Friday, June 23, 2006

An Interesting This Site

Recently my site was linked over at makotokan as one of the right-wing bloggers to misquote Al Gore and damage his credibility. While greatly appreciating that he remained civil, I have to say that I disagree with his assertions.

He says:

Note the question: “Do you scare people or give them hope?” Gore was responding to the question of how best to approach global warming, and he answered that it’s best, depending on your audience, to focus on the dangers first, before talking about solutions.

It’s an interesting case study in the exceptional aptitude of humans to deceive themselves. Right wing bloggers seized on this quote because it justified their beliefs. Those in the middle saw it and questioned Gore’s reliability as a source. The speed of the Information Autobahn just perpetuated this misinformation.

Now, the damage is done.

Where to start?

First, "it’s best, depending on your audience, to focus on the dangers first, before talking about solutions." Or, in other words, it's best to scare them by "an over-representation of factual presentations." Got it. So, I'm not seeing how this was taken out of context, and that was certainly not my intent anyway.

Next, "to focus on the dangers first, before talking about solutions". Does this mean if we listen to Gore, we'll get to talk seriously about nuclear energy? It has been primarily the liberal side that has shut down debate over nuclear energy, even though their beloved Europe, from whom they desire to take the lead on most social issues except a partial birth abortion ban, has nuclear energy.

Thirdly, "Right wing bloggers seized on this quote because it justified their beliefs. Those in the middle saw it and questioned Gore’s reliability as a source." With all due respect, right wing bloggers seized on this quote because Al Gore was once again running off at the mouth and this time all but admitted that he was willing to fudge truth or exaggerate. As far as causing those in the middle to question Gore's reliability as a source, I think Al Gore has done that all by himself with no help from us at all. I searched for one of his funnier quotes and hit upon an author that had collected quite a number of them all in one place, making my life so much easier.

Bozell said*:

3. The Exaggeration. Now we’re getting serious. They come in two categories, political and personal....Gore’s propensity to exaggerate is personal (Tipper and I inspired "Love Story"; I swore on my sister’s death bed to fight tobacco forever; I was fired upon in Vietnam; I put city officials in jail as a newspaper reporter; I was sung to sleep with union commercial jingles.) And it is political (I "took the initiative to create the Internet"; I co-sponsored the McCain-Feingold bill; I was present at the creation of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).
There’s a smidgen of truth in all these statements, yes. But there’s also a disregard, a lack of interest, in accuracy. That clearly becomes a character issue. And when the quantity of exaggerations reaches epidemic proportions, as it has with Gore, it ought to be regarded by political observers in the press as serious stuff indeed.

4. The Bald-Faced Lie. It’s the whopper, the deliberate decision to deceive. Gore’s problem metastasized with his story placing himself at the fires in Parker County, Texas in 1996 with Federal Emergency Management Agency head James Lee Witt. Media buddies suggested it wasn’t wrong, since he’d traveled to Texas with a Witt deputy. Not so. Gore not only didn’t travel with Witt in 1996, he never went to the Parker County fires. He went to Houston, hundreds of miles away, two years later, for something else.

The Buddhist Temple story (I never knew it was a fundraiser) is another lie. And so is the Iced Tea Defense, that a White House bathroom break must have prevented him from learning what kind of fundraising calls he was making from his office.

So "Gore's reliability as a source" has been a matter of speculation for some time.

Lastly, "Now the damage is done." I assure you, Makotokan, that I am just a small fry and am, alas and alack, incapable as such of doing any real damage. However, I have enjoyed our little civil discourse and most assuredly appreciate the link. Thanks so much!

*Blogger intensely dislikes this address, I don't know why. When I provided it as a link, it refused to publish my post. When I put it here at the bottom, it published, but completely messed up the template, making it all but unreadable. So all I can say is that it is from media research and the author was Bozell back in 2000. I'm sorry. I know this is ridiculous, but this is the best I can do.


At 6/25/2006 8:48 AM, Blogger ColossusHube said...

You've made it as a blogger when an opposing writer uses your comments/posts as fodder for a post of his/her own!

And is that Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center?

At 6/25/2006 10:08 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Yes, it is the same Mr. Bozell. Blogger absolutely hated the link. I tried every way I could think of to make it work, even trying to write out the address by describing the "at"s, the "dot"s and "slashes" with words at which point it thought I was trying to spam my own blog. If anyone is interested in the link, I will be more than happy to email it.

At 6/25/2006 6:00 PM, Blogger mynym said...

"Now the damage is done."

That must be assuming that a person has credibility in the first place. Gore does not for some of the reasons you mentioned but I'm willing to look at what a person is saying instead of focusing on who is speaking pretty much no matter who it is.

He said to have an "over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is" in order to generate fear. There's nothing necessarily wrong with generating fear if it is rational fear. So he's not wrong there. What the Right seems to be pointing out is that it is impossible to "over-represent" something that is factual, so Gore is likely falling back into the hysteria about Great Doom that has been typical to the Leftist mind since the days of Malthus and Bentham. Of course he should watch for that because they do the same things over and over. Living in the womb of Mommy Nature seems to lead them into hysterics and phobias so that every perturbation of the waters signifies the coming Great Doom, etc. Yet despite the lecturing about famine, mass starvation, extinction, a Great Flood (although the first never happened), etc., we're all still here. In some places things have been better, in others they've been worse, etc.

Of course the Great Doom will come soon enough, sure enough, yet there is no sense worrying about things at the planetary level when you can't even keep one city clean nor pretending that a soccer mom's choice to drive an SUV or a mini-van will effect the "balance of the earth." Next thing you know the Leftist mind will have the Cosmos in balance based on its own subjective aesthetic preferences.

For you Anna,
Hysteria: from English hysteric, adjective, from Latin hystericus, from Greek hysterikos, from hystera womb; from the Greek notion that hysteria was peculiar to women and caused by disturbances of the uterus

One thing that is good about poor old Gore is that he is hysterical, in a laughable way. He likes to pretend that he has a sense of humor about his laughable state too, yet he does not.

At 6/25/2006 10:05 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Gee, and to think, the whole time I was reading your comment I was thinking how glad I am that you're back safe and sound, and then, then, you blow it with that little definition of hysteria "just for me". Smart aleck. And like I didn't know? Beware, my dear friend, I am more than capable of being obnoxious too, as you well know! So until we meet again...

At 1/02/2012 11:26 PM, Anonymous sbobet said...

thanks ysboou for arsbochive


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