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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Best Thing I've Read Today

In a piece titled "The Dumbed Down Democracy," Timothy Egan laments the ignorance of too much of the American electorate and pins the blame on conservative media, which "has spent more than two decades tearing down the idea of an objective fact"...

How did this happen, when the populace was so less educated in the days when most families didn’t even have an indoor potty to talk about? You can look at one calculated loop of misinformation over the last two weeks to find some of the answer.

A big political lie often starts on the Drudge Report, home of Obama-as-Muslim stories. He jump-started a recent smear with pictures of Hillary Clinton losing her balance — proof that something was very wrong with her. Fox News then went big with it, using the Trump adviser and free-media enabler Sean Hannity as the village gossip. Then Rudy Giuliani, the internet diagnostician, urged people to Google “Hillary Clinton illness” for evidence of her malady. This forced Clinton to prove her stamina, in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, by opening a jar of pickles.

The only good thing to come out of this is that now, when you Google “Hillary Clinton illness” what pops up are scathing stories about a skeletal-faced rumormonger named Rudy Giuliani, and a terrific Stephen Colbert takedown of this awful man.

But what you don’t know really can hurt you. Last year was the hottest on record. And the July just passed was earth’s warmest month in the modern era. Still, Gallup found that 45 percent of Republicans don’t believe the temperature. We’re not talking about doubt over whether the latest spike was human-caused — they don’t accept the numbers, from all those lying meteorologists.

Of late, almost half of Floridians have done something to protect themselves from the Zika virus, heeding government warnings. But the other half cannot wish it away, as the anti-vaccine crowd on the far left does for serious and preventable illnesses.
Read Egan's full piece here.