Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The fake news problem

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  • mark taslov, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Extremely well put Dennis, I likewise found myself nodding in agreement with your post on the other thread earlier today. Valuable contributions, very measured.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Rich Lock,

    How does one go about countering that?

    Better educate people. As Bart was saying the other day.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    It wasn't quite so obvious back when the big three were the NZ Listener under Holcroft ; NZ Truth ; and the Auckland Weekly; when every small town , local village even, had a local rag which was the most boring of the available newspapers.
    But now the Listener is the dietary advice /agony aunt. So now it is nearly all just circus and entertainment at one level , and propaganda at another level.
    Your observation is "right on the money".

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to mark taslov,

    uncharacteristically emotive,

    I’ll take that on board.
    My experience as a performer has been that when the audience and those on stage “lock on” at a purely emotional level, then the outcome is what is referred to as “a good gig ” or other similar expressions.
    It was wrong of me to be thinking that politics is just theatre ; there are serious consequences. I fell into a trap there, extrapolating from a false premise that all media publications are bollocks.
    The exhilaration of being freed from loading and feeding out two big wagons of silage EVERY day (amongst all the other chores) for the last ten months must have got to me. :-)
    Sober reflection is called for.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Farmer Green,

    feeding out

    Reminded me of these "chalky snacks":
    "The last time I came across these milk biscuits was at primary school in the late 60s.

    I vaguely remember they were being sent to starving children in India and we were either eating them to see what it was like to be starving or as an incentive to raise money. I'm not sure which."

    What triggered the memory was someone's suggestion back then that we'd diminish our dairy stockpile AND solve world hunger by "feeding out" milk biscuits to the 3rd world starving, who'd trail after the tractor saying "Thank you white man."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Greenwald has gone all anti-anti-fake news.

    There's this really weird phenomenon of people denying at great cost to their integrity that there were any factors that decreased the chances of. a Dem victory (other than of course Clinton and the Elites being corrupt liars etc etc,).

    And with such vehemence and dishonesty.

    Since Nov 2016 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    All the while entirely overlooking the inconvenient fact that lactose intolerance was widespread in the “target” population.
    Since then the dairy output of NZ has more than doubled, and the price received has halved. Not to mention the “downstream” consequences.
    Wendyl is bullshitting about the lactose which is a non-sweet sugar , and was not added because it was already unavoidably oversupplied . Skim milk powder is naturally 46% lactose.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Hehe, I will admit I was quite taken with your phrasing there.

    My experience as a performer has been that when the audience and those on stage “lock on” at a purely emotional level, then the outcome is what is referred to as “a good gig ” or other similar expressions.
    It was wrong of me to be thinking that politics is just theatre

    Not a bad comparison at all, it lends itself without great tribulation to the cross thread bounce.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Rich Lock,

    To paraphrase a quote generally attributed to Winston Churchill, “a lie gets liked and shared half a million times before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

    I keep thinking about the key-note address Chris Cleave gave at the National Writers’ Forum. It was basically all about this. (Long quote, which I wouldn’t normally do, but it’s worth it, I think.)

    This kind of evil does not listen to reason, does not acknowledge science, does not defer to expertise or experience, does not doubt its own convictions, does not read books. And this is the world we writers are working in now. We who grew up to cherish empathy and compassion and beauty and precision. We who learned, over thousands of meticulous hours, to encode those things not just into our plots and our pages and our paragraphs, but into every careful sentence.

    We learned to respect the reader, didn’t we? To give them a little space to think and to dream. We learned to acknowledge that people might come to our pages with a bigger life than our own. We learned to be humble and to use tiny little things, like commas, to give readers a great big thing, like, a pause, for breath.

    But we write in a breathless world now. Furious reaction follows outrageous event without a moment for reflection. By the time any of us can write a thousand considered words about a thing, the agenda has long moved on. In this climate reason is redundant, beauty skin deep, memory obsolete. And so hate becomes the dominant voice simply because hate takes far less time to express.

    And so hate hates Mexicans, then women, then Moslems, then the European Union, then Obama, then gun control, then me, then you. But you could give hate the exact things it was screaming for – and you could annihilate all those things that hate hates – and hate would just hate you for doing it.

    That’s why hate is dangerous – because it can never stop. It’s a shark and it drowns if it ever stops swimming. Britain isn’t in trouble because of Brexit. Britain is in trouble because its leaders released hate in order to get Brexit, and now hate is in the tank with us, and swimming.

    He goes on to make five suggestions, the first one of which is, stand for something, rather than against everything.

    This speech was given after Brexit, but before Trump’s election. I really needed to re-read it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Emma Hart,

    does not read books.

    Cows have noticed that people are reading fewer books these days , and even the weekly gossip mags are not exactly thriving.
    Cows think that what might loosely be termed browsing is not an altogether bad thing.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Cows think

    So did these cogitating cows offer any insight as to why, and the deeper implications of said observations by their herd?
    Or are you just taking the piss?
    Not very well, I might add.
    About as well as trumpian adorer R Hide.
    You can go to harold yourself, I'm sure

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to andin,

    About as well as trumpian adorer R Hide.

    His Herald piece today was - I assume - a Private Eye satire ("will this do?"). Laughably bad, though it's hard to laugh these days.

    It's another example of the Trump apologists emerging in recent days to reveal their true colours. Before the election, Trump was persona non grata on the Right for many purported reasons: bigotry, dishonesty and general obnoxiousness. He was "not a true conservative" and his economic policies were anathama.

    But then, he won. So it turns out that many of these people are motivated first and foremost not by any kind of coherent principle/philosophy, but by yelling "Losers!!11!!". And if that spells bad news for people Rodney Hide used to defend - like immigrants or teh gayz - then never mind, he is happy to chuck them under the bus. As long as he is entertained; that's priority number one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    just taking the piss?

    I did not think so.

    “cogitating cows” ?
    Ruminating surely. ?


    I wondered who it was that was being described here :-
    ” . . .does not listen to reason, does not acknowledge science, does not defer to expertise or experience, does not doubt its own convictions, does not read books.”

    Who was this evil personified , or was it merely a mythical creature? My impresssion was that the writer had some person or persons in mind.
    Not having read a book for a long time , I observed that I was not the only one of whom it could be said pejoratively “does not read books”.

    “Not very well, I might add.”

    As I said it wasn’t the intention. And it was a first draft.

    Imitating of the style of Marc Gallant , in his masterpiece “The Cow Book”, I sought to counter the accusation that someone who does not read books can be presumed to be evil. And presumed, as well, to hold the rest of the mentioned attributes of “evil personified” , whoever he is. It is so obviously nonsense.

    But I will accept that it was a poor imitation. I'm working on it.


    ” cows offer any insight as to why, . . .?”
    Browsing the full range of material on offer in the third millenium , rather than just that contained in books, did not seem to be so sinful to me. There will be people on this planet who have never, ever read a book. There could be reasons why someone “does not read books”.

    “and the deeper implications of said observations by their herd?”
    That will require further rumination. And I noted that “does not read books” is altogether different from “has never read a book” or “ is incapable of reading a book ”.


    I see from Simon g’s reply to you where you were going – the mythical Trump adorer. Something to tilt at perhaps? A focal point for venting a bit of spleen? A way of saying : – “I am not like those deplorable people”?
    It just seemed like an exercise in name -calling and dismissal.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    You can go to harold yourself,

    I don’t know this expression. Was it by way of illustrating the point that Chris Cleave was making in the quoted passage?


    http://stevie-nicks.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/1973-fm-mystery-to-me-gatefold.jpg

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Not having read a book for a long time , I observed that I was not the only one of whom it could be said pejoratively “does not read books”.

    Did you notice, at any point, that this was an address to writers? Of, y'know, books? The whole thing is about what writers can do. If these people don't read books, then how can we, as writers of books, get through to them?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger,

    I went looking on youtube for the footage of the tsunami waves on Lyall Bay beach after last weeks earthquake and and a while lot of videos popped up saying they were from that earthquake but were from the Japanese or other earthquakes. People know those search terms are going to be news so they put up any old thing so that they can make money off the advertising.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Did you notice, at any point, that this was an address to writers?

    Yes that was clear. It was the National Writers Forum.

    ” Of, y’know, books? ”
    It never occurred to me that the word “writer” was being applied only to those who wrote “books”. The Bard wrote plays.

    ” how can we, as writers of books, get through to them?”
    If “getting through to them ” is your principal objective in writing , and they do not read books , then surely you will place your writing where it will be read by your “targets”.
    Or you may choose some other art form to "get through to them", whatever you are meaning by that expression.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Farmer Green,

    the writer had some person or persons in mind.
    Not having read a book for a long time , I observed that I was not the only one of whom it could be said pejoratively “does not read books”.

    And

    Something to tilt at perhaps? A focal point for venting a bit of spleen? A way of saying : – “I am not like those deplorable people”?

    You seem to have the grasped the cow by the tail rather than getting the bull by the horns.
    And I'll be as cryptic as I want, Thank you very much

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    "It’s time to pull all these observations together. We face a decade or more, during which three uniquely dangerous factors will be in play:

    A sense among the mass of citizens that it is no longer possible to discern the truth of any single event or series of geopolitical moves: cynical spin, whoring media and complicated cultural situations have combined to place land-mines under every route through the quicksand….but there is quadrophonic disagreement about where the landmines are.
    Western Establishments that live in (and act upon) the short term only….and remain blinded , by archaic ideology, to the realities of philosophical sea change.
    The imminent impacts and after-shocks of the potentially greatest econo-fiscal disaster in recorded history.

    I have been trying in recent months to shift the emphasis of The Slog away from “news” (whatever that means any more) to an examination of the step-change in social organisation, sovereignty and economic motives that is already unfolding. That will inevitably mean a drop in popularity, because breaking stuff pulls readers in.

    But I can’t cover news in any honest sense any more. First, the former army of contacts I had is either retired or dead; second, it takes so long today to prove or disprove the provenance of a story, by the time one feels confident about it, the news element has faded; and finally, I think the vast majority of it is a distraction from the massively threatened survival of citizen liberties and informed electorates.

    Thank you for persevering with the length of this piece. Enjoy the rest of the weekend."

    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/the-saturday-essay-when-nobody-knows-who-to-believe-unbelievable-change-is-inevitable/

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    And I’ll be as cryptic as I want, Thank you very much

    As you should ; do what thou wilt . . .
    I recall now your prior advice to me - "don't assume."

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Farmer Green,

    citizen liberties and informed electorates.

    Cant think of any country in the modern era that has had these, ever. Some pre- industrial societies were better at it that us. And then we got all consumed with the mighty dollar (beautifully disguised as self empowerment) and these ideals got pushed aside.

    You pulled that little missive straight from The Slog? Sorry but while he may make some useful points. The author descents into paranoid and lunatic label throwing raving, just a little too often for my liking.

    The years ahead wouldn't look so bleak if we, collectively, faced it head on. Something no monetary or political leading light, including the Trumpian, presently seems capable of doing. That alone will condemn us to a miserable future, and then there's everything else.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    , faced it head on.

    Maybe the Saker is regarded as tin foil territory, but there do seem to be some battle- lines being drawn. But it could be fake news:-

    http://thesaker.is/fear-and-loathing-inside-the-deep-state/

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Farmer Green,

    the Saker

    Your joking right?
    We need globalisation, but not based solely in trade, we need to become a global civilization if we are to survive longer than the next century. But and its a biggy each country has to get its own house in order first(thats a metaphor)
    And, I could be wrong but, what is being proposed there isnt it.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    get its own house in order

    What would that look like in Godzone , assuming we could do it?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    What would that look like in Godzone

    We could give a bivouac a bit of a whack...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7947 posts Report Reply

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