Just the truth; no facts, please

By Ken Frederic | Oct 31, 2019

Joe DiGenova probably coined a new expression, “Incandescent Ignoramus,” to describe one of today’s witless, pop-star politicians. That remarkably compact description befits his legal training and point of view.

One evening earlier this month radio host Howie Carr took a listener’s call. It was also brief and to the point: “Trump is a scumbag.” This scholarly analysis surely reflects another remarkable intellect and doubtless, decades of study at some prestigious institute of Malted Arts.

It may be a bit unfair to mock this hapless, anonymous, incandescent ignoramus, but it is not unfair to deplore political and media dunces using far more words to deliver no substance, sense, or supporting facts in their unrestrained partisan advocacy.

Joe Biden said that we (Democrats) prefer “…truth to facts….” That is a snippet without context and fairness demands saying he badly fumbled whatever point he meant to make. That he did not hear himself and immediately correct the mistake is telling for those of us who already have a dim view of his intelligence and integrity. What we heard is, “We prefer telling you what to believe to giving you facts and letting you decide what is true.”

Incessantly, lately, we read and hear the same in major metropolitan daily papers and major network media outlets: “We won’t clutter your feeble little mind with pesky, disputable and complicated facts; ‘Here is the truth you must believe.’”

Consider these recent examples:

Within 19 minutes of Donald Trump taking the oath of office, The Washington Post published an article admiring the emergence of an effort to impeach him. Books written by Dan Bongino, Alan Dershowitz and Gregg Jarrett, along with reporting by John Solomon and Sarah Carter, and the two-hour YouTube documentary “Ukraine, The Democrats’ Russia” by Glenn Beck scrupulously document the treachery that began in 2015, became widespread abuses within the DNI and the DOJ in 2017, was thoroughly refuted by the Mueller Report in April 2019, and is still defiantly being called the truth by partisans like Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. YouTube shadow bans the documentary, by the way: You must know the title to find it.

Having wrung the last bit of use from the collusion ruse, Democrats and their media collaborators created a new fiction that, in a July phone call, President Trump pressured Ukraine President Zelensky to “dig up dirt” on Joe and Hunter Biden. Unexpectedly and unfortunately for them, the president released the transcript of that conversation and the chronology of Schiff’s conspiring with the “whistle blower” has been published. Everyone who cares to know has the facts of what was said and of how the ruse was created.

But, despite the facts being known, Adam Schiff presented an account of the call as unspeakably offensive as it was fictitious, and Nancy Pelosi humiliated herself by asserting Schiff’s fictional account was the “truth.”

Fox News put out a poll saying that 51% of voters favored impeachment and removal of the president. Later, it was learned that the poll sample included 50% more Democrats and 70% fewer independents than the population. Why FNC would engage in anything so dishonest has not been revealed but nobody can (honestly) conclude that the poll was anything but deliberate, malicious deception. Thankfully, Fox has not rationalized or denied that deception.

But there is more. Voters interested in facts, not “truth,” might research what the uber-rich really pay in taxes; how government subsidies and regulation have affected the cost of education, housing and medical care; or, after hearing Ronald Reagan Jr., what practicing Christians actually do believe and how they live their faith.

Anyone who has read this far has long been troubled by and angry at the purveyors of fact-free truth and has previously resolved to no longer consume their rubbish. Beyond destroying their credibility, these outlets apparently have no concern for the tsunami of contempt they have created for themselves and all they advocate.

Alarmingly, though, we are daily reminded there remain hordes whose knowledge of facts may be even less than that of Howie’s caller. They hold views ingested as truth, not formed from facts. Being a responsible and informed voter takes time and hard work but, by failing to do it, we risk our fate being determined by incandescent ignoramuses with advanced degrees in Malted Arts.

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Ralph “Doc” Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Oct 31, 2019 10:10

Fact free "truth?"  Now there's a Republican invention if I've ever heard one.  And from the party led by the most outrageous liar in the history of American politics.  Certainly “Incandescent Ignoramus" is a fitting term for trump and most of his administration, though a raging dumpster fire is probably a more accurate picture in describing the entire right wing at this moment in history.  You know, all those "fine people."


As usual Mr. Frederic's contempt for the "truth" simply gushes out of this unbalanced rant.  Having at one time come out against trump during the confusion of the past presidential election he now has been converted to only trump's version of reality in all its multitude of shades.  When a faction is led by a complete liar "truth" is what ever he says it is.  Or as Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism"


"The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists."


Certainly fits the right wing, doesn't it.


And of course, anyone who's been paying attention to the chaos of our present oval office knows that “Trump is a scumbag" is not just true, in any sense of the word, but even a little generous considering his multiple failings -liar, thief, fraud, degenerate, sexual abuser, tax cheat, blowhard, coward, and bully- simply to name a few.  


That he is the defining figure in what can only be called American Pseudo-Conservatism is undeniable.  And there's a truth the public is fast coming to realize, that a party led by a malignant liar is a party of liars, a party led by a corrupt cheat and fraud is a party of corruption and fraud, and a party led by a coward is a party of cowards. The fish rots from the head down and this rot is cancerous (as Lyin' Ted Cruz once said.)


And Glenn Beck is your truth-teller?  Mr. Frederic has obvious only read the very "redacted" version of the Mueller report twisted and perverted into an obscene lie by administration lawyer and co-conspirator Barr.  Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) best described this affront to "truth:"


"...  when we read the report, we knew Robert Mueller’s concerns were valid and that your version of events was false. You used every advantage of your office to create the impression that the president was cleared of misconduct. You selectively quoted fragments from the special counsel report, taking some of the most important statements out of context and ignoring the rest. -Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)


Or, more simply put:


Schiff:  "Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference?"

Mueller: "Yes."

Schiff:  "And then Trump and his campaign lied about it to cover it up?"

Mueller:  "Yes."

I understand congress is now looking to see the entire report, undeniably to find even more of those "truths" left out by Mr. Barr.  


"The nearly two-year investigation resulted in 199 criminal charges, indicting 34 individuals—including six former Trump associates and three Russian companies... it revealed ample evidence of wrongdoing by Trump and his inner circle, dating from his 2016 presidential campaign through his tenure in the Oval Office.


“It's clear from the report today that there's a lot of political interference that was attempted [by Trump],” Sarah Longwell, executive director of Republicans for the Rule of Law, told Newsweek. “This is not the end of the Mueller investigation, this is just the beginning. It looks like the Mueller report really is a road map for Congress. And that there was no exoneration, definitely obstruction.”

Personally I think the most perfect example of trump's Russian collusion is the description of Russian troops simply walking in and taking over American bases in Syria while our troops are forced to abandon their most loyal allies in the region.  Could trump's submission to Putin be more obvious or is that simply another unfortunate "truth" that Mr. Frederic doesn't consider valid?  


Of course, the "word for word" transcript of trump's phone call to the President of Ukraine is now known to have the same basis in "truth" with almost twenty minutes missing and key words and phrases left out.  


"Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the first person to testify as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry who personally listened in on Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president, told House lawmakers that the White House reconstruction of the discussion had key omissions, The New York Times reported.


Vindman, who testified before members of three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry, also shed new light on the White House reconstruction of the call, which was released last month. Vindman reportedly told the lawmakers that the document omitted crucial words and phrases. He did not speculate on the reasoning behind the omissions."


Oh, but we can "speculate" can't we, Ken, or would that be creating a "new fiction."   I'll leave that to you (but your plot could use some work.)


And what do you think about that "tsunami of contempt" that erupted from a "horde" of Americans in a mass howl of boos against your dear leader at world series ball game.  It's probably a good thing he was out of throwing distance.  It always puzzles me how so-called "conservatives" can refer to their fellow Americans as a "horde" or describe democracy as "mob rule" -your term.  I guess that's only for the majority when it sees through the false narrative of conservative "truth."


In any case since you're obviously delirious with rage at all those "facts" which don't line up with your imaginary world so I'll leave you with the most appropriate words ever to issue forth from your party's odious and bestial leader.

"Must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees." -Donald Trump, 2016

Posted by: Karla Schwarze | Oct 31, 2019 09:55

If we wanted to have an intelligent debate or discussion, we'd first have to be able to agree on what the facts surrounding the topic were.  This is increasingly hard to do in today's partisan environment, and many people are disturbed by that.

But it's even worse than we thought.  Not only can we not agree on the facts about an issue, we don't seem to agree on what a fact is and what it is not.  Conclusions aren't facts.  Opinion isn't fact.

In an article about wanting everyone to stick to facts and not their own conclusions, or "truths" as the author calls them, Ken Frederic does exactly what he's telling everyone else to stop doing, and throws out his own conclusions, unsupported accusations, half-truths, and wildly slanted conspiracy-laden suppositions.

Democrats and their media collaborators created a new fiction that, in a July phone call, President Trump pressured Ukraine President Zelensky to “dig up dirt” on Joe and Hunter Biden. Unexpectedly and unfortunately for them, the president released the transcript of that conversation and the chronology of Schiff’s conspiring with the “whistle blower” has been published. Everyone who cares to know has the facts of what was said and of how the ruse was created.


"Unexpected and Unfortunate" - not facts, slanted viewpoint

"a new fiction that, in a July phone call, President Trump pressured Ukraine President Zelensky to “dig up dirt” on Joe and Hunter Biden" -  not a fact that this is a fiction.  The president's own summary showed he asked for a "favor", wanting Crowdstrike investigated as well as the Bidens.  That is a fact.  The author may believe that his asking for this is not equivalent to "digging up dirt", but that's his opinion and his conclusion.  Not a fact.

"Schiff’s conspiring with the “whistle blower”  - Not a fact.  Providing proven data on what the people involved said and did...that might be fact, but the author has concluded some conspiracy existed and presented that as fact without allowing anyone to make up their own minds about what happened.

After reading months of editorials and comments where people have jumped straight into debate without first doing the work of listing, discussing, and agreeing to the facts surrounding a topic, it seems like that would be an interesting exercise.  It might also be necessary to review exactly what "a fact" is.  Seems a better idea than our current model of living in two separate alternate realities, one where the sky is blue, and one where it's purple, and those are both "facts".



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