wanting to permanently neuter and silence the opposition. From now on, those that dare to question the official narratives handed down by our overlords will be branded “terrorists”, and this new “war on terror” will be designed to absolutely crush dissent wherever it is found. I really like how investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald recently made this point…

    “The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting ‘terrorism’ that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This New War on Terror—one that is domestic in name from the start and carries the explicit purpose of fighting ‘extremists’ and ‘domestic terrorists’ among American citizens on U.S. soil—presents the whole slew of historically familiar dangers when governments, exploiting media-generated fear and dangers, arm themselves with the power to control information, debate, opinion, activism and protests.”

    For a time in January, 1984 by George Orwell became the number one selling book on Amazon, and right now our society is moving in that direction at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.

    They really do want complete and total control, and they aren’t going to stop until they get it.

    Needless to say, if we continue on this path as a nation, we are quite doomed.

    The good news is that even Democrats such as Tulsi Gabbard are publicly pushing back against these assaults on our liberties and freedoms.

    The bad news is that she is definitely in the minority, and there seems to be a consensus building in both parties that “extremism” in the United States must be crushed.

    This is a very dark time in our history, and it appears that things will never be quite the same ever again.

    1. I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.

    2. This is a very dark time. Right-wing fanatics tried to overthrow the United States government. Remember that?

      The beliefs of Trump fanatics are certainly a worldview the constitution permits. Those beliefs are also informed by mass propaganda and lies. You wouldn’t know if you had bought into them whole hog, of course.

      We can choose to let people take over the country who are actively hostile to democracy and want to put minorities into camps, but then it won’t be the same country anymore. At some point its immune system needs to kick in. Or it dies. That’s what happens if your immune system doesn’t work.

      1. “Right-wing fanatics tried to overthrow the United States government. Remember that?”

        No, because that never happened. Piss off with your Reichstag Fire horseshit, fascist mouthpiece.

        1. But I saw it on multiple cable news channels.

          Fascists are dumb. They are brute force. They don’t do sophisticated psy-ops. I have every reason to believe what I saw happen on multiple cable news channels actually happened. And even more reasons to believe that if a Trumper is speaking he’s lying.

          1. Chasing your tail again I see; As-if those who run “sophisticated” psy-ops weren’t fascists. The brute force ‘gang’ is obviously not *stupid* enough to buy into lefty-propaganda.

            And P.S. Democratic National Socialism ISN’T the United States Government; so whatever alarmist position you want to paint on it – it was done by PATRIOTS trying to save the USA from Nazi’s.

            1. I’m glad we agree that the definition of an American patriot is one who kills Nazis.

              1. The definition of an American patriot is one who genocides commies.

                1. May the best team win, and by best I mean the one that believes in science. Not that they need luck under those conditions.

                  1. Science showed last year had temperatures drops not seen since the 50’s.. Opening the front door would acknowledge it with reality. When you figure out what the term ‘science’ means; be sure to let us all know you’ve acknowledged reality.

                    1. How silly of me for never realizing that science meant opening your door and seeing what the temperature is in that spot.

          2. Fuck you Herr Goebbels.
            You saw 200 unarmed people wandering through the building taking selfies while 2000 armed policeman watched, and then you decided to lie about it.

            1. I decided to take advantage of it. What would you do if it were BLM? Forgive?

              1. They already tried that this summer, bug-chaser.

                1. And did you say nothing to see here or did you rend your panties in abject race panic at the explicit instruction of Tucker Carlson?

          3. Jebus, broke a few windows, threw some paper around, and it’s “insurrection”?? You asshole, I know you seem to believe some stupid shit, but this?? Were you cowering in your room like AOC?

            How close do you think those selfie-takers and loons were to “total control of the government”, Tony? How close a call was it? You can say you really, truly believe it was a threat, or you can admit to being the lying asshole we all know you to be.

            Coz I cussed out the Dems the other day, and I was at that moment only slightly less likely to run the government as a result, than those “insurrectionists” were on Jan 6th.

            Hope you like the taste of boot, asshole.

    3. Remember when it was the WORST THING EVER that Trump did something that might have started a war with Iran?

  45. Reality is Calling ———–

    There is NOTHING EXTREMIST about wanting Individual Liberty and Justice!

    There is NOTHING EXTREMIST about asking the federal government to heed “The People’s” Supreme Law ( The U.S. Constitution )!

    There is NOTHING EXTREMIST about patriots sticking up for their country!

    What is EXTREMIST is rioting [WE] mobs trying to INVADE the USA for Democratic National Socialism!!!

    1. No, Biden Can’t Save [us] the USA by making BIG REVOLUTIONARY (Fundamentally Changing the USA) PLANS to destroy [us] the USA.

    2. It literally has extremist written all over it.

  46. LOL. The Ministry of Truth is finally here. Congrats, democrats, you fucking shit stains of shit stains in the history of humankind.

    1. That’s pretty damn bad when even Biden’s shit stains have shit stains.

      “Aw, come on, man!”

  47. Several experts I spoke with recommended that the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a “reality czar.”

    Fucking experts in what, totalitarianism?

  48. There may be a lot to dislike about Big Tech, but when the Ayatollahs of Iran start accusing Big Tech of both censorship and libertine permissiveness, we can safely say the world has turned completely upside down!

    Anti-Big Tech Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be like this:

    Hollywood Satanists Censor Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
    by Diego Vida
    https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/457531/Hollywood-Satanists-censor-Google-YouTube-Twitter-Facebook

    Fortunately, the misspellings, factual errors, and street-person rambling, ranty style may be a sign of desperation and internal decay in the Islamic Republic. As always, must wait and see…

  49. Frankly, I hope they do have some agency with a “Reality Czar” just so we can call it the Ministry of Truth.

  50. “‘We’re going to have to figure out how we reign in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,’ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) warned on Jan. 13.”

    You mean like the people who claim that Mike Brown had his hands up when he was shot in the back by Darren Wilson, or that George Zimmerman executed Trayvon Martin while he was walking down the sidewalk eating Skittles?

    1. You really think defending a child murderer is a good hill to die on?

      Trayvon Martin fighting back is hardly an excuse to kill him. Dude stalked a 14 year old boy and then killed him. Inexcusable.

        1. George Zimmerman’s jury thought differently, asshole.

        2. De Oppresso Liber
          January.19.2021 at 8:07 pm

          R Mac, are you stupid? Or just disingenuous? Mother is on my do not reply list since she went full anti-Semite.

          I have never ever said anything remotely antisemitic or racist, you lying fuck. I want an apology.

      1. Eh, if I was having my head bashed into the concrete by a 17-year-old, I’d kill his ass, too.

  51. If we need a czar we need one to protect us from the left not the right. The right can certainly be goofy but Russian Interference anyone. The left was the one who started questioning the 2020 election results. Then Biden won…

    1. It boggles the mind how little effort it must take for you to be completely convinced of an alternate reality.

      Name one Democratic politician as crazy as Marjorie Taylor-Green. Name one human from anywhere or any time as absurd as Donald Trump.

      1. “Name one Democratic politician as crazy as Marjorie Taylor-Green. Name one human from anywhere or any time as absurd as Donald Trump.”

        Wow, talk about shooting fish in a barrel. Where to start?

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
        Ilhan Omar
        Ayanna Pressley
        Rashida Tlaib
        Jamaal Bowman
        Cori Bush
        Maxine Waters
        Emanuel Cleaver (Amen & Awoman, lol)
        Elisabeth Warren
        Adam Schiff
        Bernie Sanders
        Ralph Northam
        Beto O’Rourke
        Hank Johnson
        Hakeem Jeffries
        John Burton
        just for you Tony, Andrew Cuomo.
        Sheila Jackson Lee
        And Joe Biden who is everything Trump was accused of.

        1. So all black people and women, or just those specific ones?

          1. Hahaha, you’re so shit at race-baiting, but look at you go.

            Tell me again how Adam Schiff, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, John Burton, Andrew Cuomo and Ralph Northam are black or female.
            Ralph Northam used to dress up in blackface FFS.

            What a pathetic idiot you are.

            1. Well all you did was call them mean names, so how the fuck am I supposed to know what I’m talking about? What do Adam Schiff and Rashida Tlaib have in common that I’m supposed to care about? Spell it out man. They seem like sane people to me.

              I am defining absurd more to the side of clinical in Trump’s case, because, fuck look at him. Jesus. Do you see twinkleberries where normal people see piles of shit?

          2. Now I see the problem. You can’t read.

    2. The United States is constitutionally a Republic, not a Democracy or a Czardom. I’d like to try and keep it that way and do my own searches to find the truth.

      It can be a terrible, tiresome struggle, but nothing ultimately is unknowable by a rational faculty, so I’ll pass on short-cuts like KellyAnne Conway’s “Alternative Facts,” Biden’s “Reality Czar,” as well as the random mobster merely asserting “His/Her/Xe/Xer/Their” truth.

      1. Facts are concretely defined things in the specific context where the premise exists that facts are real. If we are working in that context, facts and lies can be distinguished. It’s the most basic judgment of human interaction. They certainly seem to matter to judges.

        Still in that context, methods of acquiring facts instead of lies are also well established, if far from easy. The real way to get lost in the weeds is to have only confirmation bias as your compass, which is a situation we all start from on any subject, as children or adults.

        But you don’t even need to believe that one set of newspapers is more absolutely factual than another. All you have to understand is what the people in positions of authority believe about them.

        There’s the media that’s consumed by Democrats, college professors, business professionals, artists, all racial minorities, and the gays.

        Then there’s the media consumed by religious fundamentalists and white supremacists.

        I know which stock I’d buy. Nothing brings clarity about which stock to buy than knowing that if you make the wrong bet, we’re all dead anyway.

        This message is brought to you by green energy stocks.

        1. Looks like Tony’s been raiding Sqrlsy’s medicine cabinet. That made virtually no sense.

        2. I’ll sample any of it, but if it contradicts itself at some point, or if it contradicts previously known facts, or if it makes a logical fallacy, or if it admits no capacity for error whatsoever, I won’t put stock in any of it.

          And once I find something non-contradictory, validly-argued, corroborated, and passing the muster of falsifiability, I go wherever it leads, even if all Hell comes down on me for it.

          As Madea might put it: I can do bad (or good) all by myself.

          1. Yes, and hopefully democratic majorities of people have your devotion to scientific rigor.

            Maybe a little universal public education to help them along?

  52. We have to do something. We can’t have cousinfucking neo-Nazis in charge of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. Sorry. Is there some controversy on that point?

    A huge portion of the Republican party believes utter treasonous bullshit. If they were slightly darker in complexion, they’d be a universally recognized domestic threat. They have nothing to contribute to governing. They don’t have ideas. They are a cult.

    Cults can be fixed. I’m partial to the kool-aid method, but if we have to invent some new governing priority of managing information flow in the age of universal access to universal information, then it would simply be one more thing among many that the founding fathers couldn’t have possibly planned for.

    The internet made antisocial, seditious, nihilistic cult behavior into. political force in America. Do you want America to die? That’s the only question worth asking on this point.

    1. post against the commnunity guidline and..READ MORE

    2. Yup, you can’t read this hate-filled, frothy rant without realizing that Tony is evil.
      Did your mom find an ancient Mesopotamian sculpture on an archaeological dig and give it to you? Can you rotate your head? Is there a picture of Gozer the Gozerian in your living room?

      1. The contempt for the plebians is the biggest source of poison here. But feeling contempt for “deplorables” is a major source of self-esteem for insecure gentry-class types that Tony fantasizes about being.

        1. But my contempt has only multiplied. Let me explain logically.

          I had contempt for Bible thumpers since I was a wee boy. My idea of being a libertarian was escaping that tyrannical rule over my life. If you’re not from the Bible Belt, you wouldn’t understand.

          As I developed politically, I was offered a whole new set of reasons to hate the sorts of people who vote for Republicans. Because these were the sort of person who had to cram their faces with Xanax at the thought of a presidential blowjob but turned into murderous chimpanzees the moment Bush the Lesser slapped his lying war boner across their face and started torturing people in broad daylight.

          Let’s see. In 2004 same Alpha Chimp of the Jesus people coaxed an actual majority this time into reelecting the guy whose big achievement was failing to prevent 9/11 because he tacitly promised to shit all over gay people for them.

          Yada yada yada, a game show host is president and half a million Americans are dead and they set the constitution on fire because their wittle feewings were hurt.

          Also, they deal with the greatest existential threat modern humans have ever faces by denying it exists and demanding that we burn more oil.

          Contempt is too weak a word, simpleton. You’re fucking with my species. I don’t care about your feelings anymore. The day your people wiped their disgusting assholes on capitol marble was the day you became a failed experiment in evolution.

          1. But in fairness, I do agree, the trans pronoun stuff can be a little disorienting.

            1. Look at Mr. Strunk & White over here.

          2. But I do not hear logic. I hear bitterness, resentment and hate. There is nothing wrong with sharing emotions.

            I am sure you found, as we all do that a libertarian way of life and philosophy does not give you a community nor does it offer a replacement for your own values. It offers you nothing. Meaning in life comes from within.

            I know I am being forward but it seems to me that hatred as you have put it does not seem like a very happy way to fill the empty vessel of ones inner life. We don’t come equipped for what we make of that. It is up to each of us to fill that void.

            Forgive me if I am preachy today. My life has undergone some recent changes and I am dealing with that.
            A great writer wrote the following in a conversation between a father and his son.

            It’s not a pretty world, Papa.’
            ‘I’ve noticed,’ my father said softly.”
            ― Chaim Potok, My Name Is Asher Lev

            Thanks for helping me today Tony

            1. I hope you find yourself in calmer waters soon!

              Meaning comes from within. Hate is bad, a relic of our ape brains, half of the ever-present duality of humans, both murderously tribal and productively cooperative.

              But I spent my entire life under the failed Reaganomics regime that fleeced my generation of wealth it was due, over and over. I watched the lies and war. And recent events.

              And above all, I am expected to tolerate people whose big idea about science is how the laws of physics aren’t real. (But Santa Claus is, naturally.) So we don’t have to do anything about the major existential crisis of our lives. We have to cut more taxes, burn more oil, and steal the right to vote from more black people.

              Sometimes you just have to cut a cancer out. I am a good American liberal. Nobody escapes my endless patience and tolerance. But I’m done here. Some causes deserve to die. Some need to be killed. That would be the Nazis who are currently open allies to the party in question.

              Anyway, don’t worry about me, I’m doing great. I am just frustrated by opportunity cost. We didn’t need to indulge the fantasies of rightwingers with poor educations for my entire existence. We could have chosen to make life better for people instead. But that’s just part of the whole shitty package I guess. Ignorance is bliss, and it’s cheaper than the examined life. What does anyone expect?

              But you are 100% right, in my opinion, that we serve ourselves best by keeping our hatreds in check and figuring out ways to empathize with people, especially those who are most different. There are many pieces to move around the board when your goal is peace on earth.

    3. This is what a descent into madness looks like.

      1. I’m currently testing that theory, and I will get back to you.

        You can’t be crazy if you make money on AMC stock during a pandemic, right?

    4. Wow, was wondering who would take the throne as dumbest person on here since you have seemed absent.

      Nope you still got it

    5. We can’t have mentally ill troons who deny physical and biological reality in charge of it, either.

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  59. WOW! UnReason Magazine seems to be SLOWLY waking up to the left wing, authoritarian, repressive, socialist, Democratic Biden Administration dictatorship they have supported so far.
    Let us all hope they don’t fall back asleep again.

    1. We need to use these words more precisely for the time being.

  60. You don’t need to do anything about disinformation. Problem solved.

    We survived the Russian collusion delusion for example.

  61. Assuming freedom of though and expression, in order to determine what reality actually was you need the lens of time. This is developed by consensus of the population with review over time.

    Under a lack of freedom of though and expression, reality is whatever is allowed by the current authoritarians and is subject to change at the whims of the current authoritarians.

    Creating a “Reality Czar” would be a typical tactic of an authoritarian state and the beginning moves toward creating an approved echo chamber with enforced “Unity”.

    1. It’s the Overton window at work.

  62. I think we can all agree that Tupac is still alive however. Also there is no way that Oswald killed Kennedy.

    I do believe that Epstein was killed. That was not a suicide.

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  64. If you want to know about a mechanism for arriving at truth relatively quickly, read Drexler’s Engines of Creation, in which he described I-forgot-whose idea of “fact forums”. The closest implementation I’ve seen of that was Quora.com, but then Quora wrecked themselves by instituting payment for questions and answers. Second closest is Wikipedia and other wikis.

    1. Finding the truth is as simple as describing the single unambiguous question that represents the issue.

      Once you’ve bothered to do that, the truth is readily apparent.

  65. How many times can the New York Times be caught in a deliberate lie before they stop being cited as a source?

    1. truly scary shit!

    2. The people doing the “citing as a reputable source” approve of the lies. Nobody is searching for the truth in that transaction.

  66. Proposals like this are a matter of turning in more fire alarms to convince people your original alarm was justified. Like, look how bad the problem is, when we’re going to such lengths to solve it!

    Then again, I saw this sort of thing a lot in the 1970s and 1980s. Sugar got a bad reputation because…it got a bad reputation. Ditto nuclear energy. And now nicotine. “Everybody says” whatever because everybody says it.

    1. And then 4chan showed how easy it was with Pepe. It succeeded so well it became real.

  67. The artcle mentioned lustration. Is that where all political factions jump naked in a pile and talk it over in bed? /sarc

  68. Also, if the Reality Czar’s “words are strong” and “they make reality,” will the Reality Czar finally “tell us what a Wang Chung is?”

  69. I just want to take a moment to think about the mind-boggling insanity of “We have to provide jobs.”

    Who is this ‘we’ that has to provide jobs? *Why* do they have to provide jobs? Does the speaker (Christian Picciolini) even understand what the purpose of a job is?

    Hint: The purpose of a job is not to employ someone or provide them a paycheck. A person may take a job for those reasons, but that’s not why a job exists for them to take.

    1. But we live in a system where most of us have to have a job in order to provide for our basic needs. So it’s not optional. It should be. We should be doing capitalism at a more sophisticated level. And it should be more like real capitalism, with all of the churn and creative destruction that we could never allow when millions of people’s livelihoods depend on the system’s stability.

      I would be happy on a couple counts if instead we agreed that it was best just to cut people checks for their basic needs and let them work if they feel like being richer.

      1. You know, since I stopped reading Tony’s posts, I’ve decided he’s not as stupid as I used to think.

  70. Naw, just let it run its course like dumb fuck libertarian Matt Welch seems to want it. What a retarded clown.

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