Saturday, March 19, 2011

Everybody does it

James O'Keefe thinks everybody lies, the same way the guy caught cheating on his final or caught doing steroids believes "Everybody does it". Or so he says, continuously, in his interview in NPR's "On the Media"

The fascinating thing to me was his refuge in 'everyone does it' as an excuse - not matter what the premise was.

Misleading editing of question and answer: "Everyone does it"
Removing all context from an answer: "Everyone does it"
Showing only the answers that support your case: "Everyone does it"

He sounded like someone caught doing steroids or cheating on a test - never owning up to any personal responsibility for his action, continually blaming 'everyone' else for setting a standard. And like other cheaters, he ignores the fact that, no, everyone doesn't. People get caught doing that, and get fired.

The only times his excuses weren't 'everyone does it' was when he was simply misrepresenting his actions (He actually conflated misrepresenting himself to his target - a necessity of any kind of 'undercover' journalism, with misrepresenting himself to his audience.) or when he was trying desperately to misuse the term 'logical fallacy' in ways that frankly highlight the fact that he really really isn't familiar with what the term means outside the fact that for some reason he thinks using it makes him sound like an educated person refuting someone barely worth refuting.

James - no. End of story. Have people 'gotten away with it'? Yes - Rush Limbaugh gets away with it all the time, and despite my respect for the factual accuracy of Michael Moore compared to idealogues on the right I concede I know better than to expect Michael Moore to present both sides of an argument.

But you've gone beyond Michael Moore, even perhaps beyond Rush Limbaugh who often presents 'factual' snippets, but out of context and in a deceptive manner.

You've actively lied. Not to your victims, but to your audience.

Why anyone would believe you is beyond me.